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The Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1)

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  72,467 ratings  ·  1,982 reviews
For maverick Lapd homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a ...more
Paperback, 482 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

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Kemper
I’ve designed a gadget that will notify me when I run across clichés in crime thrillers with a *BEEP*. Let’s give it a test run on this Michael Connelly novel, shall we?

So this is the first book in the series featuring a LAPD detective named Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch *BEEP*. .. Shit, why is it going off already? Oh, right. Quirky name for a main character. It seems to be calibrated correctly. Let’s proceed.

In this novel published in 1992, Harry is a Vietnam veteran *BEEP* traumatized by his war e
...more
Eric
Sep 02, 2011 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Crime/police/detective/mystery fiction fans
Recommended to Eric by: 99c download on Amazon.com
I came at Michael Connelly backwards, reading the entire Mickey Haller series before any of his Harry Bosch books. And after encountering Bosch in The Reversal, I wasn't that compelled to read more about him. But then I found the Kindle version of this on sale for 99c, so I couldn't really say no at that point.

I was not disappointed, but blown away instead. This is a perfect detective mystery tale. Connelly's storytelling gifts are many and varied. He is a master of pacing, has a knack for creat
...more
Alexa Apallas
I read an article in the L.A. Times about Michael Connelly, and his background as a crime reporter intrigued me, so I decided to read his books. I started with The Black Echo, the first book in the Hieronymous Bosch series, and I am very glad that I read these books in order. Connelly is a masterful writer in that he is constantly referencing past cases and old details in his Bosch series. Some of the characters from his other novels also tend to make guest appearances.

This book sucked me in to
...more
Phrynne
Having read a few of the later Harry Bosch novels it was time I started at the beginning of the series and read them in order. I am very glad I read this one! Okay so Harry is a bit of a cliche but he is also very likeable in a strange sort of way. He reminds me a little of Jack Reacher with his war damaged personality and his total disregard for authority. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story and especially liked the procedural details and seeing the way a case develops as various clues ...more
David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party"
One mystery I was unable to solve...exactly why is The Black Echo so darn popular?!?

The Vietnam War never really ended, not for Harry Bosch. A former "tunnel rat" who fought most of the war underground, Harry now finds himself unable to sleep and unable to go into underground areas without suffering panic attacks. But now that he's a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, Harry's about to learn that sometimes what's on the surface is even dirtier than what's underground. When a former
...more
Mona Temchin
Enjoyable Well Written Crime Novel, Except for the Last Part of the Book

As another reviewer, Suzy, says, this novel is very "old school". https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

A lot of it may resonate more with those of us old enough to remember pay phones, Alice's Restaurant, and the Viet Nam War and its aftermath.

Still, except for the ending, which I found somehow unsatisfying, this is well written enough to carry any reader, whether they or not they remember its era.

This is my first Michae
...more
LJ
First Sentence: The boy couldn’t see in the dark, but he didn’t need to.

LAPD detective Hieronymous (aka Harry) Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. Called out on a routine drug overdose case, Bosch soon realizes that the victim found lying in the Mullholland Dam drainpipe is no accident case. Billy Meadows was a fellow 'tunnel rat' in Vietnam and Harry swears to bring the killer to justice.

Written and set in 1992, it is interesting to see how times have changed in these 18 years. There were no cell
...more
Harry
Time saver tip: if you've read my review of any Harry Bosch book, you've read 'em all. Since I don't reveal plots and reserve my comments to the overall book/author, characterization, style, etc...I just don't feel the need to repeat myself as in most cases series books if any good at all do remain consistent. The star ratings might change, but not my opinion of the series as a whole.

Michael Connelly is a well know and very popular author in the mystery/detective and police procedural genres. E
...more
Scott Rhee
There are certain genre writers who, within their given genres, transcend, through phenomenal writing and a deep understanding of the human condition, the formulaic structures and cliches of the run-of-the-mill horror story, science fiction epic, or murder mystery. Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Dan Simmons are examples in the horror genre. Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, and Neal Stephenson are examples in the sci-fi set. James Lee Burke, Elizabeth George, and Michael Connelly exemplify the ...more
David
Feb 06, 2015 David rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grizzled LAPD detectives without a personality who bang FBI chicks
So, this was okay. Nothing exceptional or memorable, pretty much the epitome of "commercial fiction." If you want an LAPD detective story, here is an LAPD detective story.

Harry Bosch (yes, his real name is Hieronymus, his mother, who we learn later was a prostitute, liked the Dutch painter - ahaha, characterization!) is a child of institutions. He grew up in the system (see: mother, prostitute), then joined the Army and did a tour in Viet Nam as a "tunnel rat," then became a cop. But even though
...more
Franco  Santos
Primer libro que leí de Harry Bosch y por ahora el único. Está bien: entretiene, es ameno, rápido, sin embargo, bastante predecible. Es la típica novela negra, sólo que, para peor, ya se saben quiénes son la mayoría de los "malos".

Un buen libro para pasar el rato, pero no pasa de eso. Me esperaba mucho más.
Mark Chisnell
I picked this one up because it was a group read on Goodreads, and I’m very glad I did. The Harry Bosch books have been a huge hit and it’s easy to see why from this opening tale - Connelly nails his central character from the very beginning.

Harry Bosch is a Vietnam vet, a tunnel fighter, one of the handful of Americans that struggled to battle the North Vietnamese in the dimension that they totally dominated – underground. Harry’s also a nascent media star for breaking a couple of big cases an
...more
Emily
Harry Bosch is a law enforcement officer who is "not part of the family," which means he likes to do things his own way, isn't overly concerned about protecting the department from scandal, is more likely to investigate something that others would slag off, and absolutely gets results. This is a bad thing for the criminals and slag-offs he seems to be surrounded by. Harry's first case begins with the murder of a person Harry served in Vietnam with. It looks like a routine heroin overdose, but Ha ...more
Michael Robotham
I really enjoyed going back to where it all began for Harry Bosch and comparing Michael Connelly's writing style now to then. He is probably a tighter writer these days. He still does the meticulous research, but doesn't seem to use as much, which increases the pace of the story. Harry has mellowed with age. He is still a loner, but not quite so tortured as when he first joined the LAPD. Connelly was a class act right from the get go.
Suzy
Really enjoyed this first in the Harry Bosch series. Felt very old school in a good way. Echoes of the Vietnam war played throughout the book which took place 20 years after it ended. Bosch is propelled by coffee, cigarettes, beer, pay phones and his code of ethics developed as a "tunnel rat" in Vietnam. His outsider status in the LAPD homicide division creates layers of drama and interest. I will definitely move on in this series!

The audiobook was narrated by Dick Hill. He also narrates the Jac
...more
Kelly
This is my 3rd book in this series that I have read. I enjoy the Harry Bosch stories but haven't been reading them in order. This was a great read with lots of typical twists and turns of Bosch books you are used too. I had read "Nine Dragons" before this book (#14 in the series I think) and in Black Echo I got find out the back story of Bosch and Elanor Wish and their daughter, who plays a big role in Nine Dragons. This book was exciting and fast paced, with a couple good laughs along the way a ...more
Scott Brook
This was my first excursion into the writing of Michael Connelly. I wanted to start out with the beginning of the Bosch series because of some recommendations for his later entries into the series. After starting out a little slow (to flush out some of the Harry Bosch backstory), this novel picked up nicely and finished very strong. I'm glad I started with this entry. It has wet my appetite for some of his other Bosch entries and his other series. Look forward to more great writing from Mr. Conn ...more
Chad Sayban
More reviews at The Story Within The Story

LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch is on the outs with the department thanks to his maverick style. When Harry is sent to investigate a dead body and finds a former Vietnam tunnel rat he knew, the investigation suddenly becomes personal. But pursuing the case will unleash enemies in his own department as well as a criminal conspiracy that doesn’t want the truth uncovered. It is going to take all of Harry’s instincts to survive.


“The setting sun burned th
...more
Jane Stewart
Barely ok. It kept my interest but I wasn’t emotionally engaged. Too many unpleasant people.

REVIEWER’S OPINION:
I enjoyed other Connelly books so I thought I’d try the Harry Bosch series. This is the first one in that series. It was not nearly as good. My problems follow.

1. This read too much like a police procedural. One guy raising questions, investigating, and uncovering clues and leads.

2. Too many unpleasant and unlikeable characters: Harry’s bosses, other cops, internal affairs, FBI guys, th
...more
Katy
Oct 27, 2012 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of noir, thriller, police procedurals
Please note: This review written 4/23/2008, so please don't judge based upon my current style and format.

My general synopsis: The Black Echo is a debut in two ways - it is, apparently, Micheal Connelly's first novel, and it is also our introduction to Harry Bosch, a homicide detective in the Hollywood beat (after being busted down from Robbery-Homicide for killing a suspect). A loner and a maverick, Bosch is not popular with his bosses, nor with many of his co-workers, but he gets the job done.
...more
Dianna
Harry Bosch is a saltier version of the mystery novels I normally read. I read this as a foray into the world of "guy lit". I just asked a guy friend what I should read, and he said "Bosch". Bosch is a bit of a loner who's on the verge of deciding whether or not he's lonely. It seems like he really only struggles with that question when he's got a pretty girl in his arms (like, "hmmm, this is nice... maybe I am lonely").

There are a lot of similarities between his character and the female myster
...more
Chazzbot
I picked up a copy of this book years ago at a used bookshop, now long since out of business, and let it sit for quite a while on a shelf. Finally, I read an article on Connelly in which he revealed that James Ellroy (one of my favorite authors) was the model for this book's detective hero, Hieronymous ("rhymes with anonymous") Bosch, and I found myself digging through my collection of paperbacks, freshly inspired to read it. And now I realize how much of a fracking idiot I was for not reading i ...more
Jeff
I have failed. I have read the Harry Bosch novels out of sequence. I blame myself. That disclaimer aside I was lucky enough to happen upon the first novel in the series the other day, and read it with great plum and vigor (ok now I'm just teasing). Such an awesome story, and in my subconsiously guilty way I think knowing the characters after this novel helped me appreciate them as they first started. A true endorsement of Connelly's writing style, as he has committed to these characters and thei ...more
Tony Romine
The Harry Bosch series was recommended to me by countless library patrons who know I enjoy mysteries. This is the first book in the series by Michael Connelly. I breezed through it in a few days.

It's a pretty good book, but it suffers from age. It was published in 1991 and at the time it was published, it probably deserved the Edgar award it won. Now the investigative procedural seems like old hat. All of the twists that take their time to unravel I saw coming from a mile away. The Vietnam backs
...more
Carolyn

It was fun going back to the beginning of this series to the early days of Harry 'Hieronymus' Bosch and interesting to learn of his time in the Vietnam war as a tunnel rat and the way in which it has shaped him. Written over 20 years ago, Harry now seems a little cliched in terms of antihero detectives (a loner, who drinks, smokes, forgets to eat, ignores his health, has few friends and pisses off his work colleagues) but nevertheless he is still very good as the honest cop who prefers to take h
...more
Bhuvanesh
It's hard to believe that The Black Echo is Connelly's debut work. Richly characterized, flawless narration and most convincing plot I've ever read.
Once you start you can't stop until you finish it. Everything is perfect right from the start and climax is as good as the book.
Recommended for those who needs a good thriller novel.
Laura Leaney
Synopsis: outsider cop kicks ass!

The first third of the novel drove me nuts with the clichés, and I had a sinking feeling that I might not rise above the dead language. But then…………the city of Angels happened. That "fouled city" where the sleek cars "were beautiful, and intriguing with their black windows. Like exotic women in sunglasses." Suddenly, I was in my heyday (okay, I never really had a "heyday" per se, but I like to fantasize) - and Los Angeles was shimmering with smog and the spraying
...more
Jim Thomsen
After reading four or five first-rate crime novels by Michael Connelly, my streak is over. I finally ran into a clunker — comparatively speaking, anyway; I doubt Connelly is capable of writing a BAD novel — in "The Black Echo."

The book just didn't lift off the ground for me. The plot felt mechanical, with little genuine dramatic heft. The villains are largely a) not all that villainous; or b) offstage. And the main character, Los Angeles Police Det. Harry Bosch, seems sort of dull and one-dimen
...more
Sidna
WOW! I love this author and this character! This book was written in 1992 and introduced Connelly's character, Police Detective Harry Bosch. As the book opens we are dropped into the middle of Harry's life. The series does not begin with Harry's first day on the job as a detective. He has had an interesting police career before we meet him. We learn details about his past as the story progresses, without all the annoying foreshadowing that is so overused today. It is like meeting a new friend an ...more
Dlora
This is the first in the Harry Bosch detective stories. I have read some others and liked them, so I decided I should start with number one and read in order so that I could get the character development. Oddly enough, this novel didn't read like a first. There were references to things in Bosch's past that seemed like they had been fleshed out in an earlier novel. It was an interesting exercise to compare Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher, both smart tough homicide detectives and both loners but whe ...more
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  • Sudden Prey (Lucas Davenport, #8)
  • Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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 teache
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More about Michael Connelly...

Other Books in the Series

Harry Bosch (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Black Ice (Harry Bosch, #2)
  • The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch, #3)
  • The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch, #4)
  • Trunk Music (Harry Bosch, #5)
  • Angels Flight (Harry Bosch, #6)
  • A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2)
  • City of Bones (Harry Bosch, #8)
  • Lost Light (Harry Bosch, #9)
  • The Narrows (Harry Bosch, #10)
  • The Closers (Harry Bosch, #11)
The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller, #1) The Poet (Jack McEvoy, #1) The Fifth Witness (Mickey Haller, #4) The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch, #4) Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, #1)

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“You can't patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.” 55 likes
“The setting sun burned the sky pink and orange in the same bright hues as surfers' bathing suits. It was beautiful deception, Bosch thought, as he drove north on the Hollywood Freeway to home. Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story.” 17 likes
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