The Late Show by Michael Connelly

I love the Hieronymous Bosch books. I’m only halfway through that Michael Connelly series and I have enjoyed them that is until I started reading small press crime fiction. You guys and gals have ruined me . . . for the better.

This past week, I had to drive from Wilmington, Delaware to Charlotte, North Carolina which is about an eight-and-a-half hour trip, so I decided to listen to my first audiobook ever, Michael Connelly’s The Late Show (Little, Brown and Company). I enjoyed listening to an audiobook as it took up a good block of time and it is better than listening to badly recorded podcasts, so this book had that going for it.

The Late Show is the story of Renee Ballard, a detective stuck unfairly on the late shift. The one aspect of the late shift Ballard does not like is that she doesn’t get to see cases through the end. Her job with her partner is to take down the details of a crime and then pass it on the correct desk so the 9 to 5 detectives can follow up. As you can guess The Late Show tells the story about Ballard finagles a case or two that she can actually see to the end.

My problem with Connelly’s recent book, and most likely with his other books, is that these are police procedurals where all the cops are good guys. There might be a cop that is a dick towards other cops, but any look at the brutality of American police or even an examination of cops breaking the law to catch the bad guys is white-washed. Ballard does some incredibly illegal acts in order to bring criminals to justice and there is no punishment for her violation of the rights of the suspects. If you are in the mindset that cops can do no wrong, this book is for you. In my mind, Connelly is so far embedded in the Los Angeles Police Department, he needs to be rescued, if indeed that is even possible now. If you are looking at Don Winslow’s The Force or Connelly’s book, just read The Force, it is much better.

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