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The Black Echo (Harry Bosch) Hardcover – January 21, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Harry Bosch
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (January 21, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316153613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316153614
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (779 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Connelly, a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times , transcends the standard L.A. police procedural with this original and eminently authentic first novel. Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch--former hero cop bumped from the L.A. homicide desk to the lowly Beverly Hills squad--gets the call on a drug death at Mulholland Dam. Harry recognizes the corpse as that of a fellow soldier in Vietnam; both were "tunnel rats" who searched for Viet Cong in the network of burrows beneath Vietnamese villages. Investigation connects his old pal to an unsolved bank job--the vault was tunneled into from the storm drains below--and Harry takes his information to the FBI. The Bureau alerts the LAPD, which reactivates internal affairs surveillance (the previous IAD episode is explained throughout the narrative), only to have the FBI backtrack and request Harry as liaison on the case. Paired with beautiful FBI agent Eleanor Wish, Harry makes sense of the Vietnam connection to the bank job--a discovery that puts them both in danger from deadly ex-Marines and a powerful insider from either the LAPD or the FBI itself. Police higher-ups are somewhat cliched, but Connelly avoids L.A. stereotypes and delivers this front-page story with military precision.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Harry Bosch likes order, contends that there are no coincidences, and keeps meticulous records in his ``murder book.'' When the body of a former ``tunnel rat'' from Vietnam is found in a drainpipe, Harry is the detective on duty and is called to the scene. His identification of the body begins an investigation that leads to more murder, bank robbery, heroin, diamonds, and betrayal. Connelly's descriptions of autopsies, murder scenes, and police procedure are vivid and realistic. The use of acronyms and police jargon puts readers in the middle of the action. A real page turner with gutty realism and an unusual twist.
- Debbie Hyman, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing ' a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles , was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with 18 more novels. His books have been translated into 31 languages and have won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus, Dilys, Nero, Barry, Audie, Ridley, Maltese Falcon (Japan), .38 Caliber (France), Grand Prix (France), and Premio Bancarella (Italy) awards.

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

Customer Reviews

It is a well developed plot and a well developed character.
Fred Camfield
I don't know why I've waited so long to read any of MC's work but I am definitely glad I finally picked one up. after this first book, I am hooked.
Tracey Johnson
A well plotted story with a few good twists and turns to keep you guessing.
scott hicks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

280 of 287 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wylie on December 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was Michael Connelly's first novel (of 6 to date) featuring LAPD detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch. Matters begin innocuously enough when Bosch discovers that a dead body found in a drainage pipe is a one-time Vietnam comrade of his named William Meadows. It appears to be a simple drug overdose, but Bosch suspects foul play, and when he determines he is right, he is plunged into an investigation that develops into far more than a single murder case.
The "iceberg" plot where a complex scheme is only gradually exposed is a crime fiction standard. Connelly is, even in his first novel, a master at this type of plot-line. His characters are three-dimensional and interesting, especially Bosch and his uneasy ally, FBI agent Eleanor Wish. Best of all, Connelly knows his territory--a former Los Angeles Times reporter, he knows LA and the LAPD (I suspect he still has sources in the department). The Black Echo is a superb novel.
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134 of 136 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first book I read by Mr. Connelly was his departure from the Bosch series, "The Poet" and I knew I had to read the rest. I have read every single other Bosch novel and finally went back to the beginning and read this. I should have started with this one, its just as good if not better than the series and Bosch is a fully-fleshed out character who you can always cheer for. This book is also interesting because of its attention to detail and the police procedure as well as the first meeting of Harry and Agent Eleanor Wish, his mysterious future love. Connelly has become my favorite author and his books are a pleasure to read. Just make sure you start with this one and work your way down, it does make a difference!
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Archmaker VINE VOICE on July 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
An absolutely terrific first novel in the superb Hironymous Bosch series, introduces us to Michael Connelly's enigmatic and troubled LA detective. Harry Bosch lives for his job, and the cost to his personal life and relationships is troubling.

When we meet Harry, he has already been, in essence, demoted by being kicked off of the elite Robbery/Homicide squad and stuck in Homicide in the Hollywood division. But Harry is a pure detective, and will work every case with the same single-minded tenacity that gets results while alienating him from his fellows and irritating his bosses.

A throw-away death of a junkie found in a drainage pipe would have gone unnoticed if anyone but Harry Bosch had caught the call. But Bosch, while having a lousy personal life IS a superb detective, and he sees what many would miss. Not only that, but the victim is someone from Harry's past which further prompts him to look deeper. Harry's investigation causes him to cross paths with the FBI and his conflicts become even more personal when he becomes romantically involved with a female FBI agent.

The story unfolds with many surprises and the meticulous detail that we will come to expect from Connelly in the series. First rate all the way. A great beginning.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 31, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading about a half dozen books in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, I decided I better start at the beginning and read them in order. The Black Echo is the first Bosch mystery and it's an amazing effort for a first time novelist. In fact, it won the prestigious Edgar Award for mystery writing.

The Black Echo opens when LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch is called out on the discovery of a dead man in a drainage pipe. It appears that the victim died of an overdose, but enough red flags are raised to make Bosch suspect foul play. Not only that, but the detective actually knew the man: they were tunnel rats in Viet Nam. As Bosch starts investigating, he discovers that the victim, Bill Meadows, has been identified as a key suspect in a year old bank robbery. The robbers went through underground tunnels, and then dug their way into a bank safety deposit box vault. At first, the FBI rebuffs Bosch's attempts to pool information. But they finally relent and he is assigned to FBI agent, Eleanor Wish.

As the case progresses, Bosch and Wish discover that the bank caper has its roots in Viet Nam and things get very complicated and dangerous. Bosch also suspects that someone is working from the inside and compromising their case. Even when he thinks he's got everything figured out, there is still an important piece of the puzzle still missing.

I really liked The Black Echo for a number of reasons. First, the plot has numerous twists and turns, and shows Bosch's genius as a detective and Connelly's talent as a writer. In this book, we get a look at Bosch's background, which helps explain his motivations in later books. Also, The Black Echo takes place during a Memorial Day weekend. Since I read it over the same weekend, it made it more relevant.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "the_halberdier" on January 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every now and then you read a book that announces the presence of an excellent new writer. These are great discoveries that are to be savoured: I get a shiver and my heart races with excitement each time it happens. The book cries out to be read slowly and enjoyed, but you just want to rip through it to see how it ends. Then you read the book again and again, just for the sheer enjoyment. "The Hunt for Red October" was one such book; "The Eye of the World" another. "The Black Echo" is a third. Michael Connelly's debut effort has to be one of the very best books I have ever read, and certainly one of the best detective fiction books out there.
Connelly has an excellent eye for describing real life: his scenes are gritty and intoxicatingly detailed and his ear for dialogue is superb. His characters are memorable; writing with the benefit of hindsight, the Harry Bosch series has proved to be a modern classic. The old adage is "write what you know about". Connelly knows crime (he was a newspaper crime reporter) and he knows LA; like the back of his hand. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story. Stick through his next, "The Black Ice", which is very good but not as good as this, and then move into "Concrete Blonde" and "The Last Coyote", which are also superb.
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