“Bosch,” the Amazon Prime television series based on the books by Michael Connelly, is back with its fifth season, and remains in my view the gold standard for how to adapt a novel for a visual medium. (I hope that Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg do half as well in their adaptation of Ace Atkins’ “Wonderland,” featuring Robert B. Parker’s iconic detective Spenser, for Netflix.)

The season is largely based on Connelly’s novel “Two Kinds of Truth,” which also provides the title for the premiere episode. Bosch reveals the title’s meaning in this comment to his daughter: “There are two kinds of truth, Mads. The kind that comes from darkness, gets bent, manipulated for someone’s self-interest and the kind you carry inside and know is real.” In this season, Bosch’s sense of truth gets challenged when he is accused of manipulating evidence in an old murder case; villains and allies emerge in unexpected places.

Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, who by now has populated more than 20 novels in addition to five seasons of television (a sixth season already has been ordered by Amazon), has always served as a kind of moral barometer in his desire to seek justice and know truth (even as he realizes that these are not always the same thing); his code is encapsulated in the line, “Everybody matters, or nobody matters.” In the TV series, Titus Welliver continues to do an outstanding job communicating the character’s burdens and knowledge of the dark state of many people’s souls … he is relentless in his pursuits, and in his single-parent relationship with college-age daughter Maddie (well played by Madison Lintz).

The reason the series is such a good adaptation is that the producers - including Connelly, which matters, I think - know what to keep from the books and what to jettison to make it work visually and dramatically. Some things are updated, but the tone of the books is captured through the dialogue, photography, and the jazz that Bosch plays on his old turntable - driving, mournful, and deeply soulful. Like Bosch.

I said it before and will say it again. Read the books. Watch the series. Do it in order if you can, but know that they are both exceptional pieces of work.



Back Monday. Have a great weekend.

Slàinte!