5 GRIPPING reads
The Black Echo (1992)
Connelly’s debut introduces us to Harry Bosch, an LAPD detective with a sceptical outsider’s perspective on authority. The earlier novels tend to be darker and denser than later ones, this one thanks to its subterranean environs.
2 The Last Coyote (1995)
The fourth Bosch novel is key to understanding his character: it concerns his investigation of the murder of his own mother, a prostitute strangled when he was a boy. It also shows Connelly’s growing confidence with complex plotting.
The Poet (1996)
Connelly’s first non-bosch book introduces the recurring characters of Jack Mcevoy (a partly autobiographical journalist, who says “Death is my beat”) and FBI agent Rachel Walling, and details the hunt for a paedophile serial killer. Brutal, powerful, bleak.
The Lincoln Lawyer (2005)
A first outing for Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half-brother, a defence attorney who works out of the back of a Lincoln limo. The tone is lighter, but a recurring Connelly theme, the corruption of those in authority, runs through the Haller books.
Nine Dragons (2009)
Another thematically important Bosch novel in its exploration of his relationship with his daughter, Maddie. By now, the prose is far sparser than in earlier novels, which somehow only makes the tragedy detailed here even more of a punch in the gut.