5713 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Titus Welliver as Detective Harry Bosch

Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Formerly a Pulitzer-winning journalist in Los Angeles, Michael Connelly went on to become a star novelist specializing in crime and police stories. His best-known and most recurrent protagonist is LAPD detective Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch. A number of Bosch cases can be called minor classics.

This profile avoids most S P O I L E R S, which makes it a bit vague in places. It is also set early in the series – many elements from the later novels are not mentioned, again to avoid spoilage. And though the illustration is drawn from the TV series adaptation, this profile precedes it by… many years and only covers the novels.

We also have a character profile for Cassie Black, from Connelly’s Void Moon novel.


Background

  • Real Name: Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Marjorie Philips Lowe (mother, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: LAPD
  • Base Of Operations: Hollywood and Los Angeles
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: About 170lbs
  • Eyes: Dark brown Hair: Light brown


Powers and Abilities

Harry Bosch is an experienced combat veteran. Though that was 20 years ago he had superior infantry skills and training, and thus remains redoubtable. Another asset during the war was his remarkable will to live, allowing him to endure and recover from wounds, sleep deprivation, stress and so on with remarkable strength.

Bosch fights with a Smith & Wesson 5906 — a third generation S&W semi-auto pistol, and a typical police firearm of the 1990s — loaded with XTV (extreme terminal velocity) rounds.

He proved to be a superb police detective, with a penetrating deductive intelligence and a superior power of perception. Bosch has decades of experience as police in a difficult big city, making him even better at his job. He’s able to crack cases that would have eluded nearly anyone else on the force. He’s an extraordinary interrogator, in large part out of experience and raw presence.

Magnetic

Lastly, Detective Bosch has an exotic edge. Many years ago he was on the one and only class of LAPD officers taught hypnosis. Since he was the youngest officer there and he has enough seniority to retire to full pay, it is likely that he’s now the only person on the force with this training.

Harry can use hypnosis to induce retrogression in a willing subject, and have them remember facts and details they would have been unable to voluntarily recall.


History

Bosch was born of an unknown father. His street-walking mother named him after the famous medieval painter. She raised Harry until he was 12, at which point a tribunal deemed her unsuitable and sent her son at the McLaren orphanage. Ms. Lowe died a few years later.

For four years the kid drifted between the orphanage and host families, as none of the latter worked out.

The family he was placed with at 16 wasn’t a bad match – but as it turned out there was an agenda. The man of the house had suggested that a baseball match take place among the orphanage teenagers, and offered to take Hieronymous in as he was the most talented left-hander of the lot. The plan was to make a fortune as a baseball coach by fielding a good left-hander.

Discovering this, and the constant baseball training, angered the youth. Thus, Harry Bosch enlisted with the military in order to leave.

Hieronymous spent nine months in infantry training in North Carolina, during which the war in Việt Nam reached its full intensity. Bosch served there for 15 months. For much of that time he was a tunnel rat, clearing the VC tunnel networks with a knife, a pistol and explosives. Though he came back in one piece, he suffered from significant PTSD  problems.

This ain’t Hell, but you can see it from here

Being attracted toward justice and not having much training for civilian jobs, Bosch joined the LAPD as a beat cop. His career with the force was brilliant, and he rose to detective very quickly. However, he also developed a reputation as a lone wolf and a hard case, albeit one getting results.

Bosch solved the very high profile “Dollmaker” serial killer case, but it went wrong at the last minute. The detective gunned down the maniac in what he thought was self-defense. But as it turned out the suspect wasn’t armed.

Given his track record, his 20 years on the force and his high public profile (as the “Dollmaker” case inspired a movie, then a TV series) Bosch wasn’t fired for this accidental kill. Instead he was reassigned to Hollywood, an area called “the gutter” among the LAPD officers.

Bosch resumed his career as a homicide detective there. Oddly, this is where the highest-profile cases of his long career started chaining up.


Personality

Hieronymous Bosch is a sad, lonely, somber, menacing, obsessive man. He has an undeniable presence and intensity to him.

His personality is dominated by his bad Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder issues. He suffers from insomnia and nightmares, and his obsessive behaviour is almost pathological. To keep his issues under control he’s a terminal workaholic. But of course as a big city detective, investigating homicides, and working in Los Angeles his job is an endless source of massive stress.

He experiences as a lot of aggression and death on a weekly basis, and his work include such tasks as announcing deaths to families. His long career also repeatedly exposed him to earthquakes, gang violence, fires, drug wars, traffic accidents and the like.

Other PTSD-related symptoms and behaviours include chain smoking, and drinking. He chiefly consumes Henry beer, though – he’s not a hard drinker or an alcoholic. Bosch also harbours a passion for jazz music – good jazz allows him to relax.

Other traits

He also has a poor temper, no inhibition whatsoever about conflict, and a low tolerance for incompetence. Bosch is clearly too conflict-prone, and often comes to dislike people for no rational reason as irritation and aggression can build up from small random things.

With a childhood spent in the street and orphanages, Hieronymous wants to see justice for all. This combines with his strong obsessive tendencies to turn into a crusade. No murder is unimportant for him, and unlike most of his colleagues he takes the death of a street urchin or a prostitute as an important crime that has to be solved. Though with Bosch, “avenged” might be a better term.

His methods as a detective are traditional and based on meticulous, hard work. He spends long hours studying his notes, previous files, interrogation cassettes, legwork intelligence and the like. He has long since stopped believing in coincidences, and knows that the key to a case is often minutes details that do not quite make sense.

When he reaches an investigative dead end he’ll just study all his material again, from the start.


Description

This writeup represents Bosch at 44. Though he used to be fairly attractive — looking a bit like actor Hugh Laurie — he now looks tired and emaciated. He has dark brown — almost black — eyes, light brown hair and a small cop moustache.

He usually wears business suits in a light colour. His favourite tie has little gladiator helmets printed on it, and is held by a pin shaped like the number 187 (meaning a homicide in LAPD code).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Justice
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Police detective
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 04
Init: 014 HP: 010

Powers:
Recall: 06, Regeneration: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Recall is Usable on Others (+5)
  • Recall is Only Usable on Others (-1)
  • Recall requires full hypnosis preparation (-1)

Skills:
Charisma (Interrogation): 07, Detective (all but Law): 06, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Demolition): 05, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 05, Thief (Locks & safes, stealth): 04

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (L.A., Hollywood), Credentials (LAPD, Medium), Familiarity (Criminal law), Expertise (Jazz lore), Language (Spanish), Police Rank (Detective with the LAPD), Sharp Eye

Connections:
LAPD (Low, from Credentials), LAPD Internal Affairs (High), L.A. Press (High), Attorney general office (Low)

Drawbacks:
SIA toward Justice, MIA toward Cigarettes and alcohol (mostly beer), Minor Rage, Minor PI (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Equipment:
Smith & Wesson M5906 pistol [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 15, R#02]

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: The Harry Bosch detective novels by Michael Connelly.

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