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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bosch gets testy
It's only been in the past couple of weeks that veteran L.A. homicide detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch pushed his boss's face through the plate glass window of the latter's office. You see, Lt. Pounds - the consummate desk jockey - had interfered with one of Harry's interrogations, which resulted in the (probably guilty) suspect walking free. Now, Bosch is on...
Published on 13 Dec 2002 by Joseph Haschka

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Last Coyote
Bosch finally gets around to investigating the death of his mother.

Mmmm..... Connelly writes convincingly about Bosch's state of mind, and creates an atmospheric LA for Bosch to move around. Unfortunately I found the actual plot of the book fairly predictable. The identity of the murderer didn't surprise me. Having read these in order, I think it's fairly...
Published on 28 Aug 2010 by Rich


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bosch gets testy, 13 Dec 2002
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
It's only been in the past couple of weeks that veteran L.A. homicide detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch pushed his boss's face through the plate glass window of the latter's office. You see, Lt. Pounds - the consummate desk jockey - had interfered with one of Harry's interrogations, which resulted in the (probably guilty) suspect walking free. Now, Bosch is on involuntary stress leave with orders to see the department head doctor. To kill time between appointments, Harry unofficially re-opens an unsolved 30+ year-old murder case, that of his mother, a Hollywood hooker. Then there's his Hollywood Hills home, damaged by a recent earthquake and subsequently earmarked for demolition, to worry about. It makes for angst that would cause testiness even in the Pope. And, when Lt. Brockman of Internal Affairs brings Bosch in for the third degree regarding his tense relationship with the Lieutenant, our hero loses it:

"In one explosive move, Bosch shoved the table toward Brockman, catching him completely by surprise. It slid under his arms and crashed into his chest. His chair tipped back against the wall behind him. He kept the pressure on his end and pinned Brockman against the wall... He saw the blotches of color on Brockman's face become more pronounced as he went without air. His eyes bugged."

The fictional road to this book's conclusion is the well-travelled one through police and political chicanery, either of which I can read about in the daily newspaper if I feel the unlikely compulsion. Rather, since each of us perhaps occasionally feels that mad urge for self destruction, the fun of THE LAST COYOTE is watching Bosch be a bull in his own china shop and then clean up the shards. Even that would earn it only four stars, in my opinion, except that the completely unexpected plot twist in the last ten pages merits it the ultimate fifth. If you're still bothering to fly the nation's unfriendly skies, or you're just stuck in a long post office que, THE LAST COYOTE is the perfect distraction to numb the experience.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Bosch novel, 26 Oct 2005
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This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
'The Last Coyote' is the fourth in the consistently excellent Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly. As many detective series before it, the Harry Bosch series now has its reflective novel. After 2/3 books it seems that authors often like to look deeper into the characters past and flesh them out for future adventures. This can fall flat, like Jonathon King's 'Shadow Men' but in the case of 'The Last Coyote' it works well.
Bosch has been suspended after punching his ineffectual boss. During his forced leave of absence he decides to finally look back on the murder of his mother that has gone unsolved for 30 years. The book involves a lot of soul searching but also an adventure in the present.
It is this action, caused by Bosch's medaling in the past, that drives the book on. The first third feels a bit labored but the novel picks up when people's noses begin to be put out of place. With the final third being an excellent read Connelly manages to save a struggling book from going down a mediocre route. Not the best in the series but a worthy addition. I would still advise first time readers of Connelly to read one of his first two novels to begin with.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Connelly thriller, 27 Jun 2000
This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
For me this is probably the best of the Bosch books. The first one I read took me some time to get into, but from then on I have been hooked! He gives the characters a depth that is lacking in too many thrillers, and the twists in this book are brilliantly done keeping one gripped until the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Last Coyote, 28 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
Bosch finally gets around to investigating the death of his mother.

Mmmm..... Connelly writes convincingly about Bosch's state of mind, and creates an atmospheric LA for Bosch to move around. Unfortunately I found the actual plot of the book fairly predictable. The identity of the murderer didn't surprise me. Having read these in order, I think it's fairly obvious from the first book Harry would investigate his mother's murder, so it feels a little calculated.

Connelly has a problem in that despite being able to describe what Bosch thinks and feels in his words and actions, he can't resist writing another paragraph spelling out exactly what Bosch thinks and feels. I found this very patronising. Interesting that the passages with his psychiatrist, which are primarily dialogue are the most effective in the book. Connelly also spends far too much time describing Bosch's car journeys in detail. This slows things down considerably.

I can see the importance of this book in the series and in developing Bosch's character who's still an interesting, likeable protaganist, but overlength and overstatement, prevent this from being an excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted thriller, suspense to the last page, 9 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
I got this book from the library and was unprepared for the amount of time I then spent unable to put it down...now I will have to buy it! You would think that the story of a Los Angeles detective suspended and receiving counselling (for punching and seriously injuring his boss), who decides to investigate the unsolved murder of his mother thirty years previously, would be another run-of-the mill American detective novel, - but I assure you it is not. Michael Connelly builds the character of Harry (Hieronymous!) Bosch skilfully, so that one's compassion as well as interest is aroused, as his psychiatric counselling takes him (and the reader) into feeling and believing his stressed state of mind. Meanwhile the unsolved murder begins to affect the present, and more murders take place... This is a book which explores the hero's mind as well as his actions, a pacey and gripping piece of suspense writing which you will want to read again...more slowly!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bosch's Mission Gets Personal !, 15 April 2006
This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
"The Last Coyote" is Michael Connelly's fourth book, was first published in 1995 and features Harry Bosch as its central character. Something of Bosch's background has been covered in the previous three books. Bosch's mother was a prostitute who was murdered when he was twelve - he spent his teenage years in and out of youth halls. He enlisted in the army and served in Viet-Nam, before returning home and joining the police force. Once a member of the LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division, Bosch currently works at the Hollywood Division's Homicide table. He's still a jazz-loving loner, seen by some as a maverick, with a taste for coffee, beer and cigarettes. There have been some changes in his life since the end of "The Concrete Blonde", though - his relationship with Sylvia Moore has finished and his house has been damaged in a recent earthquake. Despite the fact that it's been declared unfit for habitation, he's still unofficially living there.

As "The Last Coyote" opens, Bosch is in trouble with the department again. After his boss, the bureaucratic Harvey "98" Pounds, interfered with the questioning of a suspect, Bosch lost his temper and pushed Pounds head-first through an office window. As a result, he's been placed on involuntary stress leave and has to attend regular sessions with Dr Carmen Hinojos, a psychiatrist at Behaviorial Sciences Division. These sessions contribute to Bosch deciding to investigate the one case that really matters to him : his mother's murder. Although he's working on the case unofficially and has lost his badge - albeit temporarily - he still manages to pull the original case file. Opened in October 1961, it was investigated at the time by two detectives called Eno and McKittrick. Leaving aside the apparent lack of effort to solve the case, a few things seem odd to Harry. The mentions an interview with Johnny Fox - his mother's pimp, and therefore an obvious suspect. However, the file doesn't contain an interview summary. A passing reference to Arno Conklin also catches his eye. At the time, Conklin would have been one of the city's top prosecutors and subsequently became the city's DA. Although exactly what role he had is unclear, his involvement in the case seems curious. The only other person apparently interviewed was Meredith Roman - a 'colleague' and old friend of his mother's, who'd also worked for Johnny Fox. The starting point, Harry feels, is to track these people down - though cut off from the LAPD's resources, he has to be a little more creative than usual in how he achieves this. He starts by using a new contact at the LA Times, Keisha Russell, to gather some stories on Conklin and Fox. Based on what he's read, Harry adds Conklin's campaign manager, Gordon Mittel, to his list of suspects. For other police-related information, Harry isn't above 'borrowing' Harvey Pound's identity to acquire it. However, just because a case is over thirty years old doesn't mean the investigation will be safe - least of all when important people are involved.

As with Connelly's previous books, I found this to be a very enjoyable book - and it deals with the very case I had wondered about. It's probably better, though not strictly necessary, to read the books in order. The 'newcomer' won't feel left out, as this book covers enough of Bosch's past to tell the story without any gaps. However, reading the previous books and getting to know the 'full story' will add to the enjoyment of this instalment. The other books ("The Black Echo", "The Black Ice" and "The Concrete Blonde") are very enjoyable also - reading them will be anything other than a burden !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read - Connelly just gets better and better!, 10 Oct 2011
By 
Nigel Mc (The Chilterns) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
This is the 4th Connelly book that I have read and for me it was the most enjoyable. He just gets better and better! Previously I had preferred the books that concentrated on his lawyer character - Mickey Haller. However, after this book I am switching my preference to Harry Bosch the detective. Aside from creating a very good story I think that the characterization of Bosch is so good. I also think that Connelly brings a good understanding of the culture of policing with all its warts and imperfections.

I felt that I had a pretty good idea of the line of the story and the possible outcome but Connelly will fool most readers with the final twist of the story. I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic cop genre - one of the best around, 26 Aug 2011
By 
Keith Lawson (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
Always a treat to read a Harry Bosch story. Bosch is a classic, no-nonsence, hard grafting police detective.With his own sense of right and wrong and no time for politics he often has to fight the system to get the bad guys. This time it's personal - investigating the death of his mother, a prostitute who died when he was a child. It goes to a deeper emotional level that the earlier novels but is still as riveting. All this may sound like a cliched plot, but it is top of the range stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OLD-SCHOOL DETECTIVE FICTION............, 29 Dec 2009
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
What I like best about Michael Connelly is that he writes old fashioned detective fiction. There are none of the modern miss characters doing there best to show that they beat the lads down. Harry Bosch is a loner. He is a hard-drinking smoker who is his own worst enemy and puts one in mind of Sam Spade or Mike Hammer.
In this novel, he has been temporarily "sent" on stress leave because he has put the Lieutenant's head through the office window because he interfered in an interrogation of a guy Harry had arrested. With time on his hands, and his house cited for demolition due to an earthquake, Harry starts to investigate the thirty-five year old murder of his mother. Before long he is up to the eyes in corrupt cops and politicians.
There is the usual love interest and beatings, not to mention the murder of the afore mentioned Lieutenant, and a few others.
This is a long book, and at times the wording is clumsy and I found myself having to read sentences over and over slowly to get them to make sense, but overall it was enjoyable.
It is an insight into the man himself and we learn a lot about him. He is a human coyote. Wild and distanced from the masses.
A thoroughly good book but I was a bit disappointed with the rather weak ending ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unusually Resonant, Emotionally Powerful Mystery, 22 Dec 2009
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Last Coyote (Paperback)
"The Last Coyote," an early novel by American mystery author Michael Connelly, is the fourth of the writer's bestselling Harry Bosch detective series that now numbers fourteen published works. That is, if you don't count inThe Brass Verdict, a recent bestselling Mickey Haller-Harry Bosch novel. The series, Los Angeles-set police procedurals, looks at life on the "noir" side; Connelly is a former journalist, a crime beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, who certainly earned his spurs in murder while earning his daily bread. His recent standalones,The Brass Verdict; The Scarecrow and The Lincoln Lawyer, have all been #1 New York Times Bestsellers.Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers, a non-fiction collection of his journalism, was also a New York Times bestseller, as most of his previous standalones have been, too.

The novel at hand finds veteran detective Bosch suspended, after doing a bit too much acting out. His house has been condemned after an earthquake; he's having trouble with a girlfriend. So, to while away the time, he looks into a cold case, the October 28, 1961 murder of Marjorie Phillips Lowe, his mother. In this regard, "The Last Coyote," like the novel that followed it, Trunk Music, is unusually resonant, and emotionally powerful, as each centers around the most important relationship known to humans, mother and child. The novel is further fueled by the great mileage the writer gets out of the last coyote metaphor, as Bosch searches, poignantly, for the killer of his mother, an LA whore. He introduces the animal early: "He saw a coyote step out of the brush of the arroyo to the left of the roadway and take a tentative look around the intersection. There were no other cars. Only Bosch saw this. The animal was thin and ragged, worn by the struggle to sustain itself in the urban hills. The mist rising from the arroyo caught the reflection of the street lights and cast the coyote in almost a dim blue light. And it seemed to study Bosch's car for a moment, its eyes catching the reflection of the stoplight and glowing. For just a moment Bosch believed that the coyote might be looking directly at him. Then the animal turned and moved back into the blue mist."

Connelly is a wonderful writer, my favorite among American mystery authors, and I've read all his books save "Scarecrow." (Like many other readers, I imagine, I prefer his series works to his standalones: like many other writers, his mysteries seem more powerful if they are filtered through the sensibilities of his detective protagonist.) At any rate, Connelly's plots drive like Mack trucks; furthermore, they are usually fresh, tight, riveting, complex. His narrative and descriptive writing is terse and witty, informed by his deep, accurate knowledge of police work, after several years on the cop shop beat. His dialog snaps. He explicates his love of jazz as he goes. And his mise en scene writing: well, it's heartfelt, written by a man in love with a city, and it's so precise that a stranger could find his way around LA with a few of his books as guides. His books clearly follow in the footsteps of earlier outstanding hardboiled Los Angeles authors Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, but add the further ingredients of a police procedural, as they chart the career of Connelly's creation, LAPD Detective Bosch, assigned to Hollywood Homicide.

If you've come to Connelly's work through his later, better-known books, it's worth doubling back to this one.
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