December 2, 2014

Dec 2

The Black Echo

Michael Connelly


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SOLD: $4,500

Journeying back twenty-five years to what I was thinking and doing as an unpublished writer was fun and illuminating. I admit my face turned red a few times at the choice of prose but for the most part I could see the writer behind the sentences and I liked what he was up to. If only I could go back and be that guy again!

First edition, signed twice on the title-page, with Connelly indicating which was the 1992 signature and which the 2014 signature for PEN! “So this is my first published novel,” he writes on the front flyleaf. “Not my first, mind you. I wrote a couple of novels earlier that are in a drawer somewhere—an appropriate fate. But I had to write those in order to write this one. It was all part of the learning experience!” Across the fore-edge he has written in bold, red ink: “HOLD FAST.” That, he explains, was the phrase “tattooed across Harry Bosch’s knuckles (when he was a kid).” On the half-title he writes: “This novel uses the tunnel as metaphor. I had a fear of tunnels as a kid. I came up with this title while thinking about that fear and linking it to the tunnels in this book.” The inspiration of his story, he explains in another note, came from an episode that occurred when he was a reporter for the L.A. Times, where he worked for seven years. “Thieves used stormwater tunnels to get beneath a bank and then drilled up into the vault on a holiday weekend. That true crime (never solved) inspired this novel.” There are touching biographical details in his annotations. On the dedication page he says, “I’m a writer because my parents encouraged me to pursue my dream. Sadly, my father passed away 5 months before my first book was published. But he knew it was going to happen and I am grateful for that.” Connelly has also tipped in images of “Tunnel Rat” (p. 18), and his protagonist, Harry Bosch, from his Vietnam days (p.34). He has also loosely inserted photocopies of his 1990 correspondence with his agent, Phillip G. Spitzer. “Your enthusiasm is certainly contagious,” he tells Spitzer, “and I hope you are successful in placing the book.” Spitzer’s first approach, to Knopf, failed (the rejection letter is included here). But Little Brown was next and “they,” Connelly writes, “were smart enough to see a future for Harry Bosch!”

CONNELLY, Michael (b. 1956). The Black Echo. Boston: Little Brown, 1992. 8°. Original cloth-backed boards; dust jacket.


© Mark DeLong

Michael Connelly is a best-selling author of twenty-six novels and one work of nonfiction whose work has sold over fifty million copies and have been translated into thirty-six foreign languages. One of the most successful writers working today, he began his career as a newspaper reporter working the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. He has won numerous awards for his journalism and fiction. His first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his number-one best-selling novel The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, hit theaters worldwide. His most recent number-one New York Times best-sellers include The Gods of Guilt, The Black Box, The Drop, and The Fifth Witness. Connelly recently co-wrote and produced a pilot episode of Bosch, which premiered on Amazon Studios in March 2014. He is also the executive producer of Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story, a documentary that will be released in summer 2014. He divides his time between California and Florida and is currently at work on his next Harry Bosch novel, The Burning Room, which will be published this November.