The Last Coyote is the third Harry Bosch book I’ve listened to, although I’ve been going through the series out of order. In this one, Michael Connelly gives us more insight into Harry’s past and how he became who he is.

Harry is not in a good place at the start of the novel. His girlfriend has left him; he’s living in a house that is comdemned due to earthquake damage; and he’s suspended from his job with the LAPD for attacking a superior officer. In order to get back on the job, he has to see the department’s psychiatrist, which he of course resists at first. Remember, he’s the tough guy. Eventually he does trust her and start to open up to her. He also comes to the decision to use his “time off” to work on the case that has haunted him all his life. When he was 12, his mother, a prostitute, was murdered, and after looking through the death book, Harry is sure that there was something fishy about the investigation, that there was some kind of cover-up.

Bosch is relentless about following the clues in each case, no matter where they lead, and this time they lead straight to some prominent players in LA politics and the LA police department, past and present. Bosch also has to confront his memories and things he has held true about his childhood that might not have been.

It’s a good mystery, full of twist and turns, action, more murders. I didn’t see the ending coming at all. The only way I knew that there was still something to be solved is that i had another hour to listen to even after he thought he had the answers.  The writing is compelling and gripping, and the story overall felt dark and gritty. There’s no joy in revisting the past.

This was not my favorite of the Bosch books I’ve read, for the same reasons that others will probably find it one of the best. He’s a little too introspective for me here, too philosophical, it’s more about emotions than actions. And I felt the sex scene was a little out of place. It wasn’t overly graphic or anything, just didn’t fit for me.

And there is a coyote, alone, living in the city, just like Harry, toughing it out. We get the idea that in some ways they’re both the last of their kind, the coyote one of the the few wild animals living in the hills around the city, Harry an honest cop who believes “everyone counts.”

3½ out of 5 stars

Category: Mystery – Police Procedural

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Harry Bosch #4
First published June 1, 1995
12 hours 53 minutes
Narrated by Dick Hill

Book source: Library

Harry Bosch Series

  1. The Black Ice
  2. The Concrete Blond
  3. Trunk Music
  4. A Darkness More Than Night
  5. City of Bones
  6. Lost Light
  7. The Narrows
  8. The Closers
  9. Echo Park
  10. The Overlook
  11. The Brass Verdict
  12. Nine Dragons
  13. The Reversal
  14. The Drop
  15. The Black Box (expected November 2012)