Review // Dark Sacred Night

Title: Dark Sacred Night
Author: Michael Connelly
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Adult
Genre: Crime & Mystery
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $32.99 AUD

I received a copy of Dark Sacred Night from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

LAPD Detective Renee Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in a new blockbuster crime thriller from the #1 bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Even detectives have a dark side . . .

At the end of a long, dark night detectives Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch cross paths for the first time.

Detective Renee Ballard works the graveyard shift and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old files.

The intruder is none other than retired legendary LAPD detective Harry Bosch, hunting for leads in an unsolved case that has got under his skin.

Ballard escorts him out but — curious to know what he was searching for — soon becomes obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton. Was she the first victim of a serial killer who still stalks the streets?

For Bosch, the case is more than personal: it may be all he has left.

But in a city where crime never sleeps, even detectives have a dark side . . .

I will remember 2018 as the year that I was first introduced to Michael Connelly’s books, by way of review copies, and I’m grateful for that. I spent my late teens and early twenties reading a range of crime and mystery books, but I never delved into Connelly’s series, but now I have an entire backlist to explore.

In many ways, it was great that I was introduced to his books via The Late Show, the first book in the Renee Ballard series, because starting with a new character was a nice introduction to the world Connelly has built up. I didn’t even realise that Dark Sacred Night was a cross-over with his Bosch books until it turned up and then I got really excited.

This book is a really nice blend of the two series; Renee remains a strong female lead character with a good understanding of herself and her beliefs. She’s had a rough go and been relegated to the Late Show – the night shift in Hollywood – after refusing the advances of a senior officer, but now she’s coming into her own in this life that’s carving out for herself. She feels very much like a real person who you could cross paths with on the street, haunted by her past, but very much focused on moving forward and doing the best she can on the job.

Renee is a contrast with Bosch, who’s at the other end of his career – he’s still helping to close cold-cases until a personal connection to a side project he’s working on sees him cross paths with Renee. His inquiries peak Renee’s interest and she begins to start pulling on the threads of his case until the two find themselves working on the case together in their own time.

I love the gritty feel of Hollywood after dark, and the characters that are flawed and human. Hollywood itself is a major character, as all the quirks that you might expect insert themselves into the storyline.

I hope that Dark Sacred Night is not the only team-up between Ballard and Bosch, and I look forward to future adventures of the two.

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