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Renée Ballard #1

The Late Show

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, a new thriller introducing a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor. But one night she catches two cases she doesn't want to part the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner's wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won't give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.

405 pages, Hardcover

First published July 11, 2017

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About the author

Michael Connelly

484 books29.1k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with over 30 more novels.

Over eighty million copies of Connelly’s books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into forty-five foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

Michael was the President of the Mystery Writers of America organization in 2003 and 2004. In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, “Bosch,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Michael lives with his family in Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,352 reviews
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,712 reviews25k followers
June 3, 2017
Michael Connelly has begun an exciting new series with a new LAPD detective, Renee Ballard, who with her by the book partner, Jenkins, works the Hollywood nightshift, otherwise referred to as The Late Show. This means they pick up cases, which are then passed on to the dayshift cops, Renee has been shunted onto the Late Show because she had the temerity to file a sexual harassment complaint against the head of the homicide team, Lieutenant Robert Olivas. She had been betrayed by her then partner, Kenny Chastain, who refused to back her up. Renee is tenacious, courageous, determined and a gifted detective who has no qualms about doing whatever is required to bring down the evil she encounters on her job. Her father died whilst surfing, although this has not put her off continuing to embrace surfing and the itinerant lifestyle that often accompanies it, using her grandmother, Tutu's home, as her permanent address. It's her way of diffusing the dangers and tensions experienced on the job. She rescued her dog, Lola, from an abusive scenario, earning her Lola's lifelong loyalty.

On one busy night, Renee catches three cases, a credit card burglary, a vicious beating that almost kills Ramona Ramone, a prostitute undergoing a sex change, and a shooting spree that kills three men, a bouncer and a waitress at the Dancers Club. However, this time she wants to run with the cases, and through a mixture of stealth and manipulation, begins her investigations working through the days. Jenkins refuses to back her on this, but Renee is fine with being a loner and carries on regardless. The Dancers Club case is headed by Olivas who will not tolerate Renee's presence on his team. However, when her ex-partner, Chastain, is shot dead, Renee cannot leave it alone despite what Chastain did to her. In the meantime, the dirty politics in the LAPD means that there are people who cannot wait to get rid of her, ensuring Renee has to watch her back constantly. Renee's investigations put her into the path of dangerous and ruthless people, people who are willing to kill, but Renee has every intention of surviving.

Connelly has written a thoroughly gripping novel with faultless plotting. His new heroine is offbeat, resilient and so very compelling and interesting as a character. The storylines are full of the details and procedures of police investigations which highlight the research the author must have done. The narrative is tense, suspenseful and twisted. A book that I found very hard to put down. A great new series and a brilliant read. Highly recommended. Thanks to Orion for an ARC.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
July 23, 2017
5 Stars.
Michael Connelly at his Absolute Best.

Detective Renee Ballard is Cop. Plain and Simple. Except that she is anything but. She works “the late show” at the “Hollywood Division” of the LAPD after being shipped off there for filing a complaint against her former boss (Lieutenant Olivas). A Sexual Harassment Complaint. It wasn’t well received. Now she is kind of known as a black sheep and she works cases with her new partner Jenkins. Cases that require no follow up. None. Its killing her inside, yet she has no choice. It’s this or nothing. The only good part of working the late show is that it allows her time to surf during the day and spend time with her dog, Lola.

One night however, two cases come in that gain her attention and she wants them. Big time. The first, involves a trannie prostitute (Ramona Ramone) being beaten within an inch of her life and left for dead; the second involves a waitress, (Cynthia Haddel) being murdered in a nightclub along with a couple of others. While the waitresses’ murder seems peripheral to the other murders at the club, Ballard thinks it warrants an investigation. The Lieutenant in charge of the investigation does not. He is, of course, Olivas. And he wants her out.

Ballard, however is tenacious and fiery – thus she finds a way to work the Ramona Ramone investigation on company time. Where it leads is dangerous, yet Ballard can’t stop herself. As for the investigation into Cynthia Haddel’s death? Well, Ballard investigates that one on her own, despite being warned to stay away.

Renee Ballard is a loner. The only things she needs in this life are her dog and her surf board and her job. Her life hasn’t been an easy one but she is pretty great at taking care of herself. Because of that, she has grit and strength and a crazy sense of right and wrong. Further, she can’t let go of anything, no matter where it leads or how dangerous it gets. And both of these cases lead down roads, that spell trouble with a capital T, but that’s not much of a surprise, is it?

With “The Late Show” Michael Connelly does something special here, he creates a new character as almost as likeable as Harry Bosch. I, for one, didn’t think that was possible. I have read every single Michael Connelly novel ever published. He is one of my favorite mystery/suspense authors. And Harry Bosch? One of my favorite characters EVER. I will admit that I’m not that big of Mickey Haller fan… he’s a little too smooth and slick for me (though Matthew McConaughey, does a great job portraying him). But Renee Ballard? Well, Michael Connelly knocked it out of the park with her character. Somehow, she isn’t a female Bosch. She’s vulnerable, yet resilient; kind, yet stubborn - and frankly she is courageous as hell. And I can’t wait to see what Michael Connelly has in store for her next.

I just have to say a HUGE thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. When I receive ARC’s that I request of my favorite authors (Connelly, Backman, Hoffman, Demille, Atwood, etc.), and I get approved, I end up jumping for joy and doing little whoops…) and when I got this one (my first Michael Connelly – I could barely contain myself). I’m pretty lucky – that’s all I have to say. So, thank you to NetGalley, Little Brown and Company and Michael Connelly for this ARC. I am so lucky to have received this. In case it wasn’t obvious, I loved it and I recommend it to mystery/suspense fans and all Michael Connelly fans out there. Dig in guys!

Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon on 7.23.17.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
July 19, 2017
Here's a little bit of an oxymoron for you: Michael Connelly is one of my favorite authors, yet I haven't read one of his books in a while. I love the way he writes, but somewhere along the way I lost track of which Harry Bosch books I've read so far, so I've missed a bunch of them. I'll have to just suck it up and read from somewhere in the middle, because he sure knows how to tell a story.

The good news is, with The Late Show , he's introduced a brand new character to get hooked on, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard. She has her issues (and I look forward to Connelly spending more time exploring them in future books) but she's definitely not as dark and cynical as Bosch is (not that there's anything wrong with that). And with this new book, once again, Connelly proves he's a master at weaving suspense, emotion, character development, and some good-old-fashioned police work.

Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, known as the late show. She and her partner are often the first to respond to different incidents throughout the night and early morning—robberies, assaults, the occasional homicide—but they usually don't see them through to fruition, because they're kicked to the day squad. This frustrates Ballard, who once had a promising path as a detective, only to be shuffled to the late show after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

She loves the job, but it frustrates her, because she has so much more potential than taking initial statements and then leaving them to someone else to solve. And she knows that she could solve at least some of the cases, probably more so than those who take them on, but overtime isn't allowed, and she just needs to learn how to play the game.

But one night gives her a little more than she bargains for. First, she and her partner are called to the scene of a transgender prostitute who was brutally beaten and left for dead. The amount of violence perpetrated on this individual amazes Ballard, and she is reluctant to let the case go, because she wants to find who could do such a thing. While at the hospital, they're called to watch over a young waitress shot in what appears to be a multiple homicide case at a nightclub. When the woman dies from her injuries, Ballard wants to understand if she was intended to be a victim or if she was just collateral damage.

Both cases give her more than she bargained for. And as much digging as she wants to do on the nightclub shooting, the lead detective on the case is her former supervisor who had her demoted to the late show, and her former partner, who refused to back her up in her claims, is involved. The more she gets involved trying to track down the perpetrator in the assault case, and the more she tries to find dirt in the shooting, the more she finds the cases are intertwined, and bring her own demons to light at the same time.

"To me it's like the laws of physics—for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. If you go into darkness, the darkness goes into you. You then have to decide what to do with it. How to keep yourself safe from it. How to keep it from hollowing you out."

Renée Ballard is a brilliantly drawn character. I love her determination, her hard-headedness, her vulnerability, her strong (if occasionally misplaced) sense of right and wrong, and the way she takes her job seriously. She is definitely flawed, and you can see the potential for those flaws to cause her danger. But she is a truly fascinating character, and in Connelly's hands, she so transpires the stereotypical qualities you often see in fictional female detectives.

Once again, Connelly does a terrific job balancing the narrative of the story with its suspense and action. There are a few twists and turns along the way, and I was hooked from the start. Reading The Late Show reminded me why Connelly is one of the greatest crime writers around, and it makes me want to kick myself that I've let so much time slip by since I've last read one of his Bosch books.

Ballard isn't portrayed as a superwoman, but she's a super woman, and one I can't wait to see in another book sometime soon. This is a fantastic start to a new series I hope has the staying power of Bosch's.

NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,129 reviews3,710 followers
October 27, 2017
The late show. The graveyard shift. Where crimes scenes are initially developed, then turned over to their respective departments in the morning when the full investigation begins.

Renee Ballard was an up and coming homicide detective rising up through the ranks. Until she stood up to her boss. Now she’s the queen of the late show. Running down calls all night, only to reluctantly hand them over without the chance to get her hands dirty.

But Renee is not the type of person to just walk away. She has a habit of getting overly involved. While running down 2 seemingly separate cases one night, she becomes personally vested in the outcomes. Now she’s using her own time and know-how to root out answers, instead of just taking a backseat. For some reason, her own department is continually pushing her away, blocking her own investigation. Why would they stonewall these particular cases?

The story is a slow build as the character of Renee Ballard develops. She’s a strong, independent woman in a somewhat male dominated profession. But she’s not about to back down...not from anyone! Even if it means risking her career.

This is book one of a new series for this author. I am hooked! I absolutely loved it! I am so looking forward to the next release!
Profile Image for Matt.
3,821 reviews12.8k followers
July 19, 2017
As if he did not have enough on his plate, Michael Connelly has decided to launch a new series (or at least a standalone) that takes a new approach to policing, still in the busy city of Los Angeles. Renée Ballard is a well-established detective with the LAPD, working the ‘late show’, police talk for the 11pm-7am shift. It’s mostly picking up the scraps of the nightlife and directing cases to daytime divisions, but police work all the same. Called out whenever the need arises, Ballard is left without closure or any sense of propriety on the cases she catches. Working alongside a jaded partner, Ballard is forced to contain her excitement for the cases that come her way. During a single shift, two monumental cases land in her lap: the assault of a transgender prostitute, left for dead in a parking lot, and a shooting at a nightclub with three victims left to die in their own blood. Ballard chases up leads as best she can, in hopes of being able to see something through and bring some closure for herself. While chasing down some evidence on the assault, Ballard learns that the victim has odd marking on his body, as if there might be words embedded in the flesh. Could this be the work of someone using a less than typical weapon? Meanwhile, at the club, the shooting appears to be a form of ‘house cleaning’ with the suspected shooter likely known to the three victims. Just as Ballard is trying to liaise with the day shift and move on from the shooting, some evidence pointing to a fellow cop emerges. Worse, it could be her former partner, who hung her out to dry. While trying to confront him, Ballard discovers that he has been shot. Could this be yet another act of senseless violence in a city where gunfire competes with cricket chirps? While wrestling with her own personal demons, Ballard is taken captive for poking her nose around on these cases, but no one knows she’s gone missing. Will the lights go out for Ballard on the late show once and for all? Perfect for those who have come to love the Bosch series, Connelly flavours this book with just as much energy, though differentiates it in numerous regards.

When I heard that Connelly intended on beginning a new series, I was not sure how well it would go, as he was so very busy. My worry intensified (I know, I worry about things I cannot control) when I discovered it would be another cop series, thinking that it might be a female Bosch or, worse yet, one in which the main character stayed on the narrow path. However, Connelly has been able to craft the Renée Ballard character to reflect the same grit of the LAPD, but with strong differentiations from the(in)famous detective. Ballard offers readers an interesting perspective, not only as a woman, but one who is single and not tied down to anyone else, save her dog. Having met her fair share of issues on the job, Ballard has had to make a name for herself and, at times, reinvent the person she wants to be on a force that still seeks to shuffle her to the side. Working that night shift makes her seem like a paper pusher and set-up for the glorious day shifts, who are able to score all the points and win glory at every turn. However, Connelly offers enough in this character that the reader can, at times, forget that and focus on wonderful police work. The story is strong and keeps the reader hooked, juggling a few cases simultaneously. While it is impossible to dream up new and exciting new angles to the crimes of the L.A. streets, Connelly chooses cases that can expand as the narrative explores the darker sides to the underworld. Keeping things realistic and succinct, Connelly is able to tell his story and utilize his characters effectively, while not getting too far-fetched. With almost two dozen Bosch novels to his name and a genre that is saturated with crimes in the big city, Connelly has been forced to show how Renée Ballard is not only unique, but also deserves a spot on the scene. I am eager to see when and where she will make her next appearance, as Connelly has a sure winner here.

Kudos, Mr. Connelly for a wonderful teaser novel to get the reader curious. Admittedly, I cannot remember reading about Ballard before in your writing, but I wonder if you have any hopes of bringing Haller or Bosch in to liaise at some point, should this book take off and lead to a larger series.

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Profile Image for Mary Beth .
383 reviews1,765 followers
September 28, 2017
Renee Ballard lost her sexual harassment case against her supervisor and because of this she has to work the 11:00 pm-7:00 am shift called the late show shift. She starts the investigations and then sends them to the morning shift to finish them.

Ballard and Jenkins first call on their shift was a burglary of an old woman's house and a credit card gets stolen. Immediately after this, they are called on another case to the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center to check out an assault and all they get out of it, is the victim saying something about an upside down house when she was in a coma. Then comes the next case of a shooting in a club called The Dancers. One of the waitresses got shot dead center in the chest and the gang also took out a bouncer and others. They prepare the waitress for surgery but fifteen minutes they call it and pronounce her dead.

The assault victim was named Ramona Ransone. She had to have brain surgery. She also had another name Ramon Guterriez. This victim is a trans gender biological male. She was found in a parking lot. Ramon had bruises all over her body and it was found that she was hit with brass knuckles with Good and Evil written on them.

Then there is another case where Ballard's ex partner is found dead. All of these cases were investigated. There were a total of four cases.

My Thoughts
I was so excited to get this eBook on Overdrive. I couldn't wait to get to it and I had to wait forever. I was actually so jealous when I saw reviews pop up of this book. I just wished I was reading it. I saw lots and lots of five star reviews and I thought for sure mine was going to be a five star but I was unfortunately so disappointed in this book. I can't believe I am actually giving only 3 stars to one of Michael Connelly's books. I love this author but I just really didn't care so much for these four cases. So much was going on that I felt the book was all over the place and it was so hard for me to follow but I finally was able to pick up on all the pieces. I just wish it was written better where it could of been easier to follow. I am probably the only one that feels this way. I think there will be many other five star reviews and others that will really enjoy it. We are all different and this is just my opionion. I wish I could of loved it more.

I did enjoy some parts of the book and that's why I gave it a three star. It was just O.K for me. The part that I liked best was when
I was on the edge of my seat during this part but I wish this part lasted longer.

I did finish the book though and usually when a book that I feel is slow I DNF it but I had to finish it because this is a new series. I did enjoy it when it came close to the ending also but then it was too late for me. I really love this author a lot, so I will be reading the next book. One good thing out of this book is I really love Renee Ballard. I loved her character. This is really important to love the main character in a series and this is the first series that this author has written where the main character is female. I really do love his Bosch series.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,943 followers
May 25, 2020
With this book, Michael Connelly adds yet another character to the Harry Bosch Universe, LAPD detective Renee Ballard. Ballard has much in common with Bosch who remains Connelly's principal protagonist. Like Bosch, Ballard is a loner. Like Bosh, she had a difficult childhood and lost her mother early. Like Bosch, her partners are sometimes unreliable; like Bosch, she has problems with people up the chain of command. Like Bosch, she has trouble following orders, particularly when she's told to stand down from an investigation. Like Bosch, she's not reluctant to bend the law a bit in the service of a higher cause, and like Bosch, once she gets her teeth into a case, she refuses to let go.

Because of an incident earlier in her career, Ballard has been assigned to the "Late Show." She's a detective on the midnight shift and her job is to begin an investigation at the scene of a crime and then turn it over to other detectives in the morning. She almost never gets to follow a case through to its conclusion. This is perfectly fine with her partner, who has no such ambitions, but it grates on Ballard.

As the book opens, Ballard is among the first on the scene at two crimes. The first involves a transexual prostitute who has been tortured, badly beaten, and left for dead. Ballard fears that the woman may be the victim of a predator who will attack others, but she seems to be the only one who really cares about the case.

The second case involves a mass shooting in a nightclub. Four men are sitting in a booth when suddenly one of them opens fire and kills the other three. While running out the door, the shooter also kills a waitress and a bouncer. A supervising detective with whom Ballard has clashed is in charge of this case and warns her to stay well away from it. Ballard, though, is reluctant to let go of either case and so, against direct orders, continues to pursue them in her off-duty hours. In doing so, she winds up putting both her career and her life on the line as these cases heat up.

This is another very compelling novel from Michael Connelly, who clearly writes the best police procedurals of his generation. Under normal circumstances, I'd happily give it four stars. I'm downgrading it to three because I'm disappointed in the fact that Connelly didn't make Ballard a more distinct character.

The truth of the matter is that, with minor changes, this could have easily been a Harry Bosch novel. In point of fact, it really is a Harry Bosch novel, with Ballard playing the role of Bosch. I can understand that Connelly might have wanted to create a new character and that he might have wanted to write a female detective for a change. I have no problem with that at all, but I wish he would have differentiated Ballard from Bosch at least a little.

Certainly, Michael Connelly knows the LAPD much better than I, but are there no supervisors in the department who aren't complete jerks? Is there nobody in the department other than Bosch and Ballard who doesn't put departmental politics above all else? Are there no detectives who actually enjoy working with each other? Are there no detectives who are reasonably well-adjusted and trusting of others?

I realize that I'm exaggerating a bit in order to make a point. Occasionally, Bosch has had a supervisor who was reasonably supportive and occasionally he has had a partner he could rely on, even if only briefly. But for the most part, Bosch has been at war with his own department almost constantly, and the department has much more often frustrated rather than assisted him in carrying out his mission to provide justice for the victims of crimes. Introducing Ballard allowed Connelly the opportunity to show another side of the LAPD and to create a truly distinct character. I'm sorry that he chose not to do so.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,543 reviews12.9k followers
July 9, 2017
Michael Connelly is labelled a “thriller” writer and it used to be an accurate description for a lot of his books. Ten years ago I loved novels like The Lincoln Lawyer, The Scarecrow and Echo Park for their fast-paced plots with Connelly throwing his characters into tense situations against murderers and sadists. Alas, that’s not the Michael Connelly of today who only seems capable of robotically churning out dull police procedurals like The Late Show.

Detective Renee Ballard works the graveyard shift (aka “The Late Show”) in Los Angeles. In this book she’s faced with finding the killer responsible for a nightclub shooting and a sicko who beats up trans-hookers. Sound exciting? Not in Connelly’s hands it isn’t!

Connelly has a real problem with characters, as in he doesn’t really know how to write any memorable ones. They’re all bland, two-dimensional puppets. Ballard could easily be Bosch or Mickey Haller and the supporting cast are just interchangeable archetypes: the police chief, the reporter, the lawyer, the nurse, etc.; their names don’t matter.

Meanwhile the weak patchwork story moves at a disappointingly sluggish pace. Almost all of the book is made up of dreary, pointless scenes full of the most uninteresting detail of modern day police work. I can’t overemphasise how little I care about police procedure so it really sucked having to read about so much of it.

The scene where Ballard is one-on-one with the sadist in his home was momentarily exciting - the Connelly of old appearing all too briefly. Also, generally speaking he can write convincing dialogue and I buy that this is how LA cops talk. But it’s precious little in an overwhelmingly un-thrilling novel bloated with tedious, trivial and instantly forgettable detail.

Utterly pedestrian, uninspired and boring, The Late Show is Michael Connelly on autopilot - definitely not worth picking up unless you go in for the driest of dry police procedurals. If you want to read some fantastic Connelly novels that’ll grab and hold your attention the whole time, check out the novels I mentioned at the top of the review.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,620 reviews986 followers
March 22, 2022
(Renée Ballard, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #29)… the 29th book in the Harry Bosch universe, so surely this will be formulaic and just an average page turner? How about not at all. Meet American-Polynesian Renée Ballard, consigned to the Late Show (night shift) after losing a sexual harassment case against a senior officer; she has a cute Ridgeback cross dog called Lola, loves paddle boarding and sleeps on the beach at night as she is technically homeless, by choice! A viciously assaulted Trans woman, a stolen credit card and a mini-massacre at a bar lie in stall for Ballard on the Late Show tonight!

Mitzi Roberts discusses her role as Renée Ballard with Michael Connelly

Connelly puts his police consultants into very good use to produce this multi case 'female detective out to get the bad guys both externally and internally' drama, which reads so well, is plotted so well and has countless believable characterisations! Connelly appears to have a much less idealised of how the police work than many of his peers, and about how difficult it is for women to navigate the sector; I am mightily impressed with his more realistic approach and on top of that, his police procedural writing is second to none! I have tried to steer away from picking (new to me) up crime fiction serial books, and picked this up by accident thinking it was about a TV show, but that fortunate error has introduced me to the way above average crime fictional world of Harry Bosch via the amazing Renée Ballard! 8.5 out of 12!

2022 read
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,782 reviews14.2k followers
July 16, 2017
The start of a new series by a go to author of mine, usually I would be a little alarmed, Would this new series be as good as his others? Is he still going to write the Bosch series, my favorite of his.?
Well by the third page I was hooked, seems good authors, dependable authors can do that, just pull in a reader, quickly. Renee Ballard, stuck on the night shift after an accusation against a higher up leaves her in a bad spot, is a very likeable character. She is strong, more than capable and n a unique twist is a surfer and paddler. Lives on the beach occasionally with her dog, Lola.

The cases are varied, and actually the author got me with a zinger of a twist, in a case big reveal. Just love when they do that. Definitely a good start to a new series, as always tightly plotted, well written and well researched. First girl lead Connelly has introduced, so I don't have to feel as if I am cheating on Bosch. Also to answer my second question, heard he will come out with a new Bosch n the Fall, so win, win.

Profile Image for Linda.
1,289 reviews1,329 followers
August 8, 2017
"I've seen long careers and careers cut short. The difference is in how you handle the darkness."

And L.A. police officer, Renee Ballard, is living and breathing in that darkness. She's been relegated to the late shift, the underbelly of the beast, the dark side of the moon. When Ballard's sexual harassment complaint against a fellow officer goes south, she's been assigned to cases that exist under the midnight rocks that hardly see the rays of sunshine the next day. It's a hand-off game at best.

Ballard comes across two cases that she's unwilling to let go. She is taken with the brutal beating of a transgender individual whose facial features would be unrecognizable even to a mother's love. The shocking reality is that this monster is still out there and it's not his first rodeo. Ballard does some top-drawer investigating that may put herself in harm's way. Shifting in her shift, Ballard goes without sleep and burns some daylight as well as the midnight oil.

Stacked upon this case is the wild shootout at a nightclub that leaves as many questions as the dead in its aftermath. For some strange reason, Ballard is guided away from the crime scene. She's told to back off and to stay in her own lane. That's not sitting well with Ballard whose antennae has been raised and elevated to new heights. Is there something more backdoor going on here or is this payback for the harassment charge?

Michael Connelly always serves up a gourmet feast in his Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer series. This time he's taken a different swing around the block with a hardened female lead. Renee Ballard is a product of early abandonment since childhood. She carries a lot of rocks in her baggage. She's not about to be abandoned by the police force that she's laid her life on the line for. Connelly does a fine job of laying his foundation for Ballard with slight visions of her backstory.....just enough to wet your whistle. Ballard doesn't take the easy way out. You'll come to find that out.

It's my sincere hope that Michael Connelly is broadening his sketch of Renee Ballard even as we speak. It's a cruel, hate-filled world out there in Crime Land and Ballard seems to be up to the challenging chin-ups on the cup of that heavy crime. A deeply satisfying read, Connelly.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,145 reviews2,763 followers
August 23, 2017
I am a huge fan of Michael Connelly and was curious to see how this, the start of a new series, would be. Boy, it does not disappoint. The story engages you from the get go. And I love how Connelly provides lots of back story on Ballard. She is a wonderful heroine, gutsy, sharp, competitive. At one point, her partner shares a Japanese proverb about the nail that sticks up gets pounded down. Renee is that nail and there are quite a few in the bureaucracy that want her pounded down.

Connelly not only tells a good story, he’s got a great punchy style. He gives you a real sense for the ins and outs of detective work. “To her mind, ** was no longer just a person of interest. The train had gone by that stop. She believed he was her man, and there was nothing quite like that moment of knowing. It was the Holy Grail of detective work.”

This story grabs you and doesn't let you go. A super ending that I didn’t see coming. Highly recommend. Can't wait for #2 in the series.

Profile Image for Paula K .
435 reviews417 followers
February 5, 2019
It’s nice to see author Michael Connelly come up with a female lead for his new series with Renee Ballard.

Renee Ballard works for the LAPD on the night shift or “Late Show”. She was recently transferred from the homicide division after a failed complaint against her LT. NO SURPRISE THERE! Her partner didn’t back her up after witnessing their LT trying to stick his tongue down Renee’s throat. NO SURPRISE THERE EITHER! Career always comes before a female’s reputation of course!

The good news is she proves to everyone her intelligence and perseverance. It’s wonderful to read how she turns out to be a brighter detective than the rest of them. The book started a little slow for me as it didn’t have much dialogue in the beginning. After a significant event, however, it really picks up.

I enjoyed the book and plan to continue the series.

4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thomas.
769 reviews177 followers
August 15, 2018
4.5 stars
Another Michael Connelly great mystery thriller. This is book 1 in the Renee Ballard series. She is a detective working the overnight shift, 11pm-7 am, aka "The Late Show." She was once an rising star, but was relegated to this shift after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against her boss, Lieutenant Olivas. Her then partner, Ken Chastain, was a witness to the incident, but refused to corroborate her statement, fearing that it would damage his career. Her routine is such that she cannot complete cases. She does the initial investigation and turns it over to the day shift.
But then she gets 2 cases that she refuses to give up, spending her own time building a case on each, and putting herself in great danger.
I read this book in 2 days, reading 300 pages yesterday.
I strongly recommend all of Connelly's books.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,081 reviews619 followers
July 22, 2017
I’ve long believed Connelly to be a master storyteller, he tells it straight and he keeps the lines clear. I don’t get confused when I read one of his books – I always know what’s happening. That’s not to say I necessarily know where it’s going, that’s a different story. In fact, he normally keeps me guessing, with hidden linkages, motives and agendas. His lead characters speak their mind, can be abrupt to the point of rudeness and take no crap from anybody. I love his books.

Here he introduces a new character, a female LAPD cop called Renée Ballard. The turf is the streets of Los Angeles Connelly readers will be well used to. And the motivation for drawing a new character is easily understood too: his classic crime stopper, Harry Bosch, is now now in his mid to late 60’s (if I’ve got my arithmetic right) and this is proving to be a limiting factor. Whereas you’d expect Bosch to be calming as the years catch up, Ballard is all steaming attitude and elbows. She’s got good reason to put all this to good use too, an incident with an ex-boss followed by betrayal from her partner has left he stranded on the night shift (AKA ‘the late show’). It’s a career graveyard.

We catch up with Ballard on what turns out to be anything but a routine night. After taking details of a credit card fraud she’s called to attend a scene where a transsexual woman has been virtually beaten to death. If that’s not enough, she ends her night assisting at a night club where 5 people have been shot to death. Strictly speaking, her job is to play a holding role on all cases, passing them over the the day shift to manage. Her current partner is ever keen to remind her of this – he’s a clock watcher, ever keen to escape his shift to attend his sick wife. The last thing he wants is to get dragged into something that’ll potentially extend his shift. But Ballard has other ideas.

There’s a lot going on but, as ever, Connelly holds a tight rein and never allows the narrative to get away from him. As the story progresses we learn more about Ballard (why do American cops always address each other by their surnames?) and she’s got an interesting back story. She has no significant man in her life – just a couple of guys she has semi-relationships with. Her surfing dad was drowned whilst doing the thing he loved and her mother seems to want nothing to do with Renée. In consequence, her main relationships are with her grandmother and her dog, Lola. Our lead lady is smart, work obsessed, driven, and forthright. Like a young Bosch? Yes, but different too. I really liked her.

Connelly has managed to make a new, fresh character seem like an old friend. I don’t quite know how he does it, but he does it. It’s a gripping story – or set of stories – and I defy any reader of crime fiction not to be drawn in heavily. He remains one of the best out there and in Ballard he’s opened up a whole new line of interest for his many fans and anyone who has yet to discover his books.

My thanks to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,157 followers
August 28, 2017
4.5 Stars

Ok....just finished Book #1....Bring on Book #2 and more Detective Renee Ballard!

THE LATE SHOW brings to the reader another police procedural by Michael Connelly that you can sink your teeth into, but this time with a quick-witted and fiesty female on the job working the dreaded night shift.

As a 15 year veteran of the LAPD. Ballard knows how to play the game and won't be toyed with....not even when there are consequences....not even when her job's on the line. Her lifestyle....and living conditions are quite unusual....to say the least, but she is dedicated to the very end

Can't wait to find out what happens next....especially to one particular sleazeball.

Fast Read. Great New Series!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Profile Image for Carol.
835 reviews499 followers
August 13, 2017
E-galley provided through the generosity of Netgalley, Little Brown & Co., and Author, Michael Connelly.

Michael Connelly is a brave man. Putting aside, for the moment, his long running Harry Bosch Series, Connelly took a chance and hit the ball out of the park with his new Detective Renée Ballard Series.

Ballard's punishment for an allegation of sexual harassment against a high-ranking official has landed her on The Late Show. It could even be called the graveyard shift, the dead shift where you work your tail off all night only to roll your cases to the real detectives each morning. A few of the brush strokes, Ballard’s a loner, her father died while surfing but she continues the sport more often being found paddle boarding. She uses her Grandmother Tutu’s address for job profile but lives in a pop-up on the beach along with her rescued dog, Lola. Possibly due to the dysfunctional beginnings of her own life she is loyal, organized, fierce and dedicated. There’s a lot of room here for character development and it’s apparent Connelly is ready to give us more as he prepares us for the nest in this police procedural.

Connelly has blended the LAPD, and the Los Angeles he knows to create Ballard. Though Ballard is a cop just like Bosch, it’s like giving birth to a baby as he fills in the colors of this new canvas with a fresh eye.

If you like Connelly and you love Bosch, don't be afraid. Give Renée Ballard a chance.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,326 reviews2,146 followers
August 6, 2017
I am a big fan of Harry Bosch so I am very happy to find that Mr. Connelly is able to produce a similarly excellent female main character for his newest series. Renee Ballard is talented, down to earth, smart and very capable of looking after herself. I am very much looking forward to reading more about her in future books.
"The Late Show' (currently unable to insert a link because GR is having another of its little technical hiccups) is a thoroughly enjoyable read with lots and lots of interesting police procedure and a really good story. I liked that Ballard held her head high during the bad times and always watched her own back. The very clever twist at the end meant it was virtually impossible to guess who the bad cop was. I always enjoy a book with a good twist:)
Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good detective novel.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews146 followers
September 6, 2017
Like many others, I am a huge fan of Michael Connelly’s books. I mean all of them, not just the Harry Bosch series. With this book, Connelly introduces a new main character, Renée Ballard. I hoped I wasn't going to get a female Bosch, and though there are some similarities, I don't think I did.

Ballard has ten years of experience as an LAPD detective, so she’s tough and smart. As a female cop, she’s had to put up with sexual assault from a superior, betrayal by her partner who witnessed the incident, and a transfer to nights, the late show, as a result. Connelly develops his characters so well that it was really easy to get to know Ballard professionally and personally. That is not to say I immediately liked her. She felt prickly and angry, she held a grudge, she crossed lines, she barely took care of her dog. But Connelly got Ballard to win me over! She’s prickly and angry for legitimate reasons, she has regrets, she misses her father, she’s lonely, and she does love her dog.

Plot-wise, there’s never a problem with Connelly’s books and that goes for this book. There are a handful of cases being investigated here, and Ballard gets some assignments that she works just as tenaciously as those she works off book. They are interesting with some twists.

It is Renée Ballard that shines in this book, and I look forward to learning more about her in future books!
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,394 reviews4,902 followers
November 23, 2021

3.5 stars

Michael Connelly is the author of two best-selling mystery/suspense series. One series stars Harry Bosch, ace investigator for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).....and later the San Fernando Police Department. The other series features Mickey Haller, the cleverest attorney in Los Angeles.

Now, Connelly has started a new series - starring Detective Renee Ballard - a driven thirtysomething cop who likes to paddleboard and surf; sleep in a tent on the beach; and hang out with her dog Lola.


The story: LAPD Detective Renee Ballard worked in the elite Robbery Homicide Division until she accused her boss, Lt. Robert Olivas, of sexual harassment. Renee's traitorous partner, Detective Ken Chastain, didn't back her up.....and Renee was shunted off to the night shift, called 'The Late Show.'

On the night shift, Renee and her new partner - Detective John Jenkins - get to start investigations, but then have to pass them off to the day shift. Thus, Renee and Jenkins rarely get to close a case. This is okay with Jenkins, who wants to spend time with his cancer-stricken wife during the day.....while she's awake. Renee, on the other hand, yearns to follow through with investigations, like she used to do.

One night, Renee and Jenkins are called out to three crimes: a stolen credit card used to buy goods on Amazon;

The vicious assault of a transgender prostitute named Ramona Ramone;

And a multiple shooting at the 'The Dancers' nightclub - which kills four lowlifes and an innocent waitress.

Renee, who can't let things go, quietly stays on the credit card case and - using her wiles - gets permission to pursue the perp who beat up Ramona Ramone. The Dancers' homicides, however, fall under the supervision of Lt. Robert Olivas, and he quickly eases Renee out of the nightclub - and orders her to stay off the investigation.

Before she exits the The Dancers, Renee sees her old partner, Detective Ken Chastain - and tells him off for being a betrayer and liar.

A few hours later, Chastain is shot dead. Renee is convinced the detective's murder is associated with the club killings and - despite Olivas' instructions - secretly continues to look into the case. As a result, Renee makes some startling discoveries.

Like Harry Bosch, Renee pushes hard while she's trying to solve a case. During her various investigations Renee interviews persons of interest; speaks to Amazon representative in India; visits a porn movie studio; makes multiple visits to Ramona Ramone in the hospital; gets a parole officer to help her raid a suspect's house; test drives a car to snoop on a possible perp; flushes out a major criminal; puts a few detectives' noses out of joint; gets herself kidnapped and almost killed; and more.

Renee even manages to squeeze in a bit of low-key romance; frolics in the surf with her dog Lola; and visits her Tutu (Hawaiian grandma) in Ventura.

This is an excellent mystery with a slam-bang climax.....and Renee Ballard makes a great 'third musketeer' to join Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller in Connelly's outstanding stable of lead characters.

Highly recommended to readers who enjoy mystery/thrillers.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,229 reviews2,730 followers
July 6, 2017
Detective Renee Ballard and her partner Jenkins worked the night shift of LAPD in Hollywood, known by one and all as The Late Show – Renee had been transferred after she’d filed a sexual harassment complaint against her boss. It was deemed a punishment, but in actual fact Renee enjoyed the shift. She and Jenkins would do the paperwork for the night’s work and pass any cases over to the day shift, never seeing a conclusion to the cases.

But the night Renee and Jenkins attended the horrific beating of a prostitute, followed almost immediately by a shooting at a nightclub; that was when Renee decided she wanted a chance to see those two cases through. So working on her own time during the day and doing the late show at night, Renee began to gather evidence. She also spent some time on her paddle board in the surf, frolicked with her dog Lola and kept in touch with her grandmother, Tutu. But mostly her time was devoted to working the cases.

As Renee moved closer to the truth of first one and then the other, she wasn’t sure who she could trust. She was also aware of the danger of what she was doing. But would she manage to remove evil from the streets? Or would what she was doing backfire in a bad way?

The Late Show by Michael Connelly is the first in a brand new series, with Detective Renee Ballard at the helm. And wow! What a breathtaking, tension-filled ride the author has taken me on! I absolutely loved the intrigue; Renee’s dogged persistence and strength of character and of course, Lola. It looks like I have another series to read now, and I’ve loved getting in on the ground floor with this one. Michael Connelly never disappoints, and I’m betting Renee Ballard will get together with Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller one day in the future :) Highly recommended.

With thanks to Allen & Unwin for my ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Suz.
1,158 reviews606 followers
December 18, 2017
I’ve found a new series! My dad suggested I read this, and boy am I glad my library had a spare copy, and enough to be able to renew my loan at this busy time of the year.

Sassy, smart, fit, independent and ballsy, Renee Ballard is a very interesting Detective to read about. I have not read Michael Connelly, so am very late to the party. What a great writer. I don't know how fast these prolific authors write, but it won't be quick enough for me.

Renee is honest and pulls no punches, the character development will be interesting to keep an eye on as she has a murky family life and keeps to herself. How will we get to know about her when she is so guarded?

Sleeping on the beach, paddles stand up after a hard night shift with the LAPD? Her best friend is Lola, a canine companion. What a woman. She doesn’t need anything else.. or so it seems.

Her relationship with the parole officer I will be watching with interest. Corruption and greed she does not take to lightly, she is a woman to watch. Can't wait for number 2. Excellent book.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,471 reviews1,009 followers
August 10, 2017
I can’t speak for everyone but I love it when an author I’ve been following for years and years suddenly turns around and gives us something new – and what a something new it is, with The Late Show featuring Detective Renee Ballard. Working the night shift (referred to as The Late Show) in a kind of punishment come harassment type way having annoyed a colleague by daring to bring a complaint, Renee is tough as they come and takes no prisoners – I loved her bull at a wall attitude and her determination to get things done despite being constantly sidelined.

Michael Connelly has created a very different atmosphere with The Late Show – there’s a dark and disturbing ambience to it, with a lot of the action taking place in the pre dawn hours, this is a different type of policing altogether – coming into a case but never seeing it through to fruition. Until the night we meet Renee however who finds a strange kinship with a victim of a beating and determines there and then not to let her down..

Renee herself is the heart and soul of this novel – you learn a lot about her just through her attitude, her actions and her relationships with those around her. She is tough, yes but also flawed, not all her decision making is sensible and her life away from the unit is somewhat quirky. Mr Connelly builds a whole other world around her, paced to perfection with a hugely authentic edge and a practical addictive prose that keeps you up through the night – I didn’t want to leave this book shift until Renee did – although this takes place over several days and nights the feeling is of one long, intense and beautifully intriguing set piece. I could almost imagine it being filmed, West Wing style with one camera following Renee through the murky twists and turns of her cases, never panning away.

The mystery elements are clearly Connelly – twists and turns and tiny little nuances that turn into hugely important clues and reasons – he has an incredibly realistic eye towards character building and there is not one thing that rings false or unlikely – which makes it all the more hard hitting when the big moments come.

Overall I thought this was pure pure excellence on the page. I honestly and sincerely hope that we see Renee many times over, doing what she does best, I want to know more about her and all the others I met within the pages (I loved the lawyer incidentally watch out for him) and I definitely want to see her bring her unique way of working to more night time incidents – it is, after all, always darkest just before dawn.

Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,071 reviews147 followers
August 16, 2017
THE LATE SHOW introduces us to a new character in the Connelly canon: Renee Ballard, a young female detective in the LAPD striving to prove herself. Ballard works the night shift, where she picks up evening cases. But Ballard hates that she never gets to see an investigation to fruition--always turning her cases over to the daytime detectives. So when she is assigned two late shift cases, the shooting of a young female in a nightclub and the horrible beating of a transsexual prostitute, she finagles a way to stay involved with both. This means still working the night shift while--mostly secretly--tracking down leads on her cases during the day. In doing so, Ballard gets caught up in department politics and a case that could lead her to immense danger.

Connelly is just an excellent writer; I love all his books, and I was excited and interested to hear he was creating a new character. I've been in love with his Detective Bosch for years. This novel is basically vintage Connelly with a modern twist, with Ballard being extremely knowledgeable about the night shift and police procedure. Connelly is still clearly up-to-date on the current workings of a police department. At times, you almost forget you're not reading about Bosch and his shenanigans.

But, in saying that, I feel as if I don't give Renee Ballard true justice. She's a wonderful character--a strong, yet damaged female, who is smart and fascinating. It's a pleasure to read about such a complicated individual. Ballard is on the late shift (aka the late show) because she accused a former supervisor of sexual harassment and was subsequently blackballed. Yet she's dedicated to her job, almost to the point of obsession. At times, I was amazed she could get away with some of the stuff she pulled. (Sound like any other Connelly characters we know?)

Nonetheless, Ballard pulls us into an incredibly compelling mystery. It started a tad slow for me, but quickly picks up and remains quite mesmerizing. The cases are well-plotted and exciting, and Connelly gives us peeks into Ballard's personal life, without revealing everything. The novel spends a lot of time focusing on her thoughts and feelings, but is still quite compelling.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I'm excited to see Connelly with a new character and look forward to more of Renee Ballard in the future.

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Profile Image for Erin .
1,278 reviews1,202 followers
August 29, 2017
The Late Show is the second Michael Connelly book I've read, years ago I read The Lincoln Lawyer but I hardly remember it, but if it was as good as The Late Show then I need to read more books by Michael Connelly.

This book had me hooked from the first chapter. If you're a fan of police procedurals led by strong well defined female characters than you will love Renee Ballard. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,906 reviews200 followers
August 9, 2017
Extremely tense, highly suspenseful and masterfully paced!

The Late Show is a skillfully crafted, well-executed police procedural that introduces us to the feisty Detective Renée Ballard as she heads out on a shift that will have her hunting a burglar, a sadist, and a ruthless killer.

The writing is tight and seamless. The characterization is spot on with a gang of multi-layered, gritty characters including the gutsy, tenacious Ballard. And the plot is a thrill ride of twists, turns, surprises, corruption, violence, forensics, police politics and murder that will have you hooked from the very first page.

Connelly is a best-selling author, and with this new release it's easy to see why. The Late Show is a raw, action-packed page turner that is compelling, entertaining and will leave you wanting more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for William.
676 reviews338 followers
March 3, 2018
Thank you NetGalley for this preview copy!

A mostly wonderful new start for Michael Connelly. He's created a new protagonist, Reneé Ballard, who is tough and smart and, best of all, not a Bosch-clone. When long-series authors create new characters, they are often just re-skinnings of their most successful leads. In this case, Reneé stands and thinks on her own. Well done!

I enjoyed this much more on the second reading, a week later. Perhaps in the first reading I was distracted by the labyrinthine plots, and less focused on character and behaviour?

And the new Reneé is set in the familiar police-world-L.A. that we know and love from Bosch. The detailed police work, the gritty streets of L.A., the rarified big houses up in the hills, the terrific mysteries and villains, the hidden truths.

All terrific here, all clearly shouting MICHAEL CONNELLY IS THE BEST.

We also see Connelly's crime tales brought fully into the 21st century. The detail on smartphone, police database and information technology capabilities shows he's done some real work to update his world. Well done! I very much enjoyed not just the modern tech, but Connelly's confidence and understanding of it, and how it affects the action and plot. Wonderful!

In The Late Show we have three or four main plots, a bit more than the usual Bosch.
a) Credit card theft
b) Assault on prostitute
c) Gang murder in a club
d) sub-plot of Ballard's betrayal by her ex-partner and boss

ALL of these are masterfully woven together, paced perfectly, unlike the badly flawed The Wrong Side of Goodbye. Although that book has, perhaps, my favourite title of all Bosch (The Concrete Blonde comes close), the book's structure and pacing were terrible. The plots were interwoven very poorly, which I attribute to Connelly's being distracted by the superb Amazon Bosch tv series.

As I said, the plots/stories in this book are woven so well, with just the right amount of page coverage of each plot before switching to another, and then to the next. Superbly done. The overall pacing is terrific. I read The Late Show in one day, interrupted only by chores and meals. What great fun, and so nice to see Connelly back in form!

Quotes and notes:

1. Ballard feels "her mission" - superb!
The adrenaline jolt Ballard had felt earlier now turned into a locomotive charging through her veins. To her mind, Trent was no longer just a person of interest. The train had gone by that stop. She believed he was her man, and there was nothing quite like that moment of knowing. It was the Holy Grail of detective work. It had nothing to do with evidence or legal procedure or probable cause. It was just knowing it in your gut. Nothing in her life beat it. It had been a long time coming to her on the late show but now she felt it and she knew deep down it was the reason she would never quit, no matter where they put her or what they said about her.

2. Classic Connelly Introspection -
... the scent of adrenalized perspiration left in her blouse from that moment when Nettles left the room and she saw he had a gun. She paused for a moment to relive that thrill. The feeling was addictive and dangerous, and she wondered whether there might be something wrong with her for craving it.

3. The binding of victim and detective - Classic Connelly - Wonderful -
Ballard felt that she had let her down by putting her own agenda with Chastain first. It went to the sacred bond that existed between homicide victims and the detectives who speak for them. It wasn’t Ballard’s case but Haddel was her victim and the bond was there.

4. There are just-enough cross-links with Bosch, both in characters and events, to be satisfying
She had played the part in an episode of a television show called Bosch, which Ballard knew was based on the exploits of a now-retired LAPD detective who had formerly worked at RHD and the Hollywood detective bureau.

5. The continuation of The Mission, across time and authors - love it
Ballard had been in The Dancers and knew the club got its name from a club in the great L.A. novel The Long Goodbye.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,674 reviews377 followers
January 13, 2018
I was delighted to receive the latest Michael Connelly novel to review as I am a great admirer of his books. This is the start of a new series featuring LAPD detective, Renee Ballard who works the Hollywood night-shift with her partner Jenkins. The night-shift is known as the late show, hence the title of the novel. Renee was moved to the night-shift after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against the head of the homicide team, Lieutenant Robert Olivas. When she was not backed up by her then partner Kenny Chastain she was left with few other options than to change shifts. Renee is a very conscientious worker and is quite likely to break rules where necessary to get results. On one very busy night-shift Renee deals with three cases, a credit card burglary, a brutal beating that leaves a prostitute named Ramona Ramone fighting for her life and a shooting where three men and a waitress are killed. Something about these cases makes Renee want to run with them and she decides to investigate in her own time. Needless to say there are lots of thrills and spills along the way as Renee pursues the truth risking her job and possibly her life.

I love Michael Connelly books and yet again he has created a strong character that will no doubt be a successful series of books. The main character Renee is a strong woman who has all the qualities that make a good detective character, stubborn, courageous, risk taker and a tendency to bend the laws to get her man.
Excellent novel by a first rate author.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Orion Publishing Group for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for L.A. Starks.
Author 11 books665 followers
August 24, 2017
Connelly introduces a new series with a new lead character set again in the LAPD. Like Harry Bosch, Renee Ballard is a rebel, bending rules here and there to solve her investigations and then to save herself.

Connelly writes strong female characters; it is good to see one as a series lead.

I've read every Michael Connelly book. No surprise, then, I highly recommend The Late Show.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,436 reviews772 followers
July 25, 2017
New character and series? Base hit. By a favorite author? Double play. Getting a copy from the publisher to read in exchange for an honest review? Bases loaded.

The new character is Renee Ballard, a relatively young and feisty detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The author is Michael Connelly, well known and much loved by me for his Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller) series. And my honest opinion? A home run!

Also in all honesty, though, neither Harry nor Mickey need worry; this mama still loves them best. But when someone new comes along that's worthy of note, there's plenty of room left on my virtual bookshelves. And that means the next time Renee Ballard makes an appearance, I'll be there to greet her.

A native of Hawaii with a journalism degree from the University of Hawaii, Ballard spends part of her free time riding the California surf with her faithful dog Lola. She's also fighting a few demons from the past, including the untimely death of her beloved father in a water-related accident and the fact that her long-time day shift partner failed to support her in her sexual harassment claim against her supervisor. As a result of that unsuccessful complaint, she's been relegated to the night shift - a.k.a. the Late Show. Now, she and her new partner, John Jenkins, are charged with investigating crimes that happen in the wee hours, but they must turn all their findings over to an appropriate "desk" rather than follow up on their own.

It's not always easy to let go of cases that come her way, but she manages - until, that is, she doesn't. On a single night, she lands in the middle of two: The first is the brutal beating of a prostitute who ends up close to death in an induced coma at the hospital. The second involves the murder of several patrons and a female employee at a local nightclub. She pleads her case for continuance on both cases, winning the right to follow up on the prostitute's. On the murders, though, everyone from the top down, including her partner, insists that she back off - but she's not having any of it. Bringing her extensive investigative skills and instincts to bear, she deals the beating incident during work hours. Then, using off hours and spare time, she delves into the nightclub murders with equal gusto - and lands smack dab in the middle of a close-to-home "hit" and a complex case that not only threatens her own future, but that of the entire department.

Now, of course, I'm looking forward to Ballard's next assignment. Bring her on!
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