Desert Star by Michael Connelly

I had a Christmas gift card burning a hole in my pocket when I found this at Barnes and Noble.  Needless to say, this book by one of my favorite authors jumped to the top of my reading stack. It’s the latest Harry Bosch/Renee Ballard mystery but could easily be read as a standalone story.

In this book, Ballard has returned to active duty to head a new cold case in the LAPD robbery homicide division. She insists on having retired homicide detective Harry Bosch as part of the team. He agreed to join the team as a volunteer, but one of his conditions for returning to work is that he be allowed to work on one of his old cases that had haunted him for years, the brutal murder and desert burial of a young family of four. Ballard agrees, but the new units first priority must be the decades old case involving the murder of a current LA councilman’s sister, since that Councilman is largely responsible for funding the new unit. When they get a “cold hit,” meaning a DNA match on a similar, still-unsolved crime, tensions run high as the team seeks a serial killer who had gone undetected for years.

This was excellent and I absolutely could not put it down. I thought I had guessed who the serial killer was, but I was wrong.