Connelly’s characters nail another fascinating mystery in ‘The Dark Hours’

This past week former newspaper reporter Michael Connelly published his 36th novel, “The Dark Hours,” another featuring graveyard shift Los Angeles Police Department detective and inveterate surfer Renée Ballard and retired LAPD detective Harry Bosch. I finished it a couple of days ago, thoroughly enjoyed it, and highly recommend it.

As is his custom, Connelly takes the reader step by step through painstaking investigation, in this case a murder that takes place during a New Year’s Eve celebration that included crowds and celebratory gunfire as well as a series of rapes committed by a pair of masked conspirators who break into carefully targeted women’s homes.

Like good reporters the detectives must answer the questions of who, what, when, why and how.

The detecting duo is determined to achieve justice, even if it means going off the book and bending more than a few police rules.

Connelly’s dialogues ring authentic, not prone to lengthy soliloquy but rather snappy give and take that makes the book a true page turner.

Readers familiar with the different Southern California environs also can appreciate the word pictures the author often paints:

Fifteen minutes later, Ballard pulled to the side of Pacific Coast Highway behind Bosch’s Jeep. She got out, walked up, and got into the passenger side next to him.

“It’s that one with the portholes,” Bosch said.

He pointed across the street. The road was lined with houses cantilevered over the rocks, sand, and water. They were jammed next to each other like teeth in a mouth, so close that it was impossible to tell they were on the ocean save for the sound of the waves echoing from behind them. The house Bosch pointed at was a two-story with a single-slot carport. It was gray wood with white trim and two round windows on the second level. Ballard knew the view would be on the other side. There would be big glass looking out over the ocean.

It is no spoiler to relate that they crack both cases and uncover ample, though obscure, evidence to implicate a host of accomplices. It is the how they do it that keeps rewarding the reader.

Michael Connelly

For those who like the kind of action you get with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Connelly’s Ballard delivers in that realm, too, though not as frequently.

Hopefully, the ending is a hint that Ballard and/or Bosch or both will be back again gracing the pages of another Connelly mystery novel.

This is Connelly’s 23rd book featuring detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch, yes, the same name as the Dutch painter also known for complex depictions of large groups of people. I can safely, no ardently, recommend all of those books, as well his series featuring other characters.

2 comments on “Connelly’s characters nail another fascinating mystery in ‘The Dark Hours’

  1. Athos says:

    That man (Michael Connelly) has made a boat load of money on his talent. It took a search to match him with the Bosch Amazon Prime series..

    nice to see capitalism at work

  2. […] on The New York Times’ fiction bestseller list, just ahead of Michael Connelly’s “The Dark Hours.” Deservedly so for both books. I highly recommend […]

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