The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly

I think that this might be one of the better ones by Connolly that I have read recently. It is a book of our times because Ballard and the police are expected to wear masks as protection against COVID, although many of them won’t. It opens with Ballard and a fellow oficer sitting under the bypass, surrounded by the homeless waiting for New Year to strike when lots of folk in LA with guns shoot into the air. However, it is inevitable that what goes up, must come down, often with tragic results so they are waiting. They are also waiting to hear whether the rapists working as a pair are also going to strike again.

The book weaves these two stories together well, with Ballard on the grave yard shift trying to hang onto the crimes rather than pass them off to other teams who are meant to be investigating them. Connolley doesn’t just get COVID into the book, we also see some of the effects of defunding, police sitting around waiting to be called out – reactive rather than proactive, with some specialsit teams broken up and redeployed. There is also the storming of the capitol, George Floyd is mentioned and the delights of lockdown hair where a dye has grown out a couple of inches.

Ballard calls up Bosch to discuss a case that he had that has links to one she is now working on, and reflects that he is her mentor, but what this book is really doing is setting up Ballard to join Bosch outside of the Force until you get to the very last page where it is left hanging. Ballard is definitely the lead in this book with Bosch much older and having had leukemia.

I read it in one sitting.

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