• The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (17,259 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An LAPD homicide detective must choose between justice and vengeance as he teams up with the FBI in the first novel of the "thrilling" Harry Bosch series (New York Times Book Review).

For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

Impressed? Ace detective Harry Bosch is also on the case in other exciting Michael Connelly crime-fiction novels.
©1992 by Michael Connelly. (P)1992 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Featured Article: Best Mystery Series—Listens That'll Take You Right to the Crime Scene


While a standalone mystery is great when you're in the mood for a one-and-done, sometimes you want to feed your craving with an entire mystery series—knowing there's a world and characters you can keep coming back to for the satisfaction of solving crimes. With audiobooks, you get the added bonus of sinking deeper into the setting, clues, and suspects as the story is performed for you, so you'll feel like you're alongside detectives, ready to bust a case.

What listeners say about The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great first book in this police procedural series

Regarding plot, this book is intricate, intriguing and excellent. I intend to work my way through the series in order - at least until I run into a narrator I truly don't like. Regarding performance, I must now eat some of my own words. My first Bosch Audible purchase was a later title read by Titus Welliver, which I enjoyed. I had passed on any read by Dick Hill because I did not like the work he did on the Jack Reacher series. Got Bosch fever and went back to the earlier titles and am glad I did. Apparently what I had not liked was the 'persona' Hill gave the Reacher books. On Bosch, Hill's voice and pacing seem completely different. So I am now provisionally a Dick Hill convert.

62 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This is where it started, it gets better

I wanted to read book one. I read all the others. Unfortunately there is little here to make me glad I read this. In fact, had I read this one first I probably wouldn't have read the others. The plot and story lines are thin at best. Michael over does it on the failings of LAPD and the FBI, there are idiots, but not everyone. The story doesn't work. To many plot holes. The rest of the series is good reading and you won't miss anything by not reading this,

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

What a Terrific Book

I love Connelly's Bosch novels and normally, an author of gets better with age. Having said that, I wasn't expecting this first book in the Bosch series to be as good as the later novels in the series.

This book is probably one of my top 2 or 3 favorites!!

Connelly manages to weave together a very intriguing and complex story!!

I kept saying to myself, "This Story is going to have SOOOOOO many holes", but he masterfully ties up all the loose ends.

The reader does a good job as well.

Highly recommended!!

230 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fills in the blanks

I have read all of the Harry Bosch mysteries over the past few years. While I am not a lifelong Dectective devotee, Harry Bosch is my favorite character and Michael Connelly is my favorite author. Somehow I have managed to read the 13 Bosch books in a random order. This book, The Black Echo, is the first in the series and recounts Harry Bosch's days as a "tunnel rat" during the Vietnam War. It does a good job of filling in the blanks that you only get bits and pieces about in the later works. As a testament to the talented pen of Connelly, much/most of the Bosch character is developed in this first book.

If you haven't read any of the Bosch series, this is a good place to start. If you have read later books, you will still enjoy this one.

209 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My 2nd Time Through the Series

After watching the "Bosch" series on Amazon Prime, my husband requested we listen to this first Bosch audio book during a recent road trip. Even though this is my 2nd time through the series, this story was as enjoyable as my first listen. This time around I got to spend some time appreciating the excellent writing style of Michael Connelly. This author is among my list of top tier suspense writers of all time. His method of character development is through more action and dialog than back-story. A page does not go by where Bosch's character isn't being fleshed out through the small details of life. Connelly proves that attention to detail matters when writing a great series. Listen to the story -- you will see what I mean.

In my mind, Dick Hill's voice is Bosch. I am enjoying these first books with his voice.



79 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • 02-03-09

Glad I tried another Bosch book

I listened to A Darkness More Than Night a while back and I was not impressed. After I reviewed the book I said I would listen to another with a different narrator. Both the narrator (Dick Hill) and the story made this book an excellent listen. I am used to hearing Hill and his superb narration in Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. His work here too is commendable. More than just the narration, Connelly introduces Bosch as both a likable and roguish police detective whose ways seem more suited to those of a private eye. This story had the right amount of everything; romance, misdirection, tragedy, vindication, bad guys, victims, flawed characters and you name it. I will listen to another Harry Bosch novel, especially if Hill did the narration. This was purchased on an Audible sale and was the best value I received in more than three years. It would have been well worth a credit.

103 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Connelly brings Tunnel Rats to life in style

I had to go back and listen to the first ever Harry Bosch book, and I'm glad I did. Writers have a lot of energy when they first write a character; they have that twinkle in the eye, just like in a new romance.

Black Echo is a very cool book, first off, because it says something about the Vietnam War that I never knew before, and I love history. When true history is woven into a story it gains dimension, and we all learn something. When war is sewn into a story, it illustrates and makes real the suffering those who were int hose jungles experienced, teaching something we should all understand.

I wasn't quite old enough to have experienced the Vietnam War, but my older sister was, and we used to watch the numbers come up in the morning newspaper, wondering which one of her friends would go next. I pressed my nose up against our Panasonic to watch the first horrible scenes ever shown live or nearly so on TV.

Connelly brings to life the Tunnel Rats--the soldiers that lived and died in the dark, their screams heard as a black echo, just going on and on. A lot of bad evil things happened there in the war, and were carried back in men's minds, as in the mind of Harry Bosch, the main character.

Here, Detective Bosch finds a murder victim in a Hollywood tunnel who turns out to be somebody he fought with as a boy in the tunnels of South Vietnam. The story unfolds the frightening, foreign, dark tunnels of his past with the darkness in his life; the historical darkness of the tunnels is an allegory to the state of people's hearts, and of the places the Vietnam Veterans ended up in America.

Also, it is interesting to listen to s story written before cellphones. For instance, Harry Bosch says "Stop! There's a phone!" Of course, he saw a phone booth he wanted to use, but I was wondering if someone had dropped the phone in the street. Everything had to be done differently before the iPhone, and as usual, fiction shows this best.

The story is as well narrated and very interesting. I recommend it highly.

38 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

So bad I doubt I will finish it. I shut it off during a long description of a chief’s molars. Please could there be some substance to this story? There is none. The narrator does very well with the different characters, but I need some substance to the characters and to the story. With some substance Connelly would not have to write about a click of a door when it is irrelevant to the story.
Don’t waste your time, credits, or money.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Endless Twists and Turns

Since I had never read a Harry Bosch book, I thought I would start with the first one. It's a good place to start: in introducing Harry to the reader, Connelly gives us his background as a tunnel rat in Viet Nam. Hard-boiled detectives are not often my favorite characters. I will say that Harry is very well-drawn, and the book is well-written with many twists and turns before you reach a really surprise ending.

The only problem I had is that I just didn't find Harry very likeable, despite an excellent performance by Dick Hill. That diminished my enjoyment quite a bit. I will try another book and see if my enjoyment increases.

In the meantime, if hardboiled, somewhat renegade, detectives are your thing, this book is for you! Enjoy!

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining!!

This was a great book...Connelly created Harry with this story and whats amazing is, his first Harry book is as good as his last. There are a couple silly parts, for example, at one time Harry catches 2 detectives following him and he handcuffs them to a tree. Other than that its a great listen. Dick Hill is amazing as the narrator as well.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • chris
  • 08-09-10

First in the Harry Bosch series

I'm a sucker for the contemporary LA detective with a past. In this case the past is his experience as a Vietnam veteran which added a dimension that I particularly enjoyed. I've gone on to listen to the whole series of Harry Bosch novels so this is a great way to get yourself into a new series.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Ieva
  • 05-11-14

Good story.

Initially I wanted to return the book, as The beginning of it was not exactly comprehensible and does not give an idea of the story to come. But if you have the same feeling, be patient - it shall come... The story, the thrill, the character of detective - everything is there.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 06-29-12

Good cop thriller.

This novel has all the ingredients of the traditional American cop thriller. Murder, a bank job and a cop with with all the usual complex character defects we have now come to expect from this genre. Set in LA in the early 1990s with the language and gadgets of the time, this book has the feel of the great American crime novels of the 1950s.
Plenty of twists and a fast pace, it kept me entertained in every chapter of the book. Well drawn characters and decent narration, this is my first taste of the Harry Bosch novels and it will not be my last, if you like a good crime thriller, I recommend you give this novel a go.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 07-16-09

A little predictable

A comfortable fairly predictable detective book. I did enjoy it, but didn't find it gripping, and the end was dragged out a bit. I thought the ending was a bit guessable too.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue
  • 12-06-13

Fast moving

What did you like most about The Black Echo: Harry Bosch Series, Book 1?

Believable.

If you’ve listened to books by Michael Connelly before, how does this one compare?

First time for me.

What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

Clear and with good diction.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Will definitely be following this author from now on.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Russell
  • 12-23-12

Harry Bosch Black Echo

The Harry Bosch Series does it again ,I finally got my iphone patched up to my car radio and this book made every journey so much easier.Dick Hill narrating is just one top guy, I actually didnt want journeys to end so I could listen even more .

The story is Michael Connelly at his best, can't wait to get the next Harry Bosch installment!

Keep it up Mickey boy!!!!

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graham
  • 06-03-19

Back to basics

I read this back in the ‘90’s long before watching the excellent updated tv show. It’s great to go back to the original text albeit on audible and remember the true Bosch. Excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jen
  • 03-19-18

Bosch never a disappointment

A good tale, as always. Good detail without overwhelming and boring, a bonus at end!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 05-22-19

The best there is

Re listened after a long time. Confirmed my opinion that this author is by far the best of the genre

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Matthews
  • 03-13-19

1st of a fantastic series.

I am re-listening for the 2nd time back to back. Most enjoyable series, ignore the annoying music in later productions the stories are all brilliant. I am always waiting for the next and have not been disappointed yet.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 09-03-17

Awesome narration

This book was great! The narration was perfect. Maybe a female narrator to do the female part though?

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 01-12-22

Excellent!

This was my first Harry Bosch story and I really enjoyed both the story and the narration. The story gave a good insight into policing in the 70's and the narrator was so good I felt like I was watching it on TV rather than listening to it being read. I'm looking forward to listening to more in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sylvia James
  • 06-24-22

My first disappointment

As expected, an excellent story from Michael Connelly.
Pity the narrator gave Eleanor Wish such a dreadful, silly voice. Ruined it for me

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Sigley
  • 05-13-22

Great Story Well Read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Am looking forward to working my way through this series. Was well read and entertaining.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-08-21

Engaging Storyline, Realistic Characters

Excellent narration with ability to create believable voices of both genders along with a pacwy storyline made for an overall excellent audiobook experience - buying book 2 immediately.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 04-05-21

Just a great series

Love the Harry Bosch series with all the books ranging from 3.8 stars to 5 stars. As a general rule the best books were in the first half of the series. However, I still enjoy the new books when they come out.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-18

Nice twists

Enjoyed the plot twists and turns. Great story line, great characters, well written and well read.