A former crime reporter with several newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has won every major award given to mystery writers, including the Edgar Award.
Books by Michael Connelly that I have read
Back of the book summary: 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 here sister Gloria was murdered it leaves Terry no choice. Now the man with the new 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.
Back of the book summary: It was a case some cops could live with: the torture killing of a man who spread horrors of his own. Yet one investigator believes the unknown assailant will strike again, and she persuades former criminal profiler Terry McCaleb to leave his quiet life to help her out. In a horrific morass of crime scene details, McCaleb deciphers a message and finds a suspect: a Los Angeles detective named Harry Bosch who has spent too many years looking at too much darkness. But while Bosch may have had a good reason to murder a man in a West Hollywood apartment, he has an even better one for staying alive — and finding a suspect of his own.
Back of the book summary: 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. No official warning can break them apart — or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.
Back of the book summary: The phone messages waiting for Henry Pierce clearly aren’t for him: “Where is Lilly? This is her number. It’s on the site.” Pierce has just moved into a new apartment, and he’s been “chasing the dime” — doing all it takes so his company comes out first with a scientific breakthrough worth millions. But he can’t get the messages for Lilly out of his head. As Pierce tries to help a woman he has never met, he steps into a world of escorts, websites, sex, and secret passions. a world where his success and expertise mean nothing….and where he becomes the chief suspect in a murder case, trapped in the fight of his life.
Back of the book summary: 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 LAPD, Bosch is determined to find justice for Angella. Without a badge to open doors and strike fear into the guilty, he’s on his own. And even in the face of an opponent more powerful and ruthless than he’s every encountered, Bosch is not backing down.
Back of the book summary: FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she’s dreaded for years, the one that tells her the poet has surfaced. She has never forgotten the serial killer who wove lines of poetry in his hideous crimes — and apparently he has not forgotten her. 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. Now the two are at odds with the FBI….and squarely in the path of the Poet, who will lead them on a wicked ride out of the head, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own.
Back of the book summary: 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. With some people openly rooting for his failure, 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. But something bigger and darker beckons, and Harry must battle to fit all the pieces together. Shaking cages and rattling ghosts, he will push the rules to the limit — and expose the kind of truth that shatters lives, ends careers, and keeps the dead whispering in the night.
Back of the book summary: For defense attorney Mickey Haller, the clock is always running. With two ex-wives, four Lincoln Town Cars that he uses as offices, and dozens of guilty clients, he can’t afford to miss a trick. When he gets picked by a Beverly Hills rich boy arrested for assault, Mickey sees a franchise case: a nice, long, expensive trial with maximum billable hours — until it hurtles him into the last place he wants to be. Suddenly hustling, cynical Mickey Haller is confronted with pure evil and someone who may be truly innocent. Now, for a lawyer who has always gone for the easy score, getting justice means taking the deadliest risk of all.
Mini book review: What can you say about a Michael Connelly novel that hasn’t already been written before? Good question. But I’ll give it a try. Echo Park is the 12th book in the Harry Bosch series (and his 17th work of fiction) and like a lot of people, I’ve read them all. Unlike a lot of people, I stop reading a popular series when the author gets a big head or his main character becomes an unbelievable super hero — Tom Clancy and Jack Ryan, raise your hand. I also stop reading when the Hollywood ending is 10 times better than the book’s ending — John Grisham, you lost me at The Firm. Bosch, meanwhile, is the same crime-fighting bastard he’s always been. And Connelly still refuses to sell Hollywood the rights to his famous character based in Hollywood. And, of course, he keeps pumping out quality stuff. In Echo Park, Connelly starts with a flashback to a case Harry and Jerry Edgar worked in 1993, one that still haunts Bosch 13 years later. And it’s Bosch’s pig-headed persistence that puts things into motion in this story. In addition to the cameo by Edgar — and the far-too-coincidental introduction of his cousin, Gary — reporter Keisha Russell and long-time nemesis Irving Irving make appearances. Connelly obviously enjoys having Bosch interact with a top-notch Los Angeles Times crime reporter, which he himself once was. The mention of Irving, meanwhile, reminds me of how Connelly has grown as a writer. In one early book, Connelly described Irving in cartoon character-like form — as a buffoon who clenched his jaws and golf balls formed. That character is now a strong, very serious nemesis to Bosch, just as Connelly is a strong, very serious player in the crime fiction arena.
Back of the book summary: 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. Taking the confession of the man he sought — and hated — for thirteen years is bad enough. Discovering that he missed a clue back in 1993 that could have stopped nine other murders may just be the straw that break Harry Bosch.
Mini book review: I’m not a big believer in coincidences. Maybe it’s my background in journalism or maybe I just over-analyze things. Whatever the case, I need to stop reading too much into things when I’m reading. Case in point: The Overlook by Michael Connelly. The 13th book in the Harry Bosch series, it was originally written as a 16-part series for the New York Times Magazine. A year later, Connelly expanded it into a novel. The story focuses on a murder that is being investigated by Bosch and his young new partner, Iggy Ferras. Before long, the FBI takes an interest in the case and Bosch is reunited with Rachel Walling, a former flame who appeared in the previous novel, Echo Park. As the case unravels, the plot takes an abrupt turn, which is where the coincidences comes into play. (In the last book I reviewed, The Watchman by Robert Crais, the story was set in Los Angeles and it also involved the feds and took a similar abrupt turn near then end.) But enough about coincidences. Both writers are writing about crime in post 9/11 Los Angeles and obviously the feds are a big part of that equation. (In fact, Cold Hit by Stephen J. Cannell, written prior to both books, also features a crime story set in Los Angeles and involves the feds.) Like The Watchman (and coincidences aside), I thought The Overlook was very good, but not great. My only real criticism is the brevity of the book, which obviously is due to the fact that is originally written as a serial. I noticed the book was a bit thinner than usual, but what hit me afterwards was the feeling that the book felt rushed and seemed to climax very quickly. The other thing I’m not sure about is the bonus chapter, which was published in the paperback edition. To me, I would feel cheated if I had purchased the hardcover edition which was missing the chapter.
Back of the book summary: Near Mulholland Drive, Dr. Stanley Kent is found shot twice in the back of the head. It’s the case LAPD detective Harry Bosch has been waiting for, his first since being recruited to the Homicide Special Squad. When he discovers that Kent had access to dangerous radioactive substances, what begins as a routine investigation becomes something darker, more deadly, and frighteningly urgent. Bosch is soon in conflict with not only his superiors but the FBI, which thinks the case is too important for just a cop. Complicating his job even more is the presence of Agent Rachel Walling, his onetime lover. Now guarding one slim advantage, Bosch relentlessly follows his own instincts, hoping they are still sharp enough to find the truth — and a killer who can annihilate an entire city.
Mini book review: When attorney Mickey Haller first appeared in Michael Connelly’s 16th novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, I was a bit skeptical. I just didn’t think I would enjoy a lawyer mystery. Naturally, Connelly delivered and when I saw that Haller was returning three books later, there was no apprehension on my part. Again, The Brass Verdict delivers and long-time readers are not only rewarded with a significant role by LAPD detective Harry Bosch, but writer Jack McEvoy also makes an appearance. Since we last saw him in the Lincoln Lawyer, Haller has battled a pain-killer addiction while recovering from his gunshot wounds. A colleague and rival, Jerry Vincent, is murdered and it turns out that Vincent’s active caseload has been bequeathed to Haller, including a high-profile murder trial involving a Hollywood producer. Haller butts heads with the detective investigating Vincent’s murder, which happens to be Bosch. In addition to the standard murder mystery, the story also examines legal ethics and focuses on the rocky relationship between Haller and Bosch. The human part of the book doesn’t end there as we also look at Haller’s relationship with his daughter and see him take one of his clients – a troubled, ex-surfer facing prison time — under his wing. the Great stuff once again from Connelly, who keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout this legal/mystery/police thriller.
Back of the book summary: After two years of wrong turns, defense attorney Mickey Haller is back in action. His former colleague Jerry Vincent has been slain and Haller inherits his biggest case yet: defending a Hollywood producer accused of multiple murders. With a key part of the defense strategy missing, Haller scrambles to prepare for trial – and gets more pressure when he learns that Vincent’s killer may be coming for him next. Enter Harry Bosch, who will do whatever it takes to crack the Vincent case, including using Haller as bait. But as danger quickly mounts, these two loners will soon realize that their only chance is to work as a team.
Books by Michael Connelly on my reading list
22. The Reversal (2010)
23. The Fifth Witness (2011)
24. The Drop (2011)
25. The Black Box (2012)