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The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly

The Last Coyote (1995)

by Michael Connelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Bosch (4)

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2,318622,725 (3.93)35
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I like all Connelly's novels, but to my mind, this is the best of the Bosch series. ( )
  Lou_Cadle | Aug 24, 2014 |
“The Last Coyote” is the fourth book in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly. The title of the book comes from Bosch’s frequent dreams and sightings of a coyote near his home in Los Angeles.

This book is different from the first three in the series. Bosch is suspended from duty after punching his commanding officer in the face and is undergoing therapy sessions with a psychologist. He also broke up with his girlfriend a few months ago. In short, he’s a mess, and it feels so in the book. The atmosphere is much darker and pessimistic than in previous books.

The mission Bosch is after here is solving a murder that took place decades ago, his mother’s murder. She worked as a prostitute and was found one day dumped in a Hollywood alley. The murder was never solved and many loose ends were left unexplored. Bosch realizes he cannot get on with his life without closure on this case, so – devoid of his badge and gun – he embarks on a personal mission to find out who killed his mother. The trail leads him to some surprising and prominent figures whose paths his mother crossed. In the end, as usual, the real killer is actually someone quite different.

I didn’t like this book as much as the previous ones. Solving his mother’s murder was supposed to be some highlight in Bosch’s life, but the dark and depressing mood of this story somehow manages to ruin the “joy” of reading a crime thriller. Bosch is doing way too much navel gazing in this novel. Hopefully he will be back to himself in future books in the series. ( )
  ashergabbay | Aug 5, 2014 |
I wondered when Timido was going to become relevant again-or why he received so much attention while Harry was with Sylvia. Nice allegory.
And wonderful continued tie in of then current events in LA to the story. What I found confusing was that so few pages were dedicated to the attack that had Bosch on ISL that I was thinking I missed a book. I wondered when his mother would become An Issue and I liked the way of resolving it. I've become a fan of Connelly's "think you know who it is, guess again!" type endings and found this one especially fascinating with Vaughn. ( )
  skinglist | Jul 8, 2014 |
[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]

This was an enjoyable read and a pretty good installment for the Harry Bosch series.

First off, I always enjoy Connelly’s complex plots and his numerous twists. Even when you think you have all the answers to the case, something inevitably comes along to prove you’re not quite there. And this book isn’t any different. There are a lot of subtle clues placed through the story that hint at a variety of different possibilities for the book’s resolution, but even when you’re reading with the utmost attention, you’ll never figure out all the answers before the end. And I enjoy that in a crime thriller — a murder mystery where all the answers are too obvious turns me off. I like not knowing; it’s what makes me keep reading.

I also enjoyed the characterization in this one. There were some new characters and some old ones, and I liked how they collectively influenced Harry throughout the book. No one seemed extraneous or unnecessary, and no characters were forced into the plot. Everyone fit right where they were needed most, and they were all very well written.

On the downside, I can’t say I enjoyed the romance very much in this book. While the character involved in the romance didn’t feel unnecessary, I felt she was too heavily used for being so quickly introduced, and the resulting romantic tangent of the plot was too long-winded for me. I would have prefered a more “hinted at” romantic storyline with foreshadowing about future involvement as opposed to the almost heavy-handed inclusion of it in this book. If the romance had been almost totally removed from this book, I wouldn’t have noticed anything missing. It was unnecessary and didn’t add much for me.

Overall, another great Bosch book, but I thought it had a couple minor problems. ( )
  TherinKnite | Jul 7, 2014 |
I discovered Michael Connelly quite by accident, while browsing the new paperback releases in the bookstore and being drawn to the cover of a book called "The Poet." After reading and enjoying that one, I caught up on Connelly by reading the first two quite good Harry Bosch novels, and then I read this masterpiece.

For those unfamiliar with Connelly's Bosch character, he is simply one of the most compelling characters in contemporary fiction. A detective in the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery Homicide unit, he is (among other things) a loner, a smoker, a Vietnam veteran "tunnel-rat," and a jazz afficionado. He lives by the motto "Everyone counts or no one counts." He has the word "hold" tattooed on the knuckles of one hand, and the word "fast" tattooed on the knuckles of the other.

This one opens with Bosch suspended from his duties (again) and placed on involuntary stress leave from the department. Part and parcel of his suspension is being forced to visit with a psychiatrist, whose recommendation he needs to be placed back on active duty. Trust me when I say that Harry is not a psychiatrist kind of guy.

As if that isn't enough, his stilted home in the Hollywood Hills has been damaged by a recent earthquake and is condemned by the city as dangerous and uninhabitable. He's still living there though, parking down the street and sneaking in and out so as not to be seen.

The suspension anyway gives Harry time to investigate a case that has long frustrated him, the death of his own prostitute mother. The breathless twists and turns this investigation takes are a masterwork of crime fiction.

Still, the most brilliant part of this book for me (and it's all brilliant) and what has stayed with me the most is the title itself. Early on in the book, Harry looks down from the balcony of his condemned home and sees a lone coyote, thinking to himself, it might be the last one in Los Angeles.

He couldn't be more wrong. ( )
  BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
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Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pinchera, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446619078, Mass Market Paperback)

Harry attacked his commanding officer and is suspended indefinitely, pending a psychiatric evaluation. At first he resists the LAPD shrink, but finally recognizes that something is troubling him and has for a long time. In 1961, when Harry was twelve, his mother, a prostitute, was brutally murdered, and no one has ever been accused of the crime.

With the spare time a suspension brings, Harry opens up the thirty-year-old file on the case and is irresistibly drawn into a past he has always avoided. It's clear that the case was fumbled and the smell of a cover-up is unmistakable. Someone powerful was able to divert justice and Harry vows to uncover the truth. As he relentlessly follows the broken pieces of the case, the stirred interest causes new murders and pushes Harry to the edge of his job... and his life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:46 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Taking a hard look at his life after a streak of bad luck, LAPD detective Harry Bosch decides to tackle the unsolved decades-old murder of his mother and uncovers a devastating truth.

» see all 13 descriptions

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