Hot off the press comes Resurrection Walk by New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, who delighted a packed audience at the Coronado Performing Arts Center as he shared writing insights on just the second stop of his book tour. He was interviewed by award-winning author Matt Coyle, of the Rick Cahill crime novels, who guaranteed that this latest book would make readers want to get in the Lincoln and ride along with Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch, who is his driver, but definitely not his chauffeur.
This latest book is the seventh in the Lincoln Lawyer series, in which Mickey Haller teams up with his half-brother, retired Los Angeles Police Detective Harry Bosch, to prove the innocence of a woman convicted of killing her ex-husband. Early reviews suggest that it’s another intriguing page turner, showcasing many of the favorite characters from previous books.
As the bestselling author of 38 novels, one non-fiction book Crime Beat, and a children’s short story, Short Cut, his books have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages. He credits his mom for introducing him to crime fiction mystery novels, and the experience of finding a handgun hidden in the bushes as a teenager. He shared that both his mom, who always knew ‘whodunit’ by page 18, and his wife, who offered a different perspective, were his initial beta test readers.
After deciding that engineering wasn’t the path for him in college, he told his father he wanted to be a crime novel writer and his dad suggested he switch to a journalism major to learn the fundamentals and gain experience. Early in his career, he specialized in the crime beat, first in Florida and then as a crime reporter at the LA Times. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. This was the world’s first introduction to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, who went on to star in adventures in 24 more of Connelly’s books and several television series.
Connelly notes The Last Coyote as his favorite book, even though he says it was only his fourth book, and probably not his best, it will always have special sentiment because it was his first as a full-time writer making him feel like he’d arrived. When Coyle asked how many books it took to feel like he knew what he was doing, he answered eight, but “I got my swagger by A Darkness More than Night, which was my tenth book.” Connelly shared that the Harry Bosch character is based on an amalgamation of many influences from film, literary characters, and actual detectives.
As one of the busiest mystery writers in the world, Connelly noted that he has been lucky to come across real life experiences that have helped shape the narratives for his books. Spending so much time in the courtroom as a crime reporter, Connelly says that “as a former journalist it is my job to finesse authenticity.” He also confers with his college roommate, who is a lawyer, for case ideas, among others.
When asked where the idea for the Lincoln Lawyer came from, Connelly revealed that sitting at the opening day of a Dodgers baseball game in 2000, he talked to a stranger wearing a tie, who turned out to be a criminal attorney that worked out of his car. They stayed in touch and the ideas grew from there. While filming in San Fernando, he got inspiration for three of the Bosch books from a tour of the City of San Fernando Police Precinct, where he saw cold case files stacked up in an old cell.
Connelly enjoyed flipping the script in Resurrection Walk, because usually legal thrillers end up in the courtroom in a repetitive nature, but this habeas corpus case has the defendant guilty until proven innocent with the judge making the ruling. He enjoyed showcasing Harry and Mickey’s different views of the justice system.
Going strong since 1992, Connelly considers it a gift to write the Bosch series for 30 years and to continue to tell it like it is. As Bosch ages, he is more vulnerable in his 70s, and facing medical issues. There were hints in the Desert Star Book, and he had a physician reach out to him about cancer clinical trials and he was able to incorporate that into Bosch’s story.
When asked about his writing routine, he commented, “It’s me against the paper. I always start writing in the dark and I go with the flow until I can move something forward. When I’m in the writing pipeline, it’s euphoric.” He is also involved producing podcasts and documentaries.
It’s interesting to note that he auctioned off the rights to Bosch in the early 1990s to Paramount for $50,000 as his first deal. When they couldn’t bring it to fruition he sensed that it could be a successful series on a streaming platform. He ended up having to sue Paramount, who wanted $7 million to return the rights, and settled for about 75 percent less. It paid off, and there have been seven seasons of Bosch on Prime Video, of which he is an executive producer. Connelly was able to infuse jazz music into the series, as a nod to his father, and it turns out that Lance Reddick, who stars as Police Chief Irvin Irving, actually plays original piano music. Titus Welliver, who plays Harry Bosch, is also a jazz lover. Subsequently, Connelly has become a jazz aficionado and always plays it while writing Bosch to get in the mode.
If you are a Bosch fan, you know his popular saying, “Everybody counts, or nobody counts,” and Connelly mentioned that this would be a good mantra in uniting the world. The newest series, Bosch: Legacy, debuted on Prime Video in May 2022 with the second season in the works. Lincoln Lawyer, of which he is also an executive producer, streaming on Netflix, should have season three in production by January, so they won’t miss a cycle. And it’s almost time for Connelly to start his next book, as he offered his schedule, “I always start a book the Monday after Thanksgiving and then have a finished story in nine to ten months.”
Time to get started reading Resurrection Walk! For more fascinating facts about Connelly, check out https://www.michaelconnelly.com/.