It’s Bosch’s world; we just live in it

Tom Nolan has a fun piece in today’s Wall Street Journal about how Michael Connelly’s protagonist seems to pop up in books not actually written by him. There was the exchange cameo between Bosch and Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole, and more recently, Bosch appears in Paula Woods’ STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. Though it’s a bit inside-baseball, it’s along the lines of Connelly’s penchant of tying in all his characters into the same world:

Such overlappings of Bosch into other people’s fiction
seems an extension of a creative device Mr. Connelly himself employs on
a grander scale. In the books of Michael Connelly (16, so far), major
and minor characters from this or that series or stand-alone title
wander in and out of one another’s sagas all the time. The
female-criminal lead of 1999’s "Void Moon," for instance, has since
been glimpsed in a couple of Harry Bosch novels. The journalist-sleuth
of "The Poet" (1997) later played a part in one of Bosch’s cases. And
very sharp-eyed readers of the 2005 book "The Lincoln Lawyer" will spot
that novel’s eponymous attorney as the son of a man ID’ed long ago as
the father of Harry Bosch.

"It’s all part of the same canvas," is how Mr.
Connelly describes the way his various books tie together. "The main
character of all this is Harry Bosch, and his real name is Hieronymous
Bosch; and the starting-point of all this was the paintings of
Hieronymous Bosch," whose grotesque 15th-century visions find oblique
parallels through Mr. Connelly’s modern-day tales. In a Bosch picture,
the author noted, there are "many different stories going on…but
they’re all part of the same painting….Things in one corner might not
appear to be connected to something in the opposite corner; but when
you step further back and see the painting as a whole, then it all fits

Real-life figures play a part too, and when Connelly put LAPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton into THE CLOSERS (not by name, but easily recognizable) he got an unusual phone call while on tour:

“I’m not sure how he got my cellphone number, but —

it’s Chief Bratton. And you know, I was careful not to use his name [in

the book]; but he just went right by that, assuming that I was writing

about him, and he said: ‘You got everything right, except for one

thing.’ And I kind of braced myself; you know, was he upset about


"He said, ‘I don’t like Starbucks.’"

So look for a Vietanamese donut shop to figure into the next book…