The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch book 4
Little Brown, 2003 (originally published 1995)
Source: I borrowed the e-book from the library
It’s been a few months since I’ve read any American crime fiction– and it’s been a few years since I’ve read any Michael Connelly at all– so I decided to jump back into the Harry Bosch series set in Los Angeles. I decided to give the series another shot when I noticed that this particular book delved into Bosch’s back story: he investigates the 33 year old murder of his mother, a prostitute, while he’s on involuntary stress leave from the Los Angeles Police Department. I figured a little psychological insight and back story on the lone detective would be interesting, especially so early in the series. I did like the back story and therapy sessions in the book more than the actual mystery, in the end.
The book is set in 1993, a time very close to the Rodney King beating, which is still affecting the LAPD, and soon after a devastating earthquake that has made Bosch’s home unhabitable. The book finds Bosch at sea work-wise and home-wise, and that is his impetus for taking on an independent investigation into his mother’s unsolved murder. Early on he discovers the main players in the plan to keep his mother’s murder unsolved, but there are a few surprises along the way. I’m not too keen on his love interest in the book because she feels more like a plot device than a real person, but it’s not a horrible shortcoming of the book. The Last Coyote was a quick read for me, and I think I’ll read more of the series soon. If I hadn’t learned so much of Bosch’s backstory in this book, I wouldn’t be as interested in the rest of the series.
Another review appears in Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog.