Desert Star

Little, Brown. (Renée Ballard & Harry Bosch, Bk. 5). Nov. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780316485654. $29. M
Another home run for Connelly as he brings Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch together again. Ballard left the LAPD because of its “good old boys” practices, but after a promise from the new chief that she’d have carte blanche reopening and manning the Open-Unsolved-Unit, she returns. Her first pick for the team is Bosch, but they did not part on good terms. So she offers Bosch the chance to reopen the case that still haunts him. He takes the bait even though the catch is that first they must reopen the unsolved murder of an L.A. councilman’s sister. Bosch is older and wiser but still a jazz-loving rebel with a cause, and Renee still (unsuccessfully) tries to rein him in to be the team player he’ll never be. The plot is an exceptional piece of crime drama, and the short chapters help keep the expectations high and the flow smooth. The narrative is unapologetic hard-edged cop-speak, and Bosch and Ballard rock every page.
VERDICT Fans of police procedurals, dark cat-and-mouse mysteries, and Connelly’s iconic characters will find this soon-to-be-best-seller absolutely unputdownable.
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