cover image The Late Show

The Late Show

Michael Connelly. Little, Brown, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-22598-4

The title of this excellent series launch from bestseller Connelly (The Wrong Side of Goodbye and 20 other Harry Bosch novels) refers to the midnight shift at LAPD’s Hollywood Division. Det. Renée Ballard has landed there in retribution for filing sexual harassment charges against her former boss, Lt. Robert Olivas. Two major crimes soon concern Ballard: the vicious beating of a woman, who says she was assaulted in the “upside-down house” but passes out before she can explain, and a nightclub shooting that kills five people. Though most “late show” cops hand off cases to their day shift counterparts, Ballard personally investigates the assault (with official approval) and the nightclub shooting (without). Olivas, who’s leading the latter investigation, wants her nowhere near the case. What follows is classic Connelly: a master class of LAPD internal politics and culture, good old-fashioned detective work, and state-of-the-art forensic science—plus a protagonist who’s smart, relentless, and reflective. Talking about the perpetrator of the assault, Ballard says, “This is big evil out there.” That’s Connelly’s great theme, and, once again, he delivers. [em]Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (July) [/em]