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The Burning Room
Available November 2014
Detective Harry Bosch and his new partner tackle a cold case unlike any other as they investigate a recent murder where the trigger was pulled ten years earlier.
In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet 10 years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually non-existent.
Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. Starting with the bullet that’s been lodged for years in the victim’s spine, they must pull new leads from years-old information, which soon reveal that this shooting may have been anything but random.
He started out as a crime reporter for newspapers in Florida and published his first novel in 1992. Since then MICHAEL CONNELLY has gone on to sell 58 million books. We talk to the Florida-based crime scribe about his most famous character.
Why did you choose the name Hieronymus Bosch for your series character?
When I approached the creation of this character I didn’t want to waste anything. I wanted all aspects of his character to be meaningful, if possible. This, of course, would include his name. I briefly studied the workof the real Hieronymus Bosch while in college.
He was a 15th-century painter who created richly detailed landscapes of debauchery and violence and human defilement. There is a ‘world gone mad’ feel to many of his works, including one called Hell – a print of which hangs on the wall over the computer where I write. I thought this would be the perfect name for my character because I saw the metaphoric possibilities of juxtaposing contemporary Los Angeles with some of the Bosch paintings.
Is Harry Bosch based on any cop in particular and how much of him is based on you?
Harry is not based on one cop in particular. He is an amalgamation of several real cops I knew as a police reporter, plus aspects of fictional detectives – from both books and movies – that I’ve loved. I think and hope there are parts of Philip Marlowe in him, as well as Lew Archer, Dirty Harry Callahan, Frank Bullitt and many others. I think that starting off Harry had very little in common with me, other than left-handedness.
Can you tell us how the TV show Bosch is different from the books?
In making the shift from page to screen we brought in a fair number of changes to the world of Harry Bosch. First, we wanted the story to be contemporary – LA right now – and yet we had stories going back 20 years about a character who ages in real time. We also had a character who had different romantic relationships, detective partners and supervisors during those 20 years, as well as a daughter who appears at some point. We also had a military history that would only work in LA right now if Harry was over 60 years old. So we picked and chose from all of those aspects from the books while creating a few new things as well. We built the first season from two of the books – City of Bones and The Concrete Blonde –as well as a short story called ‘Cielo Azul’.
In what we are filming, Harry is 47 years old and a veteran of the first Gulf War in 1991, where he was part of a Special Forces team that cleared tunnels. He has now been a police officer for 20 years with a one-year exception when he re-upped with the army after 9/11, as many LAPD officers did. He came back to the force after serving in Afghanistan and again encountering tunnel warfare. In Bosch, Harry is working at Hollywood Division on the homicide squad.