Creator / Michael Connelly

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Michael Connelly (born July 21, 1956, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch. His books, which have been translated into 35 languages, have garnered him every major award in his genre, such as the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, etc. Connelly was the President of the Mystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2004.

His style does not usually involve researching for his books; he says that he prefers to just write, focusing more on his characters than the surroundings. His books often reflect on events happening in the world, like the 9/11 bombings and the beating of Rodney King. Most of the events in Harry Bosch's life in his novels are loosely based on events he himself was witnessing or undergoing.

Other POV characters besides Harry Bosch include Los Angeles Times crime reporter Jack McEvoy and ethically dubious defense lawyer Mickey Haller. Characters in one series pop up in other series quite frequently, as shown below. All of his books are partly or wholly set in Los Angeles, to the extent that the series as a whole is a pretty good guided tour of the city.

Has a regular poker game with a fictional novelist.

A series titled Bosch, based on the Harry Bosch character with Titus Welliver as Bosch, debuted on Amazon in 2014.

Books published by Michael Connelly (in chronological order, arranged by main character):

  • The Harry Bosch Novels
    • The Black Echo
    • The Black Ice
    • The Concrete Blonde
    • The Last Coyote
    • Trunk Music
    • Angels Flight
    • A Darkness More Than Night - Also features Terry McCaleb, Rachel Walling, and Jack McEvoy.
    • City of Bones
    • Lost Light
    • The Narrows - Also features Rachel Walling, Terry McCaleb and Cassie Black.
    • The Closers
    • Echo Park - Also features Rachel Walling. A serial killer featured in this book was described as a former client of Mickey Haller.
    • The Overlook - Also features Rachel Walling.
    • 9 Dragons - Also features Mickey Haller.
    • The Drop
    • The Black Box
    • The Burning Room
    • The Crossing - Also features Mickey Haller.

  • The Mickey Haller novels
    • The Lincoln Lawyer
    • The Brass Verdict - Also features Harry Bosch, with a cameo by and Jack McEvoy.
    • The Reversal - Co-starring Harry Bosch
    • The Fifth Witness- With a cameo by Harry Bosch
    • The Gods of Guilt - With a cameo by Harry Bosch

  • Other Novels
    • The Poet - Features Rachel Walling and Jack McEvoy.
    • Blood Work - Features Terry McCaleb.
    • Void Moon - Features Cassie Black.
    • Chasing The Dime - Features Henry Pierce.
    • The Scarecrow - Features Rachel Walling and Jack McEvoy.
    • Suicide Run - Short story collection featuring Harry Bosch ("Suicide Run", "Cielo Azul", "One Dollar Jackpot")
    • Angle of Investigation - Short story collection featuring Harry Bosch ("Christmas Even", "Father's Day", "Angle of Investigation")
    • Mulholland Dive - Short story collection ("Cahoots", "Mulholland Dive", "Two Bagger")

  • Miscellaneous short stories:
    • "Switchblade" (featuring Harry Bosch), "Red Eye" (featuring Harry Bosch), "The Safe Man"


Michael Connelly novels with their own trope pages include:


This author's other novels include examples of:

General Tropes and Tropes in Multiple Novels

  • Alliterative Name: Chief Irvin Irving, Bosch's LAPD nemesis.
    • Upon learning Mickey Haller's daughter's name, a cop commented that "Hayley Haller" was a nice alliteration.
    • Burnett Biggar, Miles Manley and Bernard Banks in Lost Light.
  • Always Gets His Man: Detective Hieronymus Bosch, LAPD, Robbery-Homicide Division.
  • Amicably Divorced: Mickey Haller can't seem to quit dating his first ex-wife, and his second ex-wife works for him.
  • Amoral Attorney: Mickey Haller skirts the edge of this, and feels bad about it. He often deals with more unambiguously Amoral Attorneys.
  • Asian Store-Owner: Bosch finds himself inside a convenience store owned by a Chinese man at the end of Angels Flight. In 9 Dragons a murder occurs at that same store, which leads to Bosch getting involved with Chinese organized crime.
  • Badass Grandpa: Harry Bosch was born circa 1952. He ages in real time throughout the novel series, and by The Drop is facing imminent retirement.
  • Bleak Abyss Retirement Home: Bosch visits the Splendid Age Retirement Home and notes that it doesn't seem very splendid. He also notes the scent of urine and the general air of decay in the place.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The Overlook, 9 Dragons, The Concrete Blonde, Trunk Music.
  • The Bus Came Back: Connelly's Loads and Loads of Characters universe facilitates this.
    • Bosch's old nemesis Irvin Irving returns in The Drop six years after being forced out of the LAPD at the end of The Closers.
    • Teresa Corazon, last seen when she was head of the medical examiner's office and star of her own reality show in City of Bones, pops up again in The Burning Room. She has fallen out of political favor and all the way back to her old job slicing up corpses. She tries to start up the Friends with Benefits thing with Bosch again but he isn't interested.
  • Call Back / Continuity Nod: Many.
    • Fictional film company Archway Studios pops up in Trunk Music, The Brass Verdict, A Darkness More Than Night, Lost Light, The Fifth Witness, and The Drop
    • In Lost Light we find out that the events of Void Moon were made into a movie.
    • In The Black Box Harry goes to visit the grave of the boy whose murder he investigated in City of Bones.
    • Bosch visits the Splendid Age Retirement Home in City of Bones and again in short story "Christmas Even".
  • Call Forward: Short story "Cahoots", being set in 1932, included this exchange.
    “Where do you want to go?”
    “Las Vegas.”
    “Where the hell is that?”
    “Nevada.”
    “There’s nothing there but sand.”
  • Canon Welding:
    • The Poet did not have any ties to the Harry Bosch universe when it was published. However, it was later connected to the rest of Connelly's books in Blood Work, which mentions both The Poet and a character from Bosch novel Trunk Music.
    • Chasing the Dime could have been a stand-alone novel, with its protagonist Henry Pierce being a computer software entrepreneur who does not pop up in any other Connelly book. But just to make clear that it was in the same universe, Connelly makes Pierce's dead sister a victim of The Dollmaker (a serial killer that Harry Bosch investigated and killed), and takes the prosecuting attorney from Angels Flight and makes her Pierce's lawyer.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In every single novel. In The Closers Roland Mackey's alibi for the murder is that he was being tutored; it turns out that his tutor is the killer.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • In Trunk Music, Powers the beat cop finds the body in the opening scene and is pretty much forgotten about afterwards, until he's revealed as the murderer.
    • Similarly in The Overlook, FBI Agent Maxwell appears in one chapter, where he has a physical altercation with Bosch at a crime scene, and is then forgotten about until he's revealed as the murderer.
  • Christmas Episode: In short story "Christmas Even" Harry Bosch investigates a death at a pawn shop on Christmas Eve and finds an old saxophone that brings back a memory from his youth.
  • Clear My Name: Mickey Haller gets this from his clients in every novel, which makes it a bummer when they turn out to be guilty. In The Gods of Guilt he finally gets a Clear My Name case where the client is actually innocent. It's portrayed as a redemptive moment for him.
  • Cowboy Cop: Bosch. It wouldn't be a Harry Bosch novel if he weren't going off on independent ops against orders from the LAPD.
  • Crossover: The short story "Red Eye", co-written by Connelly and Dennis Lehane and featured in anthology FaceOff, matches up Harry Bosch with Lehane's character Patrick Kenzie.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Maggie McPherson, Haller's fiercely idealistic ex-wife and prosecuting attorney, who disapproves of his work as a criminal defense lawyer.
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: 'The Overlook, Lost Light.
    • In Trunk Music the bad guy rubs his wrists after overpowering Bosch and Edgar and forcing them at gunpoint to give him the handcuff keys.
    • In Lost Light Bosch, who is the one rubbing his wrists, comments disapprovingly about how he always thought cuffing a suspect too tightly was a cheap tactic. In The Burning Room the suspect, an anti-government, "exaggeratedly" rubs his wrists to make a point.
  • Detective Mole:
    • Angels Flight: One of the Internal Affairs cops assigned to investigate the Howard Elias murder is the murderer.
    • The Overlook: One of the FBI agents chasing supposed terrorists is actually the bad guy.
    • "Angle of Investigation" (short story): Bosch's partner, who discovered the dead woman's body along with him, is the killer.
    • "Suicide Run" (short story): The LAPD crime scene photographer is the killer.
  • Dirty Cop: This is one of Michael Connelly's favorite tropes.
    • The Black Ice: An LAPD cop is a heroin kingpin, who faked his own death to boot.
    • The Last Coyote: An LAPD cop is enmeshed in a criminal conspiracy.
    • Trunk Music: The patrolman who found the body was part of the murder plot.
    • Angels Flight: An LAPD cop killed a troublesome attorney.
    • Lost Light: The crippled LAPD cop who helps Bosch is actually the murderer.
    • Echo Park: An LAPD cop is involved in covering up a crime, which winds up getting a couple other cops killed.
    • The Overlook: An FBI agent is the murderer.
    • The Brass Verdict features a Dirty Judge who is part of a plot to fix a trial.
  • Disney Villain Death: Void Moon, The Last Coyote
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Strongly averted by Bosch, what with his mother being a prostitute who was murdered.
    Bosch: "Everyone counts, or no one counts."
  • Double Meaning Title: Michael Connelly is a big fan of these.
    • The Black Ice is a kind of heroin, and also ice on a road that symbolizes unseen danger.
    • The Concrete Blonde is both a murder victim found in concrete and the statue of Justice.
    • The Drop is both the Deferred Retirement Option Plan that fixes a date for Bosch's retirement, and a drop of blood on the neck of a murder victim, and how the victim in the A-plot died (he fell off a hotel balcony).
    • The Black Box is both the box holding the information that cracks a case, and death.
    • The Gods of Guilt are both the 12 jurors in a trial, and all the people in Mickey Haller's life who judge his choices.
    • The Burning Room is both a Bosch expression for an investigation that opens a door into some very serious stuff, and also the literal burning room that his partner Lucia Soto was trapped in as a little girl.
    • The Reversal is both Jason Jessup's murder conviction being overturned and Mickey Haller being a prosecutor instead of a defender for a change.
    • The Fifth Witness is known as such for being the fifth person to be called by Mickey Haller to testify during Lisa Trammel's trial and taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.
  • Driven to Suicide: Angels Flight, 'The Overlook, The Last Coyote, "Angle of Investigation", "Suicide Run"
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous: In short story "Suicide Run", the nude corpse of a gorgeous young actress is described in detail. Her nudity actually helps Bosch figure out that she wasn't a suicide—there was no pencil to write her supposed suicide note and Bosch dismisses the idea that a naked woman would have gone to put a pencil away before overdosing on pills.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch.
  • FBI Agent: Many. Bosch marries one.
  • Foreshadowing: Connelly being a Fair Play Whodunnit type of author, this happens in all his novels. Lampshaded in The Fifth Witness. A detail (a freshly turned garden in the suspect's home) is introduced, and Mickey Haller says
    It was what the great filmmakers would call foreshadowing.
    • In the end it is foreshadowing, but in a different way from what Haller guesses.
  • Friends with Benefits: Bosch and medical examiner Teresa Corazon in The Black Ice. Bosch and LAPD makeup artist Vicki Landreth in The Closers. Corazon cuts him off as she rises in LA politics.
  • Generation Xerox: Madeline Bosch is a crack shot who is interested in a career in law enforcement.
  • Groin Attack: Trunk Music. Bosch kicks a Mook square in the nuts.
  • Gun Struggle: In Lost Light Bosch opens his eyes after the Gun Struggle and finds that his opponent doesn't have a face.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Discussed in Lost Light when Bosch is sparring with an FBI agent, after the FBI chucked him into a special detention center.
    • Honey Chandler in The Concrete Blonde accuses Harry Bosch of this and quotes Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In short story "Mulholland Dive", a bad guy kills his target by letting loose a coyote that causes the target to veer right off Mullholland Drive. As he's driving away from the scene, the bad guy sees a coyote on Mulholland Drive and goes veering off the cliff.
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Shamiram Arslanian, the forensic scientist who testifies for Mickey Haller in The Brass Verdict and The Fifth Witness. Beyond her technical expertise, Haller values her for her hotness, which impresses jurors.
  • Internal Affairs: The bane of Harry Bosch's existence, screwing with him in novel after novel. Finally averted in The Black Box, where not only does Bosch finally encounter an honorable Internal Affairs cop, said IA cop winds up bailing Bosch out of a jam.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Chasing the Dime, in which software designer Henry Pierce gets fixated on an Internet call girl and winds up in a lot of trouble. In Angels Flight, Bosch's investigation leads him to a dominatrix who advertises on the Internet—which leads him to a far darker example of this trope, namely, a child porn ring.
  • In the Style of...: Short story "The Safe Man" is a ghost story that deliberately invokes the style of Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Jack McEvoy, who tends to get hunted by murderers due to his diligence.
  • It's Personal: In The Last Coyote Bosch investigate his mother's murder. In The Burning Room, Bosch and Lucia Soto investigate the day care fire that Soto was trapped in as a child, which killed several of her friends.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: The murder suspect in The Reversal has tattoos that read FUCK THIS.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: All of Connelly's novels take place within the same fictional universe.note  Note the many character crossovers in the bibliography above; even minor characters pop up in multiple novels.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Half-brothers Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch. Contrary to how this trope usually plays out, their relationship remains awkward even after they realize this.
  • Never Suicide: The Black Ice, in which the suicide was actually Faking the Dead. Short story "Suicide Run", in which a murder is carefully staged to look like suicide by painkiller overdose. Averted in The Drop, where the guy everyone thought was a suicide at the beginning actually is a suicide.
  • Nighthawks Shot: In The Black Echo, Harry Bosch's girlfriend, FBI agent Eleanor Wish, has a framed print of Nighthawks. They commisserate on how they've found each other, two loners together, with Eleanor even calling the two of them "a couple of nighthawks." When Bosch meets her again after several years apart in Trunk Music, she still has the Nighthawks print, and Bosch wonders, after years of separation between them, if he is actually the man alone in the painting.
  • No Name Given: The chief of the LAPD, first mentioned in The Last Coyote and referenced or appearing in several novels after. Described as a large, handsome black man, generally honorable, helps Harry Bosch out a time or two. He is only called "Chief" or "the Chief" and his name is never mentioned—except in The Drop, where he identifies himself as "Marty" when calling Bosch on the phone.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • 2005 short story "The Safe Man", originally published anonymously in a fiction anthology before being released under Connelly's name in 2012, is not connected to the Harry Bosch universe. It's subtitled "A Ghost Story" and is also the only piece of Connelly fiction to deal with the supernatural.
    • Another short story, "Cahoots" (included in the collection Mulholland Dive) also is not connected to the Bosch universe. And it is unique in the Connelly canon in that it's a period piece, set in 1932 as Los Angeles was hosting the Olympics.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: The Black Ice, The Brass Verdict, The Last Coyote, Lost Light
  • Parental Incest: Incest of the abusive variety in Angels Flight and The Reversal
  • The Profiler: Rachel Walling, Terry McCaleb.
  • Real Person Cameo: Real Life LAPD detectives Rick Jackson and Tim Marcia and real-life lawyer Dan Daly pop up from time to time as characters in Connelly books. Dan Daly sits with Norman Church's wife in court when Honey Chandler doesn't show up in The Concrete Blonde. Dennis "Cisco" Wojciechowski, a recurring character who works as Mickey Haller's private investigator, is based on a real-life person of that name who works as a researcher for Michael Connelly.
  • Red Herring: The terrorism investigation in The Overlook, the pursuit of skinhead suspects in The Closers, etc. More than once Bosch is lured down a path that turns out to be a distraction.
  • Serial Killer: Connelly is big on this trope. The Concrete Blonde, Echo Park, The Drop.
  • Series Continuity Error: The number of J. Michael Haller's children. When Harry Bosch remembers his father in The Black Ice, he remembers going to J. Michael Haller's funeral and seeing a son older than him, and three daughters. When the character of J. Michael Haller Jr., Mickey Haller, is introduced in The Lincoln Lawyer, he is said to have been five years old when his father died. His three sisters are never mentioned, although he does mention an older brother. By The Brass Verdict, when Mickey finds out about his half-brother Harry Bosch, the other brother has been forgotten about as well, and Mickey and Harry are apparently the only two offspring of J. Michael Haller Sr.
  • Shot in the Ass: Angels Flight. Not played for laughs one tiny little bit.
    • Also in the backstory for Lost Light, again not played for laughs.
  • Shout-Out: In The Fifth Witness a producer muses that Matthew McConaughey would be good to play Mickey Haller in a movie. McConaughey actually did play Mickey Haller in the film The Lincoln Lawyer, released that same year.
    • The title of The Black Box is a shout-out to the beginning of the Harry Bosch series, the first two novels of which were The Black Echo and The Black Ice. Connelly begins the novel with a thank-you to readers for keeping Harry alive for 20 years and the story begins 20 years in the past, with the initial call-out for the cold case Harry investigates in the story.
    • In A Darkness More than Night, Jack McEvoy tells Harry Bosch the bureau is after the latter and says that catching an LAPD cop for any wrongdoing is worth more than Park Place and Boardwalk together.
  • Significant Name: The original Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch Renaissance painter known for nightmarish hellscapes. This connection is mentioned in several Harry Bosch novels and is explored at length in A Darkness More Than Night
  • Son of a Whore: Harry Bosch. In The Last Coyote, which is maybe the most depressing of the Harry Bosch novels, his investigation into his mother's murder reveals that his mother had found a prospective husband and was going to quit the life and reclaim Harry from reform school. All that was ruined when his mother's jealous roommate murdered her.
  • Switching P.O.V.:
    • The Reversal switches back and forth between its two POV protagonists, Mickey Haller in the first person and Harry Bosch in the third person. Similarly, A Darkness More Than Night switches back and forth between third-person protagonists Bosch and Terry McCaleb.
    • An interesting example over several novels. All the Harry Bosch stories are told in third person, except for the two novels in which Bosch is retired from the LAPD and working as a private investigator, Lost Light and The Narrows. Those are told by Bosch in the first person.
  • Technology Marches On: Demonstrated and lampshaded by the Harry Bosch novels over a quarter century as Bosch ages in real time. In the early novels LAPD detectives are using pagers and typing out their reports on typewriters. Plot points hinge on answering machine messages and spiral notebooks people carry around with them to take notes on. In later novels Bosch is the last detective to still be using a typewriter, and he admits that he has to get his daughter to help him with computers. In The Crossing his young former partner Lucia Soto walks him through how to use the Uber app.
  • Title Drop: Every single novel mentions the title at some point in the narrative.
  • Title Drop Chapter: The last part of The Fifth Witness, which includes the climax in which Mickey Haller gets his client off and then figures out who was the murderer, is called "The Fifth Witness". The last part of Echo Park, in which Bosch sets up a sting to nab the real killer of Marie Gesto, is called "Echo Park".
  • Vanity License Plate: Mickey Haller's "IWALKEM".
  • Wall Slump: In Lost Light, one of the bad guys does this after getting shot.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Rachel Walling delivers one to Bosch at the end of Echo Park.
    • Terry McCaleb does the same to Bosch at the end of A Darkness More Than Night.
    • Bosch finally gets to give one in The Drop, to old partner Kizmin Rider, who has sold out to LAPD politics.


Tropes found in specific novels

The Black Ice
  • The Alcoholic: Lucius Porter, a broken-down old homicide cop with a bulbous red alcoholic's nose.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Harry Bosch was born at a time society wouldn't allow fathers to acknowledge illegitimate children.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Bosch hears about the Calexico Moore suicide on Christmas Day, which has little significance to the plot other than underlining how solitary Harry is on the holiday.
  • Evil Counterpart: Eventually it becomes clear that Cal Moore is Harry Bosch's Evil Counterpart. Both were illegitimate children who weren't recognized by their fathers, and both became LAPD cops. While Bosch eventually forgave his father, and became dedicated to justice, Cal Moore turned bitter and became a drug lord.
  • Faking the Dead: Turns out that Calexico Moore faked his own death.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Bosch does this when finding a sack of sugar in Cal Moore's apartment. Turns out it really was sugar.
  • Posthumous Character: The late J. Michael Haller appears in flashback.

The Concrete Blonde
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: "“Edgar was parked in front of a Winchell’s Donuts store, apparently not realizing the comic implications of this.”
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: Before the opening statements of Harry Bosch's trial, the judge told the jurors what the attorneys say during those statements wasn't necessarily true since they're lawyers. The judge's accent even makes it sound like "lie-yers".
  • Flashback: Or Distant Prologue—the story starts out with a prologue that recounts Bosch's fatal encounter with the Dollmaker, Norman Church, before a Time Skip to the present where Bosch is being sued for that shooting.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Honey Chandler, the sexy lawyer who's trying to ruin Harry Bosch's career.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Bosch is puzzled when The Dollmaker, a serial killer that Bosch shot, seems to have become active again. He wonders if he got the wrong man. It turns out this new serial killer is a copycat.
  • Literal Metaphor: "Say Church's wife knows where he buried bodies, literally," speculates Harvey Pounds.

The Last Coyote
  • Funetik Aksent: How Connelly renders a Southern radio preacher.
  • The Shrink: Bosch has therapy sessions with Dr. Carmen Hinojos.
  • Tap on the Head: Averted. Bosch has a concussion and is pretty messed up after getting whacked on the head.

Trunk Music
  • Contrived Coincidence: Entirely by chance]], while on an investigation Bosch runs across old girlfriend Eleanor Wish in Las Vegas. At the end, after spending much of the novel looking for a particular Las Vegas stripper and not finding her, Bosch finally encounters her—on a random beach in Hawaii, while he's on vacation, after the case has been closed.
  • The Infiltration: One of Bosch's suspects turns out to be doing this, much to Harry's embarrassment.
  • The Mafia: The only Connelly novel which involves the Mafia as bad guys.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: Alluded to in a rather silly exchange. Internal Affairs hatchet man John Chastain tells Bosch that he (Chastain) polices the police, leading Bosch to parry with "Who polices the police who police the police?".
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Several scenes in a Las Vegas strip club.
  • Your Mom
    Bosch: So, where were you Friday night?
    Goshen: Fuckin' your mother.
    Bosch: She's dead.
    Goshen: I know. It wasn't very good.

Angels Flight
  • Bondage Is Bad: At one point Bosch's investigation leads him to a dominatrix's apartment. He interviews her while she's all geared up in a fetish outfit. The narration calls it "a depressing male fantasy."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Bosch is assigned to a special task force for the Howard Elias case that includes John Chastain, his arch-enemy from Internal Affairs. Ultimately subverted when Chastain turns out to be the murderer.

A Darkness More Than Night
  • Continuity Porn: This novel unites two of Connelly's heroes, Terry McCaleb and Bosch. For no particular reason Connelly throws in a cameo from Jack McEvoy from The Poet. And Connelly includes an even more random reference to Thelma the parole officer from Void Moon, letting his readers know that Thelma survived and went back to work.
  • Ominous Owl: The killer leaves owls as tokens.

Lost Light
  • Alliterative List: The case Harry Bosch is investigating is said to have "everything RHD likes in a case: movies, money and murder".
  • Evil Cripple: Turns out that the murderer is the (now) quadriplegic cop.
  • Exact Words: To avoid telling the bad guys he's working for himself, Harry Bosch says he's "working for somebody who isn't going to stop, who isn't going to let up. Not for a minute. He's going to find out who put Angella Benton down on the tile and he'll go at it until he either dies or he knows."
  • Foreshadowing: A criminal defense attorney tries to hire the unemployed Harry Bosch as a private investigator and Bosch refuses because he doesn't feel comfortable with the idea. In "The Crossing", he'll investigate a murder on behalf of the accused's lawyer.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: "Hieronymus Bosch" is called that as a threat.
  • Fun with Acronyms: REACT. The agent who explains it to Bosch has some trouble remembering what it means. 'Regional Response... no, it's Rapid Enforcement Against something Terrorism, I forget the whole thing - oh, I got it, Rapid Response Enforcement And Counter-terrorism. That's it.' REACT is described as a BAM squad. By Any Means.
  • Meaningful Name: Burnett Biggar and his son Andre are tall enough to deserve their surname.

The Closers
  • Mugging the Monster: Two homeless men attempt this on Bosch. One of them sees the look in Harry's eyes and backs down before it can end very badly.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: One of these, with a very dark ending, turns out to be the solution.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Irving starts pestering Bosch after the latter starts investigating an open-unsolved case Irving worked on in the past. Bosch refuses to think it's a coincidence.

Echo Park
  • Retirony: Pratt, Bosch's supervisor, has three weeks before retirement, as is mentioned every time his name comes up. And it's all a Red Herring, as he's not a victim, he's complicit in the concealment of one, which leads to two cops getting shot. Harry is more than a little pissed when he finds out, especially since Pratt's machinations led him to accuse other people.
  • That Man Is Dead: Raynard Waits doesn't explicitly say so, but he clearly regards his original identity of Robert Foxworth that way. When talking with Bosch in his lair, Waits consistently refers to Robert Foxworth as "he", using the third person to describe how Foxworth committed his first murder.

The Overlook
  • Adaptation Expansion: Expanded into a novel after originally being serialized in The New York Times Magazine.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Takes place over less than a day, as a call out to a murder scene leads to Bosch getting mixed up in a terrorism investigation involving stolen radioactive material.
  • Something Completely Different: Between the brevity of the novel even after the Adaptation Expansion, the 12-hour timespan of the story, and the nonstop plot as opposed to the usual character development, this one plays more like a lost season of 24 than a Michael Connelly novel.

The Reversal
  • Deuteragonist: Harry Bosch, surprisingly. The book was marketed as "a Lincoln Lawyer novel", and the protagonist is Mickey Haller, with the main hook of the story being Haller's role reversal when he is appointed special prosecutor in the Jason Jessup case. But Bosch plays an important part as lead investigator and is a POV character for several chapters.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Jason Jessup's defense attorney complained to the judge about the prosecution only releasing part of the data they intend to use against Jessup. Prosecutor Margaret McPherson (nicknamed Maggie McFierce) replied they were still within the deadline and suggested the defender believed no good deed should go unpunished.
  • Suicide by Cop: The titular reversal deals with a murder suspect whose conviction is overturned. After it becomes apparent that he is going to be convicted again, said suspect commits Suicide By Cop rather than go back to prison.
  • The Unreveal: Bosch develops a theory that murder suspect Jason Jessup is actually a Serial Killer, but we never find out if Bosch is right.

The Drop
  • Celebrity Paradox: Bosch's daughter mentions that she's watching Castle. One must wonder if in the Bosch universe there's still a writer named Michael Connelly who Castle has a regular poker game with, and who his most famous creation is.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Bosch investigates two cases: the apparent suicide of former LAPD Deputy Chief Irvin Irving's son, and a cold case murder that comes back with a very surprising DNA hit. The two cases never intersect with each other.
  • Wedding Ring Removal: George Irving is found to have taken off his wedding ring before taking a dive off the seventh floor of the Chateau Marmont.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Towards the end, Bosch figures out that Clayton Pell, an abuse victim of depraved Serial Killer Chilton Hardy, is going to murder Hardy. Bosch races across town and saves Hardy from Pell Just in Time. Afterwards, Harry ponders how he could have kept his realization to himself, and how he might have made a great mistake by preventing Pell's vengeance on Hardy.

The Black Box
  • Distant Prologue: The opening scene is set in 1992, and recounts Harry Bosch's rushed, cursory investigation into the Anneke Jespersen murder. Then the story jumps forward 20 years and picks up with Bosch in the Open-Unsolved unit going back to the Jespersen killing.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: This is discussed more than once in regards to the victim, a white lady reporter killed during the 1992 Rodney King riots. LAPD does not want to give the impression that they are driven by the Syndrome.
  • Moe Greene Special: The victim is shot right through her right eye.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The novel has an opening dedication thanking readers for keeping Harry Bosch alive for 20 years.

The Brass Verdict
  • Jury and Witness Tampering: One of the jurors is an impostor, paid by the accused to assume the identity of a juror in order to have at least one guaranteed Not Guilty vote.
  • You Just Told Me: Mickey Haller uncovers information in this way, getting Harry Bosch to inadvertenly reveal whom he was questioning over the Jerry Vincent murder.

The Fifth Witness
  • Disappeared Dad: Lisa Trammel's husband has been missing for years after running out on Lisa and their little son. Subverted in the end, when it turns out she killed him and buried him in the backyard.
  • Drop the Hammer: The murder weapon, used to cave a banker's head in.
  • Eureka Moment: Lisa Trammel gives a child a balloon at a party, and Haller instantly figures out how she managed to strike a much taller man in the top of the head with a hammer—the victim was looking up, at a balloon.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mickey Haller's decision to turn away from criminal defense work and run for District Attorney is portrayed as this.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Lisa Trammel would have gotten away clean after two murders—but she just had to taunt her lawyer.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Mickey Haller receives one.
  • Sequel Hook: Ends with Mickey Haller deciding to run for DA. However, this sequel hook is subverted in The Gods of Guilt, which reveals that Haller's nascent political career ended in scandal and defeat.

Chasing the Dime
  • Nanomachines: This is what Henry Pierce is trying to make.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Henry finally finds the prostitute he's been trying to track down, literally stuffed into a fridge. It's an effort to frame him for murder.

The Burning Room
  • The Atoner: Bosch learns that Ana Acevedo, who had a hand in the robbery, was so racked by guilt over the deaths of the children in the fire that she became a nun.
  • Hunting Accident: Bosch discovers in his investigation that Broussard, the Big Bad, once eliminated one of his Mooks via a Hunting Accident.
  • Mythology Gag: Soto asks Bosch if he's ever been to Calexico before, and Bosch said yes, he once went there looking for his partner. Bosch tells her "In fact, it would probably fill a book." It did fill a book, The Black Ice.
    • There's a quote in the book from the Bible, specifically from the Epistle to Titus. When the book was published in November 2014, the first season of Bosch had aired just a few months earlier, starring Titus Welliver in the title role. On top of that, Titus Welliver read the audiobook version of The Burning Room.
  • The Obi-Wan: Bosch, who is well into his sixties and facing mandatory retirement within the year, is partnered up with 27-year-old Lucia Soto. He decides to pass on to her as much of his wisdom and detective knowledge as he can.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Bosch, who is due to retire soon, is paired up with young rookie homicide detective Lucia Soto in order to give her the benefit of his experience and expertise.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Lucia Soto's rapid promotion to detective is credited in part to her being a "twofer" because she's a woman and of Mexican ancestry. (Being in a highly publicized shootout where she took out some bad guys also helped.)
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Bosch is appalled when his "Everybody counts or nobody counts" mantra is adopted by gubernatorial candidate Armando Zeyas as a campaign slogan.

The Crossing
  • Actor Allusion: A meta version in the audiobook version, where Titus Welliver's recreation of Mickey Haller's dialogue occasionally veers into full-on impression of actor Matthew McConaughey, who portrayed Mickey in the film The Lincoln Lawyer. Compounded by Connelly's use of McConaughey's "A'right, a'right" catchphrase into the dialogue.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the bad guys implies to the other that Bosch's house is nicer than one might expect on a cop's salary. Earlier novels had established that a movie had been made out of one of Bosch's cases, and he got a big check which he used to buy his cantilevered house in the Hollywood Hills.
  • Title Drop: Even moreso than usual for a Connelly novel, "crossing" is used to refer to no less than four separate concepts over the course of the story.
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