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Harry Bosch books in Order: How to read Michael Connelly series?

I saw that Amazon just put online the third season of the TV Show Bosch with Titus Welliver. Did you know that the books that inspired each season are not used in chronological order? They just pick some ideas from two-three books at a time and developed a story for the show. It’s an interesting approach, mostly because some novels need an update to fit in a 2017 narrative, but…

Who is Harry Bosch?

At the beginning, Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch – named after the 15th century Dutch artist – is a LA cop working for the homicide detective division. He joined the forces after his return from Vietnam and rose to the rank of detective after a few years as an officer. He has a daughter and is divorced. He also has a half-brother, Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles attorney who makes his first appearance in the novel The Lincoln Lawyer (continuing with his own book series after that) and share a few novels with Bosch.

How to read Harry Bosch book series?

Bosch is a police procedural series. Each book can be read independently from the other. Nevertheless, there’s a continuity with the evolution of Bosch’s career and relationships in the police force and with his family.

   

  1. The Black Echo – The body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic for Harrry Bosch … because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam ‘tunnel rat’. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit.
  2. The Black Ice – Narcotics officer Cal Moore’s orders were to look into the city’s latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket. Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don’t look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together.
  3. The Concrete Blonde – They call him the Dollmaker, a serial killer who stalks Los Angeles and leaves a grisly calling card on the faces of his female victims. When a suspect is shot by Detective Harry Bosch, everyone believes the city’s nightmare is over. But then the dead man’s widow sues Harry and the LAPD for killing the wrong man – an accusation that rings terrifyingly true when a new corpse is found with the Dollmaker’s macabre signature. Now, for the second time, Harry must hunt down a ruthless death-dealer before he strikes again.
  4. The Last Coyote – Harry attacked his commanding officer and is suspended indefinitely, pending a psychiatric evaluation. At first he resists the LAPD shrink, but finally recognizes that something is troubling him and has for a long time. With the spare time a suspension brings, Harry opens up the thirty-year-old file on the case and is irresistibly drawn into a past he has always avoided. It’s clear that the case was fumbled and the smell of a cover-up is unmistakable.

   

  1. Trunk Music – Back on the job after an involuntary leave of absence, LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch is ready for a challenge. It starts with the body of a Hollywood producer in the trunk of a Rolls-Royce, shot twice in the head at close range – what looks like ‘trunk music,’ a Mafia hit. But the LAPD’s organized crime unit is curiously uninterested, and when Harry follows a trail of gambling debts to Las Vegas, the case suddenly becomes more complex.
  2. Angels Flight – An activist attorney is killed in a cute little LA trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch’s Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive – and the dead man’s enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous – that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating.
  3. A Darkness More Than Night – Harry Bosch is up to his neck in a case that has transfixed all of celebrity-mad Los Angeles: a movie director is charged with murdering an actress during sex, and then staging her death to make it look like a suicide. Bosch is both the arresting officer and the star witness in a trial that has brought the Hollywood media pack out in full-throated frenzy.
  4. City Of Bones – On New Year’s Day, a dog finds a bone in the Hollywood Hills – and unearths a murder committed more than twenty years earlier. It’s a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can’t let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present.

   

  1. Lost Light – The vision has haunted him for four years – a young woman lying crumpled in death, her hand outstretched in silent supplication. Harry Bosch was taken off the Angella Benton murder case when the production assistant’s death was linked with the violent theft of two million dollars from a movie set. Both files were never closed. Now retired from the L.A.P.D., Bosch is determined to find justice for Angella.
  2. The Narrows – It’s a sequel to The Poet. FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she’s dreaded for years, the one that tells her the Poet has surfaced. Former LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets a call, too – from the widow of an old friend. Her husband’s death seems natural, but his ties to the hunt for the Poet make Bosch dig deep. Arriving at a derelict spot in the California desert where the feds are unearthing bodies, Bosch joins forces with Rachel.
  3. The Closers – He walked away from the job three years ago. But Harry Bosch cannot resist the call to join the elite Open/Unsolved Unit. His mission: solve murders whose investigations were flawed, stalled, or abandoned to L.A.’s tides of crime. Harry catches the case of a teenager dragged off to her death on Oat Mountain, and traces the DNA on the murder weapon to a small-time criminal.
  4. Echo Park – In 1993 Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket. Harry Bosch worked the case but couldn’t crack it, and the twenty-two-year-old was never found. Now, more than a decade later, with the Gesto file still on his desk, Bosch gets a call from the District Attorney. A man accused of two heinous murders is willing to come clean about several others, including the killing of Marie Gesto.

   

  1. The Overlook – In his first case since he left the LAPD’s Open Unsolved Unit for the prestigious Homicide Special squad, Harry Bosch is called out to investigate the murder of a doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor’s death. Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city.
  2. The Brass Verdict – Mostly a Mickey Haller book. After two years of wrong turns, Mickey Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as he prepares for the case, he learns that Vincent’s killer may be coming for him next. Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent’s killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait.
  3. Nine Dragons – Harry Bosch is assigned a homicide call in South L.A. that takes him to Fortune Liquors, where the Chinese owner has been shot to death behind the counter in an apparent robbery. He soon identifies a suspect, a Los Angeles member of a Hong Kong triad. But before he can close in, he gets the word that his young daughter Maddie, who lives in Hong Kong with her mother, is missing. Bosch drops everything to journey across the Pacific to find her.
  4. The Reversal – Mostly a Mickey Haller book again with Bosch in it. Mickey Haller is recruited to prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After twenty-four years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.
    The Fifth Witness – Another Mickey Haller book, but Bosch only made a one-page brief appearance in this one.
    Blue on Black – a Harry Bosch Short Story.

   

  1. The Drop – In one morning, Harry Bosch gets two cases. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irving’s son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont.
    Angle of Investigation – Collects three Harry Bosch Short Stories: “Christmas Even,” “Father’s Day,” and “Angle of Investigation.”
    Suicide Run – Collects three Harry Bosch Stories: “Cielo Azul,” “Suicide Run,” and “One Dollar Jackpot.”
  2. The Black Box – In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the LA riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch’s ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue.
    The Gods of Guilt – Again, it’s a Mickey Haller book where Bosch only made a one page appearance.
    Switchblade – a Harry Bosch Short Story.
  3. The Burning Room – When a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and rookie Detective Lucia Soto are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.
  4. The Crossing – Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. A woman has been brutally murdered in her bed and all evidence points to Haller’s client, a former gang member turned family man. Though the murder rap seems ironclad, Mickey is sure it’s a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch reluctantly takes the case.

  

  1. The Wrong Side Of Goodbye – Harry Bosch is now a private investigator. He doesn’t advertise, he doesn’t have an office, and he’s picky about who he works for, but it doesn’t matter. Soon one of Southern California’s biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it? Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust.
  2. Two Kinds Of Truth – Harry Bosch, exiled from the LAPD, is working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when all hands are called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery. Bosch and the tiny town’s three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big-business world of prescription drug abuse. To get to the people at the top, Bosch must risk everything and go undercover in the shadowy world of organized pill mills.
  3. Dark Sacred Night – Detective Renée Ballard is working the night beat and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. The murder, unsolved, was of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally killed, her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy.

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9 Comments

  1. Ian

    In the Harry Bosch chronology you miss the POET out, why?

    • Fabien

      The Poet is from the Jack McEvoy series, I didn’t know that Bosch was in it. I’ll check it.

  2. April F.

    I noticed that the Overlook site for my library has 2 Bosch Collections…..Angle of Investigation & Suicide Run…..do these fit into the lineup? Where would you suggest inserting them?

  3. Tara

    I’ve just read trunk music, random holiday reading, realised at the end it was a series, which one should I read next, ??

  4. Ian

    Try all off them the order is online but I have read most of them and reading in order is not a straight way to enjoy them. Try Trunk Music, Black Echo and Angel Flight which are the theme for series one. I think

  5. Greg

    In what book does Harry meet his daughter Maddie? I’ve read every Bosch I can find, and I don’t recall that happening. There are references to having met her a year earlier, in The Narrows.

    • John Barry

      I believe it is in Lost Light in the last chapter. I think Maddie is 4 years old.

  6. Daniel Moore

    I just read the first twelve Bosch books in order. REALLY dug Echo Park. Good stuff! On to the Overlook! Michael Donnelly is my favorite author of my favorite genre.

  7. Warren Edwards

    It might be a good idea to add Blood Work to the list, it provides insight into Terry McCaleb, mentions The Poet a couple of times, and Mickey Haller, and you should definitely add The Poet before The Narrows (It may not have Harry specifically, but you really should read it before). Really appreciate the list, helps to read the list in the right order, including the side stories!!!

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