With 22 books (and counting) in the Harry Bosch series under his belt, Michael Connelly introduces us to detective Renée Ballard, a much younger detective Connelly can rely on for a new series if he ever ends Bosch’s long run. Ballard works the graveyard shift (sometimes referred to as the late show), but not by choice. She ended up on the night patrol after the department failed to take her harassment complaint against Robert Olivas, her Lieutenant at the time, seriously. Her partner at the time, Ken Chastain, failed to back up her complaint, and Ballard was left hung out to dry.
Ballard has not let this demotion discourage her. She faithfully works the night shift and often continues to work or at least ruminate on cases after her shift is over. The Late Show quickly introduces three cases, the biggest one being shootings at a nightclub. Olivas and Chastain both end up on the case and attempt to push Ballard out of the investigation. This makes her wonder if the two of them are trying to cover up something. The two other cases start out smaller than the nightclub shooting. One is an identity theft case while the other involves the beating of a transgender woman. Both cases blow up into much bigger page-turning investigations, but early in the book they help Connelly show how mundane the late show can be.
If Connelly ever does decide to stop writing the Harry Bosch series, it appears that with Renée Ballard he has the makings of another great character. At the end of the book, the three cases wrap up, but there are still some unresolved plotlines involving Ballard and the department. I’m anxious to see where these go and hope there is soon another book in this series.