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The Late Show Hardcover – July 18, 2017
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PRAISE FOR THE LATE SHOW
"The most intriguing mystery in The Late Show, though, 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
"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
"Few writers can capture the gritty streets of L.A.-and the inner workings of the LAPD-like Connelly."―Entertainment Weekly
"It's a sharp move that allows him to shift his perspective in fresh and meaningful ways. Writing about the instantly appealing police Detective Renee Ballard also recharges Connelly, who has never been in better form."―Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"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."―Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
PRAISE FOR MICHAEL CONNELLY:
"Michael Connelly is an undisputed master."―Chuck Leddy
"Any new book by Michael Connelly is a cause for celebration."―Jackie Cooper, Huffington Post
"A masterpiece."―Steve Forbes, FORBES
"Welcome Renée Ballard to the City of Angels' crime fighting pantheon. . . Connelly excels at writing principled outsiders, and Renée Ballard hews to this archetype."―Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Michael Connelly is the author of twenty-nine previous novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Wrong Side of Goodbye and The Crossing. His books, which include the Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than sixty million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels and is the executive producer of Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. He spends his time in California and Florida.
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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.
Overall I found this book engaging but was not all that enchanted with Det. Ballard. She is a loose cannon and she shares Harry Bosch's iconoclastic anti-authority style. Bucking authority for a junior detective seems like a poor approach if she's interested in career longevity; Bosch's been around for decades and "earned" the right to challenge bureaucracy but Ballard has not. Unlike Bosch young Renee is tech saavy and we get a few too many details about what apps she's using on her i-Phone and how she does internet data searches.
Her lifestyle is kind of weird, the sleeping on the beach thing to begin with and she's apparently an insomniac who almost never sleeps. Why she rescued Lola the dog is a mystery as she's always dumping her off with the 'critter-sitter' and spends little time with her pet- she should consider getting a goldfish. The remaining cast of characters are not well fleshed out and fairly one-dimensional; perhaps Connelly felt he needed to spend the time in establishing Ballard's identity. The plot is fairly tight and things wrap up reasonably at the conclusion but the motive for the nightclub shooter was unclear to me (maybe I missed it).
In summary, this new series from Mr. Connelly has potential and I would read another to see how things develop. I hope Det. Ballard rents an apartment, finds a mentor to help her dial back her attitude a bit, spends more time with her dog, and we get some more depth to the supporting cast.