About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly - Harry Bosch and Connelly’s newest detective, Reneè
Ballard, become partners in Dark Sacred Night.

Harry has started investigating the cold case of Daisy Clayton. Nine years ago the 15 year old girl had been taken from the streets of Hollywood and killed. She had been a runaway from Modesto caught up in drugs and prostitution.

He had met her mother, Elizabeth, while working undercover as a pill shill in Two Kinds of Truth. She had drifted into being a pill shill after she become a drug addict and indifferent to life. She was consumed by guilt. Bosch provided her with money for treatment. Having completed rehab she is staying in his home while he investigates Daisy’s murder. The unorthodox relationship has had an unexpected consequence in that Maddie, Bosch’s daughter at university, has sharply limited contact with Bosch in disapproval.

Ballard, in her well established on the night show (the overnight shift), catches Harry looking in an LAPD file cabinet. She cleverly deduces his interest in the old files and joins him in the tedious cold case investigation.

Poetic summaries of interviews of street people from years past by an officer, Tim Farmer, catch her attention and mine:

This is not first nor the last time we will cross paths with
A deep, cancerous river of hate and violence courses
through his veins
I can feel it.
He waits, He hates. He blames the world for its betrayal of
all hope.
I fear for us.

At the same time Harry, still working as a volunteer with the San Fernando Police Department, is attempting to solve a cold case there.

The intriguing aspect of the investigation was a forensic attempt to solve the crime by digging out of a wall in a garage a pair of bullets test fired by the killer who was using a homemade silencer.

Bosch is more vulnerable than I can recall. He wants a deeper longer personal relationship instead of the short term affairs of recent years. He acknowledges making a serious error in the San Fernando case.

Ballard and Bosch work together better than Haller and Bosch. With Ballard a fellow police officer there is none of the tension inherent in the relationship between Haller, a lawyer, and Bosch, a detective.

Not many of Bosch’s past partners can match his obsession and stamina. Ballard is just as driven. As well, she is bored from being sidelined to the night shift after filing a complaint of sexual misconduct against another officer.

As Bosch considers his future there is a dramatic situation. To say more would be a spoiler. It has been awhile since Connelly has written a chase against time. He is brilliant at building tension. I was racing through the pages.

After a brilliant opening and powerful investigation the resolution was disappointing. Connelly can do better than vigilante justice.
Connelly, Michael – (2000) - Void Moon; (2001) - A Darkness More than Night; (2001) - The Concrete Blonde (Third best fiction of 2001); (2002) - Blood Work (The Best);  (2002) - City of Bones; (2003) - Lost Light; (2004) - The Narrows; (2005) - The Closers (Tied for 3rd best fiction of 2005); (2005) - The Lincoln Lawyer; (2007) - Echo Park; (2007) - The Overlook; (2008) - The Brass Verdict; (2009) – The Scarecrow; (2009) – Nine Dragons; (2011) - The Reversal; (2011) - The Fifth Witness; (2012) - The Drop; (2012) - Black Echo; (2012) - Harry Bosch: The First 20 Years; (2012) - The Black Box; (2014) - The Gods of Guilt; (2014) - The Bloody Flag Move is Sleazy and Unethical; (2015) - The Burning Room; (2015) - Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts; (2016) - The Crossing; (2016) - Lawyers and Police Shifting Sides; (2017) - The Wrong Side of Goodbye and A Famous Holograph Will; (2017) - Bosch - T.V. - Season One and Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch; (2018) - Two Kinds of Truth; Hardcover


  1. Oh, and here I was, Bill, all ready to think of this as another truly excellent Connelly. And it does sound like a great story. But vigilantism always disappoints me in a story. I can see how you felt let down. Still, it's Connelly, and there looks to be a lot to like about this one.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. There is much to enjoy in the book. My next post will have more on vigilantism.

  2. It's been a while since I picked up something by Connelly. I expect I'll get to this one eventually. A disappointing Connelly book must still merit a bit of my attention.

    1. Col: Thanks for the comment. It is a good book. It could have been a great book.

  3. I think it was a good read and liked the working relationship between Bosch and Ballard. And I'm glad Connelly is giving Ballard respect and has given her many skills and talents.
    Another book with this duo will be out in October, I believe. It is described at Connelly's website.

  4. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I did like their relationship. Not every pair of obsessive people can work together. I will not read about the book. I like to try to read most books without knowing much about the story.