Simon Says » communiqué 035/September 2019

Simon Says: communiqué 035/September 2019

Hello everyone

In last month edition of Simon Says I talked about some of the best books I have read this year. If you missed that edition, head over and read it now—there are some good books there.

I like talking about books and it’s something I want to do more of—whether in Simon Says or on my website. My purpose in talking about books is not to provide a review—others will do that far better than me—but rather to share books that I have enjoyed and that I think others will enjoy.

This month I’m going to talk about Michael Connelly’s book The Late Show which introduces a new character, Renée Ballard. But before I get to Connelly, let me talk about luck…

Lucky Generals

There’s a quote that’s widely attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte that has always fascinated me: “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?”

My fascination comes from the notion that there is a factor beyond pure skill and hard work that plays a part in success.

Was Bonaparte right? Were there lucky generals? Or were some of his generals simply more intelligent than others? I have some thoughts.

The Late Show

The Late Show by Michael Connelly introduces us to a new series character, Renée Ballard. The novel includes the best of Connelly’s police procedural story telling but there is much more than that.


With the new character, Connelly introduces us to a different personality. Unlike his most well-known character, Harry Bosch, Renée Ballard is female, younger, and less experienced. These seemingly small changes in combination make the character’s stakes that much more significant than they are for Bosch.


The story also looks at the LAPD from a different angle, examining its internal politics and how the culture seeks to keep the blame at the level of officers on the front line.

For Ballard, the politics matter more—the consequences of a small mistake could be far more significant than the consequences of a big mistake might be for Bosch. So Ballard has to be more thoughtful, and more deliberate, as she progresses.

Go Read the Book

I loved the book. Let me tell you more about why you might enjoy it.

And to Close

That’s me done until October. I’ll see you then.

All the best