This is the fourth Michael Connelly novel, first published back in 1995, and like the three before it is built around a few days in the life of Hollywood detective Harry Bosch, one of the best-drawn and developed leading characters in contemporary crime fiction. It's a testament to Connelly's skill that while told in the third person the entire story features Bosch on every page yet it draws the reader in from the beginning and there really is never a dull moment. As the tale revolves around Bosch's freelance efforts to find out who murdered his mother some 35 years earlier (in 1961) I was quickly reminded of a similar kind of story by James Ellroy entitled MY DARKEST PLACES (1996). That wasn't a novel however, as Ellroy's late mother (like the fictitious Bosch's) was a prostitute who really was murdered in Hollywood in 1958. Strange that the circumstances and even the time span should be so similar.
THE LAST COYOTE will be like a comfortable sofa, a perfectly fitting glove, a favourite late-night drink for all those who love Bosch and Connelly's writing in general. If you have yet to sample his wares then here is as good a place as any to start (it won't spoil your enjoyment of any of the first three Bosch stories) and if you've only read Connelly's more recent efforts then don't for one moment think that he's better now than he was back then; the fact is, he has always been great and he sets the standards for other crime fiction series writers to aspire to.