The Late Show
Renée Ballard #1
By: Michael Connelly
Publisher: Little Brown & Co.
Publication Date: 7/18/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, a new thriller introducing a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD.
Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor. But one night she catches two cases she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner's wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won't give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.
The Late Show introduces a terrific female character: Detective Renée Ballard. . . The pacing of Ballard's debut story is breathless. . . Ballard is complicated and driven enough to sustain the series Connelly doubtless has in mind for her." ―Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"The most intriguing mystery in The Late Show, though, is Ballard herself. Connelly is too skillful to hand us her resume in one document dump; instead, he fills out her portrait with a subtle hand over the course of the novel, a little background here, a glimpse of her temperament there, the revelation of her unusual living conditions sketched in between."―Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
"Det. Renée Ballard is a formidable character, an insightful and tenacious investigator with an unusual background and a sturdy personality to carry a series... Connelly has achieved success as one of the top mystery writers by continuing to keep his storytelling fresh. In The Late Show, he delivers an exciting police procedural with a unique character."―Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Few writers can capture the gritty streets of L.A.-and the inner workings of the LAPD-like Connelly."―Entertainment Weekly
"It's a sharp move that allows him to shift his perspective in fresh and meaningful ways. Writing about the instantly appealing police Detective Renee Ballard also recharges Connelly, who has never been in better form."―Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"Ballard is a force that with just one novel will easily be as beloved. There's no doubt Connelly is a master of crime fiction, and The Late Show cements that reputation."―Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
While reading Michael Connelly’s latest, Two Kinds of Truth realized I had read and failed to post my review of THE LATE SHOW (Renee Ballard #1) —his 30th novel; where we meet his newest and tough detective, Renee Ballard in this top-notch gritty LA cop procedural crime thriller with a perfect balance of drama and suspense.
A brilliant new series with an unstoppable new female detective. LAPD Renee Ballard, a strong-willed complex female detective had previously filed a sexual harassment complaint against her former boss, Lt. Robert Olivas.
The outcome, she has been handed the night shift (a definite downgrade) in Hollywood known as The Late Show. This is her punishment. This definitely will not be good for her career. However, she will give it her all.
Her relentless refusal to back down, prompted (demoted) the move to the late show, by Olivas and her partner, Ken Chastain, who witnessed the incident but did not support her.
She is a bit of a loner with a bohemian flair (almost homeless); loves nature, the beach, and her rescue dog, Lola.
Like a “dog with a bone”, Ballard is handed three assignments and she is more than willing to dive in full force.
One, an elderly woman with credit card fraud. Second a transgender prostitute, brutally beaten and left for dead, and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. She works around the clock. She is relentless. Five people dead.
However, while dealing with the cases, against orders and her partner’s advice, they continue to pull her closer to her own past and demons.
Do we have a dirty cop in the midst? Career suicide?
Ballard may be the sole witness and with her own personal history with the department and her creditability would come under withering assault, as well.
Will she be able to prove her worth? Will she remain on the late show or be allowed to go back to the team?
Wow, an avid fan (have read every book and watched every movie and series), Connelly a master at creating crime fiction, well-developed plot and complex forensics. A pro at creating intriguing sharp characters with staying power— like Bosch and Haller, hoping we will see more of Renee Ballard for the long haul.
Ballad is mysterious yet tenacious. Looking forward to seeing more of her character. THE LATE SHOW is fast-paced and non-stop action with a smart, driven and tough leading lady. Hope we see #2 Renee Ballard in 2018.
“it’s like the laws of physics—for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. If you go into darkness, the darkness goes into you. You then have to decide what to do with it. How to keep yourself safe from it. How to keep it from hollowing you out.” ― Michael Connelly, The Late Show
Bosch fans (I am at the top of the list), you cannot miss, TWO KINDS OF TRUTH. Currently listening to the audiobook. I love Titus Welliver (so sexy) on screen and as a narrator. I would follow him anywhere. Bosch is back in the middle of prescription drug abuse, murder, and uncover with a Medicare card. (Yes, I have recently been awarded one too).
Haller and Bosh have proven themselves and looks like we have a new kick-ass female to add to the list. Renee Ballard—there is much more to uncover for the future.
Connelly just keeps getting better (if that is even possible). Love the Amazon Prime series. One of the main reasons for continuing the Prime subscription.
South Florida fans "love you", Mr. Connelly. Keep them coming. Never stop writing or producing. One of the best crime writers of today. No one does it better.
A special thank you to Little Brown & Co. for an advanced reading copy. Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Katherine Moennig.
About the Author
Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.
After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.
Michael is the bestselling author of twenty-nine novels and one work of non-fiction. With over sixty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into thirty-nine foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent #1 New York Times bestsellers include The Crossing, The Burning Room, The Gods of Guilt, The Black Box, and The Drop. The Wrong Side Of Goodbye is his latest Harry Bosch novel.
Michael is the executive producer of Bosch, an Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. He is also the executive producer of the documentary film, Sound Of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story. He spends his time in California and Florida. Read More