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The latest instalment in Michael Connelly’s series featuring Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch, The Dark Hours, sees the retired detective, Bosch, take a back seat as Ballard, still doing the night shift or dark hours, attempts to solve two crimes: the murder of a former gang member at a benign New Year’s Eve celebration, and the brutal rapes of three women.

With a lazy partner in sexual crimes keen to hand the workload to Ballard, and homicide breathing down her neck and about to take the gang murder from her, Renee turns to someone she can trust to have her back. When it looks as if the murderer may have friends in high places, never before has a friend been something Ballard needs so much…

Yet again, a fantastic, wonderfully plotted novel that not only reveals the inner workings of the police in two different specialities, but also incorporates contemporary issues like Covid and the insurrection around Trump’s defeat.  These give the novel an immediacy and frisson that succeed in ratcheting up the tension and sense of reality.

Connelly never disappoints. Already looking forward to the next in the series.

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