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Dark Sacred Night (A Ballard and Bosch Novel) by Michael Connelly


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Dark Sacred NightRenee Ballard is a hot-shot detective, working night shift (known as the late show) in the LAPD. She is very good but sometimes oversteps her boundaries and gets into a hassle or two with her supervisor.

One evening while filling out a report at her somewhat tucked away desk, she notices a guy getting into the cabinets in the storage room for detective files. She does not recognize him to be one of the detectives. She stops him and is about to question him further when a supervisor comes in and recognizes them both. He introduces Renee to Harry Bosch, a retired cop who used to work out of this office but now freelances and does some work also for San Fernando Police Department.

After the two men leave Renee goes over to see what Bosch was looking at and finds it is a drawer full of old unsolved street crimes, mostly sex crimes. On questioning one of the sergeants she learns that Bosch is still trying to solve a nine year old case of a fifteen year old streetwalker who was found sexually mutilated and dead in an alley.

Though Renee has work of her own this whole episode intrigues her and she decides in some way to help Bosch in his attempted closure of the Daisy Clayton case. She meets up with him and they decide that maybe it will help if the two work on it together but in their separate ways. They figure out that whoever did it then used some powerful bleach to clean up the body before dumping it in the alley.

They both return to their normal work load (though Harry’s is pretty light being semi-retired) and they decide they will start going through “shake” cards which are filled out by police after stopping individuals at strange times at night. They give limited information but they go back a long way and do have identification information on them about the person stopped.

As Bosch works his particular case and Renee goes about her daily workload they do manage to meet every morning early to begin going through these old shake cards. Both of the cases that they are working individually do in some ways also get tied together to where at times they are working on the same case while doing their morning shake searches.

Bosch does get a lot more involved in his case because it involves not only some drug dealing but then a murder. And it is only a matter of time when Bosch does get caught up beyond what he was expecting. But Connelly has coordinated the different plots in such a great fashion that Renee does in fact come to Bosch’s aid.

She is quite a detective and while doing a lot of investigating on her own she finds out a lot about the murderer of Daisy those many years ago. She goes about finding much of this in a completely unorthodox manner (which is what her superiors hate) but it all works out well as Bosch then does his part by coming in at the end to help her out.

Another great Bosch story by Connelly and now that he has introduced Renee Ballard I do believe we will see this pair more often in more great stories in the future! Way to go, Mr. Connelly, you are doing a great job and we all really like your stories! Keep them coming!



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