The Night Fire.png

The Night Fire is the thirty-third novel written by Michael Connelly, the twenty-second to feature LAPD detective Harry Bosch, and the third to feature LAPD detective Reneé Ballard. It also has an appearance from Mickey Haller. The book was released on 22 October 2019 in the United States.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Reneé Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch’s mentor, the man who trained him to be a homicide detective.

Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, John Jack Thompson, is dead, but after his funeral his widow hands Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before — the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals.

Bosch brings the murder book to Reneé Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigation team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

Chapters[edit | edit source]

  • Bosch
    • Chapter 1 - Bosch attends the funeral of John Jack Thompson, his first partner as a homicide detective. Recovering from knee surgery, Bosch sits apart from the crowd. After the service he offers his condolences to John Jack's widow Margaret. Margaret invites Bosch to visit her at home, telling him John Jack left something for him.
    • Chapter 2 - Bosch attends John Jack's wake at his home in Orange Grove and collects the legacy John Jack left him - a murder book.
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 3 - Ballard attends the scene of a fatal fire - the homeless victim burned to death in their tent. She meets a homeless mother and her 14-year-old daughter Mandy.
    • Chapter 4 - Ballard hands over the fire investigation to arson investigators from LAFD and returns to Hollywood Station. She tries to build her relationship with the new night shift supervisor Lieutenant Washington. When she gets back to her desk she finds that Bosch has left her the murder book - the victim John Hilton was killed in 1990. Ballard calls Bosch and warily agrees to take the lead on investigating the case. Bosch asks her to help with running the details of the bullet recovered as evidence through the national database, which was set up a decade after the killing.
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 5 - Bosch visits the courthouse to meet with his half-brother Mickey Haller. Haller is embroiled in a murder trial, defending paranoid schizophrenic Jeffrey Herstadt who is charged with the murder of Superior-Court Judge Walter Montgomery.
    • Chapter 6 - Haller and Bosch go for lunch. Bosch reveals that he has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and is being treated with chemotherapy. He asks Haller to help him seek compensation for his exposure to radiation while investigating the murder of Stanley Kent. Haller agrees and asks Bosch to look into the Herstadt case.
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 7 - Ballard reviews the Hilton murder book, developing a list of persons of interest. She notes that a portion of the interview with Hilton's parents has been redacted despite the confidential nature of the murder book.
    • Chapter 8 - Ballard visits the property room to reclaim the physical evidence in the Hilton case and finds that Hilton was a sketch artist and drew many of the men he encountered.
    • Chapter 9 - Ballard meets Bosch at the Nickel diner to discuss the Hilton case. Bosch has the Herstadt files out on the table and Ballard needles him about working for Haller. Ballard relays that John Jack never pulled the physical evidence on the Hilton case and shares her concern that he did not work the case but took the book to stop anyone else from investigating. They discuss the redacted segment of the parents' interview and agree to seek Hilton's birth certificate. Bosch confides that Maddie's apartment was broken into by a sexual prowler and that he has been spending every Saturday night watching the place in case the perpetrator returns. Ballard offers to help.
    • Chapter 10 - Ballard interviews Dennard Dorsey at Men's Central. He remembers being sent away from the alley on the day of Hilton's murder by Elvin Kidd
    • Chapter 11
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 12
    • Chapter 13
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 14
    • Chapter 15
    • Chapter 16
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 17
    • Chapter 18
    • Chapter 19
    • Chapter 20
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 21
    • Chapter 22
    • Chapter 23
    • Chapter 24
    • Chapter 25
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 26
    • Chapter 27
    • Chapter 28
    • Chapter 29
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 30
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 31
    • Chapter 32
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 33
    • Chapter 34
    • Chapter 35
    • Chapter 36
    • Chapter 37
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 38
    • Chapter 39
    • Chapter 40
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 41
    • Chapter 42
    • Chapter 43
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 44
    • Chapter 45
    • Chapter 46
    • Chapter 47
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 48
  • Bosch
    • Chapter 49
    • Chapter 50
  • Ballard
    • Chapter 51
  • Ballard & Bosch
    • Chapter 52
  • Epilogue

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

  • Harry Bosch
  • John Jack Thompson
  • Margaret Thompson
  • Tyrone Power (mentioned)
  • Detective Renée Ballard - Hollywood Homicide
  • Sergeant Stan Dvorek - Hollywood Patrol
  • Officer Rollins - Hollywood Patrol
  • Unnamed Late Show poet (mentioned)
  • Mandy - homeless girl
  • Mandy's mother
  • Eddie - fatal fire victim
  • LAFD Arson Investigator Nuccio
  • LAFD Arson Investigator Spellman
  • Officer Randolph - Hollywood Patrol
  • Lieutenant Washington - Hollywood Division
  • Lieutenant Terry McAdams - Hollywood Detectives Commander (mentioned)
  • John Hilton - 1990 murder victim
  • Detective George Hunter - original lead on the Hilton murder
  • Judge Paul Falcone
  • Mickey Haller
  • Superior-Court Judge Walter Montgomery - murder victim (mentioned)
  • Jeffrey Herstadt - Haller's client
  • Dr Stein - Haller's psychiatrist expert witness
  • Detective Gustafson - investigator on the Montgomery murder (mentioned)
  • Deputy District Attorney Susan Saldano - prosecutor in the Montgomery murder trial
  • Stace - Haller's driver
  • Stace's son - Haller's client (mentioned)
  • Dr Stanley Kent - The Overlook victim (mentioned)
  • Madeline Bosch (mentioned)
  • Lola
  • Aaron - lifeguard
  • Detective Maxwell Talis - original second on the Hilton murder (mentioned)
  • Elvin Kidd - POI in Hilton murder, Rollin 60s street boss (mentioned)
  • Dennard Dorsey - POI in Hilton murder, Rollin 60s member and confidential informant
  • Deputy Chief Brendan Sloan - Western Bureau Commander, Former Narcotics detective and Dorsey's handler (mentioned)
  • Sandra Hilton - John Hilton's mother (mentioned)
  • Donald Hilton - John Hilton's stepfather (mentioned)
  • Nathan Brazil - John Hilton's roommate (mentioned)
  • Vincent Pilkey AKA V-Dog - POI in Hilton murder, drug dealer (mentioned)
  • Detective Mitzi Roberts (mentioned)
  • Sam Little - murderer in Roberts' case (mentioned)
  • Detective Amy Dodd - RHD Special Assault Section
  • Parole Officer Rob Compton - Dorsey's PO
  • Captain Olivas - RHD

Locations[edit | edit source]

  • Cemetery, near the tomb of Tyrone Power
  • Gelson's (mentioned)
  • Thompson residence, Orange Grove
  • Hollywood Recreation Centre, Cole Avenue homeless camp
  • Los Angeles Fire Department Station 27
  • Hollywood Station
  • Department 106 courtroom
  • The Little Jewel, Chinatown
  • Ballard's tent, near the Rose Avenue lifeguard stand
  • Groundwork on Westminster
  • John Hilton's murder scene, alley off Melrose Avenue near the 101 Freeway, in Hollywood
  • Corcoran Prison (mentioned)
  • Hilton family home, Toluca Lake (mentioned)
  • Hilton's apartment, North Hollywood (mentioned)
  • Archway Studios in Hollywood
  • LAPD Property Room
  • Los Feliz residence - Hilton's parking ticket (mentioned)
  • Nickel Diner
  • Police Administration Building
  • Men's central

References[edit | edit source]

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