The Best Michael Connelly Books: A Gripping Journey Through Crime Fiction

Michael Connelly, a renowned American crime fiction writer, has captivated readers for decades with his enthralling novels featuring intriguing characters and gripping plots.

With over thirty books to his name, Connelly has created a literary world that immerses readers in the darkest corners of Los Angeles, where detectives and criminals navigate the intricate webs of crime.

This blog post delves into the best Michael Connelly books, exploring the stories that have defined his career and earned him a special place in the hearts of crime fiction aficionados. Join us as we unravel the mysteries hidden within these captivating pages.

Best Michael Connelly Books

11 Best Michael Connelly Books.

11 Best Michael Connelly Books
11 Best Michael Connelly Books

Quick List of the 11 Best Michael Connelly Books:

  1. The Black Echo (1992)
  2. The Poet (1996)
  3. Blood Work (1998)
  4. The Lincoln Lawyer (2005)
  5. The Closers (2005)
  6. The Scarecrow (2009)
  7. The Reversal (2010)
  8. The Fifth Witness (2011)
  9. The Drop (2011)
  10. The Burning Room (2014)
  11. The Late Show (2017)

The Black Echo (1992):

The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Echo (1992)

The Black Echo introduces readers to LAPD detective Harry Bosch, who becomes embroiled in a dangerous investigation that uncovers a deadly conspiracy. When a fellow Vietnam War veteran’s body is found in a drainpipe, Bosch recognizes the man as someone he served with in the war.

As he investigates further, he discovers a connection between the murder and a bank heist that involves stolen diamonds. With the help of FBI agent Eleanor Wish, Bosch unravels a web of corruption that reaches deep into the LAPD itself. The Black Echo is a gripping and suspenseful tale that sets the stage for Connelly’s extensive Harry Bosch series.

The Poet (1996):

The Poet stands out as one of Connelly’s most chilling thrillers, introducing readers to journalist Jack McEvoy. After his twin brother, a homicide detective, takes his own life, McEvoy discovers that the suicide note contains lines from an Edgar Allan Poe poem.

As he investigates further, he uncovers a series of similar suicides among police officers across the country, leading him to believe that a serial killer is targeting cops. Dubbed “The Poet,” the killer taunts authorities with cryptic messages in the form of Poe’s poetry. As McEvoy gets closer to the truth, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a brilliant and ruthless murderer.

Blood Work (1998):

Blood Work (1998)
Blood Work (1998)

In Blood Work, Connelly introduces former FBI agent Terry McCaleb, who has recently received a heart transplant. When the sister of his heart donor approaches him, she reveals that her sister was murdered and asks McCaleb to find the killer.

Despite his weakened condition, McCaleb takes on the case and soon discovers that the murder is connected to his own past. As he digs deeper, he uncovers a complex web of deception and betrayal.

Quick Fact: Blood Work is a compelling thriller that explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the lengths one will go to for justice.

The Lincoln Lawyer (2005):

The Lincoln Lawyer marks the debut of defense attorney Mickey Haller, who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car. When Haller is hired to represent a wealthy Beverly Hills playboy accused of assault, he believes he has landed the case of a lifetime.

However, as he uncovers new evidence, he begins to doubt his client’s innocence and finds himself caught in a dangerous game with high stakes. The Lincoln Lawyer is a legal thriller that showcases Connelly’s ability to craft complex and morally ambiguous characters, making it a captivating read.

The Closers (2005):

The Closers (2005)
The Closers (2005)

In The Closers, Harry Bosch returns to the LAPD after a three-year retirement, joining the elite Open-Unsolved Unit to work on cold cases. His first assignment is the unsolved murder of a teenage girl who was killed seventeen years earlier.

As Bosch and his partner, Kiz Rider, re-examine old evidence, they uncover new leads that suggest the killer may be a fellow police officer. The Closers is a riveting procedural that explores the complexities of police work and the bonds formed between detectives in their quest for justice.

The Scarecrow (2009):

The Scarecrow brings back journalist Jack McEvoy, who is on the verge of losing his job at the Los Angeles Times. In an attempt to go out with a bang, McEvoy investigates the story of a young drug dealer accused of brutally murdering a woman. However, as he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a connection to a terrifying serial killer known as “The Scarecrow.”

With the help of former lover and FBI agent Rachel Walling, McEvoy races against time to catch the killer before becoming his next target. The Scarecrow is a thrilling and fast-paced novel demonstrating Connelly’s ability to create complex and captivating narratives.

The Reversal (2010):

The Reversal (2010)
The Reversal (2010)

In The Reversal, Connelly unites his two most popular characters, Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch, in a thrilling legal and investigative tale. When a convicted child murderer’s case is overturned due to new DNA evidence, Haller is appointed as the special prosecutor for the retrial.

To build his case, Haller enlists the help of his half-brother, Harry Bosch, to investigate the decades-old crime. As they dig deeper, the duo faces numerous challenges, including a devious defense attorney and a dangerous conspiracy. The Reversal is a suspenseful and engaging novel that showcases Connelly’s skill in blending legal drama with police procedural.

The Fifth Witness (2011):

The Fifth Witness finds Mickey Haller defending a woman accused of murdering a banker involved in the foreclosure of her home. As Haller works to build his client’s defense, he discovers a much larger conspiracy at play, involving powerful figures in the banking industry.

The case becomes increasingly dangerous, with Haller and his team fighting for justice in a system that seems rigged against them. The Fifth Witness is a timely and thought-provoking legal thriller that delves into the dark side of the financial crisis and the human cost of greed.

The Drop (2011):

The Drop (2011)
The Drop (2011)

Harry Bosch returns in The Drop, where he faces two seemingly unrelated cases. The first involves the suspicious death of a councilman’s son, while the second focuses on a cold case involving the rape and murder of a young woman. As Bosch investigates both cases, he uncovers a web of political corruption and long-buried secrets.

Quick Fact: The Drop is a gripping and intricate novel that masterfully weaves together multiple storylines, showcasing Connelly’s ability to create a suspenseful and engaging narrative.

The Burning Room (2014):

In The Burning Room, Harry Bosch is paired with a new partner, Detective Lucia “Lucy” Soto, to investigate the death of a mariachi musician who was shot ten years earlier. As they delve into the case, they discover connections to a series of arson-related murders and a dangerous conspiracy involving a powerful real estate developer.

The Burning Room is a captivating and complex police procedural that explores themes of corruption, power, and the relentless pursuit of justice.

The Late Show (2017):

The Late Show (2017)
The Late Show (2017)

The Late Show introduces readers to Detective Renée Ballard, who works the night shift in Hollywood, known as the “late show.” After stumbling upon two seemingly unrelated cases, Ballard becomes determined to solve them, even if it means going against her superiors’ orders.

As she pursues the truth, she uncovers a web of corruption and deceit within the LAPD. The Late Show is a thrilling and suspenseful novel that showcases Connelly’s ability to create strong, compelling female characters, and it marks the beginning of a promising new series.

What makes Michael Connelly’s novels so popular among crime fiction fans?

Michael Connelly’s novels are popular among crime fiction fans due to his ability to create compelling characters, intricate and well-researched plots, and immersive settings. His protagonists, such as Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller, and Renée Ballard, are complex and deeply human, making readers invested in their personal and professional lives.

Connelly’s mastery of pacing and suspense keeps readers on the edge of their seats, while his extensive knowledge of police work and the legal system lends authenticity to his stories.

How does Connelly develop his characters throughout the series?

Connelly develops his characters throughout the series by allowing them to evolve and grow, both personally and professionally. As readers follow the protagonists through multiple novels, they witness their struggles, triumphs, and failures, making them more relatable and well-rounded.

Quick Fact: Connelly also frequently crosses over characters between his various series, creating a rich and interconnected literary universe that rewards longtime fans.

What is the suggested reading order for someone new to Michael Connelly’s books?

For someone new to Michael Connelly’s books, it is generally recommended to start with his debut novel, “The Black Echo,” which introduces Harry Bosch, his most iconic character. From there, readers can continue with the Bosch series in publication order.

Alternatively, readers can choose to start with “The Poet” or “The Lincoln Lawyer,” which introduces Jack McEvoy and Mickey Haller, respectively, and follow those series in publication order as well. Ultimately, the best approach will depend on the reader’s personal preferences and interests.

How does Connelly’s background as a crime reporter influence his writing?

Connelly’s background as a crime reporter lends authenticity and realism to his novels that set them apart from other crime fiction. His firsthand experience in the field provides him with an extensive understanding of police work, the legal system, and the inner workings of a newsroom, which he expertly weaves into his stories.

Additionally, his time as a reporter has honed his ability to craft compelling narratives and develop complex characters, resulting in a unique and engaging writing style.


Michael Connelly has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world of crime fiction with his masterful storytelling and memorable characters. From Harry Bosch to Mickey Haller, his novels have captivated readers for decades, offering thrilling, suspenseful, and thought-provoking narratives that delve into the darkest corners of Los Angeles.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or just discovering Connelly’s work, these 11 best books will surely provide you with hours of gripping entertainment. Happy reading!

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