Last year (literally the beginning of January 2021) I started reading the Detective Harry Bosch books. There are twenty something in total that are just Bosch books. There are also some offshoots that are considered part of the Harry Bosch Universe. They include: Mickey Haller – Bosch’s half brother, and the Lincoln Lawyer (obviously the book first, but the Matthew McConaughey movie character too), Jack McEvoy – a reporter that intersects with Harry a few times, Terry McCaleb – an FBI agent who works with Harry on a few cases, and whose death Harry investigates eventually, Renee Ballard – a detective who caught Harry rifling through old police files after he retired and then teamed up with him. I’ve now officially read every book in the Harry Bosch series, Mickey Haller series, Jack McEvoy series, Terry McCaleb series, and the Renee Ballard series. There are a few random short stories that I haven’t gotten to yet (similar to Blue on Black), but I will eventually. I love these characters. If you’ve watched the TV series Bosch on Amazon, you know Harry. Titus Welliver actually reads the last ten or so Harry Bosch audiobooks. I’m super lucky that my library has a big collection of Bosch audiobooks and ebooks. That’s how I’ve been feeding my Bosch addiction during the pandemic.
The Law of Innocence is the fifth book with Mickey Haller. I’m thinking it’s potentially the last book too, but who knows with Michael Connelly? He has a way of resurrecting people’s careers in his books. Mickey gets pulled over after getting a client a not guilty verdict. Like literally on the way home from celebrating. The cop who pulled him over finds the (super murdered) body of a previous client in Mickey’s trunk. After reading the previous four Haller books, you know that Mickey didn’t do it. But how did the dead body get into his trunk?
Mickey gets arrested (because they don’t let you go home when there’s a dead person in your trunk), and since he’s a defense attorney who’s gotten a lot of people off, and the aforementioned dead body, his bail is set at $5 million. He can’t pay it, so he’s in jail for a while.
He has to work on his case with his team from jail, which is not easy, fast, or safe. He loses weight, he gets attacked, he gets released, he goes back in. There’s a lot going on in this book. The most interesting stuff is the way his team works together to figure out what happened. The look into people he’s previously had issues with, including some murderers / accused murderers / released on a technicality murderers.
There are a bunch of close calls where you’re not sure if Mickey is going to make it or not. After all, Michael Connelly has no problem killing off characters that people like! This book was a fitting final book in the Mickey Haller series, if it is the last one. If not, it’s a good tie up of his defense attorney days and an intro to a new and improved Mickey Haller! 4 stars
The Dark Hours is the fourth book featuring Renee Ballard as the main character. I mentioned above that I started the Bosch series at the beginning of last year. I actually read the first book in the Renee Ballard series (The Late Show – Bosch Universe #29) back in 2018. I had no idea who Harry Bosch was, but I liked Renee. I guess I forgot about them both for a few years, but once I caught up with Harry and Renee came into the picture through the Bosch series, it all came together.
The Dark Hours is number 23 for the main Harry Bosch series (he and Renee’s series blend at her book 2), and number 35 in the Harry Bosch universe. It’s actually set in the current world, as it was published in November 2021. Black Lives Matter, police brutality, COVID 19, and turbulent politics all figure into the background (and sometimes foreground) of this book.
Renee is on the lookout for a tag team of rapists, and all signs point to them striking again on New Year’s Eve. She’s out on patrol with a burned out sex crimes detective who inspires Renee’s anger and just a little bit of pity. During the NYE patrol, a murder pops up that looks like an accidental shooting after a big party shoots their guns into the air at midnight. Of course it’s murder though, and it relates to a previous Harry Bosch case, so he’s back on the scene with Renee.
This book is hard because you feel Renee’s pain at being a good and caring police officer when lots and lots of people hate the police, and lots and lots of people are going through some very dark times. She also lost her dog Lola, which is a whole different kind of sad. Thankfully she gets a new rescue pup who helps her with her funk. I can honestly say that after reading over 30 Harry Bosch (and crew) books, I still really enjoy Michael Connelly’s writing and will keep reading these books until he’s done! This one is also 4 stars, but it’s very moody, so be in the right headspace.
Blue on Black is a short story that’s considered book 14.5 in the Harry Bosch series. I just read it the other day, but since this whole post was Bosch-related, I lumped this one in too. It’s a super short read. I think the audiobook was less than an hour, or somewhere around there. It didn’t matter though, Harry is Harry, and he’s the same man whether his story is long or short. He still wants to solve crime, and he still wants the victims to count. He has a near obsession with “standing for the dead”, and it’s no different in this short story.
Ok so Dangerous Women isn’t technically a “Harry Bosch” book. It’s an anthology of about thirty or so short stories by mystery writers. Michael Connelly is one of them. There were some truly bad stories in this collection, but others were good too. There were also the bizarre (I texted my sister at one point “I think I’m reading a story about a penis pickler”) and the boring. Sometimes I’d get to the end of the short story and think “what was the point?”. There were a few that pulled me in though. Some had super interesting starts and then just meandered away into nothing though.
Michael Connelly’s story is is about the murdered little girl that brought Harry Bosch and Terry McCaleb together. Cielo Azul isn’t a dangerous woman in the sense that she’s going to physically hurt the two detectives. Her danger is in not allowing the men to forget her. They name her Cielo Azul (Blue Sky) because she’s a Jane Doe. Terry actually names his Baby after her many books later. Her story is one of those cases that digs into the detectives who search for her killers and doesn’t let them go. I got into this book because of the allure of Michael Connelly. He didn’t disappoint, as he hasn’t disappointed me yet. I wouldn’t give this whole book 4 stars, but there are definitely some 3 and 4 star shorts inside.