Amazon debuted its latest original series Friday (Feb. 13) in “Bosch,” a crime drama starring Titus Welliver as Hieronymos “Harry” Bosch, a detective with the LAPD with a deeply troubling past who just tries to do what good he can in the world.
The character burst onto the literary scene nearly a quarter century ago in “The Black Echo” and was most recently seen in “The Burning Room,” which is the 19th book in author Michael Connelly’s series. So how will fans of the novels like the small screen adaptation? Zap2it thinks you’ll like the show very much, though there are differences from the novels, so here’s a guide to what will and will not be included in the Amazon series.
Warning: The following guide is for fans of the books, so if you haven’t read them and care about spoilers for the TV series, stop reading.
The starting point
Sorry, fans — “The Concrete Blonde” and the Dollmaker case is not where the producers chose to start the TV series. But Connelly tells Zap2it the reasoning behind going with “City of Bones” for Season 1.
“We had 19 books to choose from, and if you’ve read the books, you know
Harry’s really internal, so we had to find a story where we’d be able to
draw him out,” says Connelly. “We went with ‘City of Bones’ because it’s a case that even though
he has no connection to it, he can make it personal. So we did give it a lot
“[‘City of Bones’] is about a young boy buried and forgotten
for a couple decades. It’s a case that maybe
no one cared about, society didn’t care about, but Harry Bosch did. We
could draw on his own history of a difficult childhood, so that was one
of the reasons we went with ‘City of Bones.'”
Chronology is fluid
The show isn’t going to stick with the exact chronology of the book series, which means in this “City of Bones” world, Harry’s mother’s murder is still unsolved and it comes up while Harry is testifying in the Dollmaker investigation.
“We have a little bit of ‘Concrete Blonde’ in there, we have the trial,” says Connelly. “Putting him on the stand and having to testify under oath was one way of showing this really internalized character — what makes him tick, what makes him relentless, what brings out the Harry Bosch that people connect to in the books.”
Connelly adds that the seed of Harry’s mother’s killing is planted in Season 1, and they hope to eventually get to the events of “The Last Coyote.”
“[His mother’s murder] plays a significant part in the first season, but no, it is not resolved,” he says. “It’s about his interior motivation, so it has to be addressed at some point if we get to go into a second season. It’s like my books — there are a lot
of loose ends, so we’re hoping that Amazon will have no choice but to
give us a second season so we can close some of these open things
[laughs], and that is one of them for sure.”
Harry’s complicated love life
As Connelly says, “Harry doesn’t have a very good track record in romance,” so what’s nice about starting with “City of Bones” is that rookie cop Julia Brasher [Annie Wersching] is introduced into his life, plus he also has ex-wife Eleanor Wish [Sarah Clarke] and daughter Maddie [Madison Lintz] come into play this season.
“We meet [Eleanor and Maddie] in a big way,” says Connelly. “We did shoot for one day in Las Vegas when
Harry goes to visit his daughter and then his daughter comes to L.A. They
come in episode 5 or 6 and then they’re pretty important through the
rest of the season.”
Location, location, location
readers know that Los Angeles is almost as important to the stories as
Harry himself, so shooting on location was important to Connelly, which
he made very clear to executive producer Henrik Bastin.
“The first meeting Michael and I had, he said there’s a couple of
things I need you to sign off on and one of them was every frame of the
show needs to be shot on location here in Los Angeles,” says Bastin. “I’m also a big
fan of the books, so that was really easy to sign off on.”
adds that he hopes they captured a different version of Los Angeles
than people are used to seeing in most movies and TV shows — the darker
side, which he says is on display from the opening frames of the
“I think one of the things I love most about the show is the first
30 seconds — you go from Amazon logo to black screen and you hear the
voice of Vin Scully, which I can’t think of a voice more associated with
Los Angeles, and then you see Harry Bosch watching a
ratty house with bars on the windows and a guy comes out and we follow
him down the street and the camera turns and you see that fantastic view
of downtown Los Angeles,” recounts Bastin.
“There’s almost a contradiction there of that
neighborhood with that kind of view, and I think that says a lot about the
L.A. that people who know L.A. know. I think within the first 30 seconds, we
establish visually what we’re trying to do with this show.”
The private sector
Fans of the books know that “City of Bones” sees Bosch leave the LAPD to work as a private investigator for a while, but that’s not what they’re going for here in the series — not yet, anyway.
“I’ve always tried to write Harry Bosch as an outsider with an insider’s job,” says Connelly. “He has a badge, he carries a gun and he represents the power and weight of the state, but he’s uncomfortable with that burden and feels like an outsider.
“We want to see him in the circumstances of having a badge, so we hope to get three or four seasons out of that before we would go in [the private investigator] direction. But I do want to go in that direction eventually.”
“Bosch” is available now on Amazon Instant Video.