So this was the match-up that I never knew I needed. I am now wishing that Connelly had decided to match-up Harry with a strong female non-romantic lead before. I am not counting the books with him and Rachel Walling (see the Narrows, Echo Park, The Black Box, and The Burning Room). Fingers crossed that Connelly resists the urge to put them together. It is mentioned many times that Bosch is as old as her father (Renee) but Connelly also heavily implies that Renee has issues over the death of her father. That said, the only reason why I gave this four stars, is that I had a hard time with the ending.
"Dark Sacred Night" takes place a year after the events in "Two Kinds of Truth" and a couple of months after the events in "The Last Show." Just a quick recap, Harry is now working as a volunteer closing cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department. He has somewhat burnt all of his bridges with the LAPD due to some of his own actions and lawsuit against them which he won. Renee is still on The Late Show, however, she seems more content with her place in that group now.
Renee is working late when Harry Bosch "invites" himself to go digging through a detective's drawer looking for some index cards on a cold case. Renee is initially mistrustful of Harry (not blaming her) but then becomes intrigued when she finds out he is looking for the murder of a young woman who is related to a friend of his. Harry is also dealing with a cold case in Sen Fernando that is taking up some of his time as well. We also get to see Renee working some routine and not routine calls while working solo on the Late Show.
Harry seems more mellow in this one. I think he's a bit burnout because the woman he meets in the last book (Elizabeth) is now living with him. I maybe went "Error, Error" when Connelly reveals that. Though Harry and Elizabeth are not romantic partners (yet) she is cooking and keeping house for him while he is out chasing down leads on her daughter's cold case. I definitely believe in redemption, but I am still shaking my head at Harry taking on so much with Elizabeth because she resembles his ex-wife Eleanor. And of course he and Maddie are partially estranged over this nonsense. If Bosch realized that Elizabeth looked like his dead wife, I am sure Maddie realizes she resembles her dead mother.
Harry seems separate from prior characters in this one except for Lucia Soto, his old partner and his partner so to speak at San Fernando, Bella Lourdes. We have no mention of him reaching out to his brother, Mickey Haller (I am guessing Bosch is still ticked about what went down in "Two Kinds of Truth") or to anyone else. He does call J. Edgar for some information and then just hangs up on him (still being treated like crap by Harry). I did laugh when Harry had the nerve to tell Renee to ask about him, that he was always a good partner. Ahem, I think that David Chu (who hasn't been mentioned since The Burning Room) and Iggy Ferras (last appearance was "9 Dragons") would argue with his comment.
Renee is still feeling pretty great about solving the case in The Late Show. She has seemed to make more friends in the department, and once again Connelly shows us how smart she is when she walks into a scene and deduces how an older woman was killed. I felt very a ha my dear Watson when she walks the officers through what happened. The same thing occurs on another call of Rene's in a missing person case. I like the contrast between her and Harry. Harry would have went in guns blazing, but Renee is more methodical about things.
We get some call-backs to earlier Bosch cases and of course long-time characters resurfacing. I did have to say that I was surprised at the who done it in this book on the cold case involving Elizabeth's daughter. The case Bosch was tied up in felt like a weird distraction after a while.
Connelly switches from Renee and Harry's perspective throughout the book. We get a kindly reminder of who is "speaking" too just in case you get confused. I don't think readers will, but it's a nice call-out to those listening to on Audible. I liked all of the writing in this one and you can feel the difference between Renee and Harry's sections. Connelly knows both of their voices. The flow was good between chapters and I maybe had a panicky moment when it looked like our fair heroine and hero were looking to end things on a sour note. Connelly pulls things together though in a kind of Hail Mary I am not sure about.
The setting of this book is LA after hours. We have Renee and Harry doing a lot of leg work at night and around dawn. And at one point, Harry is going on very little sleep doing day shifts, coming home to sleep (eh) and eat and then meeting up with Renee. I am glad the book didn't have this going on for that long since it was making even me antsy after a while.
The ending shocked me (in a good way) and I wonder at the implications for future books. I don't know how Connelly is going to do this, but I have faith he will do it well.