Connelly delivers another winner ... Told with the same smooth prose that his fans have come to expect, Michael Connelly’s Desert Star twists and turns its way towards a gripping and thrilling final act that’s impossible to put down. While Connelly continues to build out Ballard, who may one day very well carry this franchise on her own, he certainly hasn’t forgotten about Bosch ... It’s especially fun to see Harry’s low-tech, old-school approach versus Renee’s penchant to embrace technology and newer, cutting-edge forensics. The balance is nice, but more importantly, highlights how the two characters really are better together than apart ... yet another page-turning, can’t-miss thriller from authors to ever do it.
Both cases are absorbing and Ballard's outings with Bosch have made her a sharper (and crankier) character. Best of all, Bosch gains intriguing depth as he faces down death, unsure of the legacy he's leaving his daughter, also now a cop, or the corpse-strewn streets of Los Angeles.
Connelly has long been a master at demonstrating the meticulousness with which good cops make cases, and here he is able to generate genuine suspense through a careful recounting of the procedural process, whether it involves feet on the street or fingers on the keyboard. Eventually, though, the bad guys behind the DNA swabs need confronting, and that gives Connelly the chance to show his action-writing chops. Longtime Bosch followers will be taking deep breaths after this one’s superb finale, especially given its implications for the future.
Another home run for Connelly as he brings Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch together again ... he plot is an exceptional piece of crime drama, and the short chapters help keep the expectations high and the flow smooth. The narrative is unapologetic hard-edged cop-speak, and Bosch and Ballard rock every page ... Fans of police procedurals, dark cat-and-mouse mysteries, and Connelly’s iconic characters will find this soon-to-be-best-seller absolutely unputdownable.
... thrilling ... Both cases require deep dives into the past; both lead to great action scenes; and, as always, Connelly displays his encyclopedic knowledge of the latest forensics ... may not be as expansive as The Dark Hours, but it ranks up there with Connelly’s best.
As it turns out, the Pearlman case is considerably more interesting—partly because the break that leads the unit to a surprising new suspect turns out to be both fraught and misleading, partly because identifying the killer is only the beginning of Bosch’s problems. The windup of the Gallagher murders, a testament to sweating every detail and following every lead wherever it goes, is more heartfelt but less wily and dramatic. Fans of the aging detective who fear that he might be mellowing will be happy to hear that 'putting him on a team did not make him a team player' ... Not the best of Connelly’s procedurals, but nobody else does them better than his second-best.