Night shift detective Renée Ballard (The Late Show) of the LAPD Hollywood Division returns from a scene early one morning to find a stranger rummaging through an office file cabinet. She soon learns that the man is retired detective Harry Bosch, and he's looking into the cold case murder of a teenage girl. After reading up on the case, Ballard approaches Bosch and offers to help. She learns that the dead girl was the daughter of a woman living in Bosch's house—a woman he met while working undercover as a pill shill (Two Kinds of Truths). Digging through field interview cards from nearly a decade before, the detectives uncover a lead. At the same time, Ballard is working a homicide and Bosch is looking into a gang killing for the San Fernando Police Department. Despite a structural formula of parallel story lines similar to other recent Bosch entries, the partnership between the detectives makes it feel fresh. Bosch's reckless instincts are tempered by Ballard's by-the-books attitude. VERDICT Mystery-suspense readers will not only enjoy this quick read but will look forward to the duo's continuing partnership. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]—Vicki Briner, Broomfield, CO
LAPD Det. Renée Ballard, first seen in 2017’s The Late Show, makes a welcome return in this outstanding, complex police procedural. Relegated to the night shift at the Hollywood Station following a sexual harassment suit against her former lieutenant, Ballard works her cases with a quiet focus and intensity. Late one night, Ballard surprises a man looking through some old case files. It turns out to be retired LAPD detective Harry Bosch, now working cold cases for the San Fernando PD. After Bosch leaves, Ballard takes a look at the file, detailing the unsolved 2009 murder of Daisy Clayton, a 15-year-old runaway. The slain girl was the daughter of a recovering addict, who has been taken in by Bosch. Ballard is hooked, and begins working the case with Bosch. Meanwhile, Bosch’s investigation into another cold case, the execution-style killing of a 52-year-old gang leader, has put the detective squarely in the sights of Varrio San Fer 13, one of the valley’s most violent gangs. Bosch and Ballard, both outsiders with complicated pasts, form a perfect partnership in this high spot of Edgar-winner Connelly’s long and distinguished career. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (Oct.)
" Dark Sacred Night is one of the best and most affecting Bosch novels since Mr. Connelly began the saga in 1992, underscoring the growing and unsettling ambiguity surrounding its central character." Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
"Spectacular... Dark Sacred Night is ingenious, frantically suspenseful, and very, very, bleak." Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
"Michael Connelly is superhuman...His hallmark has been his precise, faultless plotting...Connelly has always been especially good when it comes to truly creepy killers-he was once a crime reporter-and his denouement here is thrilling." Charles Finch, USA Today
"It was only last year that Connelly introduced Ballard, a fierce and fascinating new protagonist who instantly emerged as a reader favorite. Bosch, meanwhile, is a grizzled veteran by now; Dark Sacred Night marks the 21st novel to center on him. But fans always finish eager to come back for more." David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly
"LAPD Det. Renée Ballard, first seen in 2017's The Late Show, makes a welcome return in this outstanding, complex police procedural...Bosch and Ballard, both outsiders with complicated pasts, form a perfect partnership in this high spot of Edgar-winner Connelly's long and distinguished career." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Det. Renée Ballard is a formidable character, an insightful and tenacious investigator with an unusual background and a sturdy personality to carry a series...Connelly has achieved success as one of the top mystery writers by continuing to keep his storytelling fresh. In The Late Show, he delivers an exciting police procedural with a unique character." Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Michael Connelly has earned his place in the pantheon of great crime fiction writers by creating characters people care about and are eager to come back to. In Dark Sacred Night, he brings together two of his best...Here's hoping we don't have to wait long for another Ballard and Bosch novel." Paul Saltzman, Chicago Sun-Times
"This one needs no introduction...Expect all the dark, brooding LA neo-noir you've come to appreciate from Connelly's superlative procedurals." CrimeReads
"Superb...Once again, Connelly delivers an exciting police procedural, only this time with two unique characters." Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Harry Bosch has had plenty of partners, but he might have met his match...Both face complicated challenges to their personal ethics, challenges born not out of greed or fear but of their burning desire to make things right. Through it all, they challenge each other. Ballard brings a fresh perspective, and Bosch brings all the things so many readers love about him." Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
"Of the myriad things Connelly does superbly as a crime writer, perhaps one of the least heralded is his ability to bring characters together from different series...A guaranteed chart-topper." Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
PRAISE FOR THE LATE SHOW:
"The Late Show introduces a terrific female character: Detective Renée Ballard... The pacing of Ballard's debut story is breathless... Ballard is complicated and driven enough to sustain the series Connelly doubtless has in mind for her." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Few writers can capture the gritty streets of L.A.and the inner workings of the LAPDlike Connelly." Entertainment Weekly
"The most intriguing mystery in The Late Show is Ballard herself. Connelly is too skillful to hand us her resume in one document dump; instead, he fills out her portrait with a subtle hand over the course of the novel, a little background here, a glimpse of her temperament there, the revelation of her unusual living conditions sketched in between." Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
Harry Bosch, who just can't stay retired, unwillingly teams up with a Hollywood detective who has reasons of her own for wanting in on his latest cold case.
It may be nine years since 15-year-old runaway Daisy Clayton was grabbed from the streets of Los Angeles and killed, but the daily presence of her mother, Elizabeth, in Harry's life—she's staying at his place while he helps her stay clean—makes it a foregone conclusion that he'll reopen the case. On the night Bosch drops into Hollywood Division to sneak a look at some of the old files, he's caught by Detective Renée Ballard, who was bounced from LAPD Robbery/Homicide to "the late show," Hollywood's third shift, after her complaint about aggressive harassment by a superior went nowhere. Bosch needs to find out who was responsible for what happened to Daisy; Ballard needs to work a case with teeth, even if she's partnering with a reserve investigator in the San Fernando Police Department (Two Kinds of Truth, 2017, etc.) who'd rather work alone. Before they get what they need, they'll have to wade through a double caseload as grueling and sometimes as maddeningly routine as you can imagine, from an apparent murder that turns out to be a slip-and-fall to an ancient gang killing whose repercussions flare to sudden life to the theft of some valuable Andy Warhol prints to a missing man who's not just missing—not to mention Elizabeth's sudden disappearance and Ballard's continuing lack of support, and sometimes even backup, from her department. Not even the canniest readers are likely to see which of these byways will end up leading to the long-overdue solution to the riddle of Daisy Clayton's death.
Fans who don't think the supporting cases run away with the story will marvel at Connelly's remarkable ability to keep them all not only suitably mystifying, but deeply humane, as if he were the Ross Macdonald of the police procedural.