Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Late Show

Summary: #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces Renee Ballard, a fierce young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD’s toughest beat–the Late Show.

Renee Ballard works the midnight shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing few, as each morning she turns everything over to the daytime units. It’s a frustrating job for a once up-and-coming detective, but it’s no accident. She’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night Ballard catches two assignments she doesn’t want to part with. First, a prostitute is brutally beaten and left for dead in a parking lot. All signs point to a crime of premeditation, not passion, by someone with big evil on his mind. Then she sees a young waitress breathe her last after being caught up in a nightclub shooting. Though dubbed a peripheral victim, the waitress buys Ballard a way in, and this time she is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night.

As the investigations intertwine, Ballard is forced to face her own demons and confront a danger she could never have imagined. To find justice for these victims who can’t speak for themselves, she must put not only her career but her life on the line.

Propulsive as a jolt of adrenaline and featuring a bold and defiant new heroien, The Late Show is yet more proof that Michael Connelly is “a master of the genre” (Washington Post). -- Little Brown

One of my very favorite authors in the whole wide world is Michael Connelly. I anxiously await each of his latest novels, and I'm never, ever disappointed. His latest novel, THE LATE SHOW, once again delivers... and it introduces a new female lead! What more could a fan of his ask for?

THE LATE SHOW features Renee Ballard, a young detective who is now working the midnight shift in Hollywood -- not exactly a coveted beat. She once had a promising career as a detective, but after a sexual harassment claim against her supervisor, she was demoted to that shift. It's not a fulfilling job, so when two unique cases happen to occur under her watch, she desperately wants to follow them through until conviction.

The first case is a transgender prostitute who ends up getting almost beaten to death and then left in a parking lot. It seems like the assault was premeditated, and there are a few clues which Renee wants to pursue. Second, a waitress in a nightclub is brought to the same emergency room where Renee is with the first victim. She is barely alive after being shot, and even though she seems to be a peripheral victim, Renee is able to work her way onto the case.

Renee is supposed to turn both of these crimes over to other officers, but she's determined to keep them for herself. Acting against orders from her supervisor and advice from her partner, she works both cases during the day while also working her normal shift on "the late show." As Renee gets closer to discovering the truth, she has to confront some difficult baggage from her past. In addition, the risks she's taking to solve these crimes end up affecting not only her job but also her life!

I loved, loved, loved THE LATE SHOW. It's not really a surprise that I'm gushing over Mr. Connelly's latest novel. I always gush over his novels. But I am thrilled that he introduced a new character that is so intriguing. While Renee is very different than Harry Bosch (one of my favorite characters in fiction), she has a few things in common with him that makes her a terrific detective. She's an extremely good cop who is battling some inner demons, and she also sees herself as being in a fight against the higher ups in the force. I loved the complexity of her character, both personally and professionally; and no one does the inner struggle of cops better than Michael Connelly.

Another great thing about THE LATE SHOW are the mysteries in this novel. Renee is working two crimes and both are integral to the plot. (The poor gal doesn't sleep for pretty much the entire novel.) The assault case against the transgender was one that showed both Renee's compassion as a cop as well as her fantastic detective skills. I actually thought it was the "secondary" mystery to the novel, but it ended up providing some terrific tension towards the end of the novel. The second mystery about the nightclub shooting was Connelly at his best. This case ended up delving into squad politics and some unethical cops in the force... and I was truly surprised by the resolution!

I don't really have much more to say about THE LATE SHOW. I devoured this book despite having a crazy week, and I highly recommend it to fans of mysteries!

I received a copy of this novel from the local public library.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

I love Connelly too but haven't read any of his books for a while. Shame on me! This one sounds excellent!

Mystica said...

I've read just one of his books and that was ages ago. Thanks for this update.