RENÉE BALLARD AND HARRY BOSCH JOIN FORCES IN THE NEW THRILLER FROM #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER MICHAEL CONNELLY
– The Dark Hours
[ About the Book ]
AS NIGHT FALLS, A KILLER COMES TO LIGHT…
On New Year’s Eve at the end of one of the hardest years in history, hundreds of revellers shoot their guns into the air in time-honoured LA tradition. But as the rain of lead comes down, a man is shot dead in the middle of a crowded street party.
Detective Renée Ballard soon connects the bullet to an unsolved cold case last worked by legendary ex-LAPD detective Harry Bosch. As they investigate where the old and new cases connect, a new crime shatters the night shift.
The Midnight Men are a pair of violent predators who stalk the city during the dark hours, and will kill to keep their identities secret.
In a police department shaken to the core by pandemic and protests, both cases have the power to save Ballard’s belief in the job – or take everything from her…
[ My Review ]
The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly will be released November 9th with Orion Publishing and is described as ‘the brand new blockbuster Ballard & Bosch Thriller’. Michael Connelly is the creator of the phenomenally successful Harry Bosch series of crime novels, as well as being the executive producer of Bosch, an Amazon Studios original based on Harry Bosch. The Black Echo was published in 1992 introducing the world to LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch, with Michael Connelly writing more than 30 novels since.
Michael Connelly was inspired to write police procedurals/crime fiction after becoming captivated by Raymond Chandler from a young age. He now writes at a demanding pace at nearly a book a year but what is always very important to him is ensuring the authenticity of his stories and that they should reflect our society at any given time. Over the past year there have been many changes to the LAPD policing due the pandemic and the many social protests that have taken place in the US. Michael Connelly felt quite passionate about including these shifts in practice in his novel offering his readers a credible reading experience.
The Dark Hours starts off on New Year’s Eve with Detective Renée Ballard allocated the first case of the New Year. She receives a call to attend a scene where a man was shot dead during the annual celebratory gun-shooting-in-the-air-at-midnight party. (An insane New Year’s Eve activity in parts of LA apparently!) Initially the investigation points to accidental death but Ballard soon determines that this was no accident….this was cold-blooded murder. As she delves deeper into the investigation she makes a connection between this man’s death and a cold case from over ten years ago that had been under the remit of retired LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Ballard and Bosch have a previous history together and, right now, Ballard trusts Bosch as the one person who shares her relentless passion for the truth above everything else.
Ballard also has to contend with another even more sinister crime when a woman reports a very brutal assault in her own home. This isn’t the first of these assaults and Ballard has to act fast before there is another victim and before the media picks up on these attacks. The perpetrators are nicknamed The Midnight Men but who are they and what is their modus operandi?
The title The Dark Hours infers many meanings. Renée Ballard works the night shift, a time that suits her and her lifestyle, but it also refers to the dark hours of our time, the darkness that pervades society. There were some very dramatic changes in US policing over the last year or so and Michael Connelly made a decision to harness these changes by creating characters and environments that echo a nation’s sentiments. Ballard is frustrated by defunding, by enforced restrictions placed on her by colleagues. She plays outside the box, always outside the rules to achieve the desired results but she is being continuously knocked off kilter with moving obstacles and her exasperation is mounting daily.
Ballard and Bosch make a great team. Bosch, now in his seventies, is aging appropriately with each new book and there is plenty of life left in him yet. Ballard is tough, unafraid to raise the dust and see what’s hiding underneath. Together they are a skilled and formidable team, working in tandem and connecting the dots.
Michael Connelly writes contemporary fiction, very much capturing the zeitgeist of the time. The Dark Hours feels like a very personal book, one that Connelly felt he needed to write. The two investigations in The Dark Hours give a platform to the impact societal changes have had on policing and, I expect, there will be many who will agree with Ballard’s views on her workplace and the radical changes she sees around her.
The Dark Hours is a compelling police-procedural written by a master of his trade, while also incorporating some very thought-provoking themes. Current, atmospheric and absorbing The Dark Hours is another sure fire hit for Michael Connelly.
[ Bio ]
MICHAEL CONNELLY is the author of more than 30 novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Dark Sacred Night, Two Kinds of Truth, and The Late Show. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series and the Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than eighty million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels.
He is the executive producer of Bosch, starring Titus Welliver, and the creator and host of the podcast Murder Book.
He spends his time in California and Florida.