Michael Connelly
Connelly at the detective fiction convention Bouchercon XLI in San Francisco, October 2010
Connelly at the detective fiction convention Bouchercon XLI in San Francisco, October 2010
Born (1956-07-21) July 21, 1956 (age 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
EducationSt. Thomas Aquinas High School
Alma materUniversity of Florida
GenreCrime fiction, thriller
Linda McCaleb
(m. 1984)

Michael Joseph Connelly (born July 21, 1956[1]) is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly is the bestselling author of 31 novels and one work of non-fiction, with over 74 million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into 40 languages. His first novel, The Black Echo, won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly's 1997 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of Connelly's novel The Lincoln Lawyer starred Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller.[2] Connelly was the President of the Mystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2004.[3]

Early life

Connelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second oldest child of W. Michael Connelly, a property developer, and Mary Connelly, a homemaker.[4] He is of Irish ancestry.[5] According to Connelly, his father was a frustrated artist who encouraged his children to want to succeed in life[6] and was a risk taker who alternated between success and failure in his pursuit of a career. Connelly's mother was a fan of crime fiction and introduced her son to the world of mystery novels.[4]

At age 12, Connelly moved with his family from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School. At age 16, Connelly's interest in crime and mystery escalated when, on his way home from his work as a hotel dishwasher, he witnessed a man throw an object into a hedge. Connelly decided to investigate and found that the object was a gun wrapped in a lumberjack shirt. After putting the gun back, he followed the man to a bar and then left to go home to tell his father. Later that night, Connelly brought the police down to the bar, but the man was already gone. This event introduced Connelly to the world of police officers and their lives, impressing him with the way they worked.[4]

Connelly had planned on following his father's early choice of career in building construction and started out at the University of Florida in Gainesville, at the Rinker School of Building Construction, studying construction management. After earning grades that were lower than expected, Connelly went to see Robert Altman's film The Long Goodbye (1973). The film, based on Raymond Chandler's eponymous 1953 novel, inspired Connelly to want to become a mystery writer. Connelly went home and read all of Chandler's works featuring Philip Marlowe, and decided to transfer to the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, major in journalism, and minor in creative writing.[4]

Early career

After graduating from the University of Florida in 1980, Connelly got a job as a crime beat writer at the Daytona Beach News Journal, where he worked for almost two years until he went to the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in 1981. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars.[3] He stayed with the paper for a few years and in 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of the 1985 Delta Flight 191 plane crash, which story earned Connelly a place as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.[7] The honor also brought Connelly a job as a crime reporter at the Los Angeles Times. He moved to California in 1987 with his wife Linda McCaleb, whom he met while in college and married in April 1984.[4]

After moving to Los Angeles, Connelly went to see High Tower Court[8] where Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe had lived (in his 1942 novel The High Window), and Robert Altman had used for his film The Long Goodbye (1973). Connelly got the manager of the building to promise to phone him if the apartment ever became available. Ten years later, the manager tracked Connelly down, and Connelly decided to rent the place. This apartment served as a place to write for several years.[6][9]

After three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel, The Black Echo (1992), after previously writing two unfinished novels that he did not attempt to get published.[6] He sold The Black Echo to Little, Brown to be published in 1992 and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel.[7] The book is partly based on a true crime and is the first one featuring Connelly's primary recurring character, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch,[3] a man who, according to Connelly, shares few similarities with the author himself.[6] Connelly named Bosch after the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings full of sin and redemption, such as the painting Hell, a copy of which hangs on the office wall behind Connelly's computer.[2][4] Connelly describes his own work as a big canvas with all the characters of his books floating across it as currents on a painting. Sometimes they are bound to collide, creating cross currents. This is something that Connelly creates by bringing back characters from previous books and letting them play a part in books written five or six years after first being introduced.[4]

Connelly went on to write three more novels about Detective Bosch — The Black Ice (1993), The Concrete Blonde (1994), and The Last Coyote (1995) — before quitting his job as a reporter to write full-time.[4]

Full-time novelist

Michael Connelly received a good deal of publicity in 1994, when President Bill Clinton came out of a bookstore carrying a copy of The Concrete Blonde in front of the waiting cameras. A meeting was set up between the two at Los Angeles International Airport.[4]

In 1996, Connelly wrote The Poet, his first book not to feature Bosch, instead the protagonist was reporter Jack McEvoy. The book was a success.[4] In 1997, Connelly returned to Bosch in Trunk Music before writing another book, Blood Work (1997), about a different character, FBI agent Terry McCaleb. Blood Work was made into a film in 2002, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played McCaleb,[4] an agent with a transplanted heart, in pursuit of his donor's murderer. The book came together after one of Connelly's friends had a heart transplant and he saw what his friend was going through with survivor's guilt after the surgery.[3] When asked if he had anything against the changes made to fit the big screen, Connelly simply replied: "If you take their money, it's their turn to tell the story".[10]

Connelly wrote another book featuring Bosch, Angels Flight (1999), before writing Void Moon (2000), a free-standing book about Las Vegas thief Cassie Black. In 2001, A Darkness More Than Night was published, in which Connelly united Bosch and McCaleb to solve a crime together, before releasing two books in 2002. The first, City of Bones, was the eighth Bosch novel, and the other, Chasing the Dime, was a non-series novel.[3] In 2001, Connelly left California for Tampa Bay, Florida, together with his wife and daughter, so that both he and his wife could be closer to their families. His novels still took place in Los Angeles.[6]

In 2003, another Bosch novel, Lost Light, was published. With this book, a CD was released, Dark Sacred Night, the Music of Harry Bosch, featuring some of the jazz music that both Connelly and the fictional character Bosch listen to.[3] While writing Connelly listens exclusively to instrumental jazz, though, because it does not have intrusive vocals, and because the improvisational playing inspires his writing.[2] The Narrows, published in 2004, was a sequel to The Poet but featured Bosch instead of McEvoy.[3] Together with this book, a DVD was released called Blue Neon Night: Michael Connelly's Los Angeles, in which film Connelly presents some of the places in Los Angeles that are frequently featured in his books.[3]

The Closers, published in May 2005, was the 11th Bosch novel. It was followed by The Lincoln Lawyer in October, Connelly's first legal novel; it features defense attorney Mickey Haller, Bosch's half-brother. The book was made into a film in 2011, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller. After releasing Crime Beat (2004),[11] a non-fiction book about Connelly's experiences as a crime reporter, Connelly went back to Bosch with Echo Park (2006).[3] This book sets its opening scene in the High Tower Apartment that Connelly rented and wrote from.[6] His next Bosch story, The Overlook, was originally published as a multi-part series in the New York Times Magazine. After some editing, it was published as a novel in 2007. In October 2008, Connelly wrote The Brass Verdict, which brought together Bosch and Haller for the first time.[3] He followed that with The Scarecrow (May 2009), which brought back McEvoy as the lead character. 9 Dragons, a novel taking Bosch to Hong Kong, was published in October 2009. The Reversal (October 2010), reunites Bosch & Haller as they work together under the banner of the state on the retrial of a child murderer. The Haller novel The Fifth Witness was published in 2011.

The Drop, which refers in part to the "Deferred Retirement Option Plan" that was described in the novel The Brass Verdict (2008),[12] was published in November 2011. The next Bosch novel was The Black Box (2012). Connelly's subsequent novel, a legal thriller, was a return to Haller: The Gods of Guilt (2013). His next book returned to Bosch in The Burning Room (2014), and then Connelly used Haller as a main supporting character in the Bosch novels The Crossing (2015) and The Wrong Side of Goodbye (2016).

Film and television

Michael Connelly, London November 2013
Michael Connelly, London November 2013

Awards and honors

Connelly has won nearly every major award given to mystery writers, including the Edgar Award,[18] Anthony Award,[19] Macavity Award,[20] Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award,[21] Shamus Award,[22] Dilys Award,[23] Nero Award,[24] Barry Award,[25] Audie Award,[26] Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France) and Premio Bancarella Award (Italy).[27] In 2012, The Black Box won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA Prize for Crime Writing worth €125,000.[28] He received the Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2018 from the Crime Writers' Association.[29]

Writing techniques

When starting a book, he says, the story is not always clear, but Connelly has “a hunch” as to where it is going.[6] The books often reference real-world events, such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the September 11 attacks. Events that might seem of minor significance are included in some of the books, because of Connelly’s personal interest in them. For example, City of Bones, in which Detective Bosch investigates the murder of an 11-year-old boy, was written during Connelly's early years as a father of a daughter, and it hit close to home. According to Connelly, he didn't mean to write about the biggest fear of his life; it just came out that way.[30]

Detective Bosch's life usually changes in harmony with Connelly's own life. When Connelly moved 3,000 miles across the country, Bosch's experiences sent him in a new direction in City of Bones, written at that time. According to Connelly, his "real" job is to write about Bosch,[30] and he brought McCaleb and Bosch together in A Darkness More Than Night in order to look at Bosch from another perspective and to keep the character interesting.[30]

Recurring characters

Every character in the list below, with one exception, has appeared in a Harry Bosch book. All of Michael Connelly's novels occur in the same fictional universe and character crossovers are common.

Main characters

Other characters

Each of these characters has appeared in at least two of Connelly's novels.




Title Book number Publication date Featuring Also featuring
The Black Echo 1 1992 Harry Bosch (1) Eleanor Wish
The Black Ice 2 1993 Harry Bosch (2)
The Concrete Blonde 3 1994 Harry Bosch (3)
The Last Coyote 4 1995 Harry Bosch (4)
The Poet 5 1996 Jack McEvoy (1) Rachel Walling
Trunk Music 6 1997 Harry Bosch (5) Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
Blood Work 7 1998 Terry McCaleb (1) Jaye Winston
Angels Flight 8 1999 Harry Bosch (6) Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
Void Moon 9 2000 Cassie Black
A Darkness More Than Night 10 2001 Terry McCaleb (2), Harry Bosch (7) Jaye Winston, Jack McEvoy
City of Bones 11 2002 Harry Bosch (8)
Chasing the Dime 12 2002 Henry Pierce
Lost Light 13 2003 Harry Bosch (9) Eleanor Wish, Roy Lindell
The Narrows 14 2004 Harry Bosch (10) Rachel Walling, Terry McCaleb, Eleanor Wish
The Closers 15 2005 Harry Bosch (11) Kiz Rider
The Lincoln Lawyer 16 2005 Mickey Haller (1) Maggie McPherson
Echo Park 17 2006 Harry Bosch (12) Rachel Walling
The Overlook 18 2007 Harry Bosch (13) Rachel Walling
The Brass Verdict 19 2008 Mickey Haller (2) Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy
The Scarecrow 20 2009 Jack McEvoy (2) Rachel Walling
Nine Dragons 21 2009 Harry Bosch (14) Eleanor Wish, Mickey Haller, David Chu
The Reversal 22 2010 Mickey Haller (3) Harry Bosch, Maggie McPherson, Rachel Walling
The Fifth Witness 23 2011 Mickey Haller (4)
The Drop 24 2011 Harry Bosch (15) David Chu, Dr Hannah Stone
The Black Box 25 2012 Harry Bosch (16) David Chu, Dr Hannah Stone
The Gods of Guilt 26 2013 Mickey Haller (5)
The Burning Room 27 2014 Harry Bosch (17) Rachel Walling, Lucia Soto
The Crossing 28 2015 Harry Bosch (18) Mickey Haller, Lucia Soto
The Wrong Side of Goodbye 29 2016 Harry Bosch (19) Mickey Haller
The Late Show[32] 30 2017 Renee Ballard (1)
Two Kinds of Truth[33] 31 2017 Harry Bosch (20) Mickey Haller
Dark Sacred Night 32 2018 Renee Ballard (2), Harry Bosch (21)
The Night Fire[34] 33 2019 Renee Ballard (3), Harry Bosch (22) Mickey Haller
Fair Warning 34 2020 Jack McEvoy (3) Rachel Walling
The Law of Innocence 35 2020 Mickey Haller (6) Harry Bosch
The Dark Hours 36 2021 Renee Ballard (4), Harry Bosch (23)
Desert Star 37 2022 Renee Ballard (5), Harry Bosch (24)


Short stories

Short story collections

Novel collections

Non-fiction books





  1. ^ "Michael Connelly". Famousauthors.org.
  2. ^ a b c "Barnes and Nobles: Michael Connelly". Barnesandnoble.com. 2012-02-24. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Official website". Michaelconnelly.com. 1956-07-21. Archived from the original on 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Michael Connelly". Notable Biographies. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  5. ^ "Michael Connelly: King of crime brings City of Angels to life".
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "For author Michael Connelly, crime pays". St. Petersburg Times. October 25, 2007.
  7. ^ a b "January magazine profile". Januarymagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  8. ^ "High Tower Court: What it's Like to Live in the Famous Hollywood Landmark from the Long Goodbye". 21 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Final Deadline: Interview for The Scarecrow". Bookpage.com. June 2009. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  10. ^ "Michael Connelly; The Gold Standard: How the movies - past and present - changed our lives". Variety. January 4, 2007.
  11. ^ Connelly, Michael (May 2006). Crime Beat. Little, Brown and Company. p. copyright. ISBN 978-0-316-15377-5. Originally published as Crime Beat: Selected Journalism 1984—1992 in hardcover by Steven C. Vascik Publications, 2004
  12. ^ Alter, Alexandra (July 1, 2011). "The (Really) Long Goodbye". The Wall Street Journal Friday Journal.
  13. ^ Level 9 at IMDb
  14. ^ Blue Neon Night at IMDb
  15. ^ season 2 episode 1 IMDB listing for Castle
  16. ^ season 2 episode 24 IMDB listing for Castle
  17. ^ White, Peter (February 28, 2022). "David E. Kelley Lands Straight-To-Series Order For Adaptation Of Michael Connelly's 'Avalon' At ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  18. ^ "Best First Mystery Novel by an American Author Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Mysterynet.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  19. ^ "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. 2003-10-02. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  20. ^ "Mystery Readers International's Macavity Awards". Mysteryreaders.org. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  21. ^ Kiwicraig (2010-02-23). "Crime Watch: The Best of 2009: Los Angeles Times Book Prizes (Mystery/Thriller)". Kiwicrime.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  22. ^ "The Private Eye Writers of America and The Shamus Awards". Thrillingdetective.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  23. ^ "The Dilys Award - (Imba)". Mysterybooksellers.com. 2012-03-31. Archived from the original on 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  24. ^ "Wolfe Pack Nero Award Recipients chronologically". Nerowolfe.org. 2011-12-12. Archived from the original on 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  25. ^ "Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine- Barry Awards". Deadlypleasures.com. 2008-10-09. Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  26. ^ "APA - Audio Publishers Association - the voice of the audiobook industry - Audies". Audiopub.org. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  27. ^ "LA crime writing legend Michael Connelly - ABC Victoria - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)". Blogs.abc.net.au. 2011-05-26. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  28. ^ "Michael Connelly wins the RBA Prize for his novel 'The Black Box'". Catalan News Wire. 7 September 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  29. ^ Kean, Danuta (October 26, 2018). "Michael Connelly's crime fiction career honoured with Diamond Dagger". The Guardian. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  30. ^ a b c "Michael Connelly". Powells.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  31. ^ Colette Bancroft. "Michael Connelly's latest novel brings Harry Bosch a cold case and a challenging new partner". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  32. ^ The Late Show by Michael Connelly, Little, Brown & Co.
  33. ^ Michael Connelly's next Bosch book & an All New Series releasing in 2017
  34. ^ Bullough, Charlie (4 November 2018). "Feature: Author is making crime pay". The Yorkshire Post. JPIMedia Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  35. ^ "The Secret Society of Demolition Writers Archived 2009-12-19 at the Wayback Machine"
  36. ^ "Angle of Investigation". Michaelconnelly.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  37. ^ "Suicide Run". Michaelconnelly.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  38. ^ "Mulholland Dive". Michaelconnelly.com. Retrieved 2012-09-04.