There’s chaos in Hollywood on New Year’s Eve. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard seeks shelter at the end of the countdown to wait out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. As reports start to roll in of shattered windshields and other damage, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party.
It doesn’t take long for Ballard to determine that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky. Ballard’s investigation leads her to look into another unsolved murder—a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch.
Ballard and Bosch team up once again to find out where the old and new cases intersect. All the while they must look over their shoulders. The killer who has stayed undetected for so long knows they are coming after him.
The Dark Hours is Michael Connelly’s fourth book in his Renée Ballard series and the 23rd in his Harry Bosch books. I’m a big fan of Connelly’s writing and especially of the Bosch TV show, so I was very excited to get the chance to read this.
Connelly takes us back to the late shift with Detective Renée Ballard. It’s New Year’s Eve in LA, and Ballard is called to a fatal shooting. But is it due to the guns fired into the sky at midnight, or something more sinister? I’m sure it’s no spoiler to say that of course it’s a murder, and Ballard is on the case. Sadly her partner isn’t quite as dedicated, so it’s up to Ballard to work the case alone.
That is until she stumbles across a link to one of Harry Bosch’s old unsolved cases, and the two end up working together. Connelly really is a master of the police procedural, and there’s something comforting in curling up with a Ballard and Bosch book, knowing that you’re in for a great read. Solid plot, plenty of action, great pacing and plenty of excitement, what more could you want from a book?
Ballard isn’t just investigating the shooting though. There’s a group called The Midnight Men who are assaulting women in their homes in the middle of the night. Ballard has to juggle the cases against the background of the pandemic and the calls to defund the police, leaving the department short staffed, stressed and demoralised.
The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly is published by Orion and is out now in hardback. Many thanks to the publisher for the advance copy for review, and Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.