Desert Star by Michael Connelly [8/10]

That Michael Connelly can keep pumping out high quality crime fiction books annually, after more than forty of them, is impressive enough. That his plotting mastery, solid characterization, and economical, honed style have not waned is remarkable. His series featuring iconic ex-homicide detective Harry Bosch working together with driven, smart Renee Ballard had a couple of flat spots in the early 2020s, but his latest, ”Desert Star,” is a masterclass return to full form. Ballard is now in charge of an LA cold case team and when she recruits Bosch on a consulting basis, the two of them tackle two unsolved cases that obsess them: the killing of a family of four, and the cruel murder of a young woman. As ever, Connelly is right on top of modern crime-solving methods and the reader is given the treat with an excellent treatment of the latest genetic linkage methods, including using the many publicly available citizen-generated family trees. Not a word is wasted and the action flows seamlessly from a quiet start to twin dramatic climaxes. Needless to say, I read Desert Star in an evening. Recommended.

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