Michael Connelly's Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch series. The Night Fire is newly released - and I couldn't put it down.
Connelly keeps things moving along in real time with his characters. Renee is still without a partner - and that's okay. She's a pariah in her own department and is just fine working the night shift alone. But she does have an unofficial partner in retired Harry Bosch.
After attending the funeral of his old mentor, the widow hands him a binder - a murder book in fact. The case is still unsolved - and no one even knows the book is missing form the department. Yes, you guessed it - Harry can't let it go. He approaches Ballard to help him from inside the force.
Connelly nails it on every front. The characters are fantastic. At first I was resistant to a new character in Harry's world, but I really like Renee - she's tough, intelligent and relentless. She and Harry play well off each other. Mickey Haller also makes an appearance in The Night Fire.
The plotting? Again - fantastic. Connelly's mysteries and police investigations are intricate and authentic. Not surprising, as Connelly is a crime journalist. If you haven't listened to his Murder Book podcast you're missing some great investigative listening. As the story progressed, I realized that there were pieces of that real life case woven into this latest book.
Each of the leads are given POV narratives. We are privy to their private lives, both good and bad. This just makes the characters more 'real' for me.
The title? From Harry..."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." Here's an excerpt of The Night Fire.
This is easily a five star read - and one of my favourites for 2019.
(And there's a fun cameo from Double the French Bulldog - can you name the owner in real life?)