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. Connelly has been releasing novels more or less annually since 1992.

Harry Bosch is Connelly's most frequent protagonist, starring in about two-thirds of his novels. Connelly's second most-used protagonist is ethically dubious defense lawyer Mickey Haller, who has appeared as the protagonist in five Connelly novels. Other POV characters besides Harry Bosch include Los Angeles Times crime reporter Jack McEvoy, LAPD detective Renee Ballard, and FBI profiler Terry McCaleb. 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.

The films Blood Work and The Lincoln Lawyer are based on his novels.

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, with protagonist noted):

  • Short story collections
    • Suicide Run - Short story collection featuring Harry Bosch and Terry McCaleb("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", "Red Eye", "A Fine Mist of Blood" (all featuring Harry Bosch), "The Safe Man"


This author's other novels include examples of:

  • 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.”
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted, as Harry and everyone else in the Bosch universe age in real time. Michael Connelly admitted in a 2017 interview that he came up with new protagonist Renee Ballard because Harry Bosch, born in 1950, is getting too old for police department derring-do.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As all Connelly novels are in the same universe, this series is full of them. They go at least as far back as the third novel, The Concrete Blonde, in which Harry remembers back when he had to read over the entire Vietnam Veterans Memorial as part of his investigation in The Black Echo.
    • One of the longest-range continuity nods so far is in The Wrong Side of Goodbye, where Harry tells is daughter that he no longer eats Vietnamese food, a fact first established in The Black Echo.
    • 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.
  • Creator Thumbprint. Connelly has some favorite things that he manages to use over and over. Jeep Cherokees are immensely popular in his 'verse, and by and large if someone can live and/or work in an unusual place, they will (Bosch lives in a cantilever house in the canyon, Mickey Haller works out of his Lincoln, etc.). One of the more amusing ones is the crazy number of people who die either while saying or shortly after saying "Fuck you" to a main character.
  • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Zig-zagged. Connelly's first two novels certainly make it appear that he intended to include "Black" in his titles. He drops it after those, however, and only does it once again after (so far) in the 20th-anniversary The Black Box.
  • In-Series Nickname: One of Connelly's absolute favorite tropes. From minor characters (like Lt. Angel "Brick Man" Brockman in The Last Coyote) to major players like Mickey "The Lincoln Lawyer" Haller, sometimes it seems like Harry Bosch is the only character in the 'verse without an in-series nickname.
    • Then you read The Crossing and find out that the bad guys have, if not nicknamed Harry, at the very least code-named him "The Painter."
    • This gets a bit of a lampshade hung on it in The Poet, where the main character, a crime reporter mentions that cops always have nicknames for each other.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Nanomachines: This is what Henry Pierce is trying to make in Chasing the Dime.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: In Chasing the Dime, 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.
  • Title Drop: Every single novel mentions the title at some point in the narrative. They often also work as Double Meaning Titles.
  • A True Story In My Universe:
  • The 'Verse: The Harry Bosch universe, in which every single Connelly book takes place.

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