When Michael Connelly wrote The Black Echo in 1992, introducing us to Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, he never expected him to be around 27 years later.
From the start, Connelly had decided to age the former Vietnam veteran, now NYPD detective, in real life.
"I did it because I liked the idea of not having a character be static book to book," says Connelly.
"Rather, I wanted to evolve the character against the backdrop of an evolving city and society.
"It could have been a mistake, I never thought he would be alive and well in 2019, and even though I have the predicament of Bosch sort of reaching a point where his age is of question in terms of what he does, I have no regrets at all."
Now in the 33rd Bosh novel, The Night Fire, Bosch is approaching 70 and despite giving up the badge years earlier, still has a desire for the truth. When his former mentor dies, and his widow passes on a "murder book" - containing all the evidence from a cold case from 20 years ago - Bosch is back on the case. He seeks the help of Detective Renee Ballard (who was introduced in 2018's Dark Sacred Night) and the pair make a formidable team. They soon arrive at a worrying question: did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?
The story is told from both of their viewpoints and Connelly says that's a skill he's been developing since his books were adapted for television in 2014.
Starring Titus Welliver (Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy) as Bosch, and screening on Amazon Prime, the television series has been met with great acclaim, nominated for several awards.
"On the show, Bosch is not in every scene. That is an impossibility. So we have to spread the story telling out to other characters and give them their own story arcs," Connelly says.
"There is where the influence is. I am spreading the storytelling out in my books as well. In the last two books Bosch shares the narrative drive with Ballard and I think that comes from the TV show."
Connelly dedicates The Night Fire to Welliver - "For breating life into Harry Bosch, hold fast" - and he says he's thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the process of bringing Bosch to life.
"Watching the show get made and sometimes adapting books and storylines I wrote as long as 25 years ago has been an amazing ride," he says.
"We change and update the stories quite a bit but the DNA of character and story is still there and it is beyond fulfilling to watch it happen. I am very proud of the show and what we have accomplished with it."
For Connelly, who's sold more than 74 million copies of his books worldwide, it's all about the story-telling.
Earlier in 2019 he debuted the podcast Murder Book, a true crime series that dove into a 30-year-old Hollywood killing.
"I have written 32 novels that have sold more than 70 million copies around the world but my success as a guy 'who makes it up' came after a career as a journalist who covered law enforcement and crime for newspapers on both coasts," he says.
"No matter what success I achieve as a storyteller I have always and will always feel I am still a journalist at heart - I put the truth in my novels and I research them like a reporter on a story.
"In the last couple years as I have seen a growing threat against the integrity of journalism and law enforcement, it has awakened a desire in me to return in some way to telling the real stories of the unsung heroes of law enforcement. What better place than in a podcast, which I view as the new arena of journalism. It is not the written truth but the spoken truth."
His concern about the growing threat to the integrity of journalism has also led him back to one of his recurring characters Jack McEvoy who we first met in 1996's The Poet and The Scarecrow in 2009.
"I am halfway through my next book and it's a Jack McEvoy story," Connelly reveals.
"It struck me that with all the things challenging the media these days, from financial collapse to political fire, it's time to check in on Jack McEvoy. I don't have a title yet but you can expect it to be my next book for sure."
The Night Fire, by Michael Connelly. Allen & Unwin, $32.99.
- November 4: Michael Connelly will be appearing at the National Library of Australia, in conversation with author Chris Hammer, at 6pm and at Dymocks, Canberra Centre, at 1pm for a book signing.