Not much to say besides Michael Connelly has hit on a winning formula with retired cop Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard investigating cold cases. In this one, three of the cases the duo are working on independently (and one together) end up coming together. That’s the only thing I coughed BS on since that was too big a coincidence, but I was enjoying the ride to get there I just let it go. Connelly is showing his hands I think in this one with what may come next for Harry, his daughter, and even Renee. I was so sad to get to the end of this and re-read it twice before reluctantly sending it back to my library.
“The Night Fire” has Harry and Renee coming together again to work on a cold case from an ex mentor of Harry’s. The man had the file of a young man who was murdered by a gang decades earlier. Harry is wondering what the connection the young man had to his mentor and why this case haunted him. Harry is also helping out his brother Mickey Haller in a defense case that got foisted on him. The case sounds wrong to Harry and then he slowly puts together why it’s wrong. Renee though is looking into a man who was burned alive at a homeless camp that is part of her night patrol. At first glance it looks like an accidental fire, but Renee starts to smell something wrong there right away.
Harry is going through changes in this one. Because of a prior case, there is something that is boomeranging back at Harry. Also, he is still struggling with helping defendants, even when he knows they are innocent. I really wish that Connelly would stop that mess with Harry feeling torn. It’s like he doesn’t read papers these days and realizes innocent people are sent to jail all the time. The police are not infallible. I also liked his interactions with Mickey (more Mickey or a standalone please!) and with his daughter. I also loved how things are going with Harry’s daughter and what her post college life may look like.
Renee is still doing the whole homeless, but not really thing. She’s running on E and I think Harry sees it best at how that can end up messing with her and the cases she’s running. I wish we would see Renee more settled. At times she feels a bit ghostlike except when working a case or tossing ideas/smart remarks to Harry. These two really work well together.
I thought the writing was tight and that Connelly did a great job of setting up when Harry and Renee were talking and when they were together. The flow ran smoothly from beginning to end and the ending even had my heart pumping a little. We may get another case that Harry and Renee will end up closing.