Thursday, July 24, 2014

Connelly reveals: Harry Bosch as an 11-year-old

When I interviewed Michael Connelly for a feature in the New Zealand Herald back in 2010, he said that THE LAST COYOTE, his fourth novel, was his favourite amongst his own books, for a number of reasons:

"One is that in my life it was the first book I wrote as a full-time novelist, I was able in the months before I started writing it to retire from journalism, and so the year I was writing THE LAST COYOTE I was just amazed that I was a full-time novelist, and I kind of revelled in that. And I also saw, I could quite clearly see, that the writing had improved because it was my only focus, and I wasn't writing at night and then going to the newspaper during the day. It had my undivided attention and I could see improvements almost every day. That was very exciting to me. And the last part was that it’s the case of Harry’s life, it’s about his mother, and so it’s very meaningful on a character level to write that story. Obviously it was my fourth book and I had no idea that Harry Bosch would be around for at least another 15 years, but I was getting the idea that he had some longevity, and that I was going to be writing more about him. And to write more about him I had to kind of … this is a kind of foundation story of what he’s about."

I remembered that final reason, about the book being the case of Harry's life, when I saw today that Connelly has now shared an 'unpublished chapter' from the novel, which explains even more about one of contemporary crime fictions most intriguing and layered characters, Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch.

The lost chapter takes us back to 1961 when Harry is 11 years old. Says Connelly on his website, "It was originally written as the prologue to the book. It takes place at the youth hall where an 11-year-old Harry was placed after he was removed from his mother’s custody because she was deemed an unfit mother."

The scene, as Connelly explains, was the last time Harry ever saw his mother, and this fuelled things about him, and the emotion about the case in THE LAST COYOTE. Later this was cut from the published version so readers could jump straight into the present day action, with mentions of the past woven into the book.

So Bosch fans, here is a chance to get more of an insight into LA's finest detective.

You can read the lost chapter here. 

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