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Summary

A CRIME BURIED FOR YEARS.

AND ONE THAT'S JUST BEGUN...

A MURDER YEARS IN THE MAKING

A murder in the middle of a street party seems a senseless tragedy. But the victim had a dark past which came back to haunt him.

THE DEEPER YOU LOOK

Detective Renée Ballard connects the killing to an unsolved case last worked by ex-LAPD legend Harry Bosch. But then a new crime shatters the night shift...

THE DARKER IT GETS

The Midnight Men are a deadly pair of predators who stalk the city during the dark hours and disappear without a trace.

Ballard once believed her job was to bring the truth to light. In a police department shaken to the core by protests and pandemic, both cases have the power to save her—or end her...

©2021 Michael Connelly (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"An authentic, topical and terrifying thriller: one of Michael Connelly's very best." (The Times)

"The Dark Hours is yet another superb thriller from a writer at the top of his game." (Sunday Express

"Consistently excellent.... The plotting is as skilful as ever, and the pacing as relentless." (Mail on Sunday

What listeners say about The Dark Hours

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not his best

I didn't notice in the previous Renee Ballard books that the narrator isn't good. This was mainly Renee with Bosch brought in because - I think-Connelly knows that the fan base ensures sales/listeners. The two storyline are meant to be separate but the way the two protagonists come together in either just does not gel. It is nowhere near previous standards. As Bosch is getting older perhaps Connelly should do plots set in the past!? I thought Rene was a step to the future, well perhaps Connelly should show his faith and do her stories sans Bosch. I hope there are fantastic books left for Connelly to write but at the moment he seems older than Bisch.
However still better than many, but he set such a high bar, impossible to always reach it?

14 people found this helpful

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Ballard with guest Bosch

Got to get the feeling they're testing the water in phasing Bosch out or keeping just enough of him to sell the book off the back of the brand. The story was ok, but it was weighted 95/5 as a Ballard story - hope this isn't the way they're going to go. Also felt that we couldn't go a "page" without being reminded of the pandemic and I think in time that pudding may be well and truly over-egged. This will be my last pre-order of an MC book moving forwards.

11 people found this helpful

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Awful

Once again have had to return this book. It was bad enough when they got Welliver to read these but this dreadful woman totally ruins the book. She sounds like an American version of Orville the talking duck. I’ve no idea if the story is any good - probably is as Connelly is a great writer but it is unlistenable. Very disappointing. Why do Audible keep using these crap narrators?

7 people found this helpful

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Another well scripted book

I enjoyed this book.
I had seen some reviews that seemed a bit over dramatic to be honest.
They had rated it well but slated it for bringing in current event to the story and the smaller part played by the Bosch
I say really?
I have been a Connelly fan since picking up my first Bosch book in the mid 90’s
This book did not disappoint.
I did figure out what was going on a bit at a reasonable point in, making me think about how the one of the story lines was going to go down.
If there is any criticism it would be on the secondary story line on the shooting.
It just didn’t seem as robust. Overall, this did not distract from the flow or make me rate it lower.

5 people found this helpful

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Vintage Connolly

All good except for some totally unnecessary and intrusive music. Good drama well performed like this needs nothing to enhance it. Hope to see or hear more of Renee Ballard.

4 people found this helpful

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the best yet

for bosch lovers it's everything you want and more and the idea of the ballard and bosch being partners makes you want the next one now

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Least favorite MC book to date

The first difficulty I had with the book was the Ballard narrator. I read the late show just before this book (for a second time) and though many preferred this narrator I liked the no nonsense tone of the other - personal preference I suppose so no stars taken for this. Why I gave two stars was for a few other reasons.

The first thirty minutes were difficult to get into the story and the mention of current events including the pandemic really put me off. It is sprinkled throughout the book so you never really get away from it either. I love the realism in Connelly's books but I like to escape the real world into them into fiction and this was a sharp jolt into dull reality of the world at the moment that I didn't appreciate personally. It didn't add to the story in any way.

When the story got going it moved, bit slowly. One of the two main storylines for me was dull and I can't quite believe it took up 1/3 of the plotline of the book. That story was also first of all obscure to me and then the resolution too obvious.

The ending though for me really brought this book down in stars, I had managed to trudge through the book with one nail biting moment (in the entire book) and was expecting a fireworks finale but it was unbelievable to me knowing the characters and basing the events in the hyper realistic world Connelly creates I just didn't buy it.

Not sure if this one is worth reading. Can't see how much in the plotline will influence other books.

I adore Connelly's books and podcasts and have read almost all of them but the dark hours was much anticipated and unfortunately not one I will reread or recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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Another in this excellent series

Connelly writes fast paced addictive police procedurals and this continues his streak and includes topical social issues

2 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly entertaining

When this series began I thought I’m not getting sucked into another series, having read all the Bosch books as they were released and then moving to audiobooks a few years ago. It seemed this series was a vehicle to keep the 205 year old Bosch alive and Ballard was incidental to it all. I don’t like when authors do that sort of thing. Churn out more because they know loyal fans will buy the books.

But in this book I felt Ballard came into her own and I really enjoyed it. Leaving aside that she’s the most intelligent and adaptable detective and manages to be so much more imaginative than any detective that ever there was! Why can’t a strong independent woman who’s good at her job ever be just a strong independent woman who’s good at her job?

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Ballard and Generic Guy book

Was Bosch even in this book or was it just a random dude who turns up for a few scenes to sit around looking mean?
The plot was whevs
Ballard continues to alienate every colleague and moan about never getting to finish cases due to her job, but turning down every chance to transfer to a job where she could finish a case because she loves her job.
And there must be a mention of wearing a mask every other line, just to let us know that Covid was a thing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lia
  • 10-11-21

Best in the Ballard and Bosch series!

I have been eagerly awaiting the fourth book - The Dark Hours - in Michael Connelly's Ballard and Bosch novels. And IMO, this is the best one yet!
It's New Year's Eve and Renée is again working the night shift - by choice. By tradition, revelers shoot their guns into the air at midnight in Los Angeles. Sounds like a recipe for disaster doesn't it? Uh huh, it results in one of the first homicides of the new year. Here's the thing - the bullet may be tied to an unsolved case - one worked by Harry Bosch. Now retired, Bosch has become a mentor and a sometime off the books partner of Renée.

I'm always so happy to see Harry again. He's like an old war horse that just keeps riding into battle. His experience, (usually) calm demeanor and drive for answers and justice keep him going. "Everybody counts or nobody counts" Renée is fearless and has that same drive for justice. Her determination has not endeared her to her fellow cops. Connelly has woven current events and happenings and the turbulent state of policing and politics into the narrative. While others do just the bare minimum, Renée never lets up. In addition to the New Year's Eve case, she's also trying to find a pair of serial rapists who've been labeled as The Midnight Men. A lot goes on on the late show....

Connelly's crime novels are second to none. The characters, the settings, the details, the plotting - all of it makes for fantastic reading. And yes, lots of action.

The dynamic between these two really works. In the final pages, I thought I saw where the Ballard and Bosch books might be headed in the fifth book, but Connelly throws in an alternative. I can't wait to see which way things end up.

Titus Welliver and Christine Lakin were truly amazing with the delivery of the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Angelique
  • 17-06-22

Hmmm…

I usually love all this author’s books, but got put off a few times whilst reading this last one.
I read books to escape, so I felt annoyed that political views about Covid even made it into the book’s storyline.
I realise corona is a reality for us all, but having to be exposed to it yet again, even in fictional stories, ruined my enjoyment.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-22

Top of his game

What an exceptional story and a top notch read by the narrator(s).
This is a standout , with of 5 stars on all categories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • antonio
  • 11-12-21

great book with Harry Bosh in a supporting role

This is what the French call the "air du temps" : Connelly's main character in Harry Bosh stories is now Renée Ballard , a female detective that is much alike Bosh in the main character traits (introvert, stubborn, socially awkward ) , but that does not have to carry the baggage of being a white male boomer. This is truly the only change from the past : Connelly's books have a great plot -complex, but easy to follow- and a phenomenal rhythm. The reader gets involved in the story and really can't to get to the end.
Another truly enjoyable experience.

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  • AP
  • 02-12-21

He just can't write them fast enough

I pre ordered this moths ago. It was worth the wait. Just sad I have such a long wait until the next one. This book did not disappoint.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mad Murphy
  • 29-11-21

Good, but more Bosch, please!

It’s another installment in a long-running series. Connelly has previously introduced us to Renee Ballard, who is kind of a young female version of Bosch. Like her mentor, Ballard is a relentless daredevil who stretches the police department rules but also delivers lots of results. She’s the focus now and I was lefy wishing Bosch had a more prominent role in this book. I’m not used to Harry Bosch playing second fiddle when it comes to solving crimes. Ballard is a good character and Connelly simply doesn’t write a bad book ever. I just wish it had more Bosch in it, since I like the character so much.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tore Andre Granli
  • 26-11-21

This is not a Bosch story. It's a R. Ballard book.

The story isn't bad, but it's not a Harry Bosch story. It's a Renee Ballard story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcel Nieuwenhuis
  • 23-11-21

Great book, great performance

I had been waiting for a wile to get my hands on this audio book (figuratively speaking) and I am not disappointed. Michael Connelly cooked up a great new crime story, which was performed brilliantly by Christine and Titus. I loved the role play. Being a great fan of Bosch and especially Titus’ portrayal of him, my only (minor) disappointment may be the relatively small role Bosch played in this gripping story. Can’t wait to see what Connelly comes up with next.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clas Carlbom
  • 13-11-21

There's only one Michael Connelly

There are few books that I truly enjoy as much as the ones by Michael Connelly.
I picked one up when I was in my early twenties (about 30 years ago) and have been reading everything since then.
I love his minute attention to details and the sensitivity to the contemporary presence.
The stories are very faithful, Michael Connellys grasp of the LA police and justice universe is incredibly good and ensures that the stories are always highly credible.
Connelly never falls into the trap of trying to exceed his prior work with more drama and greater sensations. It's always the greatest storytelling, regardless of the crimes and changes in society.
Please keep it up.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • leif
  • 13-11-21

A Ballard book, not a Harry Bosch book

If you’re expecting Harry Bosch you’ll be disappointed! This is not a Harry Bosch book, it is 99% Ballard and 1% Bosch, so I was disappointed since it is marketed as a Harry Bosch book and Titus Welliver is credited first, while Lakin is reading 99% of the book.

It’s not that Lakin is a bad narrator, I just want Titus Welliver reading a Harry Bosch book!

Unfortunately the story is also quite mediocre with what feels like hundreds of unwilling victim interviews that feels most like the character (Ballard) is pulling teeth. And at times, what I suppose aims for realism, gets in the way of a good story and it feels like listening to paint dry :(

It’s a shame! I had pre-ordered this book and really looking forward to it, and I wanted to like it.

If Connelly and the publishers are winding down Harry Bosch, at least do new productions of the old books with Welliver as the narrator! I’d buy all of them in a flash, since I’m now re-listening to the Welliver read books! Titus Welliver IS Harry Bosch!! I won’t be able to listen to the other Harry Bosch books that is not read by Welliver! Who can’t LOVE Welliver’s voice and his narration of the books???