I am an unabashed Michael Connelly fan, especially of his best-selling series of books featuring Detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch, a Los Angeles cop and jazz fan who solves mysteries with his own no-nonsense approach. Now Amazon has produced a pilot entitled “Bosch” which promises to draw fans of the tough-talking investigator, and hopefully, generate an ongoing TV series.
I first discovered Harry Bosch after reading one of Connelly’s other books, “Blood Work” (later made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood). The lead character in the Eastwood movie was a different detective, FBI man Terry McCaleb, but it was such an interesting read that I decided to delve into a few more of Connelly’s works. That led me to “Trunk Music”, “The Concrete Blonde”, “Echo Park”, and a number of gripping novels detailing the exploits of Harry Bosch of the LAPD. Bosch’s quirky personality and persistent pursuit of criminals, notwithstanding the occasional love interest, caught my interest. I was hooked.
So when I heard that Amazon was promoting a pilot called “Bosch”, I was, to put it mildly, absolutely thrilled. (I use the word “promoting” judiciously, since I stumbled upon the pilot purely by accident; Amazon doesn’t seem to be straining themselves too hard to push the series, which is too bad, since it is really a quality show.) So far, there has been just the one episode, and it proved to be everything I imagined a Harry Bosch film to be – taut, gritty, atmospheric, with wise-cracking dialogue and hip, laid-back characterizations. Titus Welliver, as Harry Bosch, is old-school, tight-lipped, kind of a cool Joe Friday. He bristles at a female colleague who he suspects of currying favor with the press, and cuts interfering reporters to the quick when he feels they are obstructing his investigation. Bosch has a tendency to be somewhat of a rogue rather than encumbering himself with those whom he considers inept at crime detection.
Harry Bosch is a hard-hitting guy who loves the City of Angels and listens to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in his down-time (of which there is very little), while ferreting out criminals and serial killers that the LAPD can’t seem to apprehend with their routine methods. Wellliver’s portrayal is spot-on, just the kind of guy I expected Bosch to be; even his house is the way I pictured it from the books, with its overview of Los Angeles and laid-back, bachelor pad vibe. Bosch leads a spare, uncluttered existence; he’s not Internet savvy, but relies on good old-fashioned, dogged detective work and instinct.
The pilot has Bosch investigating the murder of a young boy, while at the same time involved in a federal trial in which he is being prosecuted for shooting a man he believes was a serial killer. The man’s wife claims the dead man was a law-abiding (and unarmed) citizen; Bosch claims he was a killer who was reaching for a weapon when he shot him. It all adds to the stress Bosch has to undergo while trying to solve the current murder. It begins when a dog digs up bones from a hillside and dutifully brings them home, thus instigating the investigation of an old murder. From the condition of some of the bones, Bosch and the medical examiner suspect child abuse may have also played a part in the crime, an aspect of the case which brings up sad flashbacks for Bosch.
I confess that I can’t wait for the next installment. Amazon has whet my appetite and I am salivating for subsequent chapters in the Bosch saga. The pilot is currently available exclusively on Amazon Prime (free to members), and hopefully, it will be a success, with any luck prompting a continuing Harry Bosch series. But if I can’t get my Bosch fix on television, well, I guess there’s always my Kindle and the next Michael Connelly book.