How thrilling for a thriller fan to listen to two giants in the field talking engaged in a conversation. Lee Child and Michael Connelly sat together on stage on Monday, November 7 at the Union Square Barnes and Noble asking each other questions, showing respect for each other’s work and genuine collegiality. What a refreshing respite from the political dramas surrounding us these days. (Although what does it say when murder and mayhem is a good escape.)
I recall hearing Lee Child at a book signing at The Mysterious Bookshop a ways back, talking about his main character, Jack Reacher as an anti-Harry Bosch (Connelly’s hero). Jack Reacher, he explained, has a simple name (as opposed to Connelly’s, Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch), is homeless, owns nothing except his toothbrush and the clothes he is wearing, and is unencumbered by most family relationships. Harry Bosch, on the other hand, has dedicated his career to the LA Police Department, owns a house set in the LA hills, and has deep standing, if not dysfunctional, relationships with on-going characters.
So, it was even more intriguing to hear Lee Child and Michael Connelly talk to each other about their books, their characters, the titles they chose, and their craft. An audience member asked if there would ever be a possibility of Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch showing up in the same novel. Lee Child mentioned he wrote in a Bosch drive by—at least his car was seen in one of his novels where Jack Reacher shows up in LA. While Michael Connelly said since Jack Reacher doesn’t own a car, it would be challenging to do the same. The answer to the question: Not likely—for Lee and Michael writing is a solo activity, plus the businesses that surround them would create obstacles for such a collaboration.
But we fans can imagine the coming together of those two worlds.