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Desert Star  By  cover art

Desert Star

By: Michael Connelly
Narrated by: Titus Welliver,Christine Lakin,Peter Giles
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Publisher's Summary

LAPD detective Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch team up to hunt the brutal killer who is Bosch’s “white whale”—a man responsible for the murder of an entire family.

A year has passed since LAPD detective Renée Ballard quit the force in the face of misogyny, demoralization, and endless red tape. But after the chief of police himself tells her she can write her own ticket within the department, Ballard takes back her badge, leaving “the Late Show” to rebuild and lead the cold case unit at the elite Robbery-Homicide Division.

For years, Harry Bosch has been working a case that haunts him—the murder of an entire family by a psychopath who still walks free. Ballard makes Bosch an offer: come volunteer as an investigator in her new Open-Unsolved Unit, and he can pursue his “white whale” with the resources of the LAPD behind him.

First priority for Ballard is to clear the unsolved rape and murder of a sixteen-year-old girl. The decades-old case is essential to the councilman who supported re-forming the unit, and who could shutter it again—the victim was his sister. When Ballard gets a “cold hit” connecting the killing to a similar crime, proving that a serial predator has been at work in the city for years, the political pressure has never been higher. To keep momentum going, she has to pull Bosch off his own investigation, the case that is the consummation of his lifelong mission.

The two must put aside old resentments and new tensions to run to ground not one but two dangerous killers who have operated with brash impunity. In what may be his most gripping and profoundly moving book yet, Michael Connelly shows once again why he has been dubbed “one of the greatest crime writers of all time” (Ryan Steck, Crimereads).

©2022 Michael Connelly (P)2022 Little, Brown & Company

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Michael Connelly never disappoints!

Desert Star is the latest excellent novel from best-selling and award-winning crime writer Michael Connelly.

Actually, this is Book 24 in the iconic Harry Bosch series and the fifth in the saga starring both Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch.

Desert Star presents to us this dedicated team of highly experienced investigators as they work together in order to solve a series of cold cases. It is fascinating to unravel these mysteries alongside such unforgettable characters that with every word they say and action they take feel even more real and alive.

Spending time every Fall with Harry and Renée, traveling the dangerous streets of Los Angeles, making the acquaintance of its troubled inhabitants, hearing about their sorrows, and taking part in meticulous investigations that will try to bring into the light and to justice the darkest individuals lurking amidst the shadows in the City of Angels, these are definitely the highlights of the season for me.

I never read the Publisher’s Summary for these books, because I am always eager to be surprised by this fabulous author.

It is always a day of celebration when a new Michael Connelly audiobook is released and the day my pre-order came in and I started listening to Desert Star was no different.

The writing is exquisite and poetic, and the narration is excellent, immersive, and engaging. As with other previous audio productions released in past years, Desert Star is performed by multiple narrators. But, have no fear, Titus Welliver, Christine Lakin, and Peter Giles are doing a fantastic job in bringing our beloved characters to life. All three of them are experienced actors and talented narrators, so this audio experience is top-notch and extremely entertaining.

As a huge fan of the Bosch and Bosch Legacy TV shows, it is an absolute pleasure and delight to hear Titus Welliver giving life to the kind and beautiful soul of Harry Bosch for these priceless audiobooks. He is perfect for this role and for me he is the only one who can play the titular detective on screen.

I have listened to all of the audiobooks based on works by Michael Connelly, to all of the different series, and loved each and every one of them. If you love painstakingly plotted police procedurals, dark, atmospheric, and reminiscent of LA Noire, you cannot go wrong with Michael Connelly, he never disappoints, and he always manages to pleasantly surprise and entertain with each new, timely, and riveting novel.

33 people found this helpful

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Gets better and better

Really enjoyed this latest book in the Bosch - Ballard series. At some point during the development of characters in a series authors tend to forget that their stars have aged, i.e- Spenser is still punching out bad guys, drinking every day, and having sex daily. Connelly doesn’t do this , and it connects well with me. Despite Bosch having to be north of 70, I hope there is still a few miles left in this character.
Performance and production heightened my enjoyment of the authors great work. Keep writing, don’t get fat and happy

16 people found this helpful

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Best Michael Connelly novel in a decade

I have read everything Michael Connelly has ever written. Over the last few years, his books have gotten as old and tired as his lead character. Yet with this effort, he took a quantum leap back to the head of the class of mystery writers. Just perfect (except for the anti-Trump stuff which he should leave alone)

14 people found this helpful

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Riveting

My favorite of all the Harry Bosch books.I got so involved with the characters and the story line that I could not put it down

13 people found this helpful

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Go back to the drawing board, not the ouija board

I have been a big Connelly fan and have read every one of his books and, until this one, enjoyed them all. The use of a psychic on the team being a plot element ruined the book for me. I also didn't care for the use of two narrators and found it a distraction. I've always been able to distinguish Harry Bosch from any of his female cohorts without the aid of a female voice breaking the flow of the narrative. Go back to the drawing board, Mr. Connelly. Not the Ouija board.

10 people found this helpful

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are we saying goodbye to Bosch?

he's getting older so I'm wondering if we're making room for a solo Ballard series? I did miss her beach life but the cold cases was a good setup for this storyline a must in Bosch's world.
I love the Haller series and there's room to grow there after all Lawyers have longer careers than Cops.
So will there be more Bosch/ Ballard books or Haller/Ballard?
so enough hypothesis I'll just say this one did not disappoint... true Connelly.

10 people found this helpful

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Don"t get the raving

I don’t get all the great reviews. I’ve read and re-read all the BC (Before Covid) Harry Bosch books and hoped the pattern would continue. I knew the pace would be fast and hold my interest, the characters would be well developed, the women interests in Bosch’s life were always strong and capable and the insight into LAPD detective work would be thorough. Then Connelly introduced his Renee Ballard character and I found her a detraction to the story line. She seems to have no depth of personality, no friends, a dog that sees daycare more than its owner, and as a case supervisor doesn't seem quite the equal to Harry who has the benefit of decades of experience. Maybe it’s the narraator, because Christine Lakin just doesn’t nail it for me. In this case I had to keep checking my playback speed because she seemed to keep bogging down in her narration. Half way through she sounds like she’s just lost interest and that’s pretty much where I lost interest myself. I thought Harry was back after Connelly felt his politics needed to have a forum, but something is just missing now. Maybe do more with the Lincoln Lawyer?

9 people found this helpful

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Another great Ballard and Bosch

I looked forward to this latest Michael Connelly and if you loved the previous books with Renee and Harry you won’t be disappointed . Harry plays a bit of a larger role and is as tough and smart as ever . Excellent

9 people found this helpful

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end of the line?

the book definitely shows the signs of connolly ready to move on from harry.
not nearly as interesting or intriguing as the earlier bosch books. doesn’t really make sense that the squad can solve decades old cold cases in 5 or 6 days.
anyway, i’ll miss the early harry bosch, not so much this final harry…. if this is the final harry?!?

7 people found this helpful

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Predictable

This was my first Michael Connelly book. I would refer to it as Thriller light. While I wasn't able nor did I try to figure out who the bad guys were. I found when the answer was revealed I didn't care.


RECOMMENDATION: MAYBE

6 people found this helpful