Home > Book Review, Harry Bosch > Book Review- “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly

Book Review- “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly

Dark Sacred NightI’m a life long fan of superhero comics, and one of the reasons for that is because of the idea of the shared universe; where diverse characters like Superman and Batman or Captain America and Wolverine can cross paths, have misunderstandings, and even team up to fight evil. Watching those characters with clearly established voices and ideas clash and come together leads to fun and fascinating stories. So I was pretty excited early on to see the idea of a shared universe pop up in a much more realistic, gritty, and grounded setting; the crime novels of Michael Connelly. Connelly has made great use of the dynamic between his original series character Harry Bosch and Bosch’s half brother, the Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller. And in his latest novel “Dark Sacred Night” he introduces readers to a new and fascinating dynamic; the one between Harry Bosch and the writer’s newest creation LAPD Detective Renee Ballard, who readers first met last year in “The Late Show.” The result is a pretty powerful crime novel that enriches both characters.

Dark Sacred Night” is both a team up story and a tale about Bosch and Ballard’s separate worlds. That’s established early on as the first few chapters are from Ballard’s point of view. The next few are from Bosch’s and then Connelly alternates perspectives throughout the book. It gives the story a nice flow and really allows the reader to get deep into the heads of both protagonists. Ballard is in a better place after “The Late Show.” Harry though is still dealing with some of the fallout from the end of Connelly’s last Bosch novel “Two Kinds of Truth.” Plus he’s also having to contend with the fact that he’s getting older and only has so many years left as a police detective.

If you’re coming to “Dark Sacred Night” having only read “The Late Show” you connelly1222won’t be lost. Connelly does a great job catching new readers up on what Bosch is dealing with. If you’re a Bosch fan though it’s nice to see some connective tissue from the last book, and it makes “Dark Sacred Night” even more emotionally resonant. And if you’re a Bosch fan whose not familiar yet with Renee Ballard “Dark Sacred Night” is a great introduction to the character. After you complete it you’ll want to circle back and pick up “The Late Show.”

Much of the action in “Dark Sacred Night” involves Bosch and Ballard coming together to work a cold case, but their investigations are often disrupted by their regular jobs. Renee’s work almost plays out as sort of an anthology of interrelated short stories. You get to see her tackle several different things that pop up during Hollywood’s late night hours. It makes for some pretty fun and insightful reading into what an LAPD detective has to deal with. Bosch’s solo portions of the novel deal with his work for the San Fernando Police Department where he investigates the cold case murder of shot caller in a local gang. That investigation spirals out of control and takes Harry to some dark and dangerous places.

So Bosch’s journey as a character in “Dark Sacred Night” is especially poignant, powerful and epic. It changes him. Ballard also grows. So like the best team up stories “Dark Sacred Night” leaves both of its heroes in very interesting places. I can’t wait to see where Connelly takes them next.

Categories: Book Review, Harry Bosch
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