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The Late Show Hardcover – July 18, 2017
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Renee Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, also known as the Late Show, beginning many investigations but finishing none, as each morning she turns everything over to the day shift. A once up and coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.
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Connelly does his own homework and we are the benefactor.
In his latest novel "The Late Show," Connelly has once again created a memorable a character like Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller with the introduction of Renée Ballard. If you are a fan of strong, well-defined characters in the vein of Patricia Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta) or Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone), then Renée Ballard might have you hooked from the start.
Renée Ballard does not listen to Jazz like Bosch, she surfs and is a California Girl. She has a partner like Bosch but has to work her way up the ranks beginning at the deplorable midnight shift, hence the book's title 'The Late Show." Like Bosch, she has her character flaws, foibles and demons which makes her relatable. Connelly is best at weaving multiple cases to keep us engaged which is authentic to real life police and detective work. Their days are anything but routine.
What I enjoy best about Connelly's writing, and is consistent in "The Late Show," is the great Los Angeles geographical descriptions from the streets, freeways, Hollywood and beaches like Venice. I live in L.A. so the visuals come to life on the page. Connelly characters are rebellious and always carry the anti-authority seed of "Dirty Harry."
Ditch your cell phone. Close your office or bedroom door. The Late Show is for late nighters, insomniacs and early risers. Connelly Never Fails to keep us continuously interested in his writing. I look forward to the next one.
I hope you found this review helpful.
© Michael P.
The Late Show introduces LAPD Detective Renée Ballard. Her star was rising in the Robbery Homicide Division (RHD) until a conflict with a superior officer got her busted down to working the night shift — the eponymous “late show” — in Hollywood. She used to investigate cases from beginning to end. Now, she rolls up on a night crimes and starts the paperwork, turning over the entire case to the day shift.
But when two victims — one a prostitute who (barely) survives a vicious beating and the other a waitress killed in a mass shooting event — cross her path the same night, she decides it’s time to follow the cases all the way through. It’s a high stakes gamble professionally, and it exposes her to grave dangers personally, but it’s a gamble she willingly takes.
Connelly is releasing his twentieth Harry Bosch novel, Two Kinds of Truth, this October. With Harry having reached retirement age, the Bosch Universe needs a fresh face. Renée Ballard is it, and if The Late Show is any indication, her stories are going to be very, very good.
The main character doesn't seem well thought out; her history and characterization don't meld. In one part of the book she describes a "deep darkness" that she feels in herself, but we see no evidence of it in her thoughts or actions.
Usually Connelly is spot on in his research of medical and forensic issues, but he is way off his game (vaginal bruising can't be qualified as being from "rough sex" several days before or rape the day of the exam?)
There are also several questions left unanswered for no good reason; it seems that he either ran out of time, or just didn't care enough to close out the open issues.
If this were by a new author, it would be a promising start. By Michael Connelly, it's a steep decline and a big letdown.
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