Warning: Contains minor spoilers for The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.
Netflix’s new adaptation of Michael Connelly’s book series The Lincoln Lawyer raises an interesting question to those familiar with his books: is Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer connected to Amazon Prime’s Bosch, and Amazon Freevee’s Bosch: Legacy series? In Michael Connelly’s books, Michael “Mickey” Haller, the lawyer who runs his office out of his Lincoln, is revealed to be the half-brother of Detective Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch, star of his own eponymous book series. So are Netflix’s Lincoln lawyer and Amazon’s Bosch likewise related?
The Bosch series debuted first in 1992 with The Black Echo and has made appearances in many more of Michael Connelly’s works since then. The character of Mickey Haller was first introduced in 2005 in The Lincoln Lawyer, the first book in the series of the same name that was adapted into the 2011 movie of the same name starring Matthew McConaughey. Each character has appeared in the book series focused on the other, giving rise to speculation as to whether the new Netflix series will follow suit, or if Haller (portrayed in Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo of Netflix’s 6 Underground) will appear in Bosch: Legacy.
It might seem extremely likely for Titus Welliver’s Bosch to appear in Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer as season 1 will adapt The Brass Verdict, the second book in The Lincoln Lawyer series and the first book that Detective Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch appears in. However, Michael Connelly has addressed the question and definitively answered it in the negative. In the world of streaming, Bosch and The Lincoln Lawyer are not related. The departure from the books appears to actually have less to do with narrative choice and much more to do with a rights issue. Because Amazon holds the rights to Bosch and Netflix to The Lincoln Lawyer, there won’t be a crossover. In an interview (via AARP), Michael Connelly said of the possibility of a streaming crossover between Bosch and The Lincoln Lawyer, “Since we have competing studios, that’s not going to be a thing in the shows.” He added that he understands the issues and that “if we got Amazon and Netflix working together, we could also solve world peace.” From Michael Connelly’s comments, it’s safe to assume that the possibility was raised at some point and ruled out.
Mickey Haller doesn’t appear in Amazon’s Bosch or its spinoff series, Bosch: Legacy, but the role of Bosch in the narrative of The Lincoln Lawyer as it adapts Michael Connelly’s The Brass Verdict has been replaced with other characters in the series. In Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer, the Bosch role is split up between two characters: LAPD Detective Griggs (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), a character created for the show, and Haller’s lead investigator Cisco (Angus Sampson), a character who does appear in the books but takes on some of the Bosch’s plot points from the The Brass Verdict. In The Brass Verdict, Bosch plays a significant role in investigating the murder of defense attorney Jerry Vincent, from whom Mickey Haller inherits a thriving law practice after his murder. In Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer, Detective Griggs takes on Bosch’s role as an investigator who is tied primarily to the police. Cisco, however, adds a more personal level to that same investigation and his general role is expanded in the relation to The Brass Verdict‘s original story.
Although there won’t be a Bosch spinoff crossover with The Lincoln Lawyer, the importance of Bosch as an investigator will remain in the series. The Lincoln Lawyer novel series is effectively a spinoff of the Bosch novels once the connection is established in The Brass Verdict, and it is virtually impossible to totally extract the spirit of the Bosch character from the underlying story. However, while echoes of Bosch will almost certainly exist in The Lincoln Lawyer, the two shows are ultimately not related.
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