Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1, Harry Bosch Universe, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1, Harry Bosch Universe, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Black Echo

(Harry Bosch #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  179,347 ratings  ·  5,326 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 January 21st 1992)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Black Echo, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
kittykat AKA Ms. Tortitude Late response, but I always think it's so very sad when a parent thinks sexual content is much more offensive than graphic violence and other types of…moreLate response, but I always think it's so very sad when a parent thinks sexual content is much more offensive than graphic violence and other types of abuse in books when considering it for their kid to read.(less)
Michael Boyd You can read anyone and enjoy he has like 21 Harry Bosch books. I just went back and started at 1 and enjoyed reading them all again up the present. H…moreYou can read anyone and enjoy he has like 21 Harry Bosch books. I just went back and started at 1 and enjoyed reading them all again up the present. Harry Bosch on Amazon tv takes parts from some of his books and uses them for the plots. He only uses parts and sometimes takes parts from a couple of books in one episode. All very good. All books and all 4 seasons very enjoyable (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  179,347 ratings  ·  5,326 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1, Harry Bosch Universe, #1)
Mar 30, 2012 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
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, mystery
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
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Joe Valdez
As research for a novel I'm writing, I've been reading relevant detective fiction and stealing everything of value. My story takes place in L.A. of 1991 and burgling Michael Connelly turned out to be a bonanza. Not only has Connelly written 22 Harry Bosch novels--basis for the Amazon series Bosch, which in its sixth season, combines one or more books, updated to present day, per season--but the literary Harry Bosch, LAPD Robbery-Homicide detective, begins in Los Angeles of the early '90s. I'd re ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Michael Connelly introduced his signature protagonist, Harry Bosch, in the 1992 novel The Black Echo. Over twenty Harry Bosch novels have been published in this 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 enter the warrens created and maintained by the enemy and figh
Sumit RK
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Out of the blue and into the black is what they called going into a tunnel. Each one was a black echo. Nothing but death in there. But, still, they went.....

Reading a new detective series right from where it all began is always exciting & the Harry Bosch series seems to be the perfect series for it. The Black Echo is the debut novel by American crime author Michael Connelly, published back in 1992. This is the first of Connelly's Bosch series (with 20 books published & 21st to be published s

Sep 22, 2015 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 order by combing
John Culuris
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
In the 80’s it didn’t take me long to learn to look dubiously at book recommendations from authors, particularly if the recommender and "recommendee" lived in the same vicinity. I would still note, say, Donald Westlake recommending Lawrence Block recommending Brian Garfield, but I would also wait for outside confirmation. With the advent of the internet vicinity was no longer an accurate indicator. For example, shortly after the turn of the century the gang from Busted Flush Press lived nowhere ...more
“One cop's word against another's was something they wouldn't touch in this department. Deep down, they knew a cop's word by itself was worthless. That was why Internal Affairs cops always worked in pairs.”

This is my first crack at the extremely popular Bosch series, and it’s no surprise that I liked it. We’re introduced to a middle-aged cop who may have ‘executed’ – rather than, as he claimed, ‘defended himself against’ – a particularly evil villain. As a consequence, he’s been moved on and
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I'd finally start the Harry Bosch series as it's always highly regarded, The Black Echo is such a great introduction for the LAPD Homicide Detective.

The novel opens with a normal run of the mill murder investigaton as a body is discovered off Mulholland Drive, once Bouch realises that he knows the victim as Billy Meadows from their time together during the Vietnam War the plot really kicks into gear.

It's such a smart way to learn of Harry's past as he recounts the experiences of being
Diane Wallace
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great series! compelling,complicated and there are many layers to the plot to which the author handle with ease by unraveling the storyline..great writing (paperback!)
Dec 17, 2014 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
Alexa Apallas
Aug 19, 2007 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
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
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
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not quite 5 stars, but close. The book went off on a slow start which made me think it would be a 3 star, but halfway it got more pace and became more tense. The information about Vietnam was interesting and I liked Harry Bosch as a character.
Feb 27, 2011 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
Edward Lorn
Nov 20, 2015 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.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I decided to start this series now for a few reasons. One, the major one, is that I watched the first season of the Amazon show based on it (Bosch), and really really loved it. It's got great characters, great actors playing them, the soundtrack is amazing (even for an anti-jazz person like me... I'm starting to appreciate it because of the show), and the writing is really great. I stopped watching around episode 2 of season 2 simply because I wanted to read the books before these characters are ...more
Jul 27, 2014 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". 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 or not they remember its era.

This is my first Michael Con
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
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved my first Harry Bosch thriller!

In this first case Bosch is confronted with a one-pipe-problem: After an anonymous wit call, a DB is discovered, stuck in a drain pipe up at Lake Hollywood. It turns out Bosch knew the victim (who was stiff as a wedding night prick, according to some other cop) twenty years before from the time when they both served as so called tunnel rats during the Vietnam war, chasing & smoking out the VC from their chthonic hideouts. During the course of his investigati
Scott Rhee
Jan 14, 2013 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
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
Introducing LAPD Homicide Detective Harry Bosch, a wisecracking tough guy with a soft heart who bucks the system and humiliates comically inept authority figures but gets away with it because he's so good at his job, which presumably involves not only bedding any nearby females but also making absurdly large leaps of reason and intuition in order to untangle needlessly complicated plots which are peppered with astonishingly unlikely coincidences but are nevertheless - it must be grudgingly admit ...more
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I somehow got this onto my reading list a couple of years ago, thinking it was sci-fi.... Hahahaaaaha!

I was 50 pages in before I realised, "Hey. There's no sci-fi here...", but too late... I was hooked!

What a great accident. I then inhaled 16 of the Bosch books within 3 months , and now have to wait like the rest of you for a year for each new story.

This is the first-ever published book by Michael Connelly, and it's a cracker! The pace picks up, the murder becomes two, and more complex, more
Jenny Baker
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The show Bosch on Amazon Prime is one of my favorite shows. Titus Welliver is the perfect Bosch and I recently learned that he narrates the Bosch novels that published after the show started. That’s something to look forward to!

Detective Harry Bosch is a lone wolf who likes to bend the rules, but it’s always for the sake of catching the criminal. He has many enemies in the department, people who are always trying to ruin him and his career, because some think he’s a suspect in different crimes,
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews, mystery
3 and a half stars for me. Quite a slow and average start for the first quarter of the book then picked up as it went along. A little outdated but still quite a good read.
kartik narayanan
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am ashamed that it has taken me ages to find out about Harry Bosch. And to add insult to injury, I got to know this character through the Prime Video series. Well, I really liked the video series and so, I thought I would get into the books.

The Black Echo did not disappoint me in any way. I found it to be similar in tone, character and storyline with the video series. It is very noirish, hardboiled and has very convincing detective work.
Now, I am no expert on crime but the way the detectives
Aug 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Having read most of Connelly's recent work (read: The Lincoln Lawyer series), I was pleased to take a step back in time and look at the early work of this great author. THE BLACK ECHO was the reader's intro to Harry Bosch, and it did not disappoint.

We learn a great deal about Bosch, as he is placed in the all too familiar lone detective who is fighting against a troubled past. Bosch comes upon a case that ends up having personal ties and fights to get justice for a former friend and Vietnam vet.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
I recently introduced myself to Michael Connelly through the Renee Ballard books and liked them. One goodread friend mentioned that the Bosch books were better, but for some reason they never really appealed. Last weekend, I took the plunge and I loved it. I like the idea of a man with his own code of honour and it was no surprise to learn from the author in the afterword that he was inspired by Philip Marlowe. Another series to add to the long list!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1)
  • 밀레니엄 1 상: 여자를 증오한 남자들 (Millennium 1: Phase Millennium: The men hate women)
  • The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8)
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • The Firm
  • Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross, #1)
  • The Client
  • Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1)
  • American Assassin (Mitch Rapp, #1)
  • Get Rich or Get Lucky
  • The Pelican Brief
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
  • The Whistler (The Whistler, #1)
  • The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)
  • 1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)
  • Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

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, #13)
  • The Closers (Harry Bosch, #11; Harry Bosch Universe, #14)

Articles featuring this book

  Few things compare to the electric anticipation of the next entry in a series you're obsessed with–you get to drop back into worlds your...
64 likes · 15 comments
“You can't patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.” 115 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.” 42 likes
More quotes…