The 30th novel by the creator of Harry Bosch (The Wrong Side of Goodbye, 2016, etc.) and the Lincoln Lawyer (The Gods of Guilt, 2013, etc.) introduces an LAPD detective fighting doggedly for justice for herself and a wide array of victims.
Ever since her partner, Detective Ken Chastain, failed to back up her sexual harassment claim against Lt. Robert Olivas, her supervisor at the Robbery Homicide Division, Renée Ballard has been banished to the midnight shift—the late show. She’s kept her chin down and worked her cases, most of which are routinely passed on to the day shifts, without complaints or recriminations. But that all ends the night she and Detective John Jenkins, the partner who’s running on empty, are called to The Dancers, a nightclub where five people have been shot dead. Three of them—a bookie, a drug dealer, and a rumored mob enforcer—are no great loss, but Ballard can’t forget Cynthia Haddel, the young woman serving drinks while she waited for her acting career to take off. The case naturally falls to Olivas, who humiliatingly shunts Ballard aside. But she persists in following leads during her time off even though she’d already caught another case earlier the same night, the brutal assault on Ramona Ramone, ne Ramón Gutierrez, a trans hooker beaten nearly to death who mumbles something about “the upside-down house” before lapsing into a coma. Despite, or because of, the flak she gets from across the LAPD, Ballard soldiers on, horrified but energized when Chastain is gunned down only a few hours after she tells him off for the way he let her down two years ago. She’ll run into layers of interference, get kidnapped herself, expose a leak in the department, kill a man, and find some wholly unexpected allies before she claps the cuffs on the killer in a richly satisfying conclusion.
More perhaps than any of Connelly’s much-honored other titles, this one reveals why his procedurals are the most soulful in the business: because he finds the soul in the smallest details, faithfully executed.