There’s a reason Michael Connelly has been a fixture on the bestseller list for decades: The former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times consistently pens smart, fast-paced detective stories with an insider’s knowledge of the city’s seamier side.
His new novel, Desert Star (on sale Nov. 8), features his best-known character, Harry Bosch, the Los Angeles police detective who inspired the popular Amazon Prime TV series Bosch and its 2022 spin-off Bosch: Legacy. It’s the fourth book where Bosch teams up with fellow detective Renée Ballard, who’s now handling cold cases.
Despite some tension between the two, formed during a previous investigation (see 2021’s The Dark Hours), Ballard invites Bosch to help her solve a case that’s haunted him for years. Together they set out to find the elusive killer who once murdered an entire family.
Enjoy this first chapter from Desert Star, courtesy of Little, Brown and Company.
Bosch had the pills lined up on the table ready to go. He was pouring water from the bottle into the glass when the doorbell rang. He sat at the table, thinking he would let it go. His daughter had a key and never knocked, and he wasn’t expecting anyone. It had to be a solicitor or a neighbor, and he didn’t know any of his neighbors anymore. The neighborhood seemed to change over every few years, and after more than three decades of it, he had stopped meeting and greeting newcomers. He actually enjoyed being the cranky old ex-cop in the neighborhood whom people were afraid to approach.
But then the second ring was accompanied by a voice calling his name. It was a voice he recognized.
“Harry, I know you’re in there. Your car’s out front.”
He opened the drawer under the tabletop. It contained plastic utensils, napkins, and chopsticks from takeout bags. With his hand he swept the pills into the drawer and closed it. He then got up and went to the door.
Renée Ballard stood on the front step. Bosch had not seen her in almost a year. She looked thinner than he remembered.
He could see where her blazer had bunched over the sidearm on her hip.
“Harry,” she said.
“You cut your hair,” he said.“A while ago, yeah.”“What are you doing up here, Renée?”She frowned as though she had expected a warmer reception.
But Bosch didn’t know why she would have after the way things had ended last year.
“Finbar,” she said.“What?” he said.“You know what. Finbar McShane.”“What about him?”“He’s still out there. Somewhere. You want to try to make a case with me, or do you want to just stand on your anger?”
“What are you talking about?”“If you let me in, I can tell you.”Bosch hesitated but then stepped back and held up an arm, grudgingly signaling her to enter.Ballard walked in and stood near the table where Bosch had just been sitting.“No music?” Ballard asked.“Not today,” Bosch said. “So, McShane?”She nodded, understanding that she had to get to the point. “They put me in charge of cold cases, Harry.”“Last I heard, the Open-Unsolved Unit was canceled. Disbanded because it wasn’t as important as putting uniforms on the street.”
“That’s true, but things change. The department is under pressure to work cold cases. You know who Jake Pearlman is, right?”