The Dark Hours: Michael Connelly
In the dark hours of night on New Year’s Eve the fireworks were loud, sounds of gunshots filled the air while Renee Ballard and her partner Lisa Moore were staking out the area where two men called the Midnight Men would strike again. But someone was killed in the melee of the night and things got more tense before the night was over. One man down and killed and a crime scene to assess but will she be given the lead on the case of will it be given to a division that handles homicides?
Javier Raffa was the victim that was killed, and the author shares his past with a gang and explains his connection and what he paid to get out. But, there is a second case she has to handle of three rape victims and is called to the hospital to talk to the third victim, Cindy Carpenter to learn what happened to her during the rape.
Ballard is methodical and gets all the information on the case, and the chronology of the events that led up to the death during this block party that got out of control. Her partner seems oblivious to her role is and when she gets called to the sex crime it’s as if she’s on her own. Even having to interview the witnesses and anyone else at the scene of the murder she asks for someone who can translate her English into Spanish.
Jaffa Raffa died at age 38. He was arrested for receiving stolen property. One arrest in his file but there is much more. As the son of a body shop owner Raffa wall always driving classic and restored cars or low riders and he received the nickname EL Chopo. He was part of the Las Palmas gang, and he wanted out. He was said to have paid Humberto Viera twenty-five thousand dollars cash tribute for no string’s separation form the gang. But there is much more to this, and it will lead to what happened in a case that leads back to one Harry Bosch investigated when the bullet is linked to the murder almost ten years before and the same gun was used a Walther P22. Albert Lee is the DOD, and the investigation office was Harry Bosch and here is where it gets interesting.
Contacting Bosch, she learns that Albert Lee was killed with the same gun and now they were going to learn to work together to solve the case. Albert Lee was a black male and lived in the ghetto and he borrowed money and opera a recording studio up in North Hollywood. It was around gang territories. It was nice until it was not. Lambert had as for side, and he let the gang’s members record if they signed over a piece of what they made off the with something called a factor loan and a person who would give you the hundred you need to keep the business rolling and secured by property or equipment all of that still isn’t owned by the company but rented. Albert did out only there are high interest. So, his loan guy takes over the business, leaves Albert in charge and running the place and pays him a salary. Then the loan guy game out an insurance policy on Albert and has him whacked to collect the money. Renee learns all of this and the connection to the case she wants to solve with Javier and things begin to blend but will they let her keep the case or turn it over to West Bureau?
The factors in the was John Williams James a dentist. But, who decided to take him out before the truths come out? Ballard is smart, impetuous and won’t stop until she gets the answers needed to solve the murders and with the help of Bosch they do stakeouts, tape suspects and then the world comes down on her. Raffa took money- twenty thousand form this man back in the body to buy his way of our Las Palmas. They got him a silent partner and who wanted him dead the silent partner profits by getting the business and even more, the land the repair shop sits on. This is where she learned about the money and what the motive is. But the case is going to West Bureau and will she solve it before. Let’s go back to Midnight men and the new case plus the three victims. But first she goes back to the squad room to print out the photo of Raffa and put batteries in her minicorder and get a full charged rover out of the dock before going back into her car. Added in she forgets that Davenport drove undercover wheels and claims that he called El Chopo, and it was a joke but where it he gets the money? A street banker got the money from him, and Davenport continues with his take on it. Bosch was on the alert, and will he get the suspects what happens next is tragic and will this person name who the cop was that was dirty?
Viera was the planning fiancé, and he now had the rest of his life in a minimum prison. Humberto up in Pelican pay things you are innocents is that truth? The informant is called Darla the one she wanted Bosch to get, and we learn from her the truth who the cop is that had something to do with when Raffa brought the money to Humberto and said the copy got it for him from a doctor and he had to sign papers. What she did not know was the kind of doctor. Somehow this cop learned about Ballard, and she became the next mark. When the cop learns about her involvement she is home and gets blindsided and how she manages to deal with the situation places her in danger for her life and her career.
The next connection that she had to make was between the cop and the dentists and their factoring operation, but things get dangerous, and tense and she is told that the case is being turned over to West Bureau, but will she solve it before? Going back to the case of the Midnight Men she comes across the name of another possible victim, and this is where it gets interesting as author Michael Connolly weaves a web that is more delicate and deadly than one of a spider. Something changes the kind of neighborhood and how the victims are chosen. But, first she would go to the autopsy of Raffa and learn more about what really happened to him as the author graphically and vividly explains the process and more. Followed by how she learns more about the Midnight Men and possible where the next attack might take place.
Learning who the person who is the factor allows her to come face to face with this man but just how will shock readers and the result will reveal just who killed Javier Raffa, but will she solve it before the she has to turn it over? Who set her up to take the fall in the Midnight Men case? Will both cases be solved, and will she survive the fall out? Placing herself in danger but when someone breaks into her apartment what happens next leaves her wondering if she is cut out to remain in her job. The ending will shock readers as author Michael Connolly throws a wrench, a curve ball and twist that leaves you wondering what her fate is. Where will she wind up and who will finally handle the DARK HOURS? Final confrontations by the brass and higher ups and the interview will draw you closer to endearing her and wanting more of Ballard but is that in the cards?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews
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