When his half brother, Mickey Haller, aka The Lincoln Lawyer, gets an acquittal for a man charged for the murder of a judge, Harry Bosch cops a dumpster of disdain from his former colleagues in the LAPD.
The displeasure he can deal with, what he can’t let go is that there is a guilty party walking the streets and he determines to apprehend the felon not only to assuage the contempt of his former colleagues, but to bring justice to the victim.
If this was the main narrative flow of Michael Connelly’s new novel, THE NIGHT FIRE, it would be heartily enough, but it is but a tributary of the great river of intrigue that makes up this outstanding police procedural.
THE NIGHT FIRE sees Bosch team up once again with Renee Ballard, the sleuth soulmate who works the Late Show, the Hollywood grave yard shift, and has become his unofficial partner in clearing cold cases.
Ballard is investigating a possible homicide arson when Bosch taps her to help delve into an unsolved case that had obviously been of interest to a recently deceased mentor of Bosch.
“Bosch knew there were always unanswered questions in every murder, every investigation. Those who were naive called them loose ends, but they were never loose. They stuck with him, clinging to him as he moved on, sometimes waking him up in the night. But they were never loose and he could never get free of them.”
Those so called loose ends become tighter and tighter as the narrative accelerates, myriad tendrils that draw the degrees of separation closer and closer till seemingly unrelated cases begin sharing a chilling commonality.
With more levels than an elite law firm’s office, THE NIGHT FIRE burns with conspiracy, suspense and coincidence bedfellowed to the incredible but never conjugal with the incredulous.
THE NIGHT FIRE is pure Ballard and Bosch with a dash of Prizzi’s Honour as a mob contract killer out of Las Vegas starts to tie up those loose ends and proving that the greatest identify theft of all is murder.
Connelly once again proves he is the master juggler of the police procedural, deftly and adroitly keeping many balls in the air, in a story that is beguiling in plotting and equally dexterous in characterisation. His teaming of Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard is brilliant.
THE NIGHT FIRE is dedicated to Titus Welliver, the actor who plays Harry Bosch in the television incarnation of the character. Hope it’s not too long before a novel is dedicated to the actress who takes on Ballard.
THE NIGHT FIRE by Michael Connelly is published by Allen & Unwin