Saturday, July 02, 2022

Fiction Review: Dark Sacred Night

My husband and I are long-time fans of author Michael Connelly, whose mystery/thrillers are not only suspenseful but also well-written and feature in-depth characters. His series about LAPD detective Harry Bosch is up to about 24 books now, as well as an excellent TV show adaptation, Bosch, on Amazon (my review at the link). Connelly is also well-known for his Lincoln Lawyer novels that also inspired movie adaptations and a brand-new TV series. In 2017, Connelly introduced a new series about a female LAPD detective named Renee Ballard with The Late Show, which we both really enjoyed. Dark Sacred Night is the second Renee Ballard novel and a cross-over with Harry Bosch (his 21st), and I loved it just as much as all of his other books!

Renee's background is a complicated one. She's half-Hawaiian and loves surfing, which she learned from her father, and pretty much lives at the beach in her off-hours. Renee reported her previous boss for sexual harassment when he tried to force himself on her. He got off with a scolding, and she got transferred to Hollywood Division (Harry's old group) on the midnight shift, referred to as "the late show." As a detective, she rarely gets to follow through because most cases that start on the late show are passed onto the day shift to follow up, so she misses doing that kind of in-depth casework. She returns to the station early one morning to find a stranger going through the department's files. She confronts him and learns he is the famous Harry Bosch, retired now but well-known in the division. Harry is following up on a very cold case that got under his skin. Fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton was living on the streets when she was brutally killed. When Harry tells Renee about the case, she asks to team up with him to help solve it. Harry's motto is, "Everyone matters or no one matters," and Renee agrees. Meanwhile, as the two work the cold case during Renee's available time, she's also responding to calls each night and encountering other cases, as well. The two very different detectives form a tenuous bond that is tested when Daisy's case turns deadly.

This is classic Michael Connelly! It was my first choice for my annual Big Book Summer Challenge, and it was a perfect start for my summer. Fast-paced and gripping, I flew through this engrossing novel in record time. I have always liked the character of Harry Bosch, and I am really loving Renee Ballard, too. Both are complex, with deeply hidden emotional scars in their pasts, and here, they make a great team. My husband and I have both loved the Bosch TV series and the Lincoln Lawyer movies, and I am hoping that Renee gets her own TV series now, too. I don't read as many thrillers these days as I used to, and I rarely read series, but I will definitely continue this riveting series.

433 pages, Little, Brown and Company

This book fits in the following 2022 Reading Challenges:

Mount TBR Challenge

Diversity Challenge

Big Book Summer Challenge

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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible. There are two narrators - for Renee and Harry - and they are now using Titus Welliver, the actor who plays Bosch on the TV series, to narrate audio books! Perfect.


You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!



Or you can order Dark Sacred Night from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

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