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The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #1)
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The Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  105,169 Ratings  ·  2,928 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
Mass Market Paperback, 482 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1992)
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Neil Burke I can't remember there being an actual sex scene but there's an implied one if I'm remembering it correctly. I've read all the Bosch books so far and…moreI can't remember there being an actual sex scene but there's an implied one if I'm remembering it correctly. I've read all the Bosch books so far and he doesn't really go in for writing full on sex scenes. How old is your son though? There's some nasty shit in the Master's novels. These are realistic crime novels, they are mature, they aren't cosy. PImps, prostitutes, psycho killers, etc. Connelly writes about the underbelly of society. Maybe try a Reacher novel by Lee Child? Child does write sex scenes - not erotic ones though but his plots tend to be more pulpy and while still gritty, don't really have the same realism as Connelly's novels do. (less)

Community Reviews

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Mar 30, 2012 Kemper rated it liked it
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
James Thane
Published in 1992, this is the book that introduced L.A.P.D. homicide detective, Harry Bosch. The series, which runs twenty-four books thus far, has remained strong throughout and is, almost certainly, the gold standard of modern police procedurals.

When we first meet Harry, he's already forty-two years old and has been the product of one institution after another for virtually his entire life. His father left the family when Harry was very young and Harry never really knew him. Harry's mother tu
Jul 28, 2011 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Crime/police/detective/mystery fiction fans
Recommended to Eric by: 99c download on
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
Feb 15, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Harry Bosch #1 - A great first in series mystery read!!

The Black Echo is an enjoyable police procedural with loads of tension and a great twist at the end!

I don't want to summarize the plot here as so many have already done that better than I could. Following are some of the major points that I took away.

What I liked:
1. Harry Bosch!!!
2. Great descriptions of Hollywood, CA and Beverly Hills
3. Background information on Vietnam War and "tunnel rats"
4. Robust, three-dimensional character developm
Feb 23, 2017 Carol. rated it liked it
First impressions can be so deceptive. Well, actually, first, second and third impressions, but who's judging? Me. Totally me.*

Still on the search for a new mystery series, and Michael Connelly's name keeps coming up, mainly because I always misspell John Connolly. John's writing is frequently lyrical and equally brutal, so there's only so much I can take. Perhaps the American Michael will be less demanding? Why, yes, he is. How much less demanding? Well, take this little sample from early on in
Mar 26, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it
Great read! interesting and entertaining series...M.Connelly never fails with his writing...(paperback!)
Sep 22, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent mystery & main character, if a bit dour. I really liked the amount of detail & logic in this. Great twists & very realistic. Even the 'bad' guys were well done or maybe they were especially well done. Not all were as bad as I first thought - jerks, but they had reasons. Again, very realistic. On to the next in the series.

The series, as I've been able to put it together, is not just one, but is intertwined with Connelly's other series. I've put the books & stories in
Mar 30, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
Michael Connelly introduced his signature protagonist, Harry Bosch, in the 1992 novel The Black Echo. As I write this review in 2016, the twenty-first Harry Bosch novel is expected to be released later this year. Quite a successful run for Connelly’s lone wolf, battle scarred hero detective.

“There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

So states Hieronymus Bosch, named from the fifteenth century Dutch painter of fantastic themes. Bosch was a “tunnel rat” in Vietnam – a soldier whose job it was to en
Alexa Apallas
Aug 19, 2007 Alexa Apallas rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 19, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is the first instalment in the extensive Harry Bosch series, and also happens to be the first one that I have read (or heard in this case). I really enjoyed it.

Harry Bosch is a detective in the LAPD homicide division in Hollywood. While investigating a body found in an old tunnel, he recognises it as a fellow ex marine Meadows who served with him in the Vietnamese war. They were both “tunnel rats” who fought below Vietnam in the extensive tunnels. After recognising him, and realising it was
Dec 17, 2014 Phrynne rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2014 Mona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable Well Written Crime Novel, Except for the Last Part of the Book

As another reviewer, Suzy, says, this novel is very "old school".

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
Edward Lorn
Nov 20, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it liked it
I'm not reviewing this book because Kemper's review says everything that needs to be said about. While trying to write my own review, I found myself regurgitating everything he said, so this is what you get. A link to his review.

In summation: I swear I'm not being lazy here. Kemper simply nailed everything I wanted to say.

Final Judgment: Nothing new, but I still enjoyed it.
David - proud Gleeman in 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
Feb 27, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective-crime
This was a super detective book that I couldn't put down.I made a mistake by not reading the books in order of sequence.I read first "The Concrete Blonde" followed by "The Black Echo."The Black Echo was the first in the series.Harry is a homicide cop who works a case and never gives up, always looking for a different angle.He picks up a case on the weekend and his partner is needing to work his moonlighting job, so Harry goes himself to see the body in a drainpipe. He recognizes an old buddy fro ...more
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
Scott Rhee
Jan 14, 2013 Scott Rhee rated it it was amazing
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
The Black Echo
4 Stars

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is called out to a routine OD death that turns into anything but routine when the corpse not only turns out to be the victim of a homicide, but someone Bosch knew from his days as a Tunnel Rat in Vietnam. As Bosch slowly unravels the details behind the murder, he rubs a few people the wrong way - the FBI, Internal Affairs and the cops he works with. But nothing will stop Harry from getting to the truth …

A good police procedural with an interesting
Dec 01, 2012 Harry rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 11, 2016 Jaksen rated it really liked it
Great book. Great characters. Description sparse but spot-on, you get a real feel for the darkness of a big city and all its 'secrets.' I have never read a Harry Bosch mystery so I thought I'd start at the very beginning, glad I did.

No spoilers here, just a general overview, and atmosphere, etc.

When Harry (police detective, Hollywood) is called out in the middle of the night to investigate a homicide - dead man found in a pipe near a reservoir - it's more or less assumed to be a routine investig
Michael Robotham
Apr 04, 2015 Michael Robotham rated it really liked it
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.
Mark Chisnell
Apr 11, 2013 Mark Chisnell rated it really liked it
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
Jul 26, 2015 Justin rated it liked it
It's been quite some time since I've been able to sit down and read for pleasure. I don't usually go for these types of books, but, every once in a while, I like to grab a ragged mass-market paperback off the library shelf, take it home, and dive in for just sheer escapism.

This book did just that. It was slow in the beginning, then fast-paced, then slow again, then crazy. It provided plenty of twists and turns along the way. It is one of those books where the descriptions really aren't importan
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
A detective who cares more about getting justice for the victim than playing politics...reminds me of a certain lieutenant in some ways. Review coming.
I like Harry Bosch. He comes with a lot of baggage, he's his own man, he does what he thinks best, he doesn't necessarily follow the rules. He is who he is. I like that. And I liked the book. It's a good story, well-written. It just felt repetitive at times, not as fast paced as I would have liked. But it's still a good story, a good solid start to Harry Bosch series and I will definitely continue with it.
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.
Bibliophile Book Club
I’ve decided to go back to the start of the Harry Bosch novels, created by Michael Connelly, as I missed out on a fair few over the years. It was only natural to start at the beginning and re-introduce myself to Detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. My plan is to try to read one a month on top of my review books, so I read The Black Echo in April.

In The Black Echo, we meet Harry Bosch for the first time when he gets a call on his pager to attend the scene of a body that has been discovered in a dr
Jun 01, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 09, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
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
Dec 02, 2016 Josen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-library
About 2 months ago I randomly picked up my first Michael Connelly book from the library. It was so good that I had to read another of his books so I decided to go with his Harry Bosch series. And for me, no matter how old the series is I have to start with the first one, Black Echo circa 1992.

This was no disappointment. Black Echo, in this book, refers to the tunnels in Vietnam during the war. The men of the US Military that went into those underground mazes were called tunnel rats. Black Echo
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Nancy Gideon By M...: Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly - Buddy Read 115 8 May 22, 2017 04:14PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Harry Bosch/H.B. Universe/Related Series 7 45 Oct 17, 2016 11:20AM  
The Page Turners: The Black Echo [Monthly Read | June 2016] 6 19 Aug 03, 2016 02:17PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question D 11 11 May 11, 2016 05:32AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question N 9 11 May 10, 2016 12:58PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question M 11 11 May 10, 2016 12:50PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question K 5 10 May 10, 2016 12:12PM  
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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
More about Michael Connelly...

Other Books in the Series

Harry Bosch (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Black Ice (Harry Bosch, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #2)
  • The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #3)
  • The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #4)
  • Trunk Music (Harry Bosch, #5; Harry Bosch Universe, #6)
  • Angels Flight (Harry Bosch, #6; Harry Bosch Universe, #7)
  • A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #9)
  • City of Bones (Harry Bosch, #8; Harry Bosch Universe, #10)
  • Lost Light (Harry Bosch, #9; Harry Bosch Universe, #11)
  • The Narrows (Harry Bosch, #10; Harry Bosch Universe, #12)
  • The Closers (Harry Bosch, #11; Harry Bosch Universe, #13)

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“You can't patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.” 92 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.” 27 likes
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