Reviews for The Night Fire

by Michael Connelly

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Thanks to Connelly's remarkable narrative legerdemain, Harry Bosch has enjoyed multiple incarnations as a crime-series hero: in and out of the LAPD as well as sharing top billing with leads from other Connelly series. In his latest reinvention (unveiled in Dark Sacred Night, 2018), the retired Harry is working cold cases on his own, partnering off the books with Renée Ballard, who continues her regular LAPD gig as a detective on the night shift (The Late Show, 2017). This time Harry is given a double-edged gift from the widow of his former mentor, John Jack Thompson. Apparently, Thompson, also never one to let an unsolved case lie fallow, absconded with a ""murder book"" (case file) when he retired. Was he still working on this seemingly ordinary murder of a drug addict? If so, why? As Harry and Renée start digging, another possibility emerges: Did John Jack steal the murder book because he didn't want the case solved? Meanwhile, it looks as if Renée's current late-show case may have a surprising connection to the addict's long-ago murder. Not only has Connelly created another fully formed series lead in Renée, who has her own fascinating backstory, but he has also forged a fascinating yin-and-yang relationship between the old-school Harry and the unconventional loner Renèe, who prefers sleeping on the beach with her dog. Uniting this duo, who work totally as equals, is a shared commitment to doing the job right and following Bosch's credo, ""everybody matters or nobody matters."" Master chef Connelly has once again combined familiar ingredients into a new and completely satisfying dish.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly is on a roll, with three consecutive number-one New York Times best-sellers. Don't bet against number four.--Bill Ott Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

The sins of the past cast a long shadow in bestseller Connelly’s superlative second novel featuring detectives Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch together (after 2018’s Dark Sacred Night). After the funeral of former LAPD Det. John Jack Thompson, the man’s widow gives Bosch a murder book that Thompson took when he left the force a couple of decades before. The cold case concerns the unsolved homicide of 24-year-old John Hilton, an addict who was killed in an alley in 1990. What’s unclear is why Bosch’s old mentor stole the murder book—to work the case himself in retirement, or to keep other detectives from working it? Bosch takes the book to Ballard, a kindred spirit; both are outliers with a shared fire for fighting injustice no matter where the trail leads. Meanwhile, defense attorney Mickey Haller enlists Bosch, his half-brother, to assist in defending a mentally ill man accused of murdering a superior court judge. Conflicting DNA evidence and a problematic confession complicate the high profile case. Connelly is without peer when it comes to police procedurals, and once again proves that he’s the modern master of the form. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (Oct.)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A cold case pulls Harry Bosch back from retirement and into another eventful partnership with Detective Rene Ballard of the LAPD.The widow of Bosch's retired mentor, Detective John Jack Thompson, has a present for Bosch, and it's a doozy: the murder book for the unsolved killing of ex-con John Hilton, shot to death in his car one night nearly 20 years ago, which Thompson swiped from the archives without authorization or explanation. Bosch, who wonders why Thompson lifted the murder book if he didn't intend to work the case, is eager to take a crack at it himself, but he needs the resources that only an active partner can provide. But Ballard, settled into the routine of the midnight shift after her exile from Robbery-Homicide (Dark Sacred Night, 2018), has just started working her own case, the arson that killed Eddie, a homeless man, inside his tent. As if that's not enough criminal activity, Bosch's half brother, Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller, faces the apparently hopeless defense of Jeffrey Herstadt, who not only left his DNA under the fingernail of Walter Montgomery, the Superior Court judge he's accused of killing, but also obligingly confessed to the murder. Working sometimes in tandem, more often separately, and sometimes actively against the cops who naturally bridle at the suggestion that any of their own theories or arrests might be flawed, Ballard and Bosch slog through the usual dead ends and fruitless rounds of questioning to link two murders separated by many years to a single hired killer. The most mysterious question of allwhy did John Jack Thompson steal that murder book in the first place?is answered suddenly, casually, and surprisingly.Middling for this standout series but guaranteed to please anyone who thinks the cops sometimes get it wrong. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.