The Night Fire

The Night Fire

Book - 2019
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After Harry Bosch's mentor, J.J. Thompson's funeral, his widow hands Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before - the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals. Bosch and LAPD Detective Renee Ballard soon arrive at a worrying question: did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, ©2019.
ISBN: 9780316485616
Characteristics: 405 pages ;,25 cm.

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h
harrybosch
Jan 19, 2020

I have read all of Connelly's books, most of them more than once. I have to say I am very disappointed by this latest effort. Very tedious and boring, although it speeds up past the halfway point.
Is Connelly trying to retire Harry , phase him out and concentrate on a new character, namely
Ballard ? It seems like it. It very much lacked the essence of HB, who came across as tired, dull and lackluster. It is a bit ominous for Harry, in that Connelly has given him a cancer diagnosis, so maybe he is going to pass on. I hope not, although Harry must now be around 70 or so. Ballard is a bit like him, but is sort of ho-hum.
Maybe Connelly should give us a few more Mickey Haller books, because this one did not quite cut it.

i
INVS
Jan 15, 2020

Harry Bosch and I go back years/decades, it's almost intimate. MC is first a journalist, his writing is vivid, chronological, logical & the words flow so well. When it appears Bosch is ill from toxic handling, I began to dread finishing the read. I cannot imagine he can die, not after his early life, Chu Chi and all the dangers & disappointments he's experienced. The addition of Ballard has proven a good read, despite her slightly risky behavior. I'm #259 on waitlist for audio and finally the really good voice of Titus W. as Bosch. Perfect.

p
patboud
Jan 14, 2020

Wasn't that great

e
Ephriam
Jan 14, 2020

A little disappointed in this novel. Kept loosing focus as parts became boring. I am a fan of Micheal Connelly's Harry Bosch series and even recommended them to others. I have always looked forward to about Harry and was impressed how Micheal brought to live the character and even went as far as giving the character Harry a real personality that a person could relate to with all of his conflicts in life and his own beliefs. I was even impressed with Connelly's double meaning titles for example, The Wrong Side of Goodbye and Two Kinds of Truths. However with this last book I found the title lacking significant meaning as well as the novel was mainly about Reene and not Harry. Although Harry is getting old and the author did a decent job of creating a character that actually ages and as they age their priorities and beliefs change but in this novel Micheal Connelly fell short of a great novel. Should have stopped with the last novel.

n
NedSu
Jan 11, 2020

Connelly has wrritten many novels, over many years with the tales of Harry Bocsh the most prolific. So many readers with so many views, and all have merit. I'm a fan of this novel. Having kept up with Bosch all these years, I was happy to see his daughter, Maddie, make an appearance, as well as Mickey Haller. I like the multiplicity of mysteries to solve, cases to close, even alternating points of view between Bosch and Ballard. Like Bosch, I've grown old since my first read of Bosch. It's nice to visit with an old friend, catch up with his family, and make promises to meet again in a year. Thanks for allowing me to visit with you Harry- and keep up ith the PT.

b
Bookworm1562
Jan 07, 2020

Well worth the wait. Connelly still can teach lessons in investigating.

r
richmole
Jan 04, 2020

Ho-hum.

Time to hang it up, Bosch...er...Mr. Connelly. Yes, I suspect the young female detective is being eased in as Harry's replacement. Fine: maybe her stories will be better. The last two pairing them together? Remind me again what were they about?

Comparisons are always tricky, and it's not always an author can "top" his best. In Connelly's case, that would be early entries such as Trunk Music and City of Bones and more recent entries such as The Crossing, and, from 2009, Nine Dragons--nothing beats that one!

I'd rather re-read one of those, thanks...

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

Lone-wolf Renee Ballard and "seen-it-all-before" Harry Bosch fit like a glove as a renegade detective team in solving homicide cases in LA, this time: a “throwaway (homeless. drug addicts or prostitutes)” burnt victim, a questionable CBA (‘CBA’—Cleared By Arrest) and one enigmatic cold case. Agree with most comments herein but a pretty good thriller after getting past the long setup.

Continuing the current trend of Connelly books that I’m not thrilled by. Too many cases going on at once (probably getting hard to come up with one plot and keep it going). Too much of ending with major characters put in danger near the end and getting “miraculously” saved. Took much tidy wrapping things up without much lead up to the events.
Again, Connelly is still always worth a read for an entertaining light read but his earlier books were better, more engaging and better plotted.

j
Jeffreyhh
Dec 27, 2019

It's hard to find an author that doesn't disappoint after 30 years! Another non-stop page turner. Amazing.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

The team:
Bosch was retired and an outsider, no longer encumbered by LAPD rules and procedure. Ballard was not retired but she was certainly out of sight and out of mind on the midnight shift. That made her both an insider and an outsider.
===
Olivas was the lieutenant-now-captain who had been in charge of Ballard’s old unit, Homicide Special. He had been the one who drunkenly pushed her up against a wall at a unit holiday party and tried to stick his tongue down her throat. That one moment changed the trajectory of Ballard’s career and barely left a bruise on his. Now he was captain and in charge of all of the Robbery-Homicide Division squads. But she had made her peace with it. She had found new life on the late-show beat. The department brass thought they were exiling her to the dark hours, but what they didn’t know was that they were redeeming her. She had found her place.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

John Jack always knew when somebody was lying. He once told Bosch it took a liar to know a liar but never explained how he had come by that piece of wisdom.
===
‘CBA’ — the case is closed.” “Meaning?” “Cleared By Arrest. It means no further investigation.”
===
“Man’s gotta pay the bills. We’re not all happy-go-lucky pensioners like you.”
===
Bosch turned and looked down into the grave. John Jack’s box appeared to have been made of stainless steel. “He picked it,” Margaret said. “He said it looked like a bullet.”
===
Bosch had always thought it wasn’t a bad way to go—doing what you loved.
===
Take every case personally and you get angry. It builds a fire. It gives you the edge you need to go the distance every time out.
===
Soto was Bosch’s last partner in the LAPD. It had been more than three years since he had retired, but they had crossed paths several times since.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

Hollywood was a different place in the dark hours, after the neon and glitter had dimmed. Ballard saw the change every night. It became a place of predators and prey and nothing in between, a place where the haves were comfortably and safely behind their locked doors and the have-nots freely roamed. Ballard always remembered the words of a late-show patrol poet. He called them human tumbleweeds moving with the winds of fate.
===
“I’ve got three units at Seward and Santa Monica,” Washington said. “I’ve got no call there.”
...
“You’ve got three basic car areas that are contiguous there,” she said. “And that’s where an all-night mariscos truck parks. They can all code seven there without leaving their zones.”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

Hollywood was a different place in the dark hours, after the neon and glitter had dimmed. Ballard saw the change every night. It became a place of predators and prey and nothing in between, a place where the haves were comfortably and safely behind their locked doors and the have-nots freely roamed. Ballard always remembered the words of a late-show patrol poet. He called them human tumbleweeds moving with the winds of fate.
===
“That is what you get with schizoaffective disorder,” Freud responded. “You have all the symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, as well as of mood disorders like mania, depression, and paranoia. The latter leads to the psyche taking on protective measures such as the nodding and agreement you see in the video of the confession.”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

Crips gangs or sets shared the symbol of the six-pointed star, its points symbolizing the early altruistic goals of the gang: love, life, loyalty, understanding, knowledge, and wisdom
===
“I take wiretap requests very seriously,” he said. “It’s the ultimate intrusion, listening to somebody’s private conversations.”
===
“What is paliperidone?”

“It is a dopamine antagonist. A psychotropic used to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. In many cases, if administered properly, it allows those afflicted with the disorder to lead normal lives.”

“And does it have any side effects?”

“A variety of side effects can occur. Each case is different, and we come up with drug therapies that fit individual patients while taking into account any side effects that are exhibited.”

“Do you know that the manufacturer of paliperidone warns users that side effects can include agitation and aggression?”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

They were all “throwaway” victims — drug addicts and prostitutes — whom society, and police departments, had marginalized and given little notice to.
===
“— twenty-five years of my life and I was putting people in jail when you were giving boys blow jobs under the bleachers. You insult me and you insult everything I ever did down there.
===
“You can’t ever know why a child decides to do something.”
===
The confession was bogus — it came from a man who would have confessed to killing the Black Dahlia if he had been asked.
===
The judge saw that, knew this case was a duck without wings,
===
“See, that’s what I mean. That’s the problem. It isn’t a ‘lifestyle.’ And it’s not a ‘choice.’ You’re hetero, right?” “Yes.” “Is that a ‘lifestyle choice or are you just hetero?”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

14U24ME. “What is that?” Marko said. “One for you, two for me,” Ballard said.
===
Seeking a wiretap approval was a complicated and difficult process because listening in on personal phone calls starkly conflicted with Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure. The probable cause for such an intrusion had to be complete, airtight, and desperate. Complete and airtight because the writer had to lay out in the probable cause statement that the threshold of criminal activity by the target of the surveillance had been easily passed. Desperate because the investigator must also make a convincing argument for the wiretap being the only alternative for advancing the case against the intended target. A wiretap was supposed to be a last-resort measure, and so required a detective to get the written approval of the department. It had to be signed off on by a high-ranking supervisor — like a captain or higher.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

It had been Bosch’s experience that threats made by criminals heading off to prison were mostly hollow. They were the last gasps of people crushed by the system and who had nothing left but the ability to throw empty promises of revenge at those they perceived as their tormentors. Bosch had been threatened many times in his years as a police officer and detective, and not once had the person who issued the remark acted on it.
===
Investigators routinely approach subjects without warning. It is better to get extemporaneous answers to questions rather than prepared statements. It’s a basic rule of homicide work: don’t let them see you coming.
===
The first move they made was to find out whether Laurie Lee Wells was Laurie Lee Wells.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

By law the police were forbidden from listening to personal calls. If a call was not specifically about the crime documented in the probable cause statement in the search warrant, the listener had to turn off the speaker but was allowed to check in briefly every thirty seconds to confirm the ongoing phone conversation was personal in nature.
===
Will we stand out if we’re in there? “You will. But I can pass for high yellow.” It was true. Ballard was mixed race — part Polynesian for sure,
===
Submarining was a team leaving their assigned patrol area and cruising close to the station so they could return quickly when the shift was over…
===

“Driver left his door open and has a past record of gun violence. If there is a weapon in here, we have a public safety issue. I think that qualifies as a ‘search incidental to a lawful arrest.’”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2020

“We call ICE, they get sent back and then they do it again,” Ballard said. “They go through all the rape and horrors they went through getting here the first time.”
===
Through Perez they one by one told stories that were sad and horrible, yet typical of such journeys made by desperate people. They had traveled from Oaxaca, Mexico, and were smuggled across the border in an avocado truck with a secret compartment, each forced to pay for the trip by having sex with several of the men involved. Once across in Calexico they were placed in the van, told they owed thousands of dollars more for the remaining trip, and driven north to Los Angeles. They did not know what awaited them at the address on Etiwanda in the Valley but Ballard did sexual servitude in gang-operated brothels where they would never break even and would never be missed should they stop earning and their masters decide to bury them in the desert.

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