Last Tuesday American crime author Michael Connelly, best known for his novel-turned-Hollywood blockbuster The Lincoln Lawyer and the infamous Bosch series, held a signing at Waterstones Leeds for the nineteenth instalment of his beloved series.
Connelly, who has been a crime fiction writer for 23 years and boasts a career of 29 books, was met with dozens of fans at the Leeds store, each clutching a hardcopy of his latest novel – The Wrong Side of Goodbye – which sees recently retired LAPD detective Harry Bosch undertake the challenge of hunting down the possible heir of a billion-dollar fortune, all the while making sure the wrong people don’t find them first.
“Connelly’s years of experience as a crime writer has perfected the slick writing style that has maintained his popularity with audiences young and old, gripping readers in the first few lines alone with the urgency of events in a world far away from the living room settee…”
Though it was clear to see at the event that Connelly and his work still succeed in garnering the attention of the public, it had to be called into question whether the Bosch series was growing stale after nineteen instalments, and, more importantly, if the author and his fans were still clinging to the glory days of Detective Harry Bosch. There seemed to be a difference in opinion amongst fans. When faced with the question of whether the series was losing its original charm, one reader boldly said “Absolutely not. [The books] keep getting better,” while another admitted that, once you have read a few of the Bosch books “the plots become repetitive”, but was quick to add that Connelly’s early works are fantastic reads.
Judging by the first few chapters of The Wrong Side of Goodbye, Connelly’s years of experience as a crime writer has perfected the slick writing style that has maintained his popularity with audiences young and old, gripping readers in the first few lines alone with the urgency of events in a world far away from the living room settee. The literature is good; the plot even better. Whether his latest novel works as a stand-alone for new readers of Bosch is difficult to say, since the series follows the career of the protagonist and delves deeper into his haunting past with each novel. However much of this contextual knowledge is subtly brought to light in different parts of the novel, so that readers don’t struggle to navigate the inner-workings of the plot’s hero, or the plot itself. Each novel contains a new assignment for Bosch, packed full of drama and suspense, but it is from reading the series as a whole that audiences can piece together the overarching story line of Harry Bosch’s life and really get inside the mind of the series’ hero. Perhaps this is how fans have grown so attached to the character, and why they would be reluctant to say goodbye when Bosch hangs up his holster for good.
It would appear that Connelly feels the same way, having attempted to put Bosch to rest a few times in recent years. “Every time I sit down to write a new book he comes back,” the author explained, “I feel like there’s still stuff to say about him.” By this account it could be fair to predict that the twentieth instalment of Bosch’s adventures could already be in the works.
image: Huffington Post