If there's one book I've read this summer that I would recommend everyone read, it's Michael Connelly's The Late Show. The character of RenÃ©e Ballard blew me away. She's from the same mold as Harry Bosch: Everyone counts, or nobody counts. She's intensely private and spends many of her mornings when she's just gotten off shift paddleboarding with her dog Lola. RenÃ©e graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in journalism, but the first time she had to cover a crime scene, she realized that she didn't want to write about crime, she wanted to catch the bad guys.
Her journalist's background means she's fantastic at mowing through the mounds of paperwork every police officer has to deal with, and she's become a pro, not only with paperwork but with her timing as well so she can work the cases that will get short shrift by the overworked day shift. (Everybody counts....) As a result of what she continues to deal with after her unsuccessful sexual harassment complaint, RenÃ©e has no time for people who won't stick up for her when they know she's right. But she's not all sharp edges and hostility; she can be thrilled to find a bookstore she didn't know existed when walking in downtown Los Angeles-- and there are her grandmother and Lola, too.
As you can tell, I did fall hard for RenÃ©e Ballard, but it wasn't just the main character that makes this book so special. The story itself is compelling, and Michael Connelly absolutely blindsided me with whodunit. Yes, The Late Show is so darned good that I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. Write faster, Mr. Connelly!