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The Last Coyote is another of Michael Connelly's Detective Harry Bosch novels however this one is noticeably different to the others I have read. In The Last Coyote Bosch has been suspended from work due to a violent outburst that involved another Officer's face and a window getting up close and personal. Rather than just fire him his superior Irvin Irving decides to send Bosch for psychiatric evaluation in an attempt to get him back on the job. Bosch naturally resents the idea of seeing a psychiatrist and having them pick over his mind as he is extremely secretive and withdrawn but it's the only way to get his job back.
As well as these problems Bosch's house has been condemned after an earthquake shifted it slightly from it's hillside position and although he has been told he cannot live there anymore he is doing.
As I said before this book is very different to the other Bosch stories, the reason for this is because Bosch isn't at work investigating homicides. Due to having time on his hands he decides to clear up a case from the sixties that has remained unsolved. The case is the murder of his prostitute Mother, Marjory Lowe, who was found strangled and dumped in an alley when Bosch was just a child.
This book is slightly slower in pace than the other Bosch books I've read, I think it's largely because of the psychiatric sessions and the lack of a partner helping Bosch. As we sift through the evidence with Harry Bosch we learn more about the man himself, we see a softer side to the usually emotionally reserved Bosch and hear more about his childhood where he was taken from his Mother and placed in an orphanage.
Along the way we meet some characters from his Mother's past and some of the officers who worked the case, the psychiatrist who is treating Bosch who he develops a bit of a soft spot for and a new love interest. But don't be fooled into thinking Harry Bosch has gone soft!
In typical Bosch style he breaks the rules to find out information, gets his teeth into the case and won't let go until he has the answer and takes a few wrong turns along the way. Naturally more people die when he starts meddling in a thirty five year old case and the conclusion is a great twist at the end.
Although not the usual Bosch book this one is as complicated as the others, the way the author builds the evidence into the conclusion has you knowing there will be a twist at the end but unsure exactly what this twist will be until you are almost there. The more detailed characterisation of Harry Bosch leaves you with a deeper understanding of how he became the Detective and the man he is today and makes him an even more likeable guy than he already was.
The style of writing remains the same and keeps the reader interested in the case throughout. I did wonder at one point if this would be one case Bosch couldn't solve but he does eventually.
I bought my copy for a £1 from a local discount store but this book currently sells on Amazon for £5.49 or much cheaper on Amazon Marketplace. If you like the Detective Harry Bosch books this is a must for you, it will give you a greater understanding of Bosch and the usual whodunnit story as well.
The Last Coyote is the fourth novel from award winning crime author Michael Connelly, and the fourth featuring his character Detective Harry Bosch.
Suspended from his job as LAPD detective, Harry Bosch is kicking his heels with nothing to do. He reopens the file concerning his mother's death, a prostitute many years ago, and, determined to solve the case, he follows a trail which takes him back to the past, and some faces from the past, too.
Connelly tries something a little different here. He takes a hiatus from Bosch as an active detective, and concentrates on character development. We see Bosch's history in a different light, and see him as a person, not just a detective.
Connelly's writing style suits the digging into the past, and he handles the change in direction very well, all the while keeping track of what is going on with Bosch's suspension and current situation. The words flow effortlessly, making for easy reading.
All in all, this is a very good novel in terms of character building and development. I was pleased with it, although it was strange to have a Bosch novel taking a different tack.
Another solid novel from Connelly, although not his best.
I rate this book at 3 stars out of 5.
The book is available from amazon.co.uk for £4.19.
This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.
Thanks for reading.