Harry Bosch

So, what is it about Harry (Hieronymus) Bosch? On the face of it these are straightforward detective stories, but they are so incredibly compelling.

Harry has many of the qualities that are found in the great detectives. He is a flawed character - mostly likeable but sometimes not. He had a troubled childhood, he didn't know his father as a child (although he finds him in later life), and his mother was a prostitute who died when Harry was young. Consequently he spent his formative years in childrens' homes but these experiences help him to become the sometimes sympathetic, but always street-wise person he is.

Harry has a strong sense of right and wrong and natural justice (like Reacher) and this frequently means he runs into trouble with the authorities, and in particular his boss(es). Sometimes Bosch gets it wrong of course, with disastrous, even fatal, consequences. It's on those occasions that you are never quite sure whether to love him or hate him.

Like many detectives he's something of a loner, never quite managing to find the happiness in his personal life that he so longs for. He has several lovers throughout the series of books, but so often he falls for similarly flawed characters. His one true love, Eleanor Wish, who he meets whilst she is an FBI agent, figures frequently but of course it is an essential part of his story that he never really finds what he is looking for.

Now, above all, Harry is a first-class detective. When we meet him he is a seasoned professional with many years working in homicide in Hollywood and Los Angeles. He is determined, smart, instinctive. Of course his bosses often are not, and his disregard for authority and the rules when pursuing what he knows to be the right course lead him into a career-threatening difficulties with both internal affairs and Chief Irving. But underneath it all Bosch is the best of policeman, haunted by the desire to right wrongs. He lives by the motto 'every one counts, or none of us count' and he is held in reluctant respect even by Irving.

Harry has his vices, strong drink and jazz, and he spends much of his time fighting the first and savouring the second. He is a dark, ultimately damaged man, who identifies strongly with the creations of his namesake, the artist Hieronymous Bosch.

So what of the actual stories? Murder, sometimes serial murder, in Hollywood and the surrounds. Very good plots, completely believable settings and good detective work. The subject matter is of course grim, but the books are laced with LAPD politics, personal friendships and animosities, and the developing personal life of Harry as well and paint a very real picture of life as a Hollywood cop.

We think books are generally of three types: those you just don't take to and put down after a page or three, those that are good stories that you will read over a period of time, and those (rare) books that you would like to read in one sitting if you possibly could. Harry Bosch falls firmly into the third category.

Appeals to:

Lovers of Columbo, Morse, Reacher

 Books in order

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

11

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

The Black Echo

The Black Ice

The Concrete Blond

The Last Coyote

Trunk Music

Angels Flight

A Darkness More Than Night

City Of Bones

Lost Light

The Narrows

The Closers

Echo Park

The Overlook

The Brass Verdict

Nine Dragons

The Reversal

The Drop

The Black Box

1992

1993

1994

1995

1997

1999

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

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