Full disclosure here… I am not a big fan of the mystery/crime genre that has taken the world by storm. It seems to me that publishers are just pushing authors to pump out the same kind of formulaic plot line without requiring the reader to put any real skin in the game. However, I do recognize that there is a need for this kind of story-telling as it allows readers to get out of their own heads briefly and frankly, who doesn’t need a break from all of the madness in this world.
I have also been intimidated by the prospect of introducing myself to a crime writer of a book that may be number 10 in a series of 20 or more. It always feels like I should go back to the beginning to get the full breadth of the series main characters and that feels a little overwhelming. So, I was excited to see that Michael Connelly had started a new Harry Bosch series which introduces a female detective, Renee Ballard, into the mix.
In The Night Fire, Renee is working late shift with the LAPD after getting the short end of a confrontation with her former commanding officer. A loner, she prefers to work the streets during the wee hours of the night when the real action happens. Her strength, independence, keen intelligence and street sense are the personal stew that propel her to delve into cases that may be neglected by her more cynical, jaded and world-weary fellow detectives.
Given that this series was introduced in 2017 with The Late Show and followed up in 2018 with Dark Sacred Night, it is easy to start from the beginning to be part of the character development.
I will admit that there were a couple of times while reading The Night Fire that I rolled my eyes a little at the seeming coincidental nature of some of the revelations experienced by Ballard and Bosch, but that did not take away from my appreciation of the characters themselves and the cases they were working on.
If you are looking for an easy read with a great, strong female character working alongside a tried and true Harry Bosch, this series is for you.
— Nancy C.