Monday, November 25, 2019

The Night Fire by Michael Connelly


First Line: Bosch arrived late and had to park on a cemetery lane far from the gravesite.

Jack Thompson was Harry's mentor when Harry was a rookie homicide detective. When Jack dies, his widow gives Harry a murder book, one that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD twenty years before.

The murder book concerns the unsolved killing of a troubled young man, and Harry takes it to Detective Renée Ballard for her help. What was it about this case that lit Thompson's fire all those years ago? While working her own cases on the midnight shift, Ballard begins making inquiries and finds that aspects of the initial investigation just don't add up.

Bosch and Ballard are forming a tight bond as they become a formidable investigative team. It doesn't take them long before they are asking themselves the question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

One of the things that Harry Bosch's mentor, Jack Thompson, told him was, "Take every case personally and you get angry. It builds a fire. It gives you the edge you need to go the distance every time out." It's something that Harry has done time and time again, and readers are seeing that Renée Ballard is cut from the same cloth.

The Night Fire is a mystery that kept me guessing, and I loved how all the various subplots were woven together. It takes skill to tell so many stories in such a way that isn't confusing, but long-time fans of Michael Connelly know that he's a master of the craft.

One of the underlying themes of The Night Fire is the fact that you can always learn things about the people you thought you knew well. No one wears all their experiences, all their emotions, out in plain sight for everyone to see. During the course of their investigation, both Bosch and Ballard discover that they have a lot of learning to do about their fellow police officers.

Harry Bosch has had a very special place in my heart since I first met him in the first book in the series, The Black Echo-- twenty-three books ago. I've tried to adopt Harry's mantra ("Everybody counts or nobody counts.") in my daily life. If you've never met him and don't feel like dealing with all the books in such a long-running series, I urge you to start with The Late Show. You'll be introduced to another wonderful character, Renée Ballard, who's really a young female version of Harry. And when they start working together, it's a match made in readers' heaven. Please don't miss it!


The Night Fire by Michael Connelly
eISBN: 9780316457484
Little, Brown and Company © 2019
eBook, 417 pages

Police Procedural, #3 Renée Ballard mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


10 comments:

  1. I agree with all points in this review. I gave it a 5, which is my highest rating.
    To me, the best scenes are when Harry and Renee are consulting and talking to each other or working together. Renee is learning from Harry, who is determined to teach her what he knows, but she is also very smart and capable -- and sneaky. She knows how to work her job and help Harry on the side.
    A very good book. I wish I had the next in the series right now. It's hard to wait. This was one I stayed up all night to read.

    I haven't read all the books in the Bosch series, may go back and read more of them. I am eagerly awaiting the next TV season of Bosch, set to begin in April.

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    1. I really like what they've done with the TV series, and I love the opening music. I haven't read all the Bosch books either, but I know they're waiting patiently for me. One of these days when I give up blogging and don't get a steady stream of ARCs, I'll start wading through all my TBR bookcases.

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  2. But it's not on your best books list?

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    1. It came close to getting on my very subjective list, but just missed. If I'm not stunned and a little cross-eyed when I finish a book, it doesn't go on my Best Reads list.

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  3. Connelly simply does't disappoint, as far as I'm concerned, Cathy. And I do like this pairing of Bosch and Ballard. They're a good fit, if that makes sense.

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    1. It certainly does. Bosch has to have someone he can pass the torch to, and Renée is a excellent choice.

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  4. Are you watching the TV series? It is good. Titus Welliver is excellent as Bosch.

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    1. As I said above, I really enjoy what they've done with the TV series, and I love the opening theme music.

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  5. I'm still wishing for this one.

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    1. I hope your wish is granted soon. If I'd read a physical copy of the book, I'd offer to mail it to you.

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