A Wall Street Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Book of the Year

“A masterpiece”—LAPD detective Renée Ballard must join forces with Harry Bosch to find justice in a city scarred by fear and social unrest after a methodical killer strikes on New Year’s Eve (Publishers Weekly).

There’s chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year’s Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party.
Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky and that it is linked to another unsolved murder—a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch. At the same time, Ballard hunts a fiendish pair of serial rapists, the Midnight Men, who have been terrorizing women and leaving no trace.
Determined to solve both cases, Ballard feels like she is constantly running uphill in a police department indelibly changed by the pandemic and recent social unrest. It is a department so hampered by inertia and low morale that Ballard must go outside to the one detective she can count on: Harry Bosch. But as the two inexorable detectives work together to find out where old and new cases intersect, they must constantly look over their shoulders. The brutal predators they are tracking are ready to kill to keep their secrets hidden.
Unfolding with unstoppable drive and nail-biting intrigue, The Dark Hours shows that “relentless on their own, Ballard’s and Bosch’s combined skills…could be combustible” (Los Angeles Times).

The Dark Hours (Michael Connelly) Book Discussions

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Michael Connelly - The Dark Hours Book Reviews

Excellent!Great characters! Love the pairing of an old detective mentoring a young female detective that is trying to change the way things are done from the inside!.Score: 5/5

MasksIt sucked. Masks mentioned over and over first couple chapters. Loved all his other books but this one was horrible.Score: 1/5

The Dark HoursNot up to his usual standard-disjointed, disappointing and a waste of my time and money.Score: 2/5

DisappointingDisappointed.Score: 2/5

Page turnerThrilling read. Ballard is better and more fleshed out than ever. Connelly makes a statement about the state of policing that’s worth exploring in his fiction..Score: 5/5

VERY SLOW (and bad)200 pages in and nothing had happened. I’ve seen turtles move at a faster pace. Finally quit reading. I remember Michael Connelly being better than this. It is almost like 2 plots thrown together. Really bad..Score: 1/5

Page turner, as usualI found the book captured my attention and held it from beginning to end. Renee Ballard could be better developed. Her character is a bit like the female Bosch. Not patient, takes extreme risks. The earlier books gave more of her backstory but this one was really about the detective work. Masks and Covid are mentioned, but mostly in passing. You certainly know when this book is set - January 2021. But for all the reviewers who say that this book is “woke” and “political” … gimme a break..Score: 4/5

Dark HoursExciting.Score: 5/5

Wow!Enjoyed this read from start to finish.Score: 5/5

Love love love Michael Connelly - The Dark Hours was one of his best!I read on average three to four books a week. Michael Connelly remains in my top five favorite authors of all time. Books are like movies in my mind, and his writing creates the most amazing scenes. I read this book in less than a day, and hate that I have to wait a year for his next..Score: 5/5

Connelly’s Best YetMichael Connelly just keeps getting better. I love his new character Renee Ballard. Bosch is present but in the background allowing Ballard to kick a*s and shine on her own which she does magnificently. Thank you sir for continuing to produce the best police procedures ever!.Score: 5/5

Bosch and Ballard, back again. Thank God!Another great story with Bosch playing a smaller but still pivotal role. Ballard really shines in this crackerjack story!.Score: 5/5

Not a page turnerVery little suspense or real action. Most of text deals with relationships among members of the LAPD. Might be appreciated by readers interested in police protocols..Score: 2/5

Sorry, but glad it’s over!Excellent work by Connelly. Quick read, we’ll written and a page turner. Ballard and Bosch are the killer B’s - champion crime fighters, if a bit unconventional. Can’t wait for the next..Score: 5/5

Vintage ConnlleyThis was as good as ever, classic Ballard and Bosch. Keep them coming..Score: 5/5

“Fair” is suitable descriptionAnything but a Bosch novel. I doubt if Harry utters 500 words. The book would have been 100 pages thinner if it weren’t for Connelly’s street by street LA travelogues. I have a feeling Harry might be a goner soon..Score: 3/5

From yawner to thrillerOnce the action started this book was great… it just took a bit too long in my opinion..Score: 3/5

The Dark HoursExcellent! Didn’t want it to end. Do hope there will be another very soon. Aloha.Score: 5/5

Unfortunate leftist narrativeAuthor spins a good yarn…I’ve enjoyed most of his Ballard and Bosch adventures. This time he has fallen into the mainstream political ideology of the woke left…it’s unfortunate that he didn’t take the opportunity to state the actual facts but chose to spew the typical cancel culture narratives that has polarized our country. I know I’m just one person but I represent over half the population of like minded Americans that the left refuses to allow to voice opposing opinion’s. That’s not promoting change and diversity but quite the opposite. It’s censorship..Score: 2/5

Not what you’re expectingIf I wanted police procedure novels I’d read (prob butchering this) Wambaugh novels, Ballard isn’t front row material, put her in the background where she belongs. Disappointed in this book. The only one so far..Score: 2/5

Dark HoursGreat story than blended social commentary with an intriguing mystery!.Score: 5/5

Still the MasterConnolly, like his Bosch and Ballard characters, gets the job done. His emphasis upon doing what is right v. always playing by others’ rules, reminds me of pre-Trump life. Life where ethics, caring about the underdog and bi-partisan politics meant something. Thanks, Mr. Connolly. Always a fan..Score: 5/5

Good storyVery good, especially for Bosch fans..Score: 4/5

Dark HoursA great read as usual. Can’t wait for his next book!.Score: 5/5

A good read right to the last pageConnelly is always good but this was one of his better ones. A good read right to the last page..Score: 4/5

Excellent!Great read. I am looking forward to the next book!.Score: 5/5

StrongPretty darn good!.Score: 5/5

Connelly has lost touchFirst, I have bought and read every book of Connelly’s and have often pre ordered and waited excitedly. I have never regretted buying one of his books until now. Most importantly this is not a Bosch book even though it is advertised as such, he is a footnote at best. Secondly Connelly has created the pinnacle of all Karen’s in his character Ballard. Not only does she feel personally responsible to be voice of Covid control she also comes out with an overinflated ego and holier than thou attitude. In the first half of the book she is writing a report alone in the squad room when another officer comes in and she makes him go to the other side because he doesn’t have a mask. This is completely a political piece and this shows it due to the fact that most officers these days would not act like that whatsoever and want nothing to do with enforcing Covid protocols. The political messages continue throughout the book with Ballard noting that she is wearing her mask while others aren’t every other sentence. This is followed up by Ballard believing she is a victim of a lazy department and officers and that she is the only one that cares and can do the job right and she is being victimized for it. This continues right up until she steps over the line and commits policy violations and a criminal act in stealing evidence, but wait it’s ok because she is doing it and she knows better than anyone else on the job. This book is a simple political piece and disappointing to say the least. Connelly has lost touch with how real departments feel and act and has written this to simply fit in with the current political agendas.I don’t know about you but I read books to escape every day life and enjoy the story not to get hit over the head with political leanings every other sentence. Save you money and don’t bother with this book, trust me you won’t miss anything..Score: 1/5

The Dark HoursJust a great read! Mr Connelly knocked it out of the park with this work. Great characters, great plot..Score: 5/5

GoodbyeI’ve lost count of the many books I’ve read by this author. Absolutely love the Harry Bosch books. To see in the comments about politics. I’m gone.Score: 1/5

Dark hoursBeen following Harry from the get go. Reality is we all grow old. Connelly has done a good job segueing to Ballard, keeping Bosch in the picture. Not that I’m a fan of getting old, but still a good read as Renee has many of his do the right thing qualities ..Score: 4/5

Dark HoursSoooo woke!.Score: 1/5

5 starsHighlight of my reading year is always a Connelly novel. Great read! Thank you Michael..Score: 5/5

Dark HoursConnelly never disappoints us. He gave Rene Ballard the place in the series she’s earned and gave what is probably a real close. view of how the police forces have changed with the challenge of the pandemic we are now living with. The truth of how bad crime has grown is as bad as ever. and may get worse. Our police forces need our help and a lot more respect We are hurting our future if we don’t change how we respond to these men and women of courage..Score: 4/5

Too politicalVery one sided, political nonsense. Observations of a single minded author. Too bad, M. Connelly used to be more exciting to read.Score: 2/5

Pretty goodI think it’s his best book with this character whom he continues to identify and evolve..Score: 4/5

Good Fast ReadConnelly keeps you interested until the end..Score: 5/5

The Dark HoursRenee Ballard and Harry Bosch get back together in this smart, fast paced mystery. Michael Connelly has again written a hard to put down story. Mr. Connelly never disappoints..Score: 5/5

I’m through with Connelly…I read all Bosch series and rated them either 4 or 5. This one was too disappointing. I wanted to stop but I have this bad habit that I have to finish what I started. He is out of ideas and this Ballard character is not doing it. He made Bosch her assistant in this book. A very bad idea. I’m through with Connelly..Score: 1/5

Mediocre at bestTired story line and really tiresome lecture from a liberal mind. Lazy police and insurrectionist conservatives are to blame; not moronic majors, extremely liberal DAs and judges; DIMS & media division. I guess it’s more important to be invited to the right parties and to get along with the Hollywood elite than write a good story..Score: 2/5

AwesomeOnly getting better!.Score: 5/5

Ballard and BoschGood read!.Score: 5/5

Like a fine wine with age. Kudos to Michael for another hit. We love you Harry !I have read all of the Harry books, love that he has a mentee that is willing to carry on Harry’s legacy. Michael, after 25+ years, is still one of my favorite authors. Great book and even better if you are a Harry fan. I hope Renee goes back and can bring Harry back as well and even loop in his daughter. Wow, Harry, Renee, and his daughter are on team that will change LAPD..Score: 5/5

Awesome page turnerAwesome page turner.Score: 5/5

Perfect title, Dark HoursI as always could not put the book down..Score: 5/5

The dark hoursThe book was very good as usual however the authors liberal left-wing democratic virus could’ve been left out Dr. James Roy Appleton Junior.Score: 5/5

Dark HoursDisappointing book that falls flat, even in the would be dramatic scenes. Way too much process and way too little action. The showdowns are over in a flash, then it’s back to procedure and bland characters. Even Harry comes off as a mere walk on. Too bad for the Franchise..Score: 2/5

Dark HoursMichael Connelly has outdone himself ! Love this one..Score: 5/5

Pretty goodGood story, kept my interest, good ending..Score: 4/5

No politicsI think I’ve read almost all of the books by the author and have thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this one had way too much of a political slant. If I wanted to read a book on politics, that’s what I would buy. I’m so disappointed..Score: 1/5

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Excellent!I was scotched to it until the end!.Score: 5/5

Bosch ride again!La trame de l’histoire nous engage dans une série de détours, comme on les aime… ballard, est excellente, et forme une partenaire de choix, pour le vieux routier qu’est bosch… hâte au prochain….Score: 5/5

Excellent!Fast paced and a great read..Score: 5/5

Dark HoursGood plot and believable characters especially Harry.Score: 4/5

Terrific taleSuspense, intrigue, masterfully woven Plot and detail keeps reader involved In thought and interaction.Score: 5/5

Another good one from my favourite authorA.Score: 5/5

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