Jesse Stone vs. Harry Bosch

I just finished my second go ’round of the Prime series Bosch (2014-2022). There are eight seasons (to include Bosch: Legacy). Each with ten 1-hr episodes. The show is based on Michael Connelly’s (1956-) ongoing detective crime novels. Of which there are twenty-four (1992-2022). Because I had just finished binge watching Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone movies. Also on Prime, and that’s just how these things work.

Therefore, I made a command decision and decided to compare and contrast the two main characters. Because that’s just the way I am. Let’s get into it.

Contemporary Crime Novels

are what these shows are about. Featuring protagonists that are very similar, but different. There is some overlap in the time frame. However, Bosch continues right on through the pandemic years, whereas Jesse Stone’s reign ends in 2015. The settings are also different. Harry operates in Los Angeles while Jesse’s turf is a small town, Paradise, on the northeast Atlantic coast. However, Stone began his law enforcement career in Santa Monica.

The format

is also different. The Bosch show is a TV series of much greater length than the  Stone movies. Consequently, there is much more time to develop the characters and plots, etc. Notwithstanding, I found both shows to be “contemplative, tense, and gritty.” Ergo, perfect for non-stop watching. If you’re into that sort of thing, and have the time.


are very similar. A singular man (hero) takes on crimes of greed, debauchery, and murder – Against All Odds. The system he is a part of is corrupt as are many of his colleagues. Harry Bosch is a homicide detective in Hollywood, and Jesse Stone the police chief of Paradise.

Both men have an obsession with cold cases (unsolved old murders). They also can’t stand arrogant assholes. Many of whom are politicians, lawyers, reporters, bankers, and so on. Moreover, not necessarily the designated evil, sick sociopaths. Of which there are many.

Additionally, both men have special fondness for abandoned dogs and children. And of course, smart beautiful women. Of whom they have many sexual affairs with, but can’t quite manage to connect with intimately. Bad boys. Tough guys. Lousy partners.

Bosch is older than Stone, maybe a decade. Harry also has a teenage daughter who adores him. Stone has no children. Both are, of course, divorced and still in love with their ex.

Stone’s crib, surrounded by ocean
Bosch’s crib, w/a view of LA

Both Bosch and Stone live in isolated cribs, with great views. And, have only one way in by foot. Paranoid personalities? Or just being smart? Let’s get into it.


of both men are remarkably similar. I think, using the MBTI, they are both INTJ. The INTJ is known as the MASTERMIND! Because, well, it just is. They are super smart, intuitive, introverted, controlling, and very stable. INTJ’s can be very judgmental. In other words, always think they are right. Beyond/above the law? Insubordinate? That depends on who you ask.

Harry, sad and lonely
Jesse, sad and lonely

If I use the personality construct OCEAN, the two men are also similar.

I have them as being low in openness. They are rigid. More engineer than artist. Both are high in conscientiousness. Or very controlling. Both feel “hyper responsibility”. They are introverted. Preferring to keep their own counsel; and don’t like small talk. Talk in general. They are both very low in agreeableness. As in would rather be home alone. Bosch, listening to Jazz on his turntable and studying his cases. Stone drinking Scotch whiskey – Jonnie Walker Red. These guys are very stable. I.e. very low in neuroticism, or worry/anxiety.


Because Bosch is a series of much greater length, the show provides a good amount of detail of Harry’s formative years. By way of flashbacks. Therefore, we know why he is the way he is. His ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) score is very high. Regarding Stone, nothing.

Jesse Stone has a drinking problem. Which caused him to be fired from his LA homicide detective job. We don’t know why he drinks. If his drinking caused his marriage to break? Or he drinks because his marriage didn’t work. Jesse does go to therapy, but his shrink often asks, “Why is this so hard?”

We don’t know. As watchers, we can speculate.

The Setting

of current LA, Hollywood, I’m familiar with. My son lives there, where much of the action and crime takes place. If Hollywood is at all like the show – I wish he would get the hell out.

Beautiful ocean, mountains, and climate. Pretty women, and a lot of ugly, desperate people.

Paradise is beautiful, too. Small coastal village that challenges the song Try That In A small Town. My oh my, how crime does pay. In a small town. However, now that Jesse’s come to fight it – things are looking up.

In Conclusion

I’ll say, I love these two adaptations of fictional characters! I can relate. But, the shows are both very dark. There’s just not a lot to feel good about about how America and its people are depicted. Unless you like strong, tough men, getting down and dirty fighting crime.

I think I like Jesse Stone best. He’s got a good sense of humor and irony. Harry Bosch is callous and angry, most of time. Though tender with his dog and daughter.

I’d ride shotgun with either crime fighter. Have you seen them? What do you think?


I’ve started watching the 1980’s Magnum PI with Tom Selleck. Same guy but 35 years younger. The music is goofy. What were they thinking?






4 thoughts on “Jesse Stone vs. Harry Bosch

  1. Regarding Jesse Stone’s backstory and drinking. We, the watcher, the reader, the entertained, are informed that Stone was on the path of becoming a major league baseball shortstop. Then he tore up his shoulder and that ended his baseball career track. Maybe, Jesse took to whiskey as a pain killer – both physical and emotional. And then became addicted to the cure, and his drinking derails all his subsequent relationships. I’m not buying that. However, Dr. Dix, his therapist, clings to the notion that Stone was always an addict waiting to happen – no matter the cause.
    Therapy seems not to go anywhere, and yet … continues at $200. per session.
    Doctor and patient are kindred souls, more pals than in a professional relationship.
    Interesting … . what do you think?

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