The Night Fire
A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch Novel
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company 2019
405 pages

Is Michael Connelly planning on killing Harry Bosch? There are a few moments in the twenty-second Harry Bosh mystery The Night Fire that seem to show this is his intent.

In The Night Fire Bosch works with Late Show detective Renee Ballard on three different murders. This being a Michael Connelly mystery, the reader is guaranteed a good read and it is for the most part a page-turner. The Night Fire is, however, not in the top ten of the best Harry Bosch books.

The first murder is that of a judge. Mickey Haller gets the prime suspect off thanks to Harry Bosch’s help so Bosch finds himself morally obligated to find the killer himself. The second death is that of a vagrant who died burned in his tent. The third murder is that of John Hilton some thirty years ago. The Hilton murder falls in Bosch’s lap when the case’s murder book is found in the papers of Bosch’s mentor John Jack Thompson.

The problem with The Night Fire is none of the three cases are particularly interesting. Also, the tie-in between two of them is, at best, tenuous plot wise. Also, plotting of the tie-in in one of the two cases is so logistically improbable it demands a certain willing suspension of disbelief. Your typical Michael Connelly mystery never requires any suspension of disbelief.

Connelly, Harry Bosch, and Renee Ballard fans will not be disappointed with The Night Fire but neither will they be impressed. The twenty-second Bosch mystery is not the one I would choose to introduce someone to this series.

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