Dark Sacred Night

Mysterious Book Report No. 363

by John Dwaine McKenna

After twenty novels, Michael Connelly’s lonesome, jazz-loving and gifted Los Angeles Police Department Detective Harry Bosch is the most iconic and well-known sleuth in all of modern crime fiction.  When the average lifespan of a serial character is about four books before the plots become repetitive and the character formulaic, it’s a testament to Mr. Connelly’s gifted writing that Bosch is fresher than ever . . . although getting older, the same as all the rest of us.  And now, in his latest, Dark Sacred Night, (Little Brown, $29.00, 433 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-48480-0), Michael Connelly effortlessly unites the old with the new when Harry Bosch teams up with Connelly’s most recent creation, a tough, independent and competent female LAPD detective named Renée Ballard to solve a ten year old cold case.

The novel begins when Homicide Detective Renée Ballard, who’s assigned to the night shift—known as The Late Show in LAPD slang—returns to her desk at Hollywood Station to find Harry Bosch rifling through the case file cabinets.  He’s looking for some records about an old homicide that’s open, unsolved and has been gnawing at him for a long time.  It concerns a young fifteen year-old runaway named Daisy Clayton who was brutally murdered and left in a trash dumpster.  It’s a crime that Bosch, who’s now retired from the LAPD, just can’t put out of his mind and is determined to try and solve.  Likewise, Renée Ballard is curious, and gets drawn into the heartbreaking demise of the young woman whose entire life was still in front of her before she was killed and dumped as if she was worthless human garbage. But all human beings have a soul, and the pair of powerhouse detectives form an uneasy alliance to solve the case because, as Bosch says, “Everybody matters or nobody matters.” But their tenuous partnership is put to the test when the case takes a surprise and sinister turn that may end in a gruesome death for one of them.

In Dark Sacred Night, Connelly once again puts his awesome talents on display and leaves the reader dying for more of the same, as he shows why he’s the best that’s ever been in the crime fiction genre!


John Dwaine McKenna