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Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Dark Sacred Night (edition 2018)

by Michael Connelly (Author)

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1639105,084 (3.97)5
Title:Dark Sacred Night
Authors:Michael Connelly (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2018), 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Many, many years ago I was drawn into a series featuring a young detective named Harry Bosch. I subsequently went on to read him again and again. Enticing cases he fdefinitel worked, but it was the detective, his life, both rather dark and gloomy, that kept me coming back again and again. There was just something g that drew me to this flawed but very noble character. Eventually as he aged, he found himself forced into retirement by the very department he had so long served. Yet, he could not let go in his fight for justice for all, even those who lived on the margins of society. He now works in an unofficial capacity in a cash strapped to!ice department. It is while working on a cold case, that of s murdered young girl from years past that will bring him together with Renee Ballard, a young police detective.

She is half Harry's age, but she too has a complicated past. After she reports a colleague, above her in rank, she is transferred to another department, where she works the late show, or the night shift. I loved how she and Harry complimented each other, both pursueing justice, both willing to take short cuts to solve a case. Connelly has the talent to give the reader some very interesting characters, characters that we can understand, relateable. In this pairing he has, despite the age gap, given us a new team, and it will be be interesting to see how they will evolve, work together. Since both can be willfull, stubborn, I expect some fireworks down the line. Hoping for good things to come. ( )
  Beamis12 | Nov 12, 2018 |
The first thriller I remember reading as a child was “The Falcon’s Malteaser” by Anthony Horowitz. Looking back, it’s amazing how many of the gripes of the genre were in it, yet it could be enjoyed as a 10 year old.

One another classic thriller writer, not many people about, probably because he is too pulpy, is Sax Rohmer with the Fu Manchu books. Fast paced, sometimes brutal, often funny, you can see their impact in wider culture even now. They may not be the highest of brow books, but I do love them. On the other hand, I can’t wait for the new James Ellroy as the second LA quartet continues. Loved all his previous books, and the continuation of the stories of his characters across them make them books I regularly return to.

When I’m in a bad mood I like to facetiously imply that no literary fiction has a plot. Bizarre comment you might think, right? I’m sure some of you would agree with me though, some of it is tedious drivel and some of it isn’t ... all in the writing isn’t it whatever the genre, right? Tons of lit fic is plot driven and it’s good or bad; tons isn’t and it’s good or bad, crime fiction is obviously very plot driven, and it’s also either done well or badly. It can be very formulaic. I prefer crime fiction that has political stuff happening or at the other end of the spectrum, grimy stuff. Not really a fan of reoccurring detectives stumbling across the crime of the century multiple times; I find it cheesy and the knowledge that they are in no real jeopardy annoys me. For me it’s all about that sweet spot though. A good example is Phillip Meyer’s “American Rust” and “The Son”. Absolutely literary fiction that involves criminal activity and a good deal of violence. Of plot, prose and character, plot is the most fun but the least interesting. Some literary fiction has no plot at all, yet remains a page-turner. Anthony Powell's “A Dance to the Music of Time” sequence springs to mind.

Most people I know who like Crime Fiction are people who inherently do not like folks who do bad to get away with it, back then; they could not care if the evil gets away with it or not, as long as it is twisted people doing twisted stuff, so degenerate are the times.

I do like a good crime story but most modern Crime novels are about murder, usually serial killers and often sexual assault/rape. Are there any well-crafted detective novels about car theft, robbery or dog fouling? Ok, that last one maybe a stretch too far but we do seem obsessed with murder.

Populism is never good for self-esteem in serious art. E. L. James? Dan Brown? The Art of the Deal? And yes, I will resist the temptation to shoehorn in Rump and Rexit; let's keep that Anglo Saxon shame out of it. It’s true that crime thrillers can’t get away with sloppiness. Michael Connelly does not really write Literary Crime Fiction, but he would if he set his mind to it. The sense I got from the “Sacred Dark Night” is that Connelly thought a long time ago: “This thriller writing lark is easy - I’m a great writer, let’s cash in”. So forget about one vast, glaring (to me) plot hole was left in (because the whole thing collapses if it’s not there) [again, spoilers]. It would have been the instinctive and obvious thing for an ordinary middle class person to do. Connelly even tries to paper over it later, having one of his character vaguely muse about how stupid it was. This is just lazy writing. “Literary” novels can get away with a lot if the language is impressive enough. Crime novels are hard. If I was a crime fiction writer I'd want the fact that I could write Literary Crime Fiction hushed up. I wouldn’t want anyone to know I could turn into another John Banville…

I gave up with "literary fiction" chiefly because most "literary novelists" write tedious drivel that gets extravagantly overpraised in the press, being reviewed by their backscratching mates inside the tiny cosy London, NYC, Lisbon or Paris literary scene. A mystery novel can still work if the writing is bad as long as the mystery works. Obviously good writing is better but its optional. If the mystery is nonsense then no manner of finely tuned phrases are going to cover it up.

Crime can be just as much 'literary' fiction as anything else. Granted that much is little different from watching the telly but people get high falutin about tv series these days and I'd simply rather read than watch, mainly. And its rarely up its own arse or boring... and even stuff thats not brilliant can be enjoyable, like 'Girl on a Train', which is more than can be said for much of the 'over-wrought' stuff that gets so lauded as literature..

Bottom-line: At the end of the day, does anyone care what any of us think? We are but naked apes hooting into the void, an evolutionary accident on a dying planet orbiting a dying sun. Nothing of us will remain, not even - despite Larkin's assertions - love. (I'm not naked I've got my underpants on in case you're wondering....) ( )
  antao | Nov 11, 2018 |
Boring, undeveloped story line. Too many victims. Too many story lines and none were developed. No character or event was in focus. If this is the start of Ballard and Bosch working together, more work needs to be done to develop suspense, realistic solutions, and characters. ( )
  creighley | Nov 10, 2018 |
I have been a fan of Connelly for several years. I believe I have read everything he has written. He periodically introduces new characters, but maintains continuity from novel to novel. The reader is left feeling he or she is getting to know the characters. Indeed the characters age and change as the series develops. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Nov 7, 2018 |
DARK SACRED NIGHT by Michael Connelly is a Ballard and Bosch Novel, Book 1.
I couldn’t be happier with this breath of fresh air into the Harry Bosch series.
Detective Renee Ballard works the night beat, the graveyard shift, and meets Harry one night while he is rifling through old file cabinets. He is working on a ‘cold case’ involving the 9 year old abduction and murder of 15 year old runaway Daisy Clayton.
Ballard and Bosch form a tentative, wary partnership which ultimately saves their lives and solves the case.
DARK SACRED NIGHT is excellent crime fiction. It is well-written, gritty, suspenseful - a police procedural with interesting, emotional, hard-working detectives.
A must read. ( )
  diana.hauser | Nov 5, 2018 |
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