Oline H. Cogdill

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the annual author luncheon sponsored by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.

The guest of honor was Michael Connelly, interviewed by his long-time friend, author Scott Eyman.

Connelly, of course, is the author of the series about detective Harry Bosch.

Eyman has written several best-selling biographies on movie stars, the latest of which is Grant: A Brilliant Disguise. Eyman’s newly released book is 20th Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio.

The banter between the two authors was entertaining and illuminating as Connelly discussed his work. One question: Did Connelly base Bosch on himself or someone else? Connelly said Bosch is a combination of many traits.

“I just wrote about a guy who I thought I’d like to ride with,” Connelly said.

And I think readers would agree—we all like to ride with Bosch.

Asked which authors he reads, Connelly mentioned that he often rereads Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister, especially Chapter 11, which is “a driving tour around L.A.,” he added.

In Connelly’s latest novel The Dark Hours, Harry Bosch again teams up with Det. Renée Ballard.

I love both those characters but I have to say my favorite character in The Dark Hours is Pinto, a Chihuahua mix “with golden eyes and a sincere look.”

The Dark Hours touches on how the pandemic has affected the police department.

Ballard used to pitch a tent and sleep on the beach, accompanied by her dog Lola. But the beaches were closed during the pandemic, forcing Ballard into an apartment.

In The Dark Hours, Ballard is still mourning the loss of Lola, who succumbed to bone cancer. Lola was Ballard’s protector and her companion.

But Ballard misses having a dog so she goes to the website of Wags and Walks, a real rescue group in L.A., where she finds Pinto. (The description of Pinto reminds me of our little Dot, a terrier-Chihuahua mix.)
It isn’t giving away any plot secrets to say that Ballard adopts Pinto and it’s a winning situation.

Pinto proves to be a good companion to Ballard, who makes sure Pinto is safe. If she knows she will be working late, she checks Pinto into an all-night dog care center.

Connelly shows how important dogs are to people and how they can help our mental health.

In one scene, Ballard has just come face to face with evil. To shake off what she has just witnessed first-hand, Ballard calls up the kennel’s camera to see what Pinto is doing. Seeing Pinto, she was “better braced for her dark thoughts.” It’s a lovely scene and very telling about Ballard’s personality.

I love that Connelly uses a real rescue group and hope the publicity helps the dogs at Wags and Walks be adopted.

I also support adopting rescue dogs, as they make great companions. That’s our Dot, who also is a rescue, in the second photo.

Wags and Walks sounds like a great organization, as are most local rescue groups. Our other dog, Max, came to us from Good Karma Pet Rescue in South Florida.

The Dark Hours ranks as one of Connelly’s best in a series of excellent novels.

Happy reading.