2017 was a big year for Michael Connelly, who dominated the bestsellers lists with a two-book year.
First, The Late Show, the first book starring LAPD Detective Renée Ballard, came out in the summer. Then, as his readers are used to, Harry Bosch returned in Two Kinds of Truth last October. Both novels were, as most everything written by Connelly is, critically and commercially successful.
While it was clear from the get-go that Ballard was in the same universe as Bosch, both characters ran the show in their respective books. That, however, won’t be the case in 2018, as Connelly just announced that the two detectives will be working together in his next novel, Dark Sacred Night.
LAPD Detective Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in the new thriller from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly.
Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.
Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.
Teaming up Bosch and Ballard seems like a no-brainer, though it’s fair to wonder which character will drive the story. Those trying to speculate from subtle clues will note that the unofficial cover says “A Ballard and Bosch novel,” while the actual Amazon page lists the book’s title as ‘Dark Sacred Night (A Bosch and Ballard Novel).’
For the moment, it’s not entirely clear who will serve as the main protagonist, though that hardly even matters. As long as Connelly is penning the story, he could leave out Bosch and Ballard and it’d still be a gripping crime thriller. . . so we’ll just have to wait for more details.
As for what we do know, well, the plot sounds fantastic. Investigating the murder of a fifteen-year-old girl off the streets of Holywood sounds like a case right up Bosch’s alley. As longtime readers know, Bosch lives by the creed “Everybody matters or nobody matters,” and he’s always shown a tendency to make cases a tad more personal when it’s children who are cast aside and treated as garbage. That reality no doubt stems from the hard childhood he had growing up after his mother was murdered and he was placed in various orphanages, group homes, and foster care families. So, whoever Daisey (mentioned above) is, it’s safe to say that Bosch will do everything within his power to find out what happened to her.
Also, it’ll be interesting to see how Connelly handles a line from The Late Show, which says: “She had played the part in an episode of the television show called Bosch, which Ballard knew was based on the exploits of a now-retired LAPD detective who had formally worked at RHD and the Holywood Detective Bureau.”
That matters because, while it’s been established in Bosch’s universe that Michael Haller, his half-brother, had a movie made about one of his cases with Matthew McConaughey playing the lead role, the Bosch show (staring Titus Welliver as Harry) has never been mentioned in Harry’s world. It’s just one more thing readers should keep an eye out for when reading Connelly’s next book.
Dark Sacred Night comes out in the U.S. and Canada on October 30th, 2018, and is currently available for pre-order wherever books are sold.
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.