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Literature / Harry Bosch

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Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department, is the main character of many detective novels by Michael Connelly.

Many of the novels with Harry Bosch as the main character have guest appearances by Connelly's other series protagonists, including Mickey Haller, and vice versa.

A series titled Bosch, with Titus Welliver as Bosch, debuted on Amazon in 2014.


Short stories

  • "Christmas Even" (2004)
  • "Cielo Azul" (2005)
  • "Angle of Investigation" (2005)
  • "Suicide Run" (2007)
  • "One Dollar Jackpot" (2007)
  • "Father's Day" (2008)
  • "Blue On Black" (2010)
  • "Blood Washes Off" (2011)
  • "Homicide Special" (2011)
  • "A Fine Mist of Blood" (2012)
  • "Switchblade" (2014)
  • "Red Eye" (2014)
  • "The Crooked Man" (2014)
  • "Nighthawks" (2016)
  • Angle of Investigation — 2011 short story collection featuring "Christmas Even", "Father's Day", and "Angle of Investigation".
  • Suicide Run — 2011 short story collection featuring "Suicide Run", "Cielo Azul", and "One Dollar Jackpot"

Other novels in this series contain examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Chief Irvin Irving, Bosch's LAPD nemesis.
  • Always Gets His Man: Detective Hieronymus Bosch, LAPD, Robbery-Homicide Division.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Bosch visits the Splendid Age Retirement Home in City of Bones and again in short story "Christmas Even".
    • Fictional film company Archway Studios pops up in Trunk Music, A Darkness More Than Night, Lost Light, and The Drop, as well as the Mickey Haller novels The Brass Verdict and The Fifth Witness.
  • 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.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Harry Bosch was born at a time society wouldn't allow fathers to acknowledge illegitimate children.
  • Detective Mole:
    • "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.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Strongly averted by Bosch, what with his mother being a prostitute who was murdered.
    Bosch: Everyone counts, or no one counts.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • "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.
  • Generation Xerox: Madeline Bosch is a crack shot who is interested in a career in law enforcement.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Miranda Rights: On several occasions, the detectives talk about when it will be required to Mirandize someone during a voluntary interview. One incident that is discussed in A Darkness More Than Night happened prior to the events of The Last Coyote, when Harry had convinced a suspect in a murder case to come to the police station for a voluntary interview. The suspect at that point had claimed self-defense and thought he was being interviewed as a victim and witness. Before Harry could begin the interview, however, his lieutenant went and read the suspect his Miranda rights, tipping him off that they were investigating the incident as a murder rather than self-defense. When Harry started the interview and the suspect asked for a lawyer (essentially ending the interview before it could begin), Harry confronted the lieutenant and shoved him through his office window.
  • Never Suicide: Short story "Suicide Run", in which a murder is carefully staged to look like suicide by painkiller overdose.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Hits many of the standard beats. Harry had both a Missing Mom and a Disappeared Dad, his mom being missing because she was murdered, and her murder was unsolved—although Harry eventually solves it in The Last Coyote—and his father disappeared because he was one of his mother's johns. He spent the bulk of his childhood in foster care and youth halls. He had a stint in the military. Over the course of the novels themselves, he has the string of failed romances and he has a dead spouse. He indirectly causes the death of the spouse as well as indirectly causing the death of another cop (that's also in The Last Coyote). And he's spent most of his career Married to the Job, although that becomes less so in later novels after his daughter Maddie moves in with him.
  • Switching P.O.V.:
    • A Darkness More Than Night switches back and forth between 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.
  • That Man Is Dead: In Echo Park, 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.
  • There Are No Coincidences: In The Closers, 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.
  • Title Drop: Every single novel mentions the title at some point in the narrative.
  • Title Drop Chapter: 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".
  • The Vietnam Vet: Harry Bosch was a "tunnel rat" who engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the VC and the NVA in underground tunnels.
  • 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.