Born on July 21, 1956, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Michael Connelly was thinking about working in construction when he saw Robert Altman’s film The Long Goodbye (1973), an adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel that inspired him to write crime fiction.
Before achieving success in that line of work, he worked as a journalist. The quality of his work led him to become a crime reporter in Los Angeles where he ended up renting Raymond Chandler’s apartment which became his place to write.
After the success of his third book, Michael Connelly became a full-time novelist. He is primarily known for his Harry Bosch series, a Los Angeles Police Department detective, but he also writes stories revolving around a criminal defense attorney and Bosch’s half-brother Mickey Haller, criminal profiler Terry McCaleb, crime reporter Jack McEvoy, FBI agent Rachel Walling, burglar and ex-con Cassie Black, LAPD detective Renée Ballard, and chemical scientist and entrepreneur Henry Pierce.
How to read Michael Connelly’s Books in Order?
Except for Henry Pierce, all of Michael Connelly’s protagonists appeared in Harry Bosch novels. In fact, the series is full of crossovers. You can find a detailed reading order for the Harry Bosch series here.
The following list regroups all the series. After, you’ll find details for each non-Bosch book.
- The Black Echo – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Eleanor Wish
- The Black Ice – featuring Harry Bosch
- The Concrete Blonde – featuring Harry Bosch
- The Last Coyote – featuring Harry Bosch
- The Poet – featuring Jack McEvoy, but also Rachel Walling
- Trunk Music – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
- Blood Work – featuring Terry McCaleb, but also Jaye Winston
- Angels Flight – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
- Void Moon – featuring Cassie Black
- A Darkness More Than Night – featuring Terry McCaleb and Harry Bosch, but also Jaye Winston, Jack McEvoy
- City of Bones – featuring Harry Bosch
- Chasing the Dime – featuring Henry Pierce
- Lost Light – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
- The Narrows – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Rachel Walling, Terry McCaleb, Eleanor Wish
- The Closers – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Kiz Rider
- The Lincoln Lawyer – featuring Mickey Haller, but also Maggie McPherson
- Echo Park – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Rachel Walling
- The Overlook – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Rachel Walling
- The Brass Verdict – featuring Mickey Haller, but also Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy
- The Scarecrow – featuring Jack McEvoy, but also Rachel Walling
- Nine Dragons – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Eleanor Wish, Mickey Haller, David Chu
- The Reversal – featuring Mickey Haller, but also Harry Bosch, and Rachel Walling.
- The Fifth Witness – featuring Mickey Haller
- The Drop – featuring Harry Bosch, but also David Chu, Dr Hannah Stone
- The Black Box – featuring Harry Bosch, but also David Chu, Dr Hannah Stone
- The Gods of Guilt – featuring Mickey Haller
- The Burning Room – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Rachel Walling, Lucia Soto
- The Crossing – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Mickey Haller, Lucia Soto
- The Wrong Side of Goodbye – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Mickey Haller
- The Late Show – featuring Renee Ballard
- Two Kinds of Truth – featuring Harry Bosch, but also Mickey Haller
- Dark Sacred Night – featuring Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch
- The Night Fire – featuring Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch, but also Mickey Haller
- Fair Warning – featuring Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling
- The Law of Innocence – featuring Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch
- The Dark Hours – featuring Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch
- Desert Star – featuring Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch
The Jack McEvoy Series
- The Poet – The apparent suicide of his policeman brother sets Denver crime reporter Jack McEvoy on edge. Surprise at the circumstances of his brother’s death prompts Jack to look into a whole series of police suicides, and puts him on the trail of a cop killer whose victims are selected all too carefully. Not only that, but they all leave suicide notes drawn from the poems of writer Edgar Allan Poe in their wake.
- A Darkness More Than Night – A Terry McCaleb/Harry Bosch book featuring Jaye Winston and Jack McEvoy.
- The Brass Verdict – A Mickey Haller book featuring Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy.
The Terry McCaleb Series
- Blood Work – When Graciella Rivers steps onto his boat, ex-FBI agent Terrell McCaleb has no idea he’s about to come out of retirement. He’s recuperating from a heart transplant and avoiding anything stressful. But when Graciella tells him the way her sister, Gloria, was murdered, Terry realizes he has no choice. Now the man with the new heart vows to take down a predator without a soul. For Gloria’s killer shatters every rule that McCaleb ever learned in his years with the Bureau-as McCaleb gets no more second chances at life…and just one shot at the truth.
- A Darkness More Than Night – Terry McCaleb’s enforced quiet lifestyle on the island of Catalina is a far cry from the hectic excitement of his former role as an FBI profiler. However, when small-time criminal Edward Gunn is found dead, McCaleb becomes embroiled in a disturbing and complex case leading him to cross the path of Harry Bosch.
- The Narrows – A Harry Bosch book featuring Rachel Walling, Terry McCaleb, and Eleanor Wish.
Reading The Cassie Black Series in Order
- Void Moon – In L.A. Cassie Black is another beautiful woman in a Porsche: except Cassie just did six years in prison and still has “outlaw juice” flowing in her veins. Now Cassie is returning to her old profession, taking down a money man in Vegas. But the perfect heist goes very wrong, and suddenly Cassie is on the run–with a near-psychotic Vegas “fixer” killing everyone who knew about the job.
Reading The Henry Pierce Series in Order
- Chasing the Dime – Henry Pierce has a whole new life – new apartment, new telephone, new number. When he checks his machine, he discovers messages for a woman named Lilly, and she is in some kind of serious trouble. Pierce is inexorably drawn into Lilly’s world, and it’s unlike any world he’s ever known. It is a night-time world of escort services, websites, sex and secret identities. Pierce tumbles through a hole, abandoning his orderly life in a frantic race to save the life of a woman he has never met.
Reading The Mickey Haller Series In Order
Mickey Haller is a defense attorney from Los Angeles who was nicknamed “the Lincoln Lawyer” because of his preference for working out of his Lincoln Town Car instead of in an office. Also, he is the younger half-brother of LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch.
- The Lincoln Lawyer – Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers — they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it’s about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it’s even about justice.
- The Brass Verdict – Also features Harry Bosch and Jack McEvoy. Defense lawyer Mickey Haller has had some problems, but now he’s put all that behind him and is ready to resume his career. Then another lawyer, Vincent, dies, and Haller gets an unexpected windfall: he inherits all Vincent’s clients, putting his stalled career back on track at a stroke.
- Nine Dragons – A Harry Bosch book featuring Eleanor Wish, Mickey Haller, and David Chu.
- The Reversal – featuring Mickey Haller, but also Harry Bosch, and Rachel Walling. When defense lawyer Mickey Haller is invited by the Los Angeles County District Attorney to prosecute a case for him, he knows something strange is going on. Mickey’s one of the best American legal brains in the business, and to switch sides likes this would be akin to asking a fox to guard the hen-house. But the high-profile case of Jason Jessup, a convicted child killer who spent almost 25 years on death row before DNA evidence freed him, is an intriguing one . . .
- The Fifth Witness – In tough times, crime is one of the few things that still pays, but even criminals are having to make cutbacks. So for defence lawyer Mickey Haller, most of his new business is not about keeping people out of jail; it’s about keeping a roof over their heads as the foreclosure business is booming.
- The Gods of Guilt – Mickey Haller gets the text ‘Call me ASAP – 187’, and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Suddenly, Mickey’s not just trying to get his client off a murder charge, but there is a more personal connection: the victim was Gloria Dayton – his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow. Far from saving her, Haller may have been her downfall.
- The Crossing – A Harry Bosch book featuring Mickey Haller, Lucia Soto.
- The Wrong Side of Goodbye – A Harry Bosch book featuring Mickey Haller
- Two Kinds of Truth – A Harry Bosch book featuring Mickey Haller
- The Night Fire – A Renee Ballard/Harry Bosch book featuring Mickey Haller
- The Law of Innocence – Also featuring Harry Bosch. Heading home after winning his latest case, defense attorney Mickey Haller – The Lincoln Lawyer – is pulled over by the police. They open the trunk of his car to find the body of a former client. Haller knows the law inside out. He will be charged with murder. He will have to build his case from behind bars. And the trial will be the trial of his life.
- Resurrection Walk – Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back, taking the long shot cases, where the chances of winning are one in a million. He agrees to represent a woman in prison for killing her husband, a sheriff’s deputy. Despite her conviction four years earlier, she still maintains her innocence. Haller enlists his half brother, retired LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, as investigator. Reviewing the case, Bosch sees something that doesn’t add up, and a sheriff’s department intent on bringing a quick search for justice in the killing of one of its own.
The Renee Ballard Series
- The Late Show – Detective Renée Ballard works ‘The Late Show’, the notorious graveyard shift at the LAPD. It’s thankless work for a once-promising detective, keeping strange hours in a twilight world of crime. Some nights are worse than others. And tonight is the worst yet. Two shocking cases, hours apart: a brutal assault, and a multiple murder with no suspects.
- Dark Sacred Night – Also featuring Harry Bosch. Detective Renée Ballard has faced everything the LAPD’s notorious dusk-till-dawn graveyard shift has thrown at her. But, until tonight, she’d never met Harry Bosch – an ex-homicide detective consumed by this case. Soon, she too will become obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton.
- The Night Fire – Also featuring Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller. Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, defends the man accused. Detective Renée Ballard catches the case on the LAPD’s notorious graveyard shift. Harry Bosch is left a missing case file by his mentor who passed away. He was the man who taught Bosch that everybody counts, or nobody counts. Why did he keep the case all these years? To find the truth – or bury it? But in Ballard, Bosch and Haller: the fire always burns. Will it light the way – or leave their lives in ashes?
- The Dark Hours – There’s chaos in Hollywood on New Year’s Eve. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party. It doesn’t take long for Ballard to determine that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky. Ballard’s investigation leads her to look into another unsolved murder-a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch.
- Desert Star – Detective Renée Ballard is given the chance of a lifetime: revive the LAPD’s cold case unit and find justice for the families of the forgotten. The only catch is they must first crack the unsolved murder of the sister of the city councilman who is sponsoring the department – or lose everything… Harry Bosch is top of the list of investigators Ballard wants to recruit. The former homicide detective is a living legend – but for how long? Because Bosch has his own agenda: a crime that has haunted him for years – the murder of a whole family, buried out in the desert – which he vowed to close.
If you like Harry Bosch, you may also want to see our Alex Cross reading order, or our guide to the Stone Barrington series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.