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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):

  • Miscellaneous short stories:
    • Harry Bosch short stories: "Switchblade", "Red Eye", "A Fine Mist of Blood", "Nighthawks", "Blood Washes Off", "Blue on Black"
    • Mickey Haller short stories: "Burnt Matches", "The Perfect Triangle"
    • Other short stories: "The Safe Man", "The Third Panel", "Short Cut" (for children aged 9-12), "After Midnight"

This author's other novels include examples of:

  • 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 all the way back to the second novel The Black Ice, in which Harry gets a Christmas card from Tehachapi prison—that's where Eleanor Wish is serving time due to the crimes she committed in the first novel, The Black Echo.
    • One of the longest-range continuity nods so far is in The Wrong Side of Goodbye, where Harry tells his 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.
  • Cowboy Cop: Harry Bosch in every damn novel, bending the rules and hiding stuff from his partners and his bosses, but always getting the job done. One of the central dynamics of a Bosch novel is whether his supervisor will be Da Chief who wants to kick Harry out of the police force, or a Reasonable Authority Figure who gives Harry room to operate.
  • Creator Thumbprint. Connelly has some favorite things that he manages to use over and over:
    • Jeep Cherokees are immensely popular in his 'verse
    • 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, Terry McCaleb lives in a boat, and Renee Ballard is effectively homeless, living in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica)
    • There are lots of restaurants in L.A., but Du-Pars and Musso & Frank come up an awful lot
    • 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.
    • There are a lot of references to Mulholland Drive and the scenic overlook on Mulholland Drive. Start with The Overlook and the body that's found there at the start of the story, then short story "Muholland Dive", then Trunk Music as that's where Tony Aliso is killed, then The Reversal as Jason Jessup goes there on his late-night cruises...the FBI safehouse where the climax of The Poet takes place is located there.
    • Blood from the Mouth. If someone gets shot in a Connelly novel, the person that shot them (usually Harry Bosch) will check for Blood from the Mouth. If Harry (or whoever) sees Blood From the Mouth he'll realize that the person was shot through the lungs and is about to die. If the shooter doesn't see Blood From the Mouth they'll know that the victim will live (this happens in Chasing the Dime).
  • 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.
    • According to Jaye Winston in A Darkness More Than Night, Bosch is called "The Marlboro Man" by some cops who work with him. Since this novel is the first time we ever deal with Bosch without him being the focal character of the narrative, it's the first time such a detail has had a chance to come up. Since he had quit smoking a couple of years before this, it's possible the nickname died off.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Averted in the earlier Connelly novels, but starting with The Drop, increasingly true of later works. The Drop, The Burning Room, The Wrong Side of Goodbye, The Late Show, and Two Kinds of Truth all have two or more mystery plot threads which don't intersect.
  • The ’Verse: The Harry Bosch universe, in which every single Connelly book takes place.


Example of: