The Dark Hours (A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch Novel) - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; Large type / Large print edition
  • Published : 09 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 512
  • ISBN-10 : 0316301299
  • ISBN-13 : 9780316301299
  • Language : English

The Dark Hours (A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch Novel)

"A masterpiece"-LAPD detective Renée Ballard must join forces with Harry Bosch to find justice in a city scarred by fear and social unrest after a methodical killer strikes on New Year's Eve (Publishers Weekly).

There's chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year's Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party.
Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky and that it is linked to another unsolved murder-a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch. At the same time, Ballard hunts a fiendish pair of serial rapists, the Midnight Men, who have been terrorizing women and leaving no trace.
Determined to solve both cases, Ballard feels like she is constantly running uphill in a police department indelibly changed by the pandemic and recent social unrest. It is a department so hampered by inertia and low morale that Ballard must go outside to the one detective she can count on: Harry Bosch. But as the two inexorable detectives work together to find out where old and new cases intersect, they must constantly look over their shoulders. The brutal predators they are tracking are ready to kill to keep their secrets hidden.
Unfolding with unstoppable drive and nail-biting intrigue, The Dark Hours shows that "relentless on their own, Ballard's and Bosch's combined skills…could be combustible" (Los Angeles Times).

Editorial Reviews

"One of this month's best thrillers… Ballard and Bosch are a great combination as they work in and around a police force that Ballard believes too often aims to ‘protect and serve the image instead of the citizens.'"―Richard Lipez, Washington Post

"Outstanding… Connelly is the most consistently superior living crime fiction author. The Dark Hours just reinforces that."―Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel

"Extraordinary… [Connelly] is one of the best in the business at writing about investigations and creating intense suspense, but the relationship between Ballard and Bosch-a professional friendship that grows out of two brilliant minds dedicated to the same difficult but important work-is the cherry on top."―Collette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

"Connelly is sharp as ever... his stories always manage to explore another piece of the city's soul."―Crimereads

"A masterpiece… Meticulous about actual police procedure, Connelly makes the fundamentals of detective work engrossing while providing plenty of suspense and action."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The fourth Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch novel is the best yet… Ballard has evolved into one of crime fiction's richest, most complex characters."―Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)

"Stellar… no one who follows Ballard and Bosch to the end will be disappointed. A bracing test of the maxim that "the department always comes first. The department always wins."―Kirkus Reviews

Readers Top Reviews

James Brydontatjana
Michael Connelly was a crime reporter before he became a hugely successful author, and that may explain his eye for detail, and his ability to convey a vivid context for his novels. It might also explain his ability always to remain contemporary. This is one of the first novels I have read that pays lip service to the Covid pandemic: characters throughout the book are wearing masks, and aware of the proximity of other characters. The novel also refers to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign, and the consequences for the Los Angeles Police department, with a disaffected public up in arms about police abuses, and clamouring for significant cuts in public funding to the force. That sense of being so up-to-date helps bolster the book’s verisimilitude. But it is not just his settings that hold such sharp plausibility. His protagonists are always very believable. While the lead character in this book is the very empathetic Renée Ballard, there are welcome contributions from Connelly’s veteran, Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, whose character has evolved over more than twenty novels during which he has aged in real time. As usual, there are several intertwined plot lines. Ballard is primarily involved in the investigation of a series of vicious attacks upon women in their own homes perpetrated by a team that has become known as ‘The Midnight Men’. However, while on call in case of another attack on New Year’s Eve - the Midnight Men have tended to attack on public holidays – she is called to what initially appears to have been an accidental death the forecourt of a garage. I remember from my own time living in Los Angeles, nearly forty years ago now, how the locals tended to fire their guns into the air to celebrate the arrival of the New year. It seems that just such an celebration has led to the accidental death of the host of a local street party. Ballard is called to the scene, but is not convinced that all is as it seems. Connelly knows how to draw his readers in. His plots are always carefully designed, and his characters are highly credible. Within just a few minutes, I was absolutely hooked by this novel. Highly convincing and also hugely entertaining.
Stuart Wyatt
I cannot put my finger on why but this book lacks the page turning drive of all the previous Michael Connolly books I have read, and I have read them all. It's almost as if it were written by someone else who gets the story right but lacks the expertise to bring alive the dialogue and make the book 'gripping.' Amendment:. It took longer for me to be gripped by this book, but when I was it lived up to expectations
I’m enjoying the book but good lord!! Mask this mask that. I’m tired of this business. I just want to enjoy a book. Now I’ve finished the book. Too much political opinion for me. Mask, insurrection, mask, Trevor Noah, mask and so on. I’ve had enough.
Michael Connelly seems to get better with each new book. In his latest mystery, LAPD Detective Renee Ballard becomes the main character as she tries to solve two different cases, one an apparent random shooting on New Year's Eve, and the other involving a pair of brutal rapists. The first case links to an unsolved ten year old murder initially investigated by her friend, now retired Harry Bosch. Ballard is determined and fearless, willing to fight the LAPD bureaucracy as well as take on violent criminals. As with all of his novels, Connelly excels at making the reader feel that he/she is looking over the Detectives' shoulders as they try to unravel the complex mysteries. In effect, the reader is also invited to make sense of the clues, and I always enjoy the challenge. Overall, I found this book to be fast paced, well written, and definitely kept my interest. Connelly fans as well as first time readers, should enjoy this outstanding detective novel.
MWRick L.Eddie's mom
I love Michael Connelly but this book starts on the covid, mask, vaccine agenda and doesn't let up. We have had enough of it in real life. I don't need to read about it in a novel where I am trying to escape. Additionally all of the covid references are behind the current times. I feel like he is pushing an agenda and I don't need it. Its hard for me to read and enjoy with all of the unnecessary conversations that take place in a work of fiction.

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