The Late Show

Though he already has two hit series running with Harry Bosch and Mickey Heller (aka the Lincoln Lawyer), Michael Connelly isn't resting on his laurels. The Late Show introduces a third series protagonist, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard.

After filing a sexual harassment claim against her lieutenant, Ballard is transferred to the night shift, during which she writes up cases. She never gets to close them, though; she has to turn them over to the day shift--until one night when she catches two cases and refuses to let go.

The first involves a prostitute who's been tortured and left for dead in a parking lot. The other is a shootout at a nightclub that leaves five people dead. Ballard fears no one else will care enough to find justice for the prostitute; she keeps working the shootout on her own time because someone from high up seems determined to keep her away from it.

Ballard resembles Harry Bosch in her relentlessness and lone-wolf status--her colleagues won't back up her sexual harassment claims, even though one witnessed the incident in question--but she isn't just Bosch in a woman's suit. Her inner life and behavior are believably from a female point of view, perhaps because Connelly based the character on a detective who consults on his TV series Bosch. The procedural details are solid, while Connelly keeps Ballard's home life intriguingly mysterious, a situation that hopefully will be further explored in future installments. Meanwhile, the author's fans will be happy to meet Ballard and stay up late to finish her Show. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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