The Late Show by Michael Connelly

The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1)The Late Show by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is as good as it gets. Connelly has produced another masterful police procedural, his best in a long time, although they’re all good. His phenomenal accuracy in describing every detail of how a good LAPD detective thinks and acts still amazes me. Not that I was in the LAPD, but I was in law enforcement. This is a mystery that you can put together yourself if you pick up on all the clues and are as smart as Renee Ballard, Connelly’s new detective.

Ballard is a surfer from Hawaii and one tough cookie, attractive enough to get hit on or harassed, but hard-nosed enough to give as good as she gets. As usual the author has more than one investigation going and Ballard is working them all – a transsexual who got beaten with brass knuckles, a multiple homicide that took place in a bar, and later, the murder of a cop, her former partner. Of course, like Bosch, she has the reputation of being a pain in the ass to the brass. To avoid spoilers, I’ll leave it at that plot-wise.

I listened to it on disc and the reader, Katherine Moennig, was both good and bad. She had the right tough cookie voice and was a good actress but her frequent mispronunciations detracted from her reading: joolery-jewelry, supposably-supposedly, My-Ako – Miyako. She just didn’t sound smart enough to be Ballard.

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