Week of May 18, 2005 | Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch novel, THE CLOSERS, will be released this week. It was a pleasure for me to interview Michael because of my long fascination with the mystery fiction genre.
I was twenty-eight years old when I discovered the world of mystery fiction. Richard Kitchen, a good friend of mine, was my first mentor. The year was 1985. Richard introduced me to the work of Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block, Ross Thomas, James Crumley, Jonathan Valin,
John D. MacDonald, and many others. I soon discovered the masters; Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiel Hammett. I fell in love with the work of Ross Macdonald (Kenneth Millar).
I became fascinated with the world Lew Archer, Macdonald's protagonist, created. These three masters all set their stories in California, providing them an ever-changing landscape that reflected the best and worst society had to offer.
Twenty years have passed, and my love of the mystery novel has grown and deepened. The genre has achieved a credibility it previously lacked. Best seller lists are filled with crime novels of all types; legal thrillers, serial-killer novels, police procedurals, and many novels involving cats.
Michael Connelly burst onto the mystery scene in 1992 with the publication of THE BLACK ECHO. His protagonist, Harry Bosch, is a member of the LAPD. Michael Connelly has now joined the list of the masters.
Harry Bosch has become one of crime fiction's best developed characters, and he continues to get better with each book.
Michael Connelly is a young man. Raymond Chandler began his publishing career late in his life. It will be interesting to see how far Michael Connelly takes Harry Bosch, he is already in rarified air.
Michael writes stand-alone books as well the Bosch series; novels like THE POET. One reason he does this is to give Bosch a break between books.
John D. MacDonald, the author of the Travis McGee series, did the same thing. He alternated McGee novels with other novels he wrote to keep the character and the stories fresh. MacDonald and McGee told us of the world of Florida, long before the state was overrun with mystery writers.
Connelly and Bosch are explaining the world of Los Angeles to us. It is a fascinating world, a world that Connelly captures with a photographer's detail.
It is a privilege to watch a modern master at work. Too often we read an author's best work after they've died. My interview with Michael lasts forty-five minutes, and focuses on the character of Harry Bosch.
I hope you enjoy it. Please tell your friends that read Michael Connelly about it, it is a rare glimpse into the creation of the series and the changes Michael has made as the series has matured. It was great fun for me to ask questions that have been in my head since 1992.
Listen to the interview, then go buy a copy of THE CLOSERS, you won't be sorry.
Listen to Kacey's latest interview with Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly's Website
ALL KACEY'S INTERVIEWS WITH MICHAEL CONNELLY