Michael Connelly (born July 21, 1956, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 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. His books, which have been translated into 36 languages, have garnered him many awards. Connelly was the President of the Mystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2004.
Connelly was the second oldest child of W. Michael Connelly, a property developer, and Mary Connelly, a homemaker. According to Connelly, his father was a frustrated artist who encouraged his children to want to succeed in life. W. Michael Connelly himself was a risk taker who alternated success with 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.
At age 12, Connelly moved with his family from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and 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 was curious and 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 left to go home to tell his father. Later that night, he 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 investigators’ hard faces and the way they worked.
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 as a building-trade major. After grades that were not as good as expected, Connelly went to see Robert Altman’s film The Long Goodbye and was enchanted by what he saw. The film, based on Raymond Chandler’s novel of the same name, inspired Connelly to want to become a mystery writer. Connelly went home and read all of Chandler’s works, featuring Philip Marlowe, a detective in Los Angeles during the 1940s and ‘50s, and decided to switch majors to journalism with a minor in creative writing.
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 got a job at the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in 1981. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars, an era that brought with it much violence and murder. 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, a story which earned Connelly a place as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. 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.
After moving to Los Angeles, Connelly went to see the High Tower Apartments where Raymond Chandler’s famous character, Philip Marlowe, had lived (in The High Window), and Robert Altman had filmed. Connelly got the manager of the building to promise a phone call in case the apartment ever became available. Ten years later, the manager tracked Connelly down and he decided to rent the place. This apartment served as a place to write for several years, but it was more based on the nostalgia of the place than the comfort of it (for example, it didn’t have air conditioning).
After three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel The Black Echo, after previously writing two unfinished novels that he had not attempted to get published. The novel was sold to Little, Brown to be published in 1992 and won the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for best first novel. 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, a man who, according to Connelly, shares few similarities with the author himself. Connelly named Bosch after the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings full of sin and redemption, including a painting called “Hell”, a copy of which hangs on the office wall behind Connelly’s computer. Connelly describes his own work as a big canvas with all the characters of his books floating across it as currents on a painting. Sometime they are bound to collide creating cross currents. This is something that Connelly himself 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.
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.
Harry Bosch Series
Michael Connelly – The Black Echo (read by D*ick Hill)
Michael Connelly – The Black Ice (read by D*ick Hill)
Michael Connelly – The Concrete Blonde (read by D*ick Hill)
Michael Connelly – The Last Coyote (read by D*ick Hill)
Michael Connelly – Trunk Music (read by D*ick Hill)
Michael Connelly – Angels Flight (read by D*ick Hill)
Michael Connelly – A Darkness More Than Night (read by Richard M. Davidson)
Michael Connelly – City Of Bones (read by Peter Jay Fernandez)
Michael Connelly – Lost Light (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – The Narrows (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – The Closers (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – Echo Park (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – The Overlook (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – Nine Dragons (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – Blue On Black (read by Titus Welliver)
Michael Connelly – Suicide Run (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – Angle Of Investigation (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – The Drop (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – The Black Box (read by Michael McConnohie)
Michael Connelly – Switchblade (read by Len Cariou)
Michael Connelly – The Burning Room (read by Titus Welliver)
Michael Connelly – The Crossing (read by Titus Welliver)
Michael Connelly – The Wrong Side Of Goodbye (read by Titus Welliver)
Michael Connelly – Two Kinds Of Truth (read by Titus Welliver)
Michael Connelly – Dark Sacred Night (read by Titus Welliver, Christine Lakin)
Michael Connelly – The Night Fire (read by Titus Welliver, Christine Lakin)