Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I Have Michael Connelly Covered (Again)!

This week I decided to visit Michael Connelly's book covers again because I enjoyed The Late Show so much. Renée Ballard is a wonderful character, and I can't wait to see where Connelly takes her next.

The book has been spending a few weeks (so far) at the top of the bestseller lists, and for once I am in total agreement-- not that publishers care about my opinion, especially since I pay no real attention to bestseller lists or awards. I know what I like, and my feelings aren't hurt if I find myself in a minority about a book because... I'm used to being on my own.

But that's more than enough about me. Let's take a look at these book covers, pronto!

This week I find myself really wanting to take elements of both covers and making them into the one that I want. Both US and UK covers have the author's name and the book title front and center, as they should be because, at this point in time, Connelly's name alone can sell his books. Both are very careful to inform readers that The Late Show is the first in a brand-new series, which is good. (I can see misogynists everywhere bemoaning the fact that their hero is writing about a *choke* female.)

Naturally, the US cover has to tell us that Connelly is a #1 bestselling author; while the UK publisher must believe readers already know that because they have "Crime never sleeps" at the very top of the cover instead, which is perfect for a police officer who works night shift, as Renée does.

Both covers use shades of blue and show a large city at night. Both have a woman on the cover, although there is quite a difference in how the woman is presented. In the UK cover, the woman is running away from the reader, and I don't like that. Renée Ballard doesn't run away. The US cover shows the silhouette of a woman, and by the woman's stance readers can tell that she's not someone to be messed with.

If I could make my own cover of The Late Show using elements from these two, what would I do? Basically, I would use the US cover, ditch the #1 bestselling author mention and insert "Crime never sleeps" in its place. I'd use the brighter city skyline from the UK cover in that graphic strip below the author's name because the lights in the skyscrapers make it obvious that it's night.

What would I do if I couldn't make my own cover and had to choose one of these? I'd choose the US cover. It's understated yet definitely gets its point across. I feel as though I know more about Renée from the US cover. The UK cover gives a bit too much importance to the city skyline when The Late Show is really all about its main character.

Now it's your turn. Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Neither one? Too close to call? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. I'm not wild about either cover, Cathy. I never like a lot of that 'blurb-y' stuff on the front cover. Still, if forced to choose, I'd pick the US cover. I think I like the cityscape better.

    1. There's something about the UK cover that's just too bright and busy.

  2. I'm not too wild about either cover, too. If I had to pick I'd choose the U.S. with "Crime never sleeps" on it as you suggest. And I don't like Renee Ballard running away either. I can see her jogging but not running away. She would run toward a crisis. That's who she is, feisty, brave, curious.

    I'd redesign the U.S. cover maybe to show an even more active woman in pursuit. Or in a more assertive posture.

    And maybe Lola should be in the photo, too.

    1. Well...Lola really didn't have much to do with the main action of the book. I think she should remain a secret weapon. ;-)

  3. Lola, a secret weapon? OK. Maybe she'll appear on another cover as Connelly is making this into a series.

    A friend who loves Connelly's Bosch books just raced through this one -- must have been up all night -- and read it in record time. Loved it.

    So, we can't wait for the next one. But there's another Bosch coming out next month, I see.

    1. Two Kinds of Truth is being released on Halloween.

  4. Oh, yippee. May have to buy this one unless the library is speedy.


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