“The Late Show” (Little, Brown and Company), by Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly leaves the world of Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller to start a new series featuring Detective Renee Ballard, a strong-willed woman forced into the grinding night shift.
When most everyone else is asleep, Detective Ballard and her partner Jenkins work cases. They gather evidence, interview witnesses and then pass on their notes to the morning shift, which closes them. Ballard misses following up to the conclusion of a case and nabbing the culprit, but Jenkins likes going home at the end of the day and being with his ailing wife. Then one evening, Ballard and her partner get a compelling case and she can’t let it go.
Ballard will go against direct orders and her partner’s pleading to let others handle the case. She must see justice prevail, even if it puts her and the people she cares about in harm’s way.
She has a load of baggage with her, which alienates Ballard from some of her fellow officers. She had worked the day shift, but when she filed a sexual harassment suit against her boss, it became her word against his. In the outcome, she was sent to night duty while her boss was promoted.
Connelly has created wonderful characters with Bosch and Haller, but Ballard is a force that with just one novel will easily be as beloved. There’s no doubt Connelly is a master of crime fiction, and “The Late Show” cements that reputation.
A new Bosch novel will come out later this year, but hopefully early next year will see Ballard’s return.
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