Characterization of Harry Bosch

The protagonist of the short story “Cielo Azul” by Michael Connelly is detective Harry Bosch.

Outer characterization

The man’s outer characterization is very brief, and his physical appearance is only shortly presented as he drives his car towards the San Quentin State Prison in California:

Pretty soon I could feel my shirt start to stick to the vinyl seat. I pulled off my tie and unbuttoned my collar. I didn’t know why I had put a tie on in the first place. I wasn’t on the clock and I wasn’t going anywhere that required a tie. (p. 21, ll. 3-6)

As he recalls events that happened twelve years ago, other aspects of the man’s outer characterization are revealed, such as the fact that he used to work in the “LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division” (p. 21, l. 24) together with his partner, Frankie Sheehan.

Inner characterization

Harry Bosch’s inner characterization is revealed both through his actions and thoughts as part of the narration. At first, when he is called to investigate the case of the murdered girl found abandoned on Mulholland Drive, Bosch is fascinated by the girl’s beauty:

I could tell that in life she had been beautiful to look at. In death she was heartbreaking. My partner always said the most dangerous women were the ones like her. Beautiful in life, heartbreaking in death. They could haunt you, stick with you even if you found the monster that took everything from her. (p. 22, ll. 4-8)

Then, as the victim’s identity cannot be found in any record system, Bosch begins to be frustrated and sense that he is running around in circles:

It was tough. Most cases start with the victim. Who that person was and where she lived becomes the center of the wheel, the grounding point. Everything comes from the center. But we didn’t have that and we didn’t have the true crime scene. We had nothing and we were going nowhere. (p. 23, ll. 8-12)

When the deputy coroner Teresa Corazon helps Bosch and his partner realize that the victim was placed in the trunk of a car, a new ray of hope emerges. Note that Bosch and Sheehan work as a team and try to come up with a theory together: “Sheehan and I quickly formed the theory that whoever had killed the woman…” (p. 23, ll. 40-41).

Despite being on the same team as Sheehan, Bosch assumes his leading detective role and does what he think is ...

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