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Harry Bosch #21

Dark Sacred Night

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10 hours, 39 minutes

LAPD Detective Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in the new thriller from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.

Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.

Audio CD

First published October 30, 2018

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About the author

Michael Connelly

435 books27.9k 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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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,304 reviews
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
October 29, 2018
5 Spectacular Stars.

Have you ever been scared to crack open a book? Nerves jangled? Stomach in knots? Desperate to find out what happens to your favorite character, yet frightened of what’s inside? Yep… that’s me. I had an ARC of “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly in my hands, a copy of which I was lucky enough to score and I was scared straight. Dying to open it and start reading, yet terrified. What if it doesn’t measure up? With each passing year, my anxiety has reached greater heights when it comes to a new Harry Bosch novel. Can Michael Connelly deliver? The answer to that question, is yes. Time and again, a resounding YES. Some authors, fail and just kind of follow a formula, if you know what I mean. Not Michael Connelly. Whatever it is, he has it.

That said, well, I couldn’t help but worry. About Harry Bosch. If you all know anything about me, you know I LOVE MY HARRY BOSCH. He has my heart. And so it goes.

This time around, Harry Bosch partners with Renee Ballard on a case near and dear to his heart. Daisy Clayton.

Renee Ballard works the Late Show – we met her for the first time last year. She is tenacious, smart and she loves her job. The cops in Hollywood Division don’t care for her very much because she has made lots of trouble for them, standing up for what she believes in, herself. In that way, she’s a lot like Bosch.

Harry still works as a reserve cop in San Fernando Valley, however, one cold case still eats away at him and it is that of Daisy Clayton, who was brutally murdered years ago. He knows evidence still exists at Hollywood Station, so he goes looking for it and Ballard catches him. Once she looks into it, she too, is intrigued and she can’t help but want to work it. Bosch and Ballard, Partners? Yep. It happens and it happens here.

Can two people who are alike in some ways and different in others figure out a way to work together? Bosch is a grumpy old man (at least compared to Ballard) yet he’s a darn good cop – but then so is Ballard. Though she’s young, she’s got great instincts. I admit that I had my doubts about these two partnering up (but perhaps that’s because I want Bosch all to myself?! Lol!).

From that moment on, once their investigations kicked off, my breath caught in my throat and my heart was in my sleeve. These two detectives think like no others. This case, it gets to both of them for different reasons and their investigation never stops and the risks don’t matter. Not to them. Where it leads, I cannot say. Their path is not an easy one. But I’m sure you knew that. Are you holding your breath? I bet you are. Is your chest tight tight tight? Once you start reading “Dark Sacred Night” I have a feeling it will be, just like mine was. The ride is wild and terrifying. I can’t wait for you to give it a spin.

Bosch and Ballard are characters that stay with you. Renee Ballard tries her best to follow the rules, yet the cases she works, they own her. The only thing she needs are her surf board, her dog Lola and her Grams. As for Bosch, well, you know him: his daughter Maddie and solving cases are the only things he cares about in this life. He is tried and true and in case it isn’t obvious, he is still my favorite detective. As for these two together? Well, I think they are kindred spirits. I hope you'll agree.

Kudos to Michael Connelly for a continuing to write such incredible mystery / suspense novels year after year. Thank you also for staying true to one of my favorite characters: Harry Bosch. Thank you also to Little Brown and Company for an ARC of this novel. I was thrilled to receive a complimentary copy. All thoughts are my own.

Published on 8.9.18 on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram.

**Will be published on Amazon on 10.30.18.
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,330 reviews7,101 followers
October 22, 2018
**4.5 STARS**

Night shift detective Renée Ballard is writing a report in the wee small hours of the morning concerning a woman found dead in the bathtub, when she notices a stranger going through the filing cabinets across the other side of the office. The man appears intent on finding something, and in his eagerness to discover whatever it is he’s looking for, he clearly hasn’t seen Renée watching him! After throwing him out, she discovers that it’s detective Harry Bosch who you used to work out of that very station. Bosch lies about what he was searching for but Renée is onto him and soon finds out what he was really up to, and she wants in on it, so the two of them join forces to investigate the murder some years previously of teenager Daisy Clayton.

In a brilliantly understated introduction, Michael Connelly brings together two seriously good detectives. Ballard still has her own cases to work though, and these run alongside another cold case of Bosch’s - the assassination of a Latino gang leader over a decade ago.

There’s no question that there’s a master storyteller at work here, the cases under examination exhibit just how intense and knowledgeable the police procedural aspect of Connelly’s books are - the pace is relentless, breathtakingly so at times, and the characters are so well defined that it’s not difficult to imagine that you know them personally. I would love to see this partnership continue into the next book and hope that Mr Connelly is thinking along the same lines! Highly recommended.

* Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,545 reviews24.6k followers
September 5, 2018
Michael Connelly brings us the second in the LAPD detective Renee Ballard series and he brings in Harry Bosch, a man Renee knows nothing about. Renee has been shunted onto The Late Show, the Hollywood nightshift, after an injustice earlier, but oddly enough she has settled in there and somehow it suits her. Her partner is on bereavement leave and she is on her own when she is called to a home where a woman's body, heavily decomposing, is discovered. It is assumed to be murder but it does not take Renee long to ascertain that it was an accident, with a starved cat feeding on the corpse. On returning to write up her report, she finds Harry rifling through a file cabinet of a colleague, and throws him out. However, her curiosity is aroused, she cannot help herself as she tries to find out who Harry is and what he was doing there.

Harry has the traumatised Elizabeth Clayton, a recovering drug addict, temporarily living with him, someone he met on his last case. Nine years ago, Elizabeth's 15 year old daughter, Daisy, was brutally murdered, her body bleached and discarded like trash in an alley. This spurs Harry to look into the cold case, as he witnesses Elizabeth's unrelieved grief destroying her. Having Elizabeth staying with him is not ideal, as his daughter, Maddie, is refusing to visit him while Elizabeth is there. Once Renee learns of Harry's investigations into finding Daisy's killer, she wants in. It soon becomes transparent that there is much the pair have in common, a dogged determination to work cases that borders on obsession and a penchant to bend the rules. In the meantime, both have other demands on their time. Harry as a reserve at SFD is looking into a cold case murder of the 52 year old gang member of the Varrio San Fer 13, Cristobel Vega, gaining insight into what happened after locating a witness, only to find the case exploding out of his control. Renee finds herself with the horrifying task of searching for the dismembered body parts of a murder victim at a refuse dump. As Renee and Harry plough through the mountains of information looking for a lead on Daisy's killer, the truth proves to be elusive. Will they succeed in finding the killer?

I did not expect Renee and Harry to be working together so soon, but after an initial awkwardness the two, unsurprisingly, mesh well, something they will sorely need as each finds themselves in life threatening and dangerous scenarios. Harry's future with SFD is uncertain, but what is clear is that this is not going to stop him doing what he does best, and it looks like we will see him pairing up with Renee again in the future. Connelly once again displays his attention to detail in police procedures, showing us that his research is demonstrably impressive. I loved this addition to the Renee and Harry series, but there is a strong part of me that wished I could have seen far more of Renee prior to her working with Harry. As usual, Connelly gives us a superb crime thriller with his trademark aplomb. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.
Profile Image for Lori.
308 reviews100 followers
February 1, 2019
It's a good read.

✓ Readable police procedure and politics
✓ Complicated and conflicted characters
✓ Every character has their own agenda
✓ An Avenger seeking justice for all—every life matters

I didn't love it, but I wouldn't mind reading more.
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 16 books1,481 followers
April 30, 2020
Great book. Loved it. Full disclosure though, Michael Connelly gave me a wonderful blurb for my first book so I might be a little biased.
In Dark Sacred Night, Connelly is back to form. I read it in two sitting. It's not fair to rate heavy hitters like Connelly with all other writers so I compare them to their own works. This one is a solid five stars. I liked the way he wove the everyday life of a detective into the story without dropping tension even once. I was a cop for 31 years and this rang true to me and made wish I was back playing the cops and robbers game.
I also liked The Late Show as well. Two Kinds of Truth not so much. I chalked that one up to Connelly being so busy with his Bosh cable series. I really don't know where he finds the time to write and produce such a wonderful piece of work like Dark Sacred Night. Great title by the way.
Dark Sacred Night reminded me a little of old Wambaugh when he was at his peak. This book has more depth and detail than some of the last Connelly books. now I am really looking forward to the next installment. Especially after the way he ended this one.
David Putnam Author of The Bruno Johnson series.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
November 20, 2018
Sometimes when an author who has written many books in a series introduces a new character, I worry that the effect may be kind of like when sitcoms of the past introduced a new, young character (e.g., Cousin Oliver in "The Brady Bunch"), and it essentially ruins the series.

When Michael Connelly introduced LAPD Detective Renée Ballard in last year's The Late Show (see my review), my fears were proven unfounded, because Ballard was such a complex, flawed, fascinating character (much like Harry Bosch), which made her the perfect addition to the world he had created. Still, I wondered whether Connelly would switch off between protagonists, ease back on the Bosch novels, or do something altogether different.

In his latest novel, Dark Sacred Night , Connelly pairs Bosch and Ballard together, although he lets them deal with their own challenges as well. The results are as electrifying as you'd imagine they'd be, and Connelly once again proves that, 31 books in, he is one of the most dynamic crime writers out there.

Ballard is working the night shift, otherwise known as the "late show," still struggling to be an outspoken female detective in a department that doesn't prize those who make ripples, particularly women. One night she finds a stranger rifling through old files—it turns out that stranger is retired detective Harry Bosch, who is looking for information that might finally help him crack a cold case he's working on in his spare time.

The more Ballard hears about the case, in which then-15-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway who wandered the streets of Hollywood, was found dead, her body bleached so as to not give up any clues, the more Ballard wants to see if she can help Bosch uncover the truth after so many years. The two share leads and theories, and chase many possibilities in search of Daisy's killer, although it seems unlikely after all this time that they'll be able to find closure.

Meanwhile, each has their own cases to deal with, and when the going gets tough (and dangerous), these outsiders discover that they can count on each other when they needed it most. But can Ballard look the other way when Bosch bends the rules so hard they break a bit?

This book was really a rollercoaster ride. Connelly took a little time to set things up, and then the plot takes off. There's a little bit of downtime, and then the momentum kicks into high gear. You wonder whether each case that Ballard or Bosch works on is somehow going to be the one that causes trouble, and you wonder whether they'll be able to solve Daisy's murder. But most importantly, you wonder how well these two forces will work together, given their independent streaks as well as their overall badass nature.

While it was great to have Ballard and Bosch together, and I hope that happens again, reading Dark Sacred Night reminded me just how terrific these characters are on their own, and once again demonstrated Connelly's talent for suspense, action, and character development. I lost track of the Bosch series a few years ago, but I definitely have to get back into it as I wait for Connelly's next book.

There are tons of crime writers out there, but Connelly is the real deal, and one of the best currently writing. You can read Dark Sacred Night even if you've never read any of his books—and I bet you'll be hooked!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Liz.
1,964 reviews2,413 followers
November 2, 2018
I love the Harry Bosch series and enjoyed the first Renee Ballard novel. So, I was excited to see the two detectives join forces. And I was not disappointed.
One thing I love about Connelly’s mysteries is that he doesn’t sugarcoat the workload of a Detective. No one has the luxury of working a single case, especially a cold one. Both Renee and Harry have their hands full. There’s lots of action here. This is one of those books that called to me and kept me reading well passed when I should have put the book down.
Both characters are well defined and fleshed out. Whether you’ve read every book in the series or are just starting out, you’ll feel like you know these two.
The partnership grows slowly, with both learning to trust the other. But by the end, they’re a good team. I look forward to seeing more books with them together, although I also hope Connelly will continue to write stories for each individually.
I was given a copy of this book through a GoodReads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
858 reviews1,730 followers
January 26, 2022
I haven't read any Harry Bosch before this so I had concerns before starting this book. What if this renowned LAPD detective overshadowed Renee Ballard? Even though this is only second book of her but I was worried about her role but all my worries were useless.

Not only author gave both the characters a great story arc to work on but also he made these two detectives work in such synchronization that I never felt that one is getting more limelight than the other. While Harry worked on cases that are long gone cold, Renee is sent on current cases that kept the story moving in right direction and it never felt like she is giving too much time to the old case. It was a good mix of old and new.

I adored this partnership, and hope I will get see them work together again.

Also, Harry won me over and I think I will be diving into his world soon.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,696 reviews14.1k followers
November 12, 2018
Many, many years ago I was drawn into a series featuring a young detective named Harry Bosch. I subsequently went on to read him again and again. Enticing cases he fdefinitel worked, but it was the detective, his life, both rather dark and gloomy, that kept me coming back again and again. There was just something g that drew me to this flawed but very noble character. Eventually as he aged, he found himself forced into retirement by the very department he had so long served. Yet, he could not let go in his fight for justice for all, even those who lived on the margins of society. He now works in an unofficial capacity in a cash strapped to!ice department. It is while working on a cold case, that of s murdered young girl from years past that will bring him together with Renee Ballard, a young police detective.

She is half Harry's age, but she too has a complicated past. After she reports a colleague, above her in rank, she is transferred to another department, where she works the late show, or the night shift. I loved how she and Harry complimented each other, both pursueing justice, both willing to take short cuts to solve a case. Connelly has the talent to give the reader some very interesting characters, characters that we can understand, relateable. In this pairing he has, despite the age gap, given us a new team, and it will be be interesting to see how they will evolve, work together. Since both can be willfull, stubborn, I expect some fireworks down the line. Hoping for good things to come.
Profile Image for Paula K (on hiatus).
414 reviews424 followers
September 7, 2019
I loved Dark Sacred Night from start to finish. The minute I turned the audio cd on in my car I knew #2 in the series would be terrific.

Connelly brings Harry Bosch in to team up with Renée Ballard for the first time and it works. Harry Bosch, now retired and working as a reserve detective for the San Fernando Valley police department, has his sights on solving a cold case. LAPD late shift detective, Renée Ballard, finds Harry going through files at the station and decides she would like to join Harry in finding the killer of a young woman named Daisy Clayton.

Dark Sacred Night never stops. It’s fast-paced and a thrill of a ride. Bosch and Ballard make a great team and help each other out in some dangerous circumstances. Bosch’s daughter, Maddie, continues to add a strong note to the background as well as Ballard’s surf buggie and dog, Lola.

The audio is very well done. Christine Laking and Titus Welliver are fantastic narrators. I was glad to see Welliver join the audio as I like his voice in the Bosch series both in his books and on the Prime tv series.

Highly recommend

5 out of 5 stars

Profile Image for Sandy.
873 reviews215 followers
September 12, 2018
Most of the books I pick up are fiction. I have one of those jobs that introduces me to life’s less glamorous realities on a daily basis so I read for escape. But as with non-fiction, I learn something from every story. Of all the lessons I will take away from this book, the most important may be this. Feed your cat. Faithfully, continuously & in large quantities. In fact, just cut a hole in the bottom of a 50 kg bag & leave it out on the kitchen floor, ok? You might thank me later.

Renée Ballard knows what I’m talking about. So after dealing with a particularly eewww-inducing crime scene one night, she looks forward to some solo down time back at the station. Except she’s not alone. There appears to be a strange man trying to break into the file cabinets. Ballard, meet Bosch. Harry Bosch.

You could say it’s the start of a beautiful friendship but that would gloss over a few bumps in the road. Harry is working on his hobby case. In a previous instalment, he met a woman grieving the death of her teenage daughter. It’s been 9 yr. since Daisy Clayton was violently murdered & Harry has decided it’s gone unsolved long enough.

Ballard has her own issues. She used to be part of an elite crime squad. Her fall from grace began after a superior officer got a little handsy & she dared to report him. Of course the department stepped up & dealt with it. Sort of. He kept his job & she found herself back on the street working the late show. Renée now works alone & it’s not bad. Some nights are quiet & she begins to look into Harry’s pet project.

Before she knows it, they’ve formed a partnership of sorts. They’re an interesting pair & part of the fun is watching Renée try to rein Harry in as he sidesteps the rules in trademark fashion. It’s a slow, painstaking process, frequently interrupted by the demands of more pressing cases.

To be honest, it took me a bit to get into the story. But I found Renée much more fleshed out here than she was in the previous book. As she & Harry settled into their relationship, I found it easy to sit back & enjoy the ride. I really enjoyed the story lines that emerged from current investigations. It maintained the pace & provided plenty of tension that balanced out the slower grind of the cold case, making its progress more realistic.

By the end, it’s clear Harry’s days as a reserve officer with the San Fernando P.D. may be numbered. But it might be the start of a new chapter for the old cop which is great news for Bosch fans. So if he & Renée find another cold case to tackle, I’m in. As long as he doesn’t get a cat.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,673 reviews12.8k followers
December 29, 2018
Always finding ways to be unique with his writing, Michael Connelly offers up something different for his fans in this latest novel, which mixes two of his most talked-about protagonists. Two detectives from two jurisdictions, sharing their life stories and bound together by a single cold case that has them fully committed. While working the ‘late show’, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard comes across former LAPD legend Harry Bosch flipping through old files. Ballard soon learns that Bosch is working a cold case while things are slow down at San Fernando PD. After some digging of her own, Ballard approaches Bosch to see if he needs any help, particularly obtaining information within the LAPD. Thus begins a loose partnership between the two as they look into the murder of a teenage prostitute from almost a decade before. Bosch is doing this as a favour to someone he knows, but remains somewhat circumspect on why he’s being so nice. While Bosch and Ballard work their respective cases on different shifts, the Daisy Clayton investigation continues to heat up. With information tying her abduction and eventual murder to a non-descript van, Bosch and Ballard try to narrow down the list of suspects, while staying on top of the drama that shapes their own lives. The more they work together, the better they get to know one another, so different and yet so in sync. Could this be the ultimate pairing that no one saw coming? And does the murderer, hiding in the shadows, stand a chance with these two detectives on their heels? Connelly mixes some strong Bosch work with the still evolving Detective Ballard to create a great story that allows fans to get their fill of both characters. Recommended to fans of both series who always wondered, ‘what if...?’

I quite enjoy Michael Connelly’s work, spanning an interesting career. I am also a fan of authors who blend their series protagonists together, just to see how the chemistry will play out. Connelly has done it before, but this new connection could be an even more interesting fit, given the newness of Renée Ballard on the scene. Those who enjoyed Ballard’s introduction as a protagonist are able to extract a little more about the woman and her policing style, as well as the grit that emerges when she works alongside LAPD legend, Harry Bosch. As with his involvement in the series that bears his name, Bosch has grown and changed, but always seems to have new and exciting angles yet to be revealed. His backstory and development seem set in neutral, but there are always crumbs on which the series fan can feast, even as Bosch teeters on the brink of giving it all up. However, many would ask what happens to Bosch when he can no longer shape policing and help those in need. Connelly pokes at this bear in this piece, leaving the reader to wonder if Bosch’s days are finally numbered. The story was a brilliant mix of a handful of cases, seen through the eyes of both protagonists. Mixing the narrative angles, the reader is able to see both Bosch and Ballard working through things from their perspectives, as well as a joint effort to find this killer who has slipped through the cracks for nine years. The story moves along at a wonderful pace, offering struggles for both detectives while also seeing them grow closer together. This connection is one that cannot be ignored and should not be shunned, as there is much to be seen when it comes to it. A mentor-mentee situation could be budding and who better than Harry Bosch to have as a guide?

Kudos, Mr. Connelly, for a wonderful series that seems only to get better. Bring on more, when time permits. Your fan base grows with each new publication!

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
947 reviews17.6k followers
January 20, 2023
Boy, oh boy, is Harry Bosch one crackerjack and doggedly indominatable detective! And that same streak of sheer tenacity always gets him into deep kaka both with his bosses and with the bad guys.

Take this book.

Bosch is left half-dead in a cage in sweltering Southern California scrubland with nary a hope to his credit - and he woulda bought the farm this time for sure - were it not for Renee’s own terrific tenacity.

Renee? That’s Renee Ballard, the young, energetic and resourceful assistant into whom Harry has channeled his own greying flat footed anti-Murder methodology - the new blood, grit and resilience Harry has desperately needed for so long.

It’s lonely fighting City Hall, but every morning Harry’s achingly sagging body gets him outta bed for another day of flak from his superiors, or random hails of bullets from the hip LA punks whose regard for his life is nil.

An uphill battle, but you know, oldtimers still have lotsa good lessons for young Turks and tyros.

Even though it’s awfully lonely being Harry - even at home - with his Spartan quarters being much distanced from his alienated family.

No, enforcing the law in the squalor and rot of inner city violence is no treat.

Now, this book is as full of hairpin twists and turns as a NASCAR track.

It’ll tie you down to your easy chair and hold you there indefinitely.

You’ll keep reading till Dawn’s early light!

Cause you know, even though the City of Angels is a veritable MOCKERY of its name -

Harry and Renee are, for sure, of the Avenging Variety.
Profile Image for Thomas.
712 reviews172 followers
July 17, 2019
4.5 stars rounded down to 4 stars.
This library book is another great police procedural by a master storyteller. Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch work together to solve two separate cold cases. Bosch is working to solve the 9 year old murder of a teenager. She is the daughter of a drug addict whose warning when he was undercover on a previous case saved his life. Bosch is also working on a cold case for the San Fernando Police Dept. The murder happened 14 years ago. The victim was a gang leader and did not rate as a high priority case. But Harry Bosch believes "that everybody counts or nobody counts."
Ballard finds Harry going through a file cabinet in her office 1 night, even though he no longer works for the LAPD. She decides to work the case with him instead of turning him in.
Quote from a self appointed preacher who calls himself "John the Baptist."
"Each night I count how many people took the Lord and Savior into their hearts. Each dark sacred night brings more souls to Christ."
They do solve the cases, although 1 of them is almost killed. There are references to the various murders, and a couple of murders take place during the book. One of those murders was nasty, so probably not for cozy mystery fans.
I recommend reading these books in order, but this would work as a stand alone. I read this book in 3 days, even though it is 433 pages long. Connelly's books are great reading!!
Profile Image for Labijose.
941 reviews401 followers
March 3, 2021
Aunque tengo que reconocer que todavía no termino de empatizar con Ballard, la nueva protagonista de las novelas de Connelly, el hecho de que en esta novela Bosch tenga también un papel activo me ha ayudado a conectar con su lectura. De hecho, en “Noche sagrada”, encontramos la continuación tanto de la última novela de Ballard como de la de Harry, lo cual habla muy bien de la cualidad del escritor de seguir el hilo de ambas, cruzando y descruzando la trama según a él le convenga.

Bosch encuentra en la joven policía una buena fuente de información para poder seguir sintiéndose útil, ahora que trabaja a tiempo parcial para un departamento de segunda categoría (y ni siquiera eso le durará). Además, reconocerá en ella los rasgos de sabueso e inconformista que él mismo posee, pero que en los nuevos tiempos están tan en desuso. Pueden formar un buen tándem, de hecho, aquí lo forman. Y si a ello sumamos, ¿cómo no?, una novela escrita por la experta mano del autor, con una trama que, al menos a mí me ha tenido muy enganchado, y unas explicaciones de los procedimientos policiales que siguen siendo un fiel reflejo de la realidad de aquel lado del océano, obtenemos un resultado francamente satisfactorio. Esa es mi opinión.

Reitero, pese a todo, que no termino de ver a Ballard con los mismos ojos que a Bosch. Ni siquiera con los mismos ojos que a su hermanastro Mickey Haller. Y eso puede ser un problema en futuras entregas. A menos que sigan trabajando juntos. Así podría funcionar. Porque Bosch se nos está haciendo muy mayor, pero no tanto como para mandarlo al hogar del pensionista. Aún tiene un par de cosas que enseñarle a su pupila, y espero que esta las aprenda con Bosch a su lado.

En breve comienzo con "The night fire", que tiene a Bosch y Ballard en una nueva investigación conjunta.

Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,035 reviews570 followers
March 27, 2022
I really enjoyed the first Ballard book, The Late Show, in which the young female cop showed some of the vim and vigor we’d seen from Harry Bosch back when he too was an LAPD detective. Banished to the night shift after calling out her boss for sexual harassment, Ballard consequently nursed a chip on her shoulder as she remorselessly chased down her quarry. I thought it was a great book and seemed to promise a even money chance that at some point in the future she’d share some page space with Bosch.

Harry Bosch was last spotted in Two Kinds of Truth where he teamed up with his half brother, lawyer Mickey Haller. He continued to tread a precarious line between playing it straight and bending the rules, working now as a detective for the San Fernando PD. It's well known that Connelly likes to link up his various players in his books and here he does it again in bringing Ballard and Bosch together. Surely this is a marriage that can't possibly fail, can it? It's a simple question and a there’s equally simple answer: no it can't!

I won't spoil the fun for future readers by giving too much away, suffice to say there are a number of cases covered here: some investigated individually by the two cops and one taken on as a joint venture. The various elements of the cases paint a broad picture of the darker side of modern day Los Angeles and some of the lessons learned prove to be of wider value along the way. Bosch is on top form, showing his determined one-track mind approach to solving his cases with his forthright (OK, let's just call it what it is – rude) approach to all, constantly shaking the tree loose of just enough debris to give himself a chance of closure. Ballard shows that she can also bend a rule or two as she adopts a similarly dogged plan of attack.

The chemistry between the two feels just right: some mutual respect but mixed in with a little nervousness, a smidgen of suspicion too. They're both feeling their way in this new professional relationship. We're in the hands of the master as Connelly seamlessly allows the action to flow whilst keeping a captain’s eye on the tiller. At no point does he allow the reader to lose track of the multiple plot lines or feel any tinge of disbelief that things should play out in such a way; it’s brilliantly done.

At the end there’s a nice teaser suggesting that there's more to come from this pair. Thank goodness for that! I'm already in withdrawal - having finished this latest offering I seriously hope I don't have to wait too for the next instalment.

My sincere thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,929 reviews640 followers
January 4, 2022
Three stars mainly because I like Bosch and the plot of this book and it's bitter-sweet to have them team-up. At least Bosch isn't retiring for good.

I'm indifferent to Renee's character since book one, sorry to all her fans. The only reason I pick up book 2 is Bosch and of course, Titus Welliver narrating his part. I'm not a fan of her narrator in book one and think that made the experience with a new character worse. I did swap to reading the book instead.

Even though they changed the narrator for this second book I felt the publisher or M. Connelly should have gone with a different person with more experience. It's almost comical when she reads her chapter as Bosch's. arghh
Profile Image for Tim.
2,111 reviews193 followers
February 6, 2019
Enjoyed this story much more than Renee Ballard #1. 9 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,030 reviews2,631 followers
November 6, 2018
Detective Renee Ballard was working on her report for the night’s killing back at Hollywood Station when she heard someone at the files on the other side of the office. That was Ballard’s first meeting with retired LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Bosch was working a nine year old cold case – the murder of a young fifteen year old which he was determined to solve. The nine year gap made it much harder. When Ballard learned of the case, she was keen to help Bosch – and so it came about that the late show detective worked, in her spare time, with the retired detective…

Ballard, along with her dog Lola, would spend as much “off time” as she could at the beach. Surfing was her peaceful time; Lola soothed her. While Bosch had his daughter Maddie who was a uni student away from home. But when danger in the form of the gangs that worked Hollywood, ventured too close, the risks were high for both Bosch and Ballard. Would the seasoned and the young solve the cold case? And would they stay in front of the ruthless and brutal gangs?

Dark Sacred Night is the second in the Detective Renee Ballard series by Michael Connelly and it was just as tension-filled as the first. I loved that Ballard met up with Bosch – the combination of the two brilliant characters made it great reading. Meeting up with Bosch again (one of my favourite fiction characters) and Ballard for the second time – it was perfect! Told in Ballard and Bosch sections so we could appreciate the “behind the scenes” with both characters made it a quick, easy read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.

With thanks to Allen & Unwin AU for my uncorrected ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Marcel Driel.
Author 37 books79 followers
November 3, 2018
The team up between Ballard and Bosch does a disservice to both: Dark Sacred Night is an unusual bland and sometimes even boring book which is more like a series of events than a story with a interesting plot. The ending is better then what came before, but the solution to the mystery came out of nowhere. Hopefully Connelly will get his groove back with his next novel.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews149 followers
November 9, 2018
This book is a combo Harry Bosch-Renée Ballard story. In my opinion, Bosch is a given; there’s no doubt he can easily carry the plot. Ballard, though, is almost an unknown in spite of reading the first book, The Late Show, where she is introduced. With that book, I had reservations about her being a stereotyped female Bosch. This book proves that may be the case, but it absolutely works and I’m thrilled! Bosch has always done things his way and mostly gets the job done. Ballard is very similar; she worked Robbery-Homicide and was forced out and onto the late show because she reported a sexual assault by a superior. They both bend rules and break them at times, too. So while the two are similar, I think Ballard has a tougher path than Bosch simply because she’s a female.

The plot could be called “A Day in the Life of an LA Cop.” Multiple cases are investigated requiring a lot of research and generating a lot of paperwork. Cops have occasional days with no new cases, and on other days put their lives in danger. They don’t eat well nor do they get much sleep. They rely on each other, and sometimes they fail each other.

Michael Connelly is a superb author and a consummate storyteller. His latest newsletter states his next book will be a Bosch-Ballard-Haller book, and that sounds great to me.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,028 reviews661 followers
January 14, 2019
A request for a simple wellness check starts the ball rolling.  The woman on whom Detective Renee Ballard is calling is long past answering her doorbell.  The revolting stench greeting Ballard as she enters the home proves it.  Meanwhile, our old friend Harry Bosch is investigating a cold case.  He's semi-retired now, but his no bullshit attitude and tenaciousness are intact.  He's getting older, has a trick knee, and makes the occasional error in judgment.  It is inevitable that Bosch and Ballard will cross paths, and it makes for a terrific pairing. 
The ways and means, and the ins and outs of police procedures are fascinating, as always.  Who is willing to bend the rules, and who is apt to break them into pieces.  The age old question begs whether or not the ends justify the means.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,318 reviews4,843 followers
August 26, 2021

3.5 stars

In this 21st book in the 'Harry Bosch' series, Michael Connelly unites the vintage sleuth with his new detective Renee Ballard.....and they turn out to be a good match. The novel provides enough background information to be read as a standalone.


Detective Harry Bosch worked for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for over three decades but was always a maverick who bent the rules and eschewed authority. Thus Harry was finally pushed out of the LAPD, and eventually took a job with the small San Fernando Police Department - where he mostly works cold cases.

Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch

Bosch's daughter Maddie attends college in southern California but rarely visits home because Harry has taken in a fiftyish recovering drug addict called Elizabeth Clayton. Elizabeth is still reeling from the unsolved rape/murder of her 15-year-old daughter Sophie nine years ago and Harry - who has a soft heart - is trying to help her keep clean. Harry is also re-opening Sophie's case, hoping to bring her sadistic killer to justice.

LAPD Detective Renee Ballard was on the fast track in the Robbery-Homicide Division until she reported her boss for sexual harassment. The 'Me Too' movement hadn't quite reached the police force - and Renee's traitorous male partner (who saw what happened) didn't back her up - so Renee was reassigned to the night shift. There Renee starts cases that are then handed over to daylight detectives - a situation Renee finds frustrating and unfulfilling.

Renee is still on the outs with some cops, who sometimes give her a hard time or neglect to send back-up when requested, etc. (They should be fired IMO.)

Renee marches to her own drummer. She (sort of) lives with her grandmother Tutu in Ventura, but usually sleeps in a tent on the beach after surfing/paddling in the ocean. Renee's dog Lola stays in 'doggie care' when the detective is at work, where Renee can monitor her on CCTV. Renee sometimes frets about being a bad 'dog mom' but Lola seems to be a happy pooch.....and is a good guard dog for the tent.😊

Renee and Bosch meet when Harry is sneakily looking into his old file cabinets at the LAPD, claiming he was passing the time while waiting for someone.

In reality, Harry is looking for old field interview cards (shake cards), which document informal police contacts during the course of patrol - like intoxicated pedestrians, loiterers, people in parked cars, and so on. Harry thinks these cards might provide information about Sophie's rapist/killer.

Renee, who's adamant about catching sex murderers, signs up to work with Harry and the temporary partners start looking at thousands of shake cards that were put in storage. The cards provide possible clues about Sophie's death, and the detectives follow up when they're not working other cases.

For his part, Harry is investigating the long ago murder of a 'San Fer' gang leader. A reformed thug has provided a tip about the bullets used, and Harry is following it up. Unfortunately, the case springs a leak that has unfortunate consequences.....but gives Renee the opportunity to shine.

On her side, Renee is investigating the theft of valuable Andy Warhol paintings of 'red lips' from the home of a recently deceased woman.....as well as going out on miscellaneous night calls.

As things shake out, a chance observation helps the sleuths solve Daisy's murder, and that's all I can say without spoilers.

Harry shows a dark side in this book, using unorthodox methods of interrogation and a thirst for vengeance. Renee, on the other hand, is a 'by the book' gal and relies on her fine detective skills and good instincts. Together, Harry and Renee are a formidable pair.

I enjoyed the book, which is a police procedural interspersed with snippets about the characters' personal lives. Both Harry and Renee are essentially loners, devoting most of their energy to the job. This makes them excellent partners, and I hope they continue to work together.

I'd recommend the book to readers who like mysteries, especially Harry Bosch/Renee Ballard fans.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for L.A. Starks.
Author 11 books650 followers
November 10, 2018
Another stellar book from Michael Connelly. In this one he alternates established everyman protagonist Harry Bosch with newer main character Renee Ballard.

Harry is always an empathetic character--strong, virtuous, sensitive--but Connelly and his editor have done a good job of providing an experienced, alternate, woman's voice in Renee Ballard.

Highly recommended. Put Dark Sacred Night next in your TBR stack.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,205 reviews147 followers
October 13, 2022
A week in the lives of Ballard and Bosch

isn’t so much a single suspense thriller, police procedural or mystery as it is a novelized anthology of shorts representing a week of solid, investigative police work – sometimes together, sometimes alone, sometimes within the rules, sometimes with the assistance of others in the force, and sometimes treading the edge of legality and flouting the constraints of administrative rules and standard operating procedure. Considered on their own, each story is short – even the nine year old cold case of a homeless teen selling herself for survival plucked off the street and brutally murdered would hardly reach to the length of a novella on its own – but every one of them is gripping and entirely convincing. Despite the fact that the action and the plots of the stories as a collection comprise a compelling page turner that would keep any lover of the genre reading until the wee hours, Connelly continues to pay due attention to characters, personality and the ongoing development of back story. It also must be said that the pathos generated in the story of a recovered drug addict suffering from the loss of her daughter would serve as a master class in literary writing to any author of any genre.

The common ground of the raw deal that both Bosch and Ballard got from the LAPD serve as a an obvious basis for a fruitful investigative partnership in novels yet to come. And I’m definitely looking forward to THE NIGHT FIRE, #3 in the series.

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,006 reviews142 followers
November 19, 2018
Renee Ballard is working her usual late night shift when she finds a man going through files at the station. It turns out this stranger is Harry Bosch, a retired detective, who is working on a cold case that has turned personal. Ballard sends him on his way, but begins looking into the files Bosch was flipping through. Once she does, she becomes interested in the case too: fifteen-year-old Daisy, a runaway who was horrifically murdered, her body left on the streets. Ballard begins investigating the case as well, forming an alliance with Bosch and attempting to find out what happened to Daisy nearly a decade ago.

I was a little leery when I learned that Connelly was going to combine Renee's story with my beloved Harry Bosch's (let's just say I love Bosch too much to share him), but this book was really excellent, and I found myself enjoying the two of them together. The narrative switches between Ballard and Bosch, so we still get to hear from each character separately: it's just their stories and lives that start to overlap. This overlap happened pretty naturally, and honestly, their burgeoning partnership/friendship was fun to see. There's a moment in the book when someone asks the pair how they want some files, and Ballard responds "digital" and Bosch, "print," and we get a sense of the fact that--no matter how clever and similar they are--Bosch is truly our old school guy and Ballard is the new blood. So combining forces might not be so bad after all.

I love Harry Bosch. I've loved him for about seven years now, since I discovered this series, and I will always adore him, and I don't like that he's aging, and yeah. I'm attached. Reading his sections was like being back with an old friend. Connelly has Bosch's character and voice so perfected by now. I don't want to reveal too much, but this book ties back to the previous a bit (though it will work on its own), so we see Bosch struggling with some of the choices he made in the last book and figuring out exactly where he stands in his career. I won't lie: it's hard to see him age and even to be fallible.

I really tried to read this one slowly and savor it, as Connelly books (especially with Bosch) just don't come along every day. I love how Connelly seems to know so much (e.g., police procedures, gang wars and rituals, even about surfing), but it never feels like he's over explaining anything. Even better, you always get such a good story. I enjoy how he ties so many of his disparate plot pieces together, or comes back to something you think is totally unrelated. And there's always some sort of recent pop culture worked in (a bit of the #MeToo movement pops up here).

There's a lot going on this book--after all, we get cases from both Bosch and Ballard, plus their shared pursuit of justice for Daisy, but it all works in Connelly's deft hands. He is the master of interlocking stories. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I was fascinated to see Bosch and Ballard interact, and I was so glad to have another episode featuring my beloved Bosch. If you're a Bosch fan, I think you'll like this one. And if you just enjoy a good, well-plotted mystery, I highly recommend this one as well. 4.5 stars.

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Profile Image for Gary.
2,590 reviews364 followers
September 10, 2018
Michael Connelly is an great crime thriller writer with the excellent character Harry Bosch, but he doesn't stop there. He has created other enjoyable lead characters like Mickey Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer) and now Renee Ballard who comes into her own in this 2nd book where she teams up with
retired detective Harry Bosch.
Detective Renee Ballard works the late shift and teams up with Bosch who is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a drug addicted runaway who was brutally murdered 9 years ago. The pair share similar attitudes and are both prepared to bend the rules to get justice where necessary and make enjoyable reading. The character of Renee is further developed throughout the novel following on from 'The Late Show' where she was introduced by the skilful Connelly who looks to have another winner with this one. His books are so well thought out and show an inner knowledge of police procedural's and an eye for detail, supplying the reader with realistic entertaining books that rarely fail. I finished the book wanting to read another one straight away.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Orion Publishing for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Josh.
1,628 reviews146 followers
November 21, 2018
More Bosch than Ballard, Dark Sacred Night teams up Michael Connelly's longtime protagonist with his latest to create a well balanced and entertaining police procedural bathed in the darkness of LA's nighttime underworld.

Bosch has a case which haunts him; the murder of an underage prostitute he's never been able to solve. The case eats away at him. Every day he's reminded of his failure, in part due to the dead prostitutes mother who shares his personal residence - their relationship purely platonic.

Ballard, perennial member of the 'late show' aka the night shift in LA's police department, catches cases only to throw them to other detectives when the sun comes up. There's a decent smattering of small time cases for her wade through in Dark Sacred Night but it's when her world and Bosch's collide, do things get really interesting.

I enjoyed Dark Sacred Night. Personally, I was hoping for some more Ballard-based books; the character does well to hold her own without the need for a heavy hitter to push the book into 'best-selling territory' but Connolly makes the duo work; their chemistry is natural and the multi-POV methodology fits seamless into the narrative (this made more apparent with the changing narrators in the audio version).

My rating: 4/5 stars. Dark Sacred Night has a decent plot at its core complimented by enjoyable supplementary cases the two protagonists find themselves entangled. Bonus points for reading perfectly well as a standalone in its own right.
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,939 reviews776 followers
October 30, 2018
" I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship ". If you have seen the movie Casablanca, then you know this classic line. And, it's such a perfect way to describe the paring of Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch.

DARK SACRED NIGHT is the second Ballard book and the 29th Bosch. And, I was thrilled to get a copy of the book. Bosch was mentioned in The Late Show, the first Ballard book, but I never thought that we would get a crossover so early. I thought perhaps a cameo or something in the two series, or just mentions. However, to my surprise, a dream come true!

Ballard first encounter with Bosch is hardly a friendly one. He's looking through files he has no right to go through and Ballard almost read him his rights, but then she gets curious. Well, after he's gone and she notices what he was looking for. She can't help herself, and soon she teams up with Bosch to work a cold case. And, as they work together, the more of a team they become.

DARK SACRED NIGHT is a great book. I'm a big fan of cold cases and I love the teaming of Ballard of Bosch. The older cop and the younger one that both can learn from each other, not to mention saving each other's lives. The ending gave hope that there will be more crossovers and I can't wait to find out what B&B will do next!

I want to thank Orion for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,312 reviews659 followers
December 6, 2019
3.5 Stars: For those who love Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly delivers another page-turning novel. In “Dark Sacred Night”, Harry teams up with Detective Renee Ballard. Ballard, who was demoted to night shift after complaining about a superior officer harassment (LAPD doesn’t care about the “Me-Too” Movement), takes an interest in Bosch looking into a cold case. Ballard is underwhelmed in the night shift and wants to work a meaningful case. So, on their spare time, Bosch and Ballard work a cold case of a missing 15-year-old runaway.

As with all Connelly’s novels, there are more crimes being dealt concurrently while looking into the missing girl case. What Connelly brings to the table is not only is ability to pen fantastic crime/thriller novels, but he uses actual crime stories as fodder for his novels. This keeps his novels fresh with present-day crimes that plague our cities. A little reality in fiction always makes for interesting reads.

Connelly is a trustworthy author who continues to deliver solid exciting novels.

I listened to the Audible production narrated by Christine Lakin and Titus Welliver. Both narrators added to the story.
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