The title of this excellent series launch from bestseller Connelly (The Wrong Side of Goodbye and 20 other Harry Bosch novels) refers to the midnight shift at LAPD’s Hollywood Division. Det. Renée Ballard has landed there in retribution for filing sexual harassment charges against her former boss, Lt. Robert Olivas. Two major crimes soon concern Ballard: the vicious beating of a woman, who says she was assaulted in the “upside-down house” but passes out before she can explain, and a nightclub shooting that kills five people. Though most “late show” cops hand off cases to their day shift counterparts, Ballard personally investigates the assault (with official approval) and the nightclub shooting (without). Olivas, who’s leading the latter investigation, wants her nowhere near the case. What follows is classic Connelly: a master class of LAPD internal politics and culture, good old-fashioned detective work, and state-of-the-art forensic science—plus a protagonist who’s smart, relentless, and reflective. Talking about the perpetrator of the assault, Ballard says, “This is big evil out there.” That’s Connelly’s great theme, and, once again, he delivers. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (July)
The 30th novel by the creator of Harry Bosch (The Wrong Side of Goodbye, 2016, etc.) and the Lincoln Lawyer (The Gods of Guilt, 2013, etc.) introduces an LAPD detective fighting doggedly for justice for herself and a wide array of victims.Ever since her partner, Detective Ken Chastain, failed to back up her sexual harassment claim against Lt. Robert Olivas, her supervisor at the Robbery Homicide Division, Renée Ballard has been banished to the midnight shift—the late show. She's kept her chin down and worked her cases, most of which are routinely passed on to the day shifts, without complaints or recriminations. But that all ends the night she and Detective John Jenkins, the partner who's running on empty, are called to The Dancers, a nightclub where five people have been shot dead. Three of them—a bookie, a drug dealer, and a rumored mob enforcer—are no great loss, but Ballard can't forget Cynthia Haddel, the young woman serving drinks while she waited for her acting career to take off. The case naturally falls to Olivas, who humiliatingly shunts Ballard aside. But she persists in following leads during her time off even though she'd already caught another case earlier the same night, the brutal assault on Ramona Ramone, ne Ramón Gutierrez, a trans hooker beaten nearly to death who mumbles something about "the upside-down house" before lapsing into a coma. Despite, or because of, the flak she gets from across the LAPD, Ballard soldiers on, horrified but energized when Chastain is gunned down only a few hours after she tells him off for the way he let her down two years ago. She'll run into layers of interference, get kidnapped herself, expose a leak in the department, kill a man, and find some wholly unexpected allies before she claps the cuffs on the killer in a richly satisfying conclusion. More perhaps than any of Connelly's much-honored other titles, this one reveals why his procedures are the most soulful in the business: because he finds the soul in the smallest procedural details, faithfully executed.
PRAISE FOR THE LATE SHOW
Late Show introduces a terrific female character: Detective Renée Ballard. . .
The pacing of Ballard's debut story is breathless. . . Ballard is complicated and driven enough to sustain the series Connelly doubtless has in mind for her." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"The most intriguing mystery in The Late Show, though, is Ballard herself. Connelly is too skillful to hand us her resume in one document dump;
instead, he fills out her portrait with a subtle hand over the course of the novel, a little background here, a glimpse of her temperament there, the revelation of her unusual living conditions sketched in between."Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
Renée Ballard is a formidable character, an insightful and tenacious investigator with an unusual background and a sturdy personality to carry a series... Connelly has achieved success as one of the top mystery writers by continuing to keep his storytelling fresh. In The Late Show, he delivers an exciting police procedural with a unique character."Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Few writers can capture the gritty streets of L.A.-and the inner workings of the
LAPD-like Connelly."Entertainment Weekly
"It's a sharp move that allows him to shift his perspective in fresh and meaningful ways. Writing about the instantly appealing police Detective Renee Ballard also recharges Connelly, who has never been in better form."Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"Ballard is a force that with just one novel will easily be as beloved. There's no doubt
Connelly is a master of crime fiction, and The Late Show cements that reputation."Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
PRAISE FOR MICHAEL CONNELLY:"
Michael Connelly is an undisputed master."Chuck Leddy
"Any new book by Michael Connelly is a cause for celebration."Jackie Cooper, Huffington Post
"A masterpiece."Steve Forbes, FORBES
Renée Ballard to the City of Angels' crime fighting pantheon. . . Connelly excels at writing principled outsiders, and Renée Ballard hews to this archetype."Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times
"More perhaps than any of Connelly's much-honored other titles, this one reveals why his procedurals are the most soulful in the business: because he finds the soul in the smallest details, faithfully executed."Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)