Dark Sacred Night (Renée Ballard, #2; Harry Bosch, #21; Harry Bosch Universe, #31)by Published 30 Oct 2018
|Dark Sacred Night (Renée Ballard, #2; Harry Bosch, #21; Harry Bosch Universe, #31).pdf|
|Publisher||Little, Brown and Company|
LAPD Detective Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in the new thriller from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly.
Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.
Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.
"Dark Sacred Night (Renée Ballard, #2; Harry Bosch, #21; Harry Bosch Universe, #31)" Reviews
5 Spectacular Stars.
Have you ever been scared to crack open a book? Nerves jangled? Stomach in knots? Desperate to find out what happens to your favorite character, yet frightened of what’s inside? Yep… that’s me. I had an ARC of “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly in my hands, a copy of which I was lucky enough to score and I was scared straight. Dying to open it and start reading, yet terrified. What if it doesn’t measure up? With each passing year, my anxiety has reached greater heights when it comes to a new Harry Bosch novel. Can Michael Connelly deliver? The answer to that question, is yes. Time and again, a resounding YES. Some authors, fail and just kind of follow a formula, if you know what I mean. Not Michael Connelly. Whatever it is, he has it.
That said, well, I couldn’t help but worry. About Harry Bosch. If you all know anything about me, you know I LOVE MY HARRY BOSCH. He has my heart. And so it goes.
This time around, Harry Bosch partners with Renee Ballard on a case near and dear to his heart. Daisy Clayton.
Renee Ballard works the Late Show – we met her for the first time last year. She is tenacious, smart and she loves her job. The cops in Hollywood Division don’t care for her very much because she has made lots of trouble for them, standing up for what she believes in, herself. In that way, she’s a lot like Bosch.
Harry still works as a reserve cop in San Fernando Valley, however, one cold case still eats away at him and it is that of Daisy Clayton, who was brutally murdered years ago. He knows evidence still exists at Hollywood Station, so he goes looking for it and Ballard catches him. Once she looks into it, she too, is intrigued and she can’t help but want to work it. Bosch and Ballard, Partners? Yep. It happens and it happens here.
Can two people who are alike in some ways and different in others figure out a way to work together? Bosch is a grumpy old man (at least compared to Ballard) yet he’s a darn good cop – but then so is Ballard. Though she’s young, she’s got great instincts. I admit that I had my doubts about these two partnering up (but perhaps that’s because I want Bosch all to myself?! Lol!).
From that moment on, once their investigations kicked off, my breath caught in my throat and my heart was in my sleeve. These two detectives think like no others. This case, it gets to both of them for different reasons and their investigation never stops and the risks don’t matter. Not to them. Where it leads, I cannot say. Their path is not an easy one. But I’m sure you knew that. Are you holding your breath? I bet you are. Is your chest tight tight tight? Once you start reading “Dark Sacred Night” I have a feeling it will be, just like mine was. The ride is wild and terrifying. I can’t wait for you to give it a spin.
Bosch and Ballard are characters that stay with you. Renee Ballard tries her best to follow the rules, yet the cases she works, they own her. The only thing she needs are her surf board, her dog Lola and her Grams. As for Bosch, well, you know him: his daughter Maddie and solving cases are the only things he cares about in this life. He is tried and true and in case it isn’t obvious, he is still my favorite detective. As for these two together? Well, I think they are kindred spirits. I hope you'll agree.
Kudos to Michael Connelly for a continuing to write such incredible mystery / suspense novels year after year. Thank you also for staying true to one of my favorite characters: Harry Bosch. Thank you also to Little Brown and Company for an ARC of this novel. I was thrilled to receive a complimentary copy. All thoughts are my own.
Published on 8.9.18 on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram.
**Will be published on Amazon on 10.30.18.
Night shift detective Renée Ballard is writing a report in the wee small hours of the morning concerning a woman found dead in the bathtub, when she notices a stranger going through the filing cabinets across the other side of the office. The man appears intent on finding something, and in his eagerness to discover whatever it is he’s looking for, he clearly hasn’t seen Renée watching him! After throwing him out, she discovers that it’s detective Harry Bosch who you used to work out of that very station. Bosch lies about what he was searching for but Renée is onto him and soon finds out what he was really up to, and she wants in on it, so the two of them join forces to investigate the murder some years previously of teenager Daisy Clayton.
In a brilliantly understated introduction, Michael Connelly brings together two seriously good detectives. Ballard still has her own cases to work though, and these run alongside another cold case of Bosch’s - the assassination of a Latino gang leader over a decade ago.
There’s no question that there’s a master storyteller at work here, the cases under examination exhibit just how intense and knowledgeable the police procedural aspect of Connelly’s books are - the pace is relentless, breathtakingly so at times, and the characters are so well defined that it’s not difficult to imagine that you know them personally. I would love to see this partnership continue into the next book and hope that Mr Connelly is thinking along the same lines! Highly recommended.
* Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
Michael Connelly brings us the second in the LAPD detective Renee Ballard series and he brings in Harry Bosch, a man Renee knows nothing about. Renee has been shunted onto The Late Show, the Hollywood nightshift, after an injustice earlier, but oddly enough she has settled in there and somehow it suits her. Her partner is on bereavement leave and she is on her own when she is called to a home where a woman's body, heavily decomposing, is discovered. It is assumed to be murder but it does not take Renee long to ascertain that it was an accident, with a starved cat feeding on the corpse. On returning to write up her report, she finds Harry rifling through a file cabinet of a colleague, and throws him out. However, her curiosity is aroused, she cannot help herself as she tries to find out who Harry is and what he was doing there.
Harry has the traumatised Elizabeth Clayton, a recovering drug addict, temporarily living with him, someone he met on his last case. Nine years ago, Elizabeth's 15 year old daughter, Daisy, was brutally murdered, her body bleached and discarded like trash in an alley. This spurs Harry to look into the cold case, as he witnesses Elizabeth's unrelieved grief destroying her. Having Elizabeth staying with him is not ideal, as his daughter, Maddie, is refusing to visit him while Elizabeth is there. Once Renee learns of Harry's investigations into finding Daisy's killer, she wants in. It soon becomes transparent that there is much the pair have in common, a dogged determination to work cases that borders on obsession and a penchant to bend the rules. In the meantime, both have other demands on their time. Harry as a reserve at SFD is looking into a cold case murder of the 52 year old gang member of the Varrio San Fer 13, Cristobel Vega, gaining insight into what happened after locating a witness, only to find the case exploding out of his control. Renee finds herself with the horrifying task of searching for the dismembered body parts of a murder victim at a refuse dump. As Renee and Harry plough through the mountains of information looking for a lead on Daisy's killer, the truth proves to be elusive. Will they succeed in finding the killer?
I did not expect Renee and Harry to be working together so soon, but after an initial awkwardness the two, unsurprisingly, mesh well, something they will sorely need as each finds themselves in life threatening and dangerous scenarios. Harry's future with SFD is uncertain, but what is clear is that this is not going to stop him doing what he does best, and it looks like we will see him pairing up with Renee again in the future. Connelly once again displays his attention to detail in police procedures, showing us that his research is demonstrably impressive. I loved this addition to the Renee and Harry series, but there is a strong part of me that wished I could have seen far more of Renee prior to her working with Harry. As usual, Connelly gives us a superb crime thriller with his trademark aplomb. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.
I really enjoyed the first Ballard book, The Late Show, in which the young female cop showed some of the vim and vigor we’d seen from Harry Bosch back when he too was an LAPD detective. Banished to the night shift after calling out her boss for sexual harassment, Ballard consequently nursed a chip on her shoulder as she remorselessly chased down her quarry. I thought it was a great book and seemed to promise a even money chance that at some point in the future she’d share some page space with Bosch.
Harry Bosch was last spotted in Two Kinds of Truth where he teamed up with his half brother, lawyer Mickey Haller. He continued to tread a precarious line between playing it straight and bending the rules, working now as a detective for the San Fernando PD. It's well known that Connelly likes to link up his various players in his books and here he does it again in bringing Ballard and Bosch together. Surely this is a marriage that can't possibly fail, can it? It's a simple question and a there’s equally simple answer: no it can't!
I won't spoil the fun for future readers by giving too much away, suffice to say there are a number of cases covered here: some investigated individually by the two cops and one taken on as a joint venture. The various elements of the cases paint a broad picture of the darker side of modern day Los Angeles and some of the lessons learned prove to be of wider value along the way. Bosch is on top form, showing his determined one-track mind approach to solving his cases with his forthright (OK, let's just call it what it is – rude) approach to all, constantly shaking the tree loose of just enough debris to give himself a chance of closure. Ballard shows that she can also bend a rule or two as she adopts a similarly dogged plan of attack.
The chemistry between the two feels just right: some mutual respect but mixed in with a little nervousness, a smidgen of suspicion too. They're both feeling their way in this new professional relationship. We're in the hands of the master as Connelly seamlessly allows the action to flow whilst keeping a captain’s eye on the tiller. At no point does he allow the reader to lose track of the multiple plot lines or feel any tinge of disbelief that things should play out in such a way; it’s brilliantly done.
At the end there’s a nice teaser suggesting that there's more to come from this pair. Thank goodness for that! I'm already in withdrawal - having finished this latest offering I seriously hope I don't have to wait too for the next instalment.
My sincere thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Another stellar book from Michael Connelly. In this one he alternates established everyman protagonist Harry Bosch with newer main character Renee Ballard.
Harry is always an empathetic character--strong, virtuous, sensitive--but Connelly and his editor have done a good job of providing an experienced, alternate, woman's voice in Renee Ballard.
Highly recommended. Put Dark Sacred Night next in your TBR stack.