If you have watched Amazon Prime’s original series Bosch or the subsequent one, Bosch: Legacy, you’re probably interested in the character of Harry Bosch, the no-nonsense detective who is smart yet emotionally flawed. Long before Titus Welliver’s portrayal made Bosch incredibly enigmatic, it was Michael Connely’s writing that made him a cult favorite.
In this article, you will learn about the author behind the book series and discover all the Harry Bosch books in chronological order. You will also find out the answers to the series-specific questions that fans most often ask.
But before we get into the complete Harry Bosch series list and the bio of its author, let’s look at the top Harry Bosch books.
Our best Harry Bosch Books at a glance:
Michael Connely: The Genius Behind Bosch
Michael Connerly was born to W. Michael Connely and Mary Connely on July 21, 1956, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Connely’s father, a property developer himself, had a passion for the arts that, according to Michael Connely, he failed to realize.
He was, therefore, a lot more supportive of his kids pursuing what they wanted in life. While Connely’s father’s openness to the creative fields shaped his interests broadly, the specific interests that led to the creation of Harry Bosch came from his mother. Mary Connely was a fan of crime fiction and introduced her children to mystery novels.
This interest would become more pronounced when he became involved in uncovering a coverup. Connely was 16 and a student at St. Thomas Aquinas High School when he witnessed a criminal cover-up. He was walking back from his part-time job when he noticed someone throw an object into the bush.
Connely was curious enough to investigate the object, finding out that it was a gun wrapped in a lumberjack shirt. Connelly put the gun back and told his father about his encounter.
The police were called, and Connely talked to them. While the weapon was being taken by law enforcement, the man had already fled. Connely’s interaction with the police would prove to be pivotal in his career choice.
He went to college to pursue building construction like his father. But he didn’t get good enough grades to want to continue. During the same period, Connely watched The Long Goodbye (1973), based on a novel of the same name. The experience made him want to become a novelist.
He decided that one day he would write novels that would become popular enough to be adapted for the big screen. That dream would come true in 2002 with the release of “Blood Work” in theaters.
However, the journey from his commitment in 1973 to the theatrical release of a book adaptation had its ups and downs. From 1937 on, Connelly did not leave the threat of crime writing. After graduation, he worked as a crime-beat reporter for several journals and newspapers.
He even wrote his first novels while juggling his work as a journalist. Only when President Clinton showed up to one of his book signings did he realize that he was successful enough to become a full-time novelist. His commitment to writing a novel so popular that it would become a film came true eight years after meeting Clinton.
And the ironic twist of fate is that Connely’s best-received adaptation was released on a platform that didn’t even exist when he decided to become a crime novelist. The Bosch TV series was released on Amazon Prime, an online streaming service.
It follows Harry Bosch, who is one of the most popular characters in contemporary crime fiction. He was previously found in a book series that was on multiple bestseller lists before joining Amazon Prime. Below are all the books in this popular series in the order of their publication.
Harry Bosch Books In Order
- The Black Echo
- The Black Ice
- The Concrete Blonde
- The Last Coyote
- The Poet
- Trunk Music
- Blood Work
- Angels Flight
- Void Moon
- A Darkness More Than Night
- City of Bones
- Chasing the Dime
- Lost Light
- The Narrows
- The Closers
- The Lincoln Lawyer
- Echo Park
- The Overlook
- The Brass Verdict
- The Scarecrow
- Nine Dragons
- The Reversal
- The Fifth Witness
- The Drop
- The Black Box
- The Gods of Guilt
- The Burning Room
- The Crossing
- The Wrong Side of Goodbye
- The Late Show
- Two Kinds of Truth
- Dark Sacred Night
- The Night Fire
- Fair Warning
- The Law of Innocence
- The Dark Hours
- Desert Star
The Best Harry Bosch Books To Read
This novel starts Harry Bosch’s journey in print media, though it serves as content for the third season of the Prime show. It follows Bosch as he moves from being a war veteran to a career as a police detective.
The plot kicks into high gear when Bosch is transferred to the robbery-homicide division of the LA Police. He learns of the murder of his war buddy, and the case possibly links to a bank robbery where tunnels were used. Tunnels were also Bosch’s primary area of expertise in the war.
This book comes after the semi-finished conclusion of the Harry Bosch trilogy. In many ways, it shows the work of an author who decided against retiring his main character with a trilogy. Instead, the suspension of Harry Bosch from his police detective position fuels the next leg of his journey.
In this book, Bosch is trying to find his mother’s killer and is willing to give up his life to continue the pursuit. The book is named after the explanation of Bosch’s mental state given to him by his therapist.
The Black Ice explores feelings of inadequacy, romantic interest, and the limitations of being in the police force. It stands in stark contrast to stories where the detective seems to be able to do whatever he wants.
It starts on a Christmas night when Bosch is alone, listening to the police radio. He gets curious when he isn’t called to look at a crime scene, which would otherwise be his domain. He goes to the scene anyway, only to discover that a cop has been murdered.
This fuels Bosch’s curiosity, but he can’t get on the case. While consoling the dead policeman’s widow, Bosch gets closer to her. And this makes him want to investigate the cop’s death. His chance comes when one of his cases ties into the policeman’s death.
What will Bosch do now that he has the license to skate on the black ice, on which his superiors do not want him?
The Burning Room has one of the most creative premises in contemporary detective fiction. Bosch, in this story, is a detective in the Open Unsolved Unit. The case he gets assigned is quite peculiar because the body is fresh, but the crime is a decade old. The stray bullet that hit the victim ten years earlier caused complications that led to his demise ten years later. The challenge for Bosch is to figure out the killer without any clues, besides the body being practically nonexistent. It puts the protagonist against impossible odds, which makes the read all the more interesting.
The Concrete Blonde is part serial killer mystery and part legal drama. It begins with Harry Bosch killing the serial killer known as “The Dollmaker” after discovering his interest in turning his victims into dolls via makeup. Bosch thinks he is about to be killed by the suspect, so he manages to kill the man before he can reach under his pillow.
It turns out that the makeup in his possession matches the one on the victims. All seems to be going as well as it could given the circumstances, but then another murder happens with the same method, down to some very specific details.
Harry Bosch FAQs
Is Harry Bosch Coming Back?
Harry Bosch is coming back on the screen and in print, with the author announcing that his premier detective is not dead. The Bosch TV show and the books are interlinked despite not being beat-by-beat adaptations, so the detective is presumed to be alive across all media.
There are plenty of cases from the novels that have gone unadapted, so the series might draw from them. It is also possible that the series will adapt Conelly’s latest Harry Bosch story.
Does Michael Connelly Write The Bosch TV Show?
Connelly is the co-creator and co-executive producer of the Amazon Prime show. He is also a co-writer but not the sole writer of the Bosch TV series. The series revamps the cases set in the 90s for modern times and adapts them for the screen.
Pretty much everything that has happened on the show has been covered in one way or another in the Harry Bosch canon. If you plan to watch the show and read the books, you should read the books first.
How Many Bosch Novels Are There?
There are 20 Harry Bosch books, with more on the way. Michael Connelly is still an active writer, and his Bosch series is ongoing both on the screen and in print. However, both canons aren’t uniform.
Does Amazon Bosch Follow The Books?
The Amazon Bosch follows the books, albeit in random order and out of time. Most Bosch cases take place in the 90s but are updated for recency in the Bosch TV series. The Amazon show doesn’t adapt books in order of publication.
Does The Bosch Show Spoil The Books?
Because the show adapts different cases from the books without following the novels’ chronology, it spoils the books. You should read the books before you start watching the show if you don’t want it to be spoiled.
Do I Need To Read Harry Bosch In Order?
You don’t need to read any of Bosch’s books to enjoy any individual book. If you intend to finish the series, then you might as well read it in order. Otherwise, you can just read whatever is recommended by most Bosch readers.
Harry Bosch is an enigmatic detective both on screen and in print. Writer Michael Connelly pens captivating mysteries that Bosch solves in unpredictable ways.
Even after writing 20 novels featuring the character as a lead, Connelly manages to surprise his readers. You can read all the books in the series by following the list covered above, or just read the top books recommended at the beginning of this post.