Saturday, 9 March 2019

Wot I'm reading: old cop, new cop

Michael Connelly: DARK SACRED NIGHT


In his last book Michael Connelly introduced a new detective, Renée Ballard, recently demoted to the LAPD night shift. In this follow-up he introduces Ballard to Harry Bosch, several years retired from LAPD and now working cold cases in San Fernando. The two team up on the unsolved murder a decade ago of teenager Daisy Clayton whose mother is a recovering junkie temporarily living with Harry. The investigation brings cop and ex-cop into conflict with a Latino gang headed by the improbably named Tranquillo Cortez (if Connelly drew his inspiration from Placido Domingo he could have called him Tranquillo Sabado). Another gangster is known as ‘Uncle Murda’ – puh-lease!

This is a messy case, a collection of loose ends that have to be pulled together. Tension is not as tightly ratcheted as we are accustomed to, but an ‘officer-in-peril’ episode cranks up the pace. Connelly’s great strength is his insight into the tarnished underbelly of the Golden State. The resolution of Daisy’s murder proves once again that Justice sometimes moves, like the Lord, in mysterious ways. Mysterious but satisfying.

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