Michael Connelly, The Night Fire (2019)

Let me make myself a complete fool in front of the whole Internet. I have read this book, marked it in Goodreads and enjoyed it thoroughly… all the time being convinced that I was reading Dark Sacred Night, and not The Night Fire!! 😅 Which means I went directly from The Late Show to #3 in the series… If I want to assign blame to someone, I’d blame my Kindle first, because with digital copies I barely see the covers of the books I read (which is a shame for all the pretty cover art in general, but not particularly for this one which is rather bland). And then I would blame Michael Connelly’s publishers too, for allowing too many similarly bland titles.

I get it, a prolific writer who constantly churns out bestsellers, now that’s such an inconvenience, you really scrape the bottom of the barrel to find a new original title… This being a Ballard novel, a reference to the night shift is clearly what publishers were aiming for, but publishers should realize that if readers (fans even) get confused, that might impact sales! 🙄 Alright, I confess, this argument is done all in bad faith, I was the one in too much hurry to read the next adventures of the gutsy, street-wise Renee Ballard from LAPD.

I enjoyed the interactions between Ballard and Harry Bosch, and Mickey Haller even did an appearance! I enjoyed that the plot was as solid as usual, and that there are additional storylines to keep the pace running smoothly all along, without the artificial device that we all too often see where minor plot lines are somehow linked to the main one (it’s just too convenient and smells of conspiracies). Here, Harry comes up with a cold case that has been gathering dust for decades in the office of one of his old mentors, now deceased… I found this pretext a bit too convoluted, but once it was out of the way, I was absorbed as quickly as ever and I turned the pages fast until the last one!

I think most readers feel that Connelly is preparing for Bosch’s exit and full takeover by Renee Ballard. It’s always highly complicated for a writer to make a beloved character disappear (see, obviously, Sherlock Holmes’ death and later forced resuscitation by Conan Doyle confronted to public outrage – imagine only the exponential outrage if Twitter had existed during Conan Doyle’s life). But Connelly is clever: Ballard has a lot of potential, especially in overcoming some possibly problematic traits of hers. Some Goodread reviewers have scoffed at her employing tactics that are not exactly by the book, and I saw it as something that might come back in later books to bite her hand.

Now, am I really holding a grudge against Connelly’s publishers? Mmh, I’m actually holding a reservation at my local library to grab Dark Sacred Night as soon as it will get back on shelf! 😉

4 thoughts on “Michael Connelly, The Night Fire (2019)

  1. Pingback: Michael Connelly, Dark Sacred Night (2018) | Smithereens

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