All 60+ Michael Connelly Books in Order [Ultimate Guide]

Are you a fan of legal mystery and wondering how to read Michael Connelly books in order? Here is a list to help you read the entire series.

Michael Connelly is popularly known for his Harry Bosch Universe thrillers that are popular with many readers. But did you know Connelly has other books besides the Harry Bosch series, such as the Mickey Haller, Jack McEvoy, Renée Billard and Terry McCaleb series?

Each series is standalone from the rest, but many of the characters from one series feature in other parts of different books.

If you want to read Michael Connelly books in order, you have come to the right place.

Who is Michael Connelly?

Michael Connelly is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, but he hadn’t always planned on a writing career. Initially, Connelly was planning to work in construction, but while attending university he switched paths. That’s because he watched Robert Altman’s 1973 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s book The Long Goodbye and he was inspired to write crime fiction.

He then started studying journalism at university and became a journalist after graduation. Connelly worked at newspapers in Florida on the crime beat before moving to Los Angeles as a crime reporter. He started writing while he was still working as a journalist and it wasn’t until the success of his third novel that he quit his day job.

Connelly has since written 36 novels and one non-fiction book. Collectively, his works have sold more than 80 million copies and been translated into 45 languages.

How to Read Michael Connelly Books in Order

While it seems impossible to read all these books in any order, it is possible. Start by reading Henry Bosch books, and you will love the flow. Some people swear by starting anywhere, maybe begin with Renée Ballard’s book or the Mickey Haller.

However, you will soon run into the character Harry Bosch who you know nothing about. It will be hard to enjoy the book as you would if you had started right from the beginning with Harry Bosch.

Harry Bosch is not just a character in Michael Connelly books; he is an entire world worth discovering. So reading Michael Connelly books in order is highly recommended.

Let’s dive right in!

Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch Universe Books in Order of Publication

This list is a complete look at the Harry Bosch Universe. That is, all the books written by Michael Connelly that have crossovers with his primary work, Harry Bosch. For a more detailed look only the Harry Bosch books, check out my Harry Bosch books in order article.

Below this master list of the Harry Bosch Universe, we’ll separate out the individual series in case you want to start somewhere smaller.

  1. The Black Echo (1992)
  2. The Black Ice (1993)
  3. The Concrete Blonde (1994)
  4. The Last Coyote (1995)
  5. The Poet (1996)
  6. Trunk Music (1997)
  7. Blood Work (1998)
  8. Angels Flight (1999)
  9. Void Moon (1999)
  10. A Darkness More Than Night (2000)
  11. City of Bones (2002)
  12. Lost Light (2003)
  13. The Narrows (2004)
  14. The Closers (2005)
  15. The Lincoln Lawyer (2005)
  16. Echo Park (2006)
  17. The Overlook (2007)
  18. The Brass Verdict (2008)
  19. The Scarecrow (2009)
  20. Nine Dragons (2009)
  21. The Reversal (2010)
  22. The Fifth Witness (2011)
  23. The Drop (2011)
  24. The Black Box (2012)
  25. The Gods of Guilt (2013)
  26. The Burning Room (2014)
  27. The Crossing (2015)
  28. The Wrong Side of Goodbye (2016)
  29. The Late Show (2017)
  30. Two Kinds of Truth (2017)
  31. Dark Sacred Night (2018)
  32. The Night Fire (2019)
  33. Fair Warning (2020)
  34. The Law of Innocence (2020)
  35. The Dark Hours (2021)
  36. Desert Star (2022)

Harry Bosch Short Stories

  1. Blue on Black (2010)
  2. Angle of Investigation (2011)
  3. Suicide Run (2011)
  4. Switchblade (2014)

Michael Connelly Books in Order – Jack McEvoy

  1. The Poet (1996)
  2. The Scarecrow (2009)
  3. Fair Warning (2020)

Michael Connelly Books in Order – Terry McCaleb

  1. Blood Work (1998)
  2. A Darkness More Than Night (2000)
  3. The Narrows (2004)

Lincoln Lawyer Books in Order – Mickey Haller

  1. The Lincoln Lawyer (2005)
  2. The Brass Verdict (2008)
  3. The Reversal (2010)
  4. The Fifth Witness (2011)
  5. The Gods of Guilt (2013)
  6. The Law of Innocence (2020)
  7. Resurrection Walk (Expected: June 4, 2024)

Renée Ballard Books in Order

  1. The Late Show (2017)
  2. Dark Sacred Night (2018)
  3. The Night Fire (2019)
  4. The Dark Hours (2021)
  5. Desert Star (2022)
  6. The Waiting (Expected: November 5, 2024)

Michael Connelly Standalone Books in Order

  1. Void Moon (1999)
  2. Chasing the Dime (2002)
  3. Mulholland Dive (2012) (Short Stories)

Book to Screen Adaptations

The first Michael Connelly adaptation was the 2002 movie Blood Work. It starred Clint Eastwood as the main character Terry McCaleb alongside Jeff Daniels and Anjelica Huston. Eastwood was also the director for the production.

This was the last time Eastwood starred in an action film, and unfortunately it was not well-received. Following its poor critical and financial reception, Eastwood shifted more towards director roles and the next Connelly adaptation had to shift gears.

The next adaptation was another movie, but this time adapting the first book in the Lincoln Lawyer series: The Lincoln Lawyer. It stars Matthew McConaughey as the main character Mick Haller alongside Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillipe.

This did not spin into a film franchise, however, there has been a reboot of The Lincoln Lawyer with a 2022 television show. It stars Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller and Neve Campbell as Maggie McPherson. The Lincoln Lawyer was renewed for a second season just one month after the first season premiered, but no release date has been made official.

It appears that streaming services are the sweet spot for Connelly adaptations as there are also potentially four projects from his Bosch universe coming from Amazon Studios. The first was Bosch, which ran for seven seasons starring Titus Welliver as Bosch. It also inspired the spin-off Bosch: Legacy which is about to launch its second season starring Welliver and Jamie Hector as Jerry Edgar.

Then there are two more spin-offs in the works; one starring Connelly’s Jerry Edgar in the leading role and the other starring Renée Ballard.

Summary of the Renée Ballard Books in Order

The Late Show Michael Connelly Books in Order

1. The Late Show

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: The brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn.

Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.

Dark Sacred Night Renee Ballard

2. Dark Sacred Night

Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.

Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.

3. The Night Fire

Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, John Jack Thompson, is dead, but after his funeral his widow hands Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before: The unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals.

Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigation team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

The Dark Hours Renee Ballard Books in Order

4. The Dark Hours

There’s chaos in Hollywood on New Year’s Eve. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard seeks shelter at the end of the countdown to wait out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. As reports start to roll in of shattered windshields and other damage, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party.

It doesn’t take long for Ballard to determine that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky. Ballard’s investigation leads her to look into another unsolved murder — a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch.

Ballard and Bosch team up once again to find out where the old and new cases intersect. All the while they must look over their shoulders. The killer who has stayed undetected for so long knows they are coming after him.

Desert Star Michael Connelly

5. Desert Star

LAPD detective Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch work together to hunt the killer who is Bosch’s “white whale”—a man responsible for the murder of an entire family.

A year has passed since LAPD detective Renée Ballard quit the force in the face of misogyny, demoralization, and endless red tape. Yet, after the chief of police himself tells her she can write her ticket within the department, Ballard takes back her badge, leaving “the Late Show” to rebuild the cold case unit at the elite Robbery-Homicide Division.

For years, Harry Bosch has been working a case that haunts him but that he hasn’t been able to crack—the murder of an entire family by a psychopath who still walks free. Ballard makes Bosch an offer: come work with her as a volunteer investigator in the new Open-Unsolved Unit, and he can pursue his “white whale” with the resources of the LAPD behind him.

The two must put aside old resentments to work together again and close in on a dangerous killer.

Summary of the Jack McEvoy Books in Order

The Poet Michael Connelly Books in Order

1. The Poet

Denver crime-beat reporter Jack McEvoy specializes in violent death. So when his homicide detective brother kills himself, McEvoy copes in the only way he knows how. He decides to write the story.

But his research leads him to suspect a serial killer is at work — a devious murderer who’s killing cops and leaving a trail of poetic clues. It’s the news story of a lifetime, if he can get the story without losing his life.

The Scarecrow Jack McEvoy

2. The Scarecrow

Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the Los Angeles Times as the newspaper grapples with dwindling revenues, he’s got only a few days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of journalism school.

But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang — a final story that will win the newspaper journalism’s highest honor — a Pulitzer prize.

Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer from the projects who has confessed to police that he brutally raped and strangled one of his crack clients. Jack convinces Alonzo’s mother to cooperate with his investigation into the possibility of her son’s innocence.

But she has fallen for the oldest reporter’s trick in the book. Jack’s real intention is to use his access to report and write a story that explains how societal dysfunction and neglect created a 16-year-old killer. But as Jack delves into the story he soon realizes that Alonzo’s so-called confession is bogus, and Jack is soon off and running on the biggest story he’s had since The Poet crossed his path years before.

He reunites with FBI Agent Rachel Walling to go after a killer who has worked completely below police and FBI radar — and with perfect knowledge of any move against him. What Jack doesn’t know is that his investigation has inadvertently set off a digital tripwire. The killer knows Jack is coming — and he’s ready.

Fair Warning Michael Connelly

3. Fair Warning

Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.

McEvoy investigates — against the warnings of the police and his own editor — and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect.

As he races to clear his name, McEvoy’s findings point to a serial killer working under the radar of law enforcement for years, and using personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.

A Harry Bosch Book Summary

The Narrows Terry McCaleb Books in Order

1. 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.

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, who will lead them on a wicked ride out of the heat, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own.

Summary of the Terry McCaleb Books in Order

Blood Work Terry McCaleb

1. Blood Work

When Graciella Rivers steps onto his boat, ex-FBI agent Terrell McCaleb has no idea he’s about to come out of retirement. He’s recuperating from a heart transplant and avoiding anything stressful. But when Graciella tells him the way her sister Gloria was murdered, it leaves Terry no choice.

Now the man with the new heart vows to take down a predator without a soul. For Gloria’s killer shatters every rule that McCaleb ever learned in his years with the Bureau. McCaleb gets no more second chances at life…and just one shot at the truth.

A Darkness More Than Night Michael Connelly Books in Order

2. A Darkness More Than Night

Terry McCaleb, retired FBI agent, is asked by the LAPD to help them investigate a series of murders that have them baffled. They are the kind of ritualized killings McCaleb specialized in solving with the FBI, and he is reluctantly drawn from his peaceful new life back into the horror and excitement of tracking down a terrifying homicidal maniac.

More horrifying still, the suspect who seems to fit the profile that McCaleb develops is someone he has known and worked with in the past: LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.

Final Thoughts

Michael Connelly books in order are intriguing and hard to put down once you pick it up. The never-ending murders and investigations will entertain your imagination throughout. You have no reason to skip any book in this series!

Looking for more book recommendations?

Check out this list of the best Michael Connelly books.

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