Dark Sacred Night

Dark Sacred Night

Large Print - 2018
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Detective Renee Ballard is working the graveyard shift again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find that an older man has snuck in and is rifling through old file cabinets.The intruder is none other than legendary LAPD detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but eventually Bosch persuades her to help and she relents. Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway who was brutally murdered. He crossed paths with her devastated mother while working a previous case, and Daisy's story has seized hold of him.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780316526722
Characteristics: 548 pages (large print) ;,25 cm.

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k
KlayDyer
Apr 27, 2019

Solidly written but an unexceptional addition to the Connelly library, this novel will satisfy fans (perhaps), might frustrate the Ballard-group and the Bosch-group, and will likely do little to convince the occasional reader to make Connelly an A-level addition to the must-read list. Was I disappointed? Not really. Connelly, as always, has all the mechanics in place, and can spin a decent story with decently complex and dynamic characters. Was I disappointed? Given Connelly's reputation and success to date, yes. At times this book felt more like a thoroughbred going through its obligatory paces in anticipation of a big race rather than the race itself. Still lovely to watch, but nothing like what you know can (and should) happen when the flip is switched to full on.
I get it. Not all writers can be great all the time. Not every Shakespeare play is Othello. Not every Stephen King novel is Carrie. But when you hit the mark more often than not (as Shakespeare did, as King does, and as Connelly does) it is fair to notice and comment upon the deviation from expectations. Will I read the next Connelly novel? That kind of depends now on what else is in the pile of must-reads that perches precariously on the corner of my desk.

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mimimcl
Apr 05, 2019

Leaving the library with a Michael Connelly book is like leaving with a box of See's Candy: you can't wait to get home a open it up. This one does not disaappoint. Although they all stand alone, it is best to read the series from the beginning as you understand the character and what makes him tick, when you really get to know him, especially his time in Vietnan. Or read a couple of the recent Harry Bosch series to see if you like his writing and then go back and read the first two. Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear and Martin Walker fans should enjoy this series.

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BigOrange
Mar 24, 2019

Great, fast paced story telling with high quality writing that I've come to expect from Connelly. Looking forward to more Bosch and Ballard books!

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kelliyfults
Mar 17, 2019

liked the first 'Ballard' book, "The Late Show"... and I have read 7 or 8 Harry Bosch books. Bringing these two characters together in this novel made the story convoluted and way too meandering for me. Full disclosure: I read to page 230

Seems to me that Connelly has drifted away over time from constructing interesting cases and is now really writing predominantly about the characters he has created. He has always done great characterizations but now the cases/plots seem to be lacking for me. The central case in this book doesn’t really get “solved” until the last 50 pages and then by “investigator intuition” (my quotes) in a jump of certainty with basically no build up of evidence or logical inference over the course of the book (“All in a moment, Ballard knew.” Pg 386 of 433). Sure, the faint clues that lead to this leap were due to continuing thorough painstaking procedural work but most of that conducted over the course of the book (e.g. the shake cards) didn’t even contribute to the outcome (really, the solution to the mystery is due to a random encounter). This is probably the reality of police work but it doesn’t really work for me as compelling reading. It also seems to me that things just got all tidied up too fast at the end, like there was no case plot planned and at the end things just had to be wrapped up quickly and cleanly and with unrealistic excitement.
Even with all my complaints about this book, I still enjoy reading Connelly’s books for his writing style and characterizations. So I rank it above average but I don’t think this is as good as many of his earlier books.

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DW_kcls
Mar 17, 2019

Dark Sacred Night started a bit slow for me. Usually with a Bosch book I'm drawn in so much/so fast that I can't put it down. It makes me sad that Harry is getting older and the police force no longer values what he has to offer. That said, I don't think this is the end of Harry Bosch.

Regarding Renee Ballard, I'm just not that crazy about her ... yet. The Bosch/Ballard team seems a bit dry and completely unemotional, unlike with Harry's past partners. Both Bosch and Ballard are completely 'buttoned up' personalities which makes for a lot of background navel gazing by each but just isn't very compelling reading. At this point, I prefer him teamed up with his brother, Mickey Heller, with whom sparks are sure to fly.

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fangger
Mar 14, 2019

Another good Connelly read.

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Midas
Mar 09, 2019

I've read all of his books and love the fact that they are interesting from start to finish. I really enjoyed this read but my absolute favourites are the Mickey Haller series. It sounds like the author is about to retire Bosch because several references were made to his age and health issues.

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harrybosch
Feb 25, 2019

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. Tedious and boring describes it best. Is Connelly trying to retire Harry , phase him out and concentrate on a new character , Ballard ? It seems like it. It very much lacked the essence of HB, who came across as tired, dull and lackluster. Maybe Connelly should give us a few more Mickey Haller books, because this one did not cut it.

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gloryb
Feb 16, 2019

Connelly teams up a demoted female LA police officer with Bosch. Together they tackle a cold case by going through the files to find new information on the death of a youngster living on the streets doing drugs and selling herself. The going is slow and to show the passing of time, Connelly has both Ballard and Bosch on separate shift work schedules. Each are called out to attend to various other misdemeanors, all described in detail in alternating chapters. There seems to be a hint that their investigation into their "hobby" cold case points to the involvement of a religious cult out to save the downtrodden, but clues always seem to lead to a dead end. Will the pastor make a misstep during the investigation so that, instead of following a cold case, the two detectives can follow a "hot case" in order to nail the murderer involved in their cold case? IMO, reading this storyline is like looking at a TV show that follows police officers during their time on and off work - not that interesting.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

Only 9 quotes in goodreads, more here:

The patrol officers had left the front door open. They thought they were doing her a favor, airing the place out. But that was a violation of crime scene protocol regarding evidence containment. Bugs could go in and out. Touch DNA could be disturbed by a breeze through the house. Odors were particulate. Airing out a crime scene meant losing part of that crime scene.
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It was Monday morning , her first shift of a week running solo , and Ballard knew she would need to get at least one more wear out of her suit and possibly two . That meant not fouling it with the stink of decamp.
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She thought she picked up the slight odor of decomposition and death but couldn’t be sure if it had permeated her clothes or was simply an olfactory memory.
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The man who was checking the cabinets seemingly at random had gray hair and a mustache.
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A runaway. Name was Daisy. She was fifteen and putting it out on the street. Sad case.

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

“Cleared-other” was a designation for a case that was officially closed but without an arrest or prosecution. Usually because the suspect was dead or serving a life sentence for another crime, and it was not worth the time, expense, and risk of going to trial on a case that would not result in additional punishment.
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“High jingo” was LAPD-speak for when a case involved department politics. The kind of case where a career could be diverted by a wrong move.
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Bosch as a lead investigator. She zeroed in on the last case he handled before leaving the LAPD. It was a multiple-victim murder involving an arson of an apartment building in which several victims, including children, died of smoke inhalation. On several of the reports associated with the case, Bosch’s partner was listed as Lucia Soto.

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

Ballard had never been the kind of detective who could leave the work in a drawer at the end of shift. She carried it with her and it was her empathy that fueled her.
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Her plan was to head out to Venice, drop off laundry, pick up her dog at the overnight kennel, and then carry her tent and a paddleboard out to the beach.
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She was attractive, maybe midthirties, with brown, sun - streaked hair cut at the shoulders and a slim, athletic build.
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She had a mix of races in her skin. He guessed that she was probably half white, half Polynesian.
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He had always operated according to the axiom that everybody counts in this world or nobody counts. This belief dictated that he must give each case and each victim his best effort.
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“‘The late show’?” Elizabeth asked. “That’s what they call the midnight shift at Hollywood Division, because of all the crazy stuff that happens there in the middle of the night.

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

Subject is a human tumbleweed Goes where the wind blows him will blow away tomorrow nobody will miss him
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“When do you sleep?” “When I can.”
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“It’s not your case. It’s an LAPD case.” “It belongs to whoever’s working it.”
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“I’m not much into it either — organized religion. I grew up in Hawaii. My father chased waves. That was our religion.”
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“Well, it’s like they say, the cover-up is worse than the crime. It always gets them in the end.”
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“My faith is my business,” she said. “Why not proclaim your faith?” McMullen pressed. “Because it’s private. I don’t … I’m not part of any organized religion. I don’t feel the need for it. I believe in what I believe. That’s it.”

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

He was a hard charger nicknamed Torpedo, who had accumulated several one-day suspensions for overaggressive enforcement and behavior. Female cops referred to these as testosterone time-outs.
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She knew it was a city of cameras. Finding them was always high on any investigative protocol. Nowadays you looked for video before witnesses. Cameras didn’t lie or get confused.
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“What happens when you eat too much alphabet soup?” “What?” “You have a vowel movement.”
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This kid knows nothing better than the street. If he was put into a one-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen he’d move into the closet and sleep on the floor. He’s one of the rain people.
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For every noble movement or advancement in the human endeavor across time, there were always betrayers who set everything a step back.

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

GRASP was indeed a public relations ploy by a former chief who took the reins of the department and touted a law enforcement think - tank idea of studying crime through geography to help determine how people and facilities were targeted .
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“Geographic Reporting and Safety Program,” Bosch said. “The guys down in the ASS Office really worked some OT on it.” “Ass Office?” “The Acronym Selection Section. You never heard of it? They got about ten guys down there full - time. ”
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Department regulations allowed an officer to carry a boot gun or some other backup weapon as long as it was on an approved list of firearms and the officer notified command staff and entered the details in the weapons registry.

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

Using exigent circumstances was a tricky thing and you didn’t want it to come back and bite you on a case. “EC refers to the missing man and possible danger to him,” Ballard said. “You don’t look under a rug for a missing man. You look under a rug for evidence. I’m going to call a judge, and that way there are no issues down the road. ”
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“No college kid is awake this early.” “No, just checking her location,” Bosch said. “Seeing if she’s at home. She’s twenty - one now and I thought that would lessen the worry, but it’s only made it worse. ” “Does she know you can track her?” “Yeah, we made a deal. I can track her and she can track me. I think she worries about me as much as I worry about her. ” “That’s nice, but you know that she can just leave her phone in her room and you’d think she was there.” Bosch looked up from the phone to Ballard.

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

He wrapped all of his Vietnam experiences into one phrase, “Sin loi.” Tough shit. (sin loy -- a polite Vietnamese phrase literally meaning "excuse me" or "pardon me".)
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The program arose from his studies of crime patterns in and around USC after a spate of assaults and robberies of student’s just blocks from campus. After collecting data, Calder used statistics to project the frequency and locations of future crimes in the neighborhoods surrounding the university.
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The decommissioned space shuttle Endeavour had been flown to L.A. six years earlier, slowly moved through the streets of South - Central, and put on permanent display inside the air and space center at the park.
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“What was CONUS?” “Continental United States. They didn’t want you going back to the mainland because of all the protests. But if you worked things right in Honolulu, you could sneak onto a flight in civvies and get back to L.A.”

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jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

Under the law, officers could make an arrest for lewd behavior only if it was witnessed by the public and a citizen reported being offended.
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Abducting a cop was a big move that would put massive pressure on the VSF. Killing a cop was even bigger pressure. Cortez wanted deniability.
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In his early life Bosch had spent fifteen months in Vietnam. Not a day went by in that time that he didn’t hear helicopters. It was the background music of the war. Hiding in the elephant grass, waiting for a dust off, he had learned early how to read their sound for distance and location. He could now tell that the airship flying above them was spiraling in increasingly larger circles.

j
jimg2000
Jan 06, 2019

“Come on, you must’ve done it a million times. Make the guy think he’s helping the police. Draw him in and lock in his story, then turn it upside down. He goes from hero to zero. ” Bosch nodded. “ Got it,” he said. “We always called that the rope a dope.”
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Operation Desert Stormy, which depicted porn star Stormy Daniels straddling a missile in a bathing suit. Ballard scanned the credits for Beaupre’s name but didn’t see it.
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“Wilson Gayley is dangerous? What did he do? Run a stop sign? Flip off a nun? ”
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“He had a silver tongue. He used to say he could sell matches to the devil.
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Getting her sober only made the pain sharper and less bearable.

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