in Mystery Action Fiction
LAPD detective Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch team up to hunt the brutal killer who is Bosch’s “white whale”—a man responsible for the murder of an entire family.
A year has passed since LAPD detective Renée Ballard quit the force in the face of misogyny, demoralization, and endless red tape. But after the chief of police himself tells her she can write her own ticket within the department, Ballard takes back her badge, leaving “the Late Show” to rebuild and lead the cold case unit at the elite Robbery-Homicide Division.
For years, Harry Bosch has been working a case that haunts him—the murder of an entire family by a psychopath who still walks free. Ballard makes Bosch an offer: come volunteer as an investigator in her new Open-Unsolved Unit, and he can pursue his “white whale” with the resources of the LAPD behind him.
First priority for Ballard is to clear the unsolved rape and murder of a sixteen-year-old girl. The decades-old case is essential to the councilman who supported re-forming the unit, and who could shutter it again—the victim was his sister. When Ballard gets a “cold hit” connecting the killing to a similar crime, proving that a serial predator has been at work in the city for years, the political pressure has never been higher. To keep momentum going, she has to pull Bosch off his own investigation, the case that is the consummation of his lifelong mission.
Okay, wait…what is Connelly telling us with Book 5? COME ON! We are talking Ballard and Bosch here! I particularly enjoy it when these two get together.
Read most of his books, I’m a fan; watched all the Netflix episodes. While Welliver sells Bosch in the title role of the TV series, he reinforces Titus Welliver in the audiobooks—makes him real! So what’s with the ending in this installment?!
This installment, though, where Ballard brings Bosch in to help her with her cold case, it also renews his interest in solving a cold case of his own. I was quite surprised when the two so quickly handled her cold case, almost too soon. But Bosch’s “white whale” (that of the odious murder of an entire family) kept the two working.
Yes, Harry had quit the force—hasn’t gotten any younger. Ballard, of course, is eyeing a successful partnership again—they work well together. Have cases to solve. She is eager to keep her funding, her new department active. Ballard has grown in character depth, but there is still a lot to learn about her while we are quite familiar with Bosch.
Connelly is preparing us though—things are going to change—hopefully not in the next episode, but Ballard appears to be gaining in her position. She’s done well under the mentoring of Bosch. Out of left-center field comes a psychic. I’m not at all sure if she is to remain part of the Open-Unsolved Unit and I’m not sold on her yet.
Fast-paced, well-plotted, packed with technology—something new to learn. Always suspenseful, building tension as Bosch navigates treachery and Ballard handles personnel, the department, the funding and budget, the direction, the clues, and dispenses appropriate action. Perhaps this is not the installment to break into this series.
I’ve enjoyed previous episodes, the last Dark Sacred Night and the CE’s review of The Dark Hours. Hopefully, there will still be more.
I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library and again recommend the audiobook with Welliver’s narration. My only reservation with the audiobooks is that it sounds sometimes like he read his parts at some other place or time and it was fitted with the other two narrators. Can’t put my finger on it—but it’s an obvious change in timbre. These are my honest thoughts.
Genre: Mystery Action Fiction, Crime Action Fiction, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Listening Length: 9 hrs 37 mins
Narrator: Titus Welliver, Christine Lakin, Peter Giles
Publication Date: November 8, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Links: Desert Star [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
The Author: Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels and one work of nonfiction. With over eighty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into forty-five foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent New York Times bestsellers include Desert Star (2022), The Dark Hours (2021), The Law Of Innocence (2020), Fair Warning (2020), and The Night Fire (2019). Michael is the executive producer of Bosch and Bosch: Legacy, Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and streaming on Amazon Prime/Amazon Freevee. He is the executive producer of The Lincoln Lawyer, streaming on Netflix, starring Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. He is also the executive producer of the documentary films, “Sound Of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story’ and ‘Tales Of the American.’ He spends his time in California and Florida.
The Narrator: Titus B. Welliver is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayals of the Man in Black in Lost, Silas Adams in Deadwood, Jimmy O’Phelan in Sons of Anarchy, and the title role in the television series Bosch. Wikipedia Born: March 12, 1962, New Haven, CT.
©2023 V Williams
2 thoughts on “Desert Star (Renée Ballard Book 5) by Michael Connelly – #Audiobook Review – #mysteryactionfiction – Little, Brown & Company”
I read and loved the first two Bosch stories in high school and have been meaning to reread them and the rest of the series for a long time. Glad to see that book 5 is another solid installment for you. Great review and thank you for sharing! P.S. Pretty cool blog you got here too. I just stumbled upon it today! 😀
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for those kind words. I’m just generally a Michael Connelly fan, so fully enjoy most anything he writes, but I do love his Bosch stories (as well as the series on Netflix!).
LikeLiked by 1 person