Review: Michael Connelly's 'Bosch' returns for an engrossing Season 3

LAPD detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver, right) has several new homicides on his plate, including a high-profile murder trial of a Hollywood director.
LAPD detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver, right) has several new homicides on his plate, including a high-profile murder trial of a Hollywood director.
Published April 21, 2017

In the first three episodes of Season 3 of Bosch, people keep telling the Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective he needs to get a life.

Harry Bosch, played with simmering intensity by Titus Welliver, can hardly suppress an eyeroll. He has a life: his job. And legions of fans love him for it.

As another investigator says to him in Episode 3, "I envy the clarity of your mission, Bosch: Somebody's dead, and somebody did it."

Of course, as Bosch responds, it's not always that simple.

Bosch is based on a series of 19 bestselling, and excellent, novels by Michael Connelly, who sets his books in Los Angeles but lives in Tampa. Rather than following the books chronologically, Connelly, who is an executive producer and writer for the show, and the other writers base each season on two or three of the novels, adapting the plots to weave them together.

The original series has been so successful for Amazon that it was renewed for a fourth season before production was completed on the third season.

Season 3 draws its various plot lines from Connelly's first Bosch novel, The Black Echo (1992), and the seventh, A Darkness More Than Night (2001).

Some of Season 2's events continue into the new one, including the murder trial of Ronnie Allen, the slinky femme fatale played by Jerri Ryan.

But Harry has plenty of new homicides on his dance card. A Special Forces veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is found shot to death in the dilapidated RV where he'd been living while struggling with drugs and PTSD. An aging drunk whom Harry arrested years before for killing two prostitutes, but who was never charged, takes a probably assisted head-first plunge off his apartment balcony. And a movie director with a gigantic ego (even for Hollywood) stands accused of killing a woman during kinky sex, a charge he vociferously denies.

As Harry investigates those deaths, his own past keeps connecting in various ways, whether it's his own military experiences or the times he's been accused of manipulating evidence.

Many of the series' returning cast members continue to grow into more complex characters in Season 3. Madison Lintz gets more time as Harry's daughter, Maddie, playing her with a mix of confidence and cool reserve that makes clear she's her father's child.

Harry and Maddie's bond plays against the grief of Irwin Irving (the powerful Lance Reddick), who is struggling to balance his job as acting police chief with last season's murder of his son and the subsequent collapse of his marriage.

The city of Los Angeles is as much a character in the TV series as it is in Connelly's books. The loving cinematography puts the viewer right on those endless boulevards and desert hillsides.

But Bosch, as always, is at the center of the intricate plot. One murder connects to a teenage tagger who might be in danger himself and to a military security contractor who says of Harry, "We have to know what he knows." The old drunk's apartment reveals not only hidden security cameras but a strange link to Bosch's namesake, the 15th century painter Heironymous Bosch. Another woman shows up with a story about a close call with that pervy director.

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And then there's that apparently unconnected hipster guy in the pork pie hat who keeps showing up, riding a bicycle and sometimes stealing cell phones and every once in a while shooting someone in broad daylight.

What's he got to do with everything? I'm betting Bosch will figure it out.

Contact Colette Bancroft at or (727) 893-8435. Follow @colettemb.