Looking for how to read the Harry Bosch books in order? We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide.
The Harry Bosch books are the perfect read for anyone who is a fan of heart-throbbing thrillers that come with lots of action and exceptional characters.
Bosch the main character, is a protagonist in a fiction series of crime and police involvement written by the famous American author Michael Connelly. It has also been adapted into a TV series featuring Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch.
Who is Harry Bosch?
Hieronymus Bosch, or Harry, is the main character in this series of novels by Michael Connelly. While he is named after the 15th century Dutch artist, in this series Bosch is a homicide detective working for the LAPD.
On his website Connelly describes Bosch as a tenacious detective with a strong personal code that drives him to seek justice. And that plays into Bosch’s backstory significantly.
That’s because Bosch’s mother was brutally murdered when he was twelve years old. His mother was a sex worker and while his father was a powerful defense attorney, Bosch bounced around orphanages and foster homes following his mother’s death.
As a teenager Bosch joined the Army and fought in the Vietnam War before going AWOL and later joined the Los Angeles Police Department. This is where the books began as we slowly get to learn more about this hero, maverick, and nighthawk.
Harry Bosch Books in Order of Publication
Here are all the Harry Bosch books in order by Michael Connelly in their publication order. Although they are individual novels, you will enjoy them more when you follow the publication order to grasp the evolution of Bosch’s character.
- The Black Echo (1992)
- The Black Ice (1993)
- The Concrete Blonde (1994)
- The Last Coyote (1995)
- Trunk Music (1997)
- Angels Flight (1999)
- A Darkness More Than Night (2000)
- City of Bones (2002)
- Lost Light (2003)
- The Narrows (2004)
- The Closers (2005)
- Echo Park (2006)
- The Overlook (2007)
- Nine Dragons (2009)
- The Drop (2011)
- The Black Box (2012)
- The Burning Room (2014)
- The Crossing (2015)
- The Wrong Side of Goodbye (2016)
- Two Kinds of Truth (2017)
- Dark Sacred Night (2018) (Renée Ballard Team-Up)
- The Night Fire (2019) (Renée Ballard Team-Up)
- The Dark Hours (2021) (Renée Ballard Team-Up)
- Desert Star (November 8, 2022) (Renée Ballard Team-Up)
Harry Bosch Books in Order – Short Stories
Harry Bosch TV Show
As mentioned, Michael Connelly’s books have been adapted into a TV show that is available to stream on Amazon Prime: Bosch. The series stars Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch.
There are seven seasons, with the series concluding in June 2021. Alongside Welliver stars Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, and Lance Reddick.
When asked how the books compare to the TV show, Connelly said the adaptation is a very accurate take on the character and the books. The series is not a straight adaptation of the books in chronological order, but rather intertwines plot lines from different books to tell the story for the screen.
For example, the first season focuses on the book City of Bones with elements from Echo Park and The Concrete Blonde. The next season focuses mainly on Trunk Music with elements from The Last Drop and The Last Coyote. The third season focuses on The Black Echo and A Darkness More Than Night.
Then, the fourth season continues with plotlines from the previous season while adapting Angels Flight. The fifth season focuses mostly on Two Kinds of Truth, while the sixth season looks at The Overlook and Dark Sacred Night. Finally, the seventh season mainly focuses on The Burning Room.
If you’re looking for even more information about the Bosch TV series, you can visit Michael Connelly’s website.
Summary of Harry Bosch Books in Order: First 10 Books
If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at the Harry Bosch books in order, here we’ll summarize the first 10 books in the series. This will give you a good overview of the series and what it’s about.
1. The Black Echo
For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal, because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam “tunnel rat” who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam.
From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.
2. The Black Ice
Narcotics office Cal Moore’s orders were to look into the city’s latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.
Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago. Don’t look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together.
Soon Harry’s making some very dangerous connections. Starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the centre of a complex and deadly game. One in which he may be the next and likeliest victim.
3. The Concrete Blonde
They call him the Dollmaker. He’s a serial killer who stalks Los Angeles and leaves a grisly calling card on the faces of his female victims. When Detective Harry Bosch shoots a suspect, everyone believes the city’s nightmare is over.
But then the dead man’s widow sues Harry and the LAPD for killing the wrong man. And it’s an accusation that rings terrifyingly true when a new corpse turns up with the Dollmaker’s macabre signature.
Now, for the second time, Harry must hunt down a ruthless death-dealer before he strikes again. Careening through a blood-tracked quest, Harry will go from the hard edges of the L.A. night to the last place he ever wanted to go. The darkness of his own heart.
4. The Last Coyote
Harry attacked his commanding officer and is suspended indefinitely, pending a psychiatric evaluation. At first he resists the LAPD shrink, but finally recognizes that something is troubling him and has for a long time. In 1961, when Harry was twelve, his mother, a prostitute, was brutally murdered, and no one has ever been accused of the crime.
With the spare time a suspension brings, Harry opens up the thirty-year-old file on the case. And he is irresistibly drawn into a past he has always avoided. It’s clear that the case was fumbled and the smell of a cover-up is unmistakable.
Someone powerful was able to divert justice and Harry vows to uncover the truth. As he relentlessly follows the broken pieces of the case, the stirred interest causes new murders and pushes Harry to the edge of his job…and his life.
5. Trunk Music
Back on the job after an involuntary leave of absence, LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch is ready for a challenge. But his first case is a little more than he bargained for.
It starts with the body of a Hollywood producer in the trunk of a Rolls-Royce, shot twice in the head at close range. It looks like “trunk music,” a Mafia hit.
But the LAPD’s organized crime unit is curiously uninterested. Then, when Harry follows a trail of gambling debts to Las Vegas, the case suddenly becomes more complex and much more personal.
Meanwhile, a rekindled romance with an old girlfriend opens new perspectives on the murder, and he begins to glimpse a shocking triangle of corruption and collusion. Yanked off the case, Harry himself is soon the one being investigated. But only a bullet can stop Harry when he’s searching for the truth.
6. Angels Flight
An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch’s Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive – and the dead man’s enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous – that it falls to Harry to solve it.
Now the streets are superheating. Harry’s year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?
7. A Darkness More Than Night
Harry Bosch is up to his neck in a case that has transfixed all of celebrity-mad Los Angeles. A movie director is charged with murdering an actress during sex, and then staging her death to make it look like a suicide. Bosch is both the arresting officer and the star witness in a trial that has brought the Hollywood media pack out in full-throated frenzy.
Meanwhile, Terry McCaleb is enjoying an idyllic retirement on Catalina Island when a visit from an old colleague brings his former world rushing back. It’s a murder, the unreadable kind of murder he specialized in solving back in his FBI days. The investigation has stalled, and the sheriff’s office is asking McCaleb to take a quick look at the murder book to see if he turns up something they’ve missed.
McCaleb believes he has unmasked the most frightening killer ever to cross his sights. But his investigation tangles with Bosch’s lines. Soon, the two men find themselves at odds in the most dangerous investigation of their lives.
8. City of Bones
When the bones of a twelve-year-old boy are found scattered in the Hollywood Hills, Harry Bosch is drawn into a case that brings up the darkest memories from his own haunted past. The bones have been there for years, but the cold case doesn’t deter Bosch. Unearthing hidden stories, he finds the child’s identity and reconstructs his fractured life, determined that he not be forgotten.
At the same time, a new love affair with a female cop begins to blossom for Bosch. Until a stunningly blown mission leaves him in more trouble than ever before in his turbulent career. The investigation races to a shocking conclusion and leaves Bosch on the brink of an unimaginable decision.
9. Lost Light
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 L.A.P.D., 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 any he’s ever encountered, Bosch is not backing down.
10. The Narrows
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 either.
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. He will lead them on a wicked ride out of the heat, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own…
Reading the Harry Bosch books in order is the best reading order as you get to capture the author’s spirit and intention in every book. Every novel has a mystery that Harry solves, but his character grows from book to book. If you start with the current books, for example, you will meet a character who is different from the earlier ones.
That said, start reading this series in its publication order, one book at a time! The last thing you want is to miss out on any of them.
Looking for more books in order?
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