Michael Connelly

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Michael Connelly
Connelly at the detective fiction convention Bouchercon XLI in San Francisco, October 2010
Born (1956-07-21) July 21, 1956 (age 64)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Novelist
Education St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Alma mater University of Florida
Genre Crime fiction, thriller
Linda McCaleb
(m. 1984)

Michael Joseph Connelly (born July 21, 1956 [1] ) is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly is the bestselling author of 31 novels and one work of non-fiction, with over 74 million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into 40 foreign languages. His first novel, The Black Echo , won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly's 1997 novel, Blood Work . In March 2011, the movie adaptation of Connelly's novel The Lincoln Lawyer starred Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. [2] Connelly was the President of the Mystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2004. [3]


Early life

Connelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second oldest child of W. Michael Connelly, a property developer, and Mary Connelly, a homemaker. [4] According to Connelly, his father was a frustrated artist who encouraged his children to want to succeed in life [5] and was a risk taker who alternated between success and failure in his pursuit of a career. Connelly's mother was a fan of crime fiction and introduced her son to the world of mystery novels. [4]

At age 12, Connelly moved with his family from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School. At age 16, Connelly's interest in crime and mystery escalated when, on his way home from his work as a hotel dishwasher, he witnessed a man throw an object into a hedge. Connelly decided to investigate and found that the object was a gun wrapped in a lumberjack shirt. After putting the gun back, he followed the man to a bar and then left to go home to tell his father. Later that night, Connelly brought the police down to the bar, but the man was already gone. This event introduced Connelly to the world of police officers and their lives, impressing him with the way they worked. [4]

Connelly had planned on following his father's early choice of career in building construction and started out at the University of Florida in Gainesville, at the Rinker School of Building Construction, studying construction management. After earning grades that were lower than expected, Connelly went to see Robert Altman's film The Long Goodbye (1973). The film, based on Raymond Chandler's eponymous 1953 novel, inspired Connelly to want to become a mystery writer. Connelly went home and read all of Chandler's works featuring Philip Marlowe, and decided to transfer to the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, major in journalism, and minor in creative writing. [4]

Early career

After graduating from the University of Florida in 1980, Connelly got a job as a crime beat writer at the Daytona Beach News Journal , where he worked for almost two years until he went to the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in 1981. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars. [3] He stayed with the paper for a few years and in 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of the 1985 Delta Flight 191 plane crash, which story earned Connelly a place as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. [6] The honor also brought Connelly a job as a crime reporter at the Los Angeles Times . He moved to California in 1987 with his wife Linda McCaleb, whom he met while in college and married in April 1984. [4]

After moving to Los Angeles, Connelly went to see High Tower Court [7] where Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe had lived (in The High Window (1942)), and Robert Altman had used for his film The Long Goodbye (1973). Connelly got the manager of the building to promise to phone him if the apartment ever became available. Ten years later, the manager tracked Connelly down, and Connelly decided to rent the place. This apartment served as a place to write for several years. [5] [8]

After three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel, The Black Echo (1992), after previously writing two unfinished novels that he did not attempt to get published. [5] He sold The Black Echo to Little, Brown to be published in 1992 and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel. [6] The book is partly based on a true crime and is the first one featuring Connelly's primary recurring character, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, [3] a man who, according to Connelly, shares few similarities with the author himself. [5] Connelly named Bosch after the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings full of sin and redemption, such as the painting Hell , a copy of which hangs on the office wall behind Connelly's computer. [2] [4] Connelly describes his own work as a big canvas with all the characters of his books floating across it as currents on a painting. Sometimes they are bound to collide, creating cross currents. This is something that Connelly creates by bringing back characters from previous books and letting them play a part in books written five or six years after first being introduced. [4]

Connelly went on to write three more novels about Detective Bosch — The Black Ice (1993), The Concrete Blonde (1994), and The Last Coyote (1995) — before quitting his job as a reporter to write full-time. [4]

Full-time novelist

Michael Connelly received a good deal of publicity in 1994, when President Bill Clinton came out of a bookstore carrying a copy of The Concrete Blonde in front of the waiting cameras. A meeting was set up between the two at Los Angeles International Airport. [4]

In 1996, Connelly wrote The Poet , his first book not to feature Bosch, instead the protagonist was reporter Jack McEvoy. The book was a success. [4] In 1997, Connelly returned to Bosch in Trunk Music before writing another book, Blood Work (1997), about a different character, FBI agent Terry McCaleb. Blood Work was made into a film in 2002, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played McCaleb, [4] an agent with a transplanted heart, in pursuit of his donor's murderer. The book came together after one of Connelly's friends had a heart transplant and he saw what his friend was going through with survivor's guilt after the surgery. [3] When asked if he had anything against the changes made to fit the big screen, Connelly simply replied: "If you take their money, it's their turn to tell the story". [9]

Connelly wrote another book featuring Bosch, Angels Flight (1999), before writing Void Moon (2000), a free-standing book about Las Vegas thief Cassie Black. In 2001, A Darkness More Than Night was published, in which Connelly united Bosch and McCaleb to solve a crime together, before releasing two books in 2002. The first, City of Bones , was the eighth Bosch novel, and the other, Chasing the Dime , was a non-series novel. [3] In 2001, Connelly left California for Tampa Bay, Florida, together with his wife and daughter, so that both he and his wife could be closer to their families. His novels still took place in Los Angeles. [5]

In 2003, another Bosch novel, Lost Light , was published. With this book, a CD was released, Dark Sacred Night, the Music of Harry Bosch, featuring some of the jazz music that both Connelly and the fictional character Bosch listen to. [3] While writing Connelly listens exclusively to instrumental jazz, though, because it does not have intrusive vocals, and because the improvisational playing inspires his writing. [2] The Narrows , published in 2004, was a sequel to The Poet but featured Bosch instead of McEvoy. [3] Together with this book, a DVD was released called Blue Neon Night: Michael Connelly's Los Angeles, in which film Connelly presents some of the places in Los Angeles that are frequently featured in his books. [3]

The Closers , published in May 2005, was the 11th Bosch novel. It was followed by The Lincoln Lawyer in October, Connelly's first legal novel; it features defense attorney Mickey Haller, Bosch's half-brother. The book was made into a film in 2011, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller. After releasing Crime Beat (2004), [10] a non-fiction book about Connelly's experiences as a crime reporter, Connelly went back to Bosch with Echo Park (2006). [3] This book sets its opening scene in the High Tower Apartment that Connelly rented and wrote from. [5] His next Bosch story, The Overlook , was originally published as a multi-part series in the New York Times Magazine . After some editing, it was published as a novel in 2007. In October 2008, Connelly wrote The Brass Verdict , which brought together Bosch and Haller for the first time. [3] He followed that with The Scarecrow (May 2009), which brought back McEvoy as the lead character. 9 Dragons , a novel taking Bosch to Hong Kong, was published in October 2009. The Reversal (October 2010), reunites Bosch & Haller as they work together under the banner of the state on the retrial of a child murderer. The Haller novel The Fifth Witness was published in 2011.

The Drop , which refers in part to the "Deferred Retirement Option Plan" that was described in the novel The Brass Verdict (2008), [11] was published in November 2011. The next Bosch novel was The Black Box (2012). Connelly's subsequent novel, a legal thriller, was a return to Haller: The Gods of Guilt (2013). His next book returned to Bosch in The Burning Room (2014), and then Connelly used Haller as a main supporting character in the Bosch novels The Crossing (2015) and The Wrong Side of Goodbye (2016).

Film and television

Michael Connelly, London November 2013 Michaelconnellylondon feb 2014.jpg
Michael Connelly, London November 2013

Awards and honors

Connelly has won nearly every major award given to mystery writers, including the Edgar Award, [16] Anthony Award, [17] Macavity Award, [18] Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, [19] Shamus Award, [20] Dilys Award, [21] Nero Award, [22] Barry Award, [23] Audie Award, [24] Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France) and Premio Bancarella Award (Italy). [25] In 2012, The Black Box won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA Prize for Crime Writing worth €125,000. [26]

Writing techniques

When starting a book, he says, the story is not always clear, but Connelly has “a hunch” as to where it is going. [5] The books often reference real-world events, such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the September 11 attacks. Events that might seem of minor significance are included in some of the books, because of Connelly’s personal interest in them. For example, City of Bones, in which Detective Bosch investigates the murder of an 11-year-old boy, was written during Connelly's early years as a father of a daughter, and it hit close to home. According to Connelly, he didn't mean to write about the biggest fear of his life, it just came out that way. [27]

Detective Bosch's life usually changes in harmony with Connelly's own life. When Connelly moved 3,000 miles across the country, Bosch's experiences sent him in a new direction in City of Bones, written at that time. According to Connelly, his "real" job is to write about Bosch, [27] and he brought McCaleb and Bosch together in A Darkness More Than Night in order to look at Bosch from another perspective and to keep the character interesting. [27]

Recurring characters

Every character in the list below, with one exception, has appeared in a Harry Bosch book. All of Michael Connelly's novels occur in the same fictional universe and character crossovers are common.

Main characters

Other characters

Each of these characters has appeared in at least two of Connelly's novels.




TitlePublication dateFeaturingAlso featuring
The Black Echo 1992 Harry Bosch (1)Eleanor Wish
The Black Ice 1993Harry Bosch (2)
The Concrete Blonde 1994Harry Bosch (3)
The Last Coyote 1995Harry Bosch (4)
The Poet 1996 Jack McEvoy (1)Rachel Walling
Trunk Music 1997Harry Bosch (5)Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
Blood Work 1998Terry McCaleb (1)Jaye Winston
Angels Flight 1999Harry Bosch (6)Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
Void Moon 2000Cassie Black
A Darkness More Than Night 2001Terry McCaleb (2), Harry Bosch (7)Jaye Winston, Jack McEvoy
City of Bones 2002Harry Bosch (8)
Chasing the Dime 2002Henry Pierce
Lost Light 2003Harry Bosch (9)Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
The Narrows 2004Harry Bosch (10)Rachel Walling, Terry McCaleb, Eleanor Wish
The Closers 2005Harry Bosch (11)Kiz Rider
The Lincoln Lawyer 2005 Mickey Haller (1)Maggie McPherson
Echo Park 2006Harry Bosch (12)Rachel Walling
The Overlook 2007Harry Bosch (13)Rachel Walling
The Brass Verdict 2008Mickey Haller (2)Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy
The Scarecrow 2009Jack McEvoy (2)Rachel Walling
Nine Dragons 2009Harry Bosch (14)Eleanor Wish, Mickey Haller, David Chu
The Reversal 2010Mickey Haller (3)Harry Bosch, Maggie McPherson, Rachel Walling
The Fifth Witness 2011Mickey Haller (4)
The Drop 2011Harry Bosch (15)David Chu, Dr Hannah Stone
The Black Box 2012Harry Bosch (16)David Chu, Dr Hannah Stone
The Gods of Guilt 2013Mickey Haller (5)
The Burning Room 2014Harry Bosch (17)Rachel Walling, Lucia Soto
The Crossing2015Harry Bosch (18)Mickey Haller, Lucia Soto
The Wrong Side of Goodbye 2016Harry Bosch (19)Mickey Haller
The Late Show [29] 2017Renee Ballard (1)
Two Kinds of Truth [30] 2017Harry Bosch (20)Mickey Haller
Dark Sacred Night2018Renee Ballard (2), Harry Bosch (21)
The Night Fire [31] 2019Renee Ballard (3), Harry Bosch (22)Mickey Haller
Fair Warning 2020Jack McEvoy (3)Rachel Walling
The Law of Innocence2020Mickey Haller (6)Harry Bosch
The Dark Hours2021Renee Ballard (4), Harry Bosch (23)


  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2003 (2003) – collected short stories.
  • Murder in Vegas (2005) – collected short stories.
  • The Blue Religion (2008) – collected short stories.
  • In the Shadow of the Master (2009) – collected short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, with observations by current mystery writers including Sue Grafton and Stephen King.

Short stories

Short story collections

Novel collections

Non-fiction books



  • Level 9 (2001) – co-creator and co-executive producer
  • Castle (2009–2011) – actor (cameo)
  • Bosch (2015) – co-creator and producer


Related Research Articles

In law enforcement parlance, the term murder book refers to the case file of a murder investigation. Typically, murder books include crime scene photographs and sketches, autopsy and forensic reports, transcripts of investigators' notes, and witness interviews. The murder book encapsulates the complete paper trail of a murder investigation, from the time the murder is first reported through the arrest of a suspect.

Harry Bosch Fictional detective created by author Michael Connelly

Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch is a fictional character created by American author Michael Connelly. Bosch debuted as the lead character in the 1992 novel The Black Echo, the first in a best-selling police procedural series now numbering 21 novels.

<i>The Poet</i> (novel)

The Poet is the fifth novel by American author Michael Connelly. Published in 1996, it is the first of Connelly's novels not to feature Detective Harry Bosch and first to feature Crime Reporter Jack McEvoy. A sequel, The Narrows, was published in 2004. The Poet won the 1997 Dilys Award.

<i>The Overlook</i>

The Overlook is the 18th novel by American crime writer Michael Connelly, and the thirteenth featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch.

<i>The Lincoln Lawyer</i> Book by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2005 novel, the 16th by American crime writer Michael Connelly. It introduces Los Angeles attorney Mickey Haller, half-brother of Connelly's mainstay character Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch.

<i>The Narrows</i> (Connelly novel)

The Narrows is the 14th novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the tenth featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch. As Bosch crosses paths with FBI Agent Rachel Walling, the novel ties story elements left unresolved in The Poet and those from Blood Work and A Darkness More Than Night together into the Bosch mythos.

<i>The Closers</i>

The Closers is the 15th novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the eleventh featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch. This novel features a return to an omniscient third-person style narration after the previous two, set during Bosch's retirement were narrated in from a first-person perspective.

<i>A Darkness More Than Night</i>

A Darkness More Than Night is the tenth novel by American crime author Michael Connelly; it is the seventh featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, and the second featuring FBI profiler Terry McCaleb, with reporter Jack McEvoy also making an appearance in a supporting role.

<i>Trunk Music</i> (novel)

Trunk Music is the sixth novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the fifth featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch.

<i>The Black Echo</i> Novel by Michael Connelly

The Black Echo is the 1992 debut novel by American crime author Michael Connelly. It is the first book in Connelly's Bosch series. The book won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for "Best First Novel" in 1992.

<i>The Brass Verdict</i>

The Brass Verdict is the 19th novel by American author Michael Connelly and features the second appearance of Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael "Mickey" Haller. Connelly introduced Haller in his bestselling 2005 novel The Lincoln Lawyer.

<i>Nine Dragons</i> (novel)

Nine Dragons is the 14th novel in the Harry Bosch series and the 22nd book by American crime author Michael Connelly. It was published in the U.K. and Ireland on October 1, 2009, and worldwide on October 13, 2009.

<i>The Reversal</i>

The Reversal is the 22nd novel by American author Michael Connelly and features the third major appearance of Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael "Mickey" Haller. Connelly introduced Haller in his bestselling 2005 novel The Lincoln Lawyer and then paired him with LAPD detective Harry Bosch, his half-brother, in 2008's The Brass Verdict. In 2009's 9 Dragons, Haller was a secondary character as Bosch's personal lawyer. The Reversal was published in the United States on October 5, 2010.

Mickey Haller Fictional character

J. Michael "Mickey" Haller, Junior is a fictional character created by Michael Connelly in the 2005 novel The Lincoln Lawyer. Haller, a Los Angeles-based defense attorney, is the paternal half-brother of Connelly's best-known character, LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch. The Mickey Haller series consists of seven published novels, with the most recent published in 2019.

John "Jack" McEvoy is a literary character created by Michael Connelly in the 1996 novel The Poet and starring again in the sequel the Scarecrow thirteen years later. In the interim, McEvoy appeared in one Harry Bosch novel – 2001's A Darkness More Than Night – and one Mickey Haller novel – 2008's The Brass Verdict. McEvoy starred again in Connelly's 2020 novel Fair Warning.

<i>The Drop</i> (Connelly novel)

The Drop is the 24th novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the fifteenth novel featuring Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Harry Bosch. The book was published on 22 November 2011.

<i>The Black Box</i> (novel)

The Black Box is the 25th novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the sixteenth novel featuring Los Angeles Police Department detective Harry Bosch. The book was published on 26 November 2012, "in part to honor the 20th anniversary of the character".

<i>Bosch</i> (TV series) American drama television series

Bosch is an American police procedural streaming television series produced by Amazon Studios and Fabrik Entertainment starring Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch. The show was developed for Amazon by Eric Overmyer, and the first season takes its inspiration from the Michael Connelly novels City of Bones (2002), Echo Park (2006), and The Concrete Blonde (1994). It was one of two drama pilots that Amazon streamed online in early 2014, and viewers offered their opinions on it before the studio decided whether to place a series order. Season 6 was released on April 16, 2020, following a five-day #BoschStakeout marathon and live tweet during the COVID-19 pandemic. The seventh and final season was released on June 25, 2021. An as-yet-untitled spinoff series for Amazon's IMDb TV was announced on March 3, 2021, featuring Welliver along with much of the Bosch creative team.

<i>The Burning Room</i>

The Burning Room is the 27th novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the seventeenth novel featuring Los Angeles Police Department detective Harry Bosch. The book was published by Little, Brown and Company on November 3, 2014.

<i>The Wrong Side of Goodbye</i>

The Wrong Side Of Goodbye is the 29th novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, and the nineteenth novel featuring Los Angeles Police Department detective Harry Bosch. It was published in 2016.


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