The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be. – Raymond Chandler

Law is not justice and a trial is not a scientific inquiry into truth. A trial is the resolution of a dispute. – Edison Haines

 

Hieronymus Bosch. Better known as Harry to his coworkers at the Los Angeles PD where he works as a homicide detective. Harry is that rarest of entities – a cop who cares more about justice than politics, about solving cases rather than simply finding a suspect to pin it on in order to clear cases. Of course, this doesn’t make him popular in either the police department or the District Attorney’s office. But it sure as hell makes his character popular with me. For you see, Harry searches out the truth – not popular truth sometimes, but the honest to goodness truth.

Harry came up rough. His mother was a prostitute who was murdered when he was eleven, throwing him into the brutal madhouse of the foster care system in Los Angeles – a world where everyone has it hard, and the son of a prostitute is fair game for every sadistic teenager and adult in the system.

Because of who she was, and what she did, the cops didn’t care. That’s the reason whoever killed her is still in the wind.

Harry made it through – but now, it comes back to haunt him. When Harry shoots a suspect who pulls a gun on him in a dark, rainy alley, the Viper posing as an attorney on the case is given access to his personal history and psych reports by one of the upper echelon political cops on the force who has a hard-on to pull himself into the top cop job – and wipe out the real cops in favour of the political yellow-bellies who will kowtow to his every word, destroying true justice for what is politically popular at the time. Attorneys don’t care about right or wrong, justice or truth – they simply care about winning. And that fact is shown over and over again in this dark, pitiless tale.

He operates under this code, everybody counts, or nobody counts. – Michael Connelly on what drives Bosch

I was afraid, when Bosch was first offered as an Amazon Original that they weren’t going to make any more than the one episode. Thankfully, the first full season premiered on February 13th – and it meets every expectation I had when I first viewed the premiere. And what a premiere it was.

It starts with a dog finding a bone. Not all that exciting, finding a bone in the woods. But this bone is neither coyote nor deer. Rather, it is the humerus of a child. As Bosch and his team find the shallow grave and dig up more bones, it is clear that this child suffered pitilessly at the hands of a monster. A monster who savaged him on a daily basis, breaking nearly every bone in his body, over and over again, until he finally found the relief of death. But who brutalized this child, torturing him mercilessly, day after day, dehumanizing a small child until even his bones refused to grow? Who did this horrific thing – and who finally ended his painful existence?

Layers grow upon layers as a serial killer takes credit for murdering this brutalized child, this ultimate victim. Bodies are lost and found, and darkness throws a pall over everything within the story. This is unquestionably a story from the heart of Michael Connelly, beautifully recreated on screen by Titus Welliver. I have now watched three of the episodes (I am hording them!) and they are amazing. If you love dark noir police stories (and who can’t love a noir story set in Los Angeles?) this is an amazing series. So far there are ten episodes, I hope they make more. There is a dearth of really good mystery series out there (yes, that is my personal opinion) but this is a truly wonderful one.

About Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote, before publishing The Poet in 1996–a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist. In 1997, he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. It was inspired in part by a friend’s receiving a heart transplant and the attendant “survivor’s guilt” the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly had been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. The movie adaptation of Blood Work was released in 2002, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Connelly’s next book, Angels Flight, was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. The non-series novel Void Moon was released in 2000 and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night, united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

In 2002, Connelly released two novels. The first, the Harry Bosch book City Of Bones, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. The second release was a stand-alone thriller, Chasing The Dime, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Lost Light was published in 2003 and named one of the Best Books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. It is another in the Harry Bosch series but the first written in first person.
Connelly’s 2004 novel, The Narrows, is the sequel to The Poet. It was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times. His 11th Harry Bosch novel, The Closers, was published in 2005, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly’s first-ever legal thriller and his 16th novel, was published in 2005 and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book introduced Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. The movie adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller, was released in 2011. This is the second film adapted from a Connelly novel.

Crime Beat, a non-fiction collection of crime stories from Michael’s days as a journalist, was released in 2006, as was the Harry Bosch novel, Echo Park. The Overlook, Michael’s 18th novel, was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This Harry Bosch story was published as a book with additional material in 2007.

Michael’s 19th novel, The Brass Verdict, was released in 2008, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It introduces Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in a fast-paced legal thriller. Michael’s 20th novel, The Scarecrow, was released in 2009, and reunites reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent Rachel Walling for the first time since The Poet. It too debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Michael released a second book in 2009, the 15th Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. In this story, Bosch goes to Hong Kong to find his missing daughter.

In 2010, The Reversal was released and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book has Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch working together on the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. The Fifth Witness, a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2011 and also debuted at #1. Michael’s 2011 novel, The Drop, a Harry Bosch novel, debuted at #1. Another #1 ranked book, The Black Box, focuses on Harry Bosch once again and is Michael’s 25th novel. Its release came in Michael’s 20th year in publishing, 2012. The Gods of Guilt , a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Burning Room, a Harry Bosch novel, was released in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Fifty-eight million copies of Connelly’s books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into thirty-nine foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, “Bosch,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video now. All 10 episodes can be watched here: http://amzn.to/1A1czNcTo read Michael Connelly’s wonderful Harry Bosch novels, the list below has links to the books in publication order. Enjoy!

Books in published order:
The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook  (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013)  (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (November 2015)

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