Cover Image: The Night Fire

The Night Fire

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No such thing as a "case too cold" for former LAPD Detective Harry Bosch nor his recent collaborator,  night shift Detective Renee Ballard of Hollywood Division. Fresh from concluding a nine-year-old case, Bosch by serendipity acquires the Murder Book for a homicide occurring twenty-nine-years previously.  As he and Ballard delve into it diligently,  they discover overtones of LGBTQ involvement and the long-standing institutional racism and bigotry in the Department. Bosch and Ballard are like badgers, and no passage of time nor lack of evidence will deter when they are locked onto the pursuit of justice.
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I love the characters of Bosch and Ballard.  Connelly creates characters and series like no one else.  ive loved every book and every character.  The Night Fire was so good and I loved that it could be read and understood without going back and reading the previous installments but because I loved them  I did
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I have really enjoyed the three books in this Renee Ballard series.  The addition of Harry Bosch only improved series and Renee's character specifically.  

One aspect of Connelly's books that I like is that the detectives are each working multiple unrelated cases as the same time.  This seems more true to life than an entire team only dealing one serial killer.  Other details of police work add authenticity to the story.

Bosch as Ballard to look into a cold case involving his now dead mentor.  She is also working the death of a homeless man who is burned alive.  Bosch helps his half brother Mickey find evidence to exhortation his innocent client in the murder of a judge, but Bosch can't let the case go and tries to find the actual culprit. 

I like that Ballard and Bosch have a platonic working relationship and I hope it remains this way.  Bosch is often concerned about Ballard's homeless-ish lifestyle and lack of sleep.  Ballard acts as a lifeline for Harry now that he is no longer an active detective.  

I also like that Ballard is often vulnerable and knows when to ask for help.  Many fictional female detectives are portrayed as tough as nails and will only work alone. While Renee is an outcast in the storied Robbery Homicide division, she is not without friends within the LAPD and uses her resources adeptly.  When she encounters Captain Olivas, the man who derailed her career, she is angry, but also anxious.   Her reactions are realistic and understandable.

I hope Connelly continues to pair these two detectives and that both characters grow as a result.
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Ballard and Bosch. Has a nice ring to it, a partnership formed, a detecting duo extradordinaire.
Bosch, now in his seventies, is recovering from a knees surgery, is Connelly's long running detective. A character that I respect, I mean who can't love a man/cop whose motto is, "Everybody counted, or nobody counted." Ballard is a young detective, on the night shift or late show in police limbo. She has already run into the politics of being on the job, young and good looking, she is on this shift because she refused to play well with others. Her life and back story is interesting in a different way. She and Bosch met up during a cold case, she has access that Bosch no longer has, not really being attached to any police division.

Those are the two lead characters, now for the detecting part. A murder book left on the desk of a recently retired police captain, Bosch's friend and mentor, brings the duo together again. There are also side crimes, crimes seldom make an appearance alone. Connelly's plots are always interesting, diverse, and I enjoy following how the clues, the cases are put together. This one is a doozy and I never guessed where it would lead. I just hope the author keeps Bosch around  for a while longer. I like Ballard but I'm not quite ready to let go of Bosch. I hope the author feels the same.

ARC from Netgalley
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Another hit by Michael Connelly. He writes as if he has been an insider in the police world. I guess being a crime reporter is the next best thing. it has been a while since I read any of his books. Didn’t realize Bosch is now well into retirement. Kind of a change of pace that being the case. Not sure how I feel about that. Clever that he has a partner now that is inside the police department, Rene Ballard.
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Note: This review is published online and print in Mountain Times (Boone, N.C.)

Hede: Michael Connelly plumbs partnership as Bosch and Ballard combine to quell 'The Night Fire'

In 21 novels featuring Michael Connelly’s now-legendary detective Harry Bosch, the touchstone has never wavered: “Everybody counts or nobody counts.”

Heck, earlier this year, Connelly even had the mantra plastered on T-shirts, raising more than $75,000 in donations for My Friends’ Place — a Los Angeles initiative that inspires homeless youths to build self-sufficient lives.

So, to say the slogan is a bellwether of Bosch’s DNA is not saying too much. And saying that the detective’s barometer is battered by his faith in his now-deceased mentor, John Jack Thompson — the man who taught him that in any investigation, everybody matters — is saying that at its core, Connelly’s newest Bosch novel, “The Night Fire” (Little, Brown and Company), presents a moral dilemma.

But it’s not one that Bosch has to go alone. In his second pairing with Los Angeles Police Department Detective Renee Ballard, the semi-retired Bosch again forms an unofficial alliance with a partner who has never deigned to thrust both feet into a fire that the more-steadied, seasoned detective might have tread more cautiously.

Competently combining a cold case with an active investigation in “The Night Fire,” Connelly merges a decade’s-old secreted murder book given to Bosch by Thompson’s widow with the burning death of a homeless man that may or may not have been accidental.
And the story begins.

But on the way, there’s an unexpected development — unexpected in that Bosch has made more than 20 appearances in print, and readers surely by now have the measure of his mettle.

Yet, one of the strengths of “The Night Fire” is its depth of weakness. Bosch, tested by loyalty, is tempted in ways we haven’t seen him tried before. And Ballard, who might serve as compass, is distracted herself at times from True North, stemming from an unjust demotion and career-limiting incident of sexual harassment she was right to report.

In "The Night Fire," Connelly thrusts these two flawed champions into the fray and into a novel of alternating voices — a literary gambit that other authors could not navigate so successfully. Here, though, the voices combine to form a more perfect union and belay Bosch’s early answer to Ballard, “True heroes are hard to come by, I guess.”

Not so in “The Night Fire.” Here we find two.
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The decision by Connelly to add a second lead character to the Bosch series has reinvigorated the series and this book delivers with a strong plot and interesting cases.
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Five-Star-Review for THE NIGHT FIRE by Gavin Reese

With this month’s release of The Night Fire, Michael Connelly continues to prove he sits among the greatest crime novelists of our time. 

"When he first became a homicide detective, Harry Bosch had an inspiring mentor who just passed away. He taught Harry to take the work personally and light a relentless fire in the pursuit of justice for murder victims. After the funeral services, his widow gives Bosch a thirty-year-old murder book, an unsolved and forgotten killing of a troubled young man murdered in a drug alley. Bosch shows the murder book to Renée Ballard, who agrees to help. Neither of them understand what they’re in for. 

As the bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens and the danger around them escalates, they soon face a troubling question: Did Harry’s beloved mentor steal the murder book to keep working the case in retirement, or to guarantee it stayed cold and unsolved?"

I have to start this review with some context. Cops are overwhelmingly Type-A personalities. If you ask ten how to accomplish a task, you’ll get at least twelve answers, each completely self-assured theirs is the best of all possible options. We retired cops tend to throw around even stronger opinions. Having that understanding of the way I look at the police, both real and fictional, now hear this: Michael Connelly so accurately and succinctly portrays his characters that I have trouble believing he never worked on the job. The actions, thought patterns, and motives of his cops and criminals reek with authenticity. My heart leapt with their victories, my pulse quickened when danger lurked around them, and I could smell the suspects’ fear when consequence finally came calling.

Despite my advocacy for authenticity in crime writing, Connelly never let the story drag with procedural details. The life of big city detectives is bared here for all to see, especially the tough, seemingly impossible and juxtaposed choices they sometimes face to simultaneously uphold the law, leave their oath to protect and serve the public untarnished, and stay within departmental policy and procedure just enough to keep their shields. The realities of work as a detective are never as simple as idealistic patrol rookies and most of the public believe; despite what we have to swear in court, we rarely, if ever, get a chance to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 

Cops share a few universal fears, and this story opens with one of the worst: misreading a crime scene as an accident. Connelly steps on the gas from there, and expertly weaves a series of crimes that only investigators with the tenacity and unrelenting moral code of Harry Bosch and Reneé Ballard could uncover. Motivated by an unhealthy (and authentic) practice of making every case personal, The Night Fire title describes at least five key aspects of this tale.

This is Connelly’s thirty-third novel, and, if my count is right, the twenty-second featuring Harry Bosch. Despite that, this reads perfectly well as a standalone. The reader gets more than enough intel on both detectives to enjoy this story. If you’re new to Connelly and his characters, there’s no time like the present to join the party. Like a perfect potato chip, the first one will only make you want more.
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This is the second book in the Bosch/Ballard series.  It is predictably good: intertwined stories, appropriate detection, requisite chases and violence, clever legal maneuvers all contribute to a satisfying read.  In the end, several mysteries, mostly in the “personal” realm, remain.  And yet...perhaps Connolly’s work is becoming too familiar, but Night Fires doesn’t have quite the edge readers have come to expect from this popular and prolific author.  With just a little more energy this could have been a fantastic book rather one up that is just very good.
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Adding the character Ballard has expanded this world of Bosch to the delight of all his followers. I adore this series.
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The Night Fire by Michael Connelly is book # 2 that features Renee Balllard and Harry Bosch. They work well to gether and solve old murders and as well as present cases. Since Harry is no longer a member of the police force he is eager to support Renee in anyway possible. He sems to miss his old life when he was actively involved in solving present murder cases. In this novel he helps Renee with an old case and his half brother with a recent court case. 
I have always enjoyed  Harry Bosch stories and wished that more of the book centered around him. There must be many cases where the police department would need someone with his experience and connections. His relationship with his daughter should make an excellent novel too.
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Harry Bosch is one of my favorite detectives.  And Renee Ballard is a worthy “partner”. The chapters alternate between the two.  Here, they are re-examining a cold case from 20 years ago.  Harry’s mentor has recently died.  His widow found a murder book in his desk and hands it over to Harry.  This is the case Harry and Renee partner on investigating.  What’s unique is that it doesn’t appear the mentor had actually worked the case, either on the force or after his retirement.  So, why did he have it?  

One thing I always like about Connelly’s books is he never pretends a detective would just have a single case.  Even Harry in retirement has multiple balls in the air.  

Harry and Renee both search for the truth, but they also struggle with helping anyone on the defense side of things, a substory that is contained in Harry’s chapters as he helps Mickey Haller with a case.  I appreciate that Connelly paints Renee as just as strong and intelligent a character as Harry.  That said, they always come across as human.  Several times, another character points something out to Renee and she realizes she should have picked up on it earlier.  

With the actors that play Harry and Mickey firmly pictured in my head, I’m still trying to decide which actress should play Renee. 

This is a great story that kept my interest throughout.  I’ve got to give Connelly credit, the man continues to come up with fascinating, timely storylines.  

I’ve read everything Connelly has written but I still think this book could easily be read as a standalone.  

My thanks to netgalley and Little, Brown for an advance copy of this book.
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Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels are tops in my book, and his newest, The Night Fire is among his finest. It’s another collaboration between Bosch with Renee Ballard, a strong protagonist in her own right. The skill sets of these two fine but very different detectives complement each other; and though plot complications abound, how multiple cases are connected never seems contrived or convoluted. The dialogue too is crisp and realistic, highlighting Harry and Renee as real people with all their strengths — and flaws. This is another perfectly created adventure I’ll be proud to recommend.
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The team of Ballard and Bosh is one of my favorite reads. They work very well together. They’re equal partners in solving these crimes, no special help or favors because she’s a woman. The book is so good you’ll want to read it in one sitting.
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I am reviewing this book for the online edition of Library Journal, you can read it in it's entirety on or After September 23. Thank you for your understanding
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"True heroes are hard to come by."
Michael Connelly knows how to stir up the action thicker than gravy as he once again proves he's the master of thrillers.
The Night Fire deals with an angry ex cop who goes on a rampage and throws a lawyer off the roof and kills founding partner or so the story goes.
The Black Widow ahhh now I might have your attention?!
Bosch and Ballard on another murder case that stemmed from the mentor's passing and the 'murder book' he left behind from his widow.
That murder book deals with an unsolved murder of a young man who was found dead in the alley used for drug deals.
Now how on Earth does it all connect now you ask?
Well folks perhaps this might help-G.C.- and cash...
Specifically money talks and Bs walks but you know duty free is where it's at and hey what's a good story w/o some transactions taking place.
If you ask the woman in charge-"The only mistake I have ever made came from trusting men." 
So there you have it..
Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this new work as you won't surely forget it!
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Having read every Michael Connelly book written, needless to say, I am a huge fan.  I was so happy that Although Harry has "retired" from the LAPD, he has not retired for good!  I love these Bosch and Ballard novels with the detectives working cold cases.  I could not put this down.  Another great book! Thanks for the advanced copy.  The library will most definitely be purchasing "The Night Fire".
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Honestly, some folks can't write a single plot line with one protagonist. Michael Connelly manages several in his newest, The Night Fire, with Bosch and Ballard doing a smooth, slow dance with crisp, strong lines that criss-cross over each other, but never get knotted up or muddied. How does he do it? 

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley and to Michael Connelly for the opportunity to read and review this title.  Such a pleasure to read!
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What can I say?  Nobody does it better. Reading the newest Connelly book is like catching up with the family.  Once again Bosch teams up with Renee Ballard and solves several cases. Without a doubt, this held my interest as I savored every page. 

The cases are all fascinating and only by their diligent digging does the connection become clear. I always need logical closure in my novels and Connelly manages to pull it all together. At my age, I appreciate a senior citizen super hero, like Bosch, knee replacement and all. 

I really enjoyed every moment and love the fact that Connelly gave us a hint about the next Bosch-Ballard book...can’t wait!

Thank you Netgalley for this terrific read.
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I read THE NIGHT FIRE in two days--it was that good. Harry Bosch and Renée Ballard work together with synergy on a cold case inherited from a Harry's recently-deceased mentor, a suspicious of a homeless man by arson, a case tried by Mickey Haller, the "Lincoln Lawyer" and Harry's half-brother.
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