Desert Star by Michael Connelly is the twenty-third Harry Bosch mystery. Like all the other books in the series it is excellent.

The cold case section that was closed in a previous Michael Connelly mystery has been reopened and Renee Ballard is in charge. The nominal reason is a councilman wants it to close the murder of his sister many years ago. The real reason is it is convenient to the overall plot: How else are you going to get Harry Bosh back in the saddle?

The cold case squad is three volunteer retired cops or agents, a former cop who was foisted on Ballard so the councilman would know what is going on, and an empath.

The reason Harry Bosch volunteers is it gives him the resources to hunt down his whale i.e. close the case that has haunted him since he first got it some thirty years ago. This causes tension with Ballard who wants him to concentrate on the councilman’s case.

Most of Michael Connelly’s Desert Star focuses on the councilman’s case. Connelly adroitly handles the many twists and turns of that case. Just when the reader thinks he / she has figured it out, Michael Connelly throws a clever curve to reset things.

The last part of Desert Star has to do with Bosch’s and the case that has haunted him all these years. It is interesting and there is even a foreshadowing of things to come. That being said, the ending does leave the reader wondering about one of the elements in Bosch’s whale case.

Though excellent, I would not want to introduce Michael Connelly to a new reader with Desert Star. Too much has happened in the series already and a new reader might not get all the historical nuances in this mystery.

But, again, this is a Michael Connelly Harry Bosch mystery so it is excellent.

Desert Star
Michael Connelly
A Harry Bosch / Renee Ballard mystery
Little, Brown & Associates 2022
388 pages

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