“The Late Show” by Michael Connelly


By Michael Connelly

Renée Ballard is a gung-ho detective in Hollywood, California, who has the desire to get scum off the streets and keep citizens safe. However, because she opened her mouth and told the truth about something her supervisor did to her, and because her old partner did not back her up, she now finds herself demoted and working “the late show” with a new partner. In Hollywood, that means Renée is working nights with Detective Jenkins, an older man who wants to work the overnight hours in order to spend his days with his ailing wife.

The night starts out very normal. Jenkins and Ballard head to a house to take a statement in regards to a burglary. A woman’s credit card has gone missing and someone used it illegally. What the detectives will do is write up the report and hand it over to the division that takes care of that particular crime and then walk away from the whole thing. That’s their job. But the night is far from over.

A male prostitute has been found, attacked and left for dead. The team heads to the hospital to collect statements. While there, a horrific shooting happens in a club and victims are brought into the same hospital where Ballard remains. Jenkins heads to the club but, because of circumstances, Ballard finds herself knee-deep in these two cases and hot on the trail of the perpetrators.

The worst comes when her old partner, who she has yet to forgive, turns up dead. Yet it seems as if many “stories” are being told that would pin the club shooting on the now deceased man. Ballard’s plate is full; a plate that will have her face-to-face with more than one psycho before these cases are solved.

This is one new detective on the beat that readers will really like. It will be interesting to see what comes Ballard’s way next time around.

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