The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch #5) by Michael Connelly

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About the book:

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is down on his luck – his house is condemned in the aftermath of the earthquake, his girlfriend has left him and he has been suspended for attacking his superior officer.

To occupy time, he examines the old case files covering a murder which took place on October 28, 1961. The victim was Marjorie Phillips Lowe – his mother . . .

The case forces Bosch to confront the demons of the past, and as he digs deeper into the case, he discovers a trail of cover-ups that lead to the high-ups in the Hollywood Hills…

The Last Coyote (Bosch 5) by Michael Connelly

My thoughts:

Continuing my re-read of the fantastic Harry Bosch series with the fourth book, The Last Coyote. Following on from the events in The Concrete Blonde (which I read but haven’t reviewed), Harry is on leave from the LAPD, and is required to have mandatory therapy with the LAPD’s therapist. This causes Harry to confront his past, even though he is adamant that he doesn’t want to talk to her about anything!

The Last Coyote is a very personal book, with Harry deciding to re-open an old murder case, his own mother’s murder to be precise. This decision takes Harry on an emotional journey into the past, whilst making things very uncomfortable for him in the present.

It is clear to him when he begins to investigate, that somebody covered up some things about his mother’s murder, and he sets out on a journey to figure out what happened. And to find justice for his mother.

The Last Coyote is a gripping read, with vulnerable Harry dealing with his mother’s death, and his suspension. It is a tautly-written and often emotional journey into his past, but it is beautifully done. Harry is one of my favorite characters ever, and The Last Coyote is a prime example for seeing his flaws, and how he tries to deal with everything thrown at him.

The Harry Bosch series is well-written, intricately plotted and full of heart.

Highly recommended, as always.

The Black Ice by Michael Connelly

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About the book:

When a body is found in a hotel room, reporters are soon all over the case: it appears to be a missing LAPD narcotics detective, apparently gone to the bad. The rumours were that he had been selling a new drug called Black Ice that had been infiltrating Los Angeles from the Mexican cartel.

The LAPD are quick to declare the death a suicide, but Harry Bosch is not so sure. There are odd mysteries and unexplained details from the crime scene which just don’t add up. Fighting an attraction to the detective’s widow, Bosch starts his own maverick investigation, which soon leads him over the borders and into a dangerous world of shifting identities, police politics and deadly corruption . . .

Click HERE to get yourself a copy!

About the author:

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A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series, and several other bestsellers including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer. The TV series – Bosch – is one of the most watched original series on Amazon Prime and is now in its third season. He has been President of the Mystery Writers of America, and his books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and have won awards all over the world, including the Edgar and Anthony Awards. He spends his time in California and Florida.

To find out more, visit Michael’s website or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

http://www.michaelconnelly.com

@Connellybooks

My thoughts:

Last year I decided I was going to re-read the Harry Bosch series in order (at my own pace), and The Black Ice is the second one from my list. I haven’t read them all, but any I had read I thoroughly enjoyed so figured why not go back to the start!

The Black Ice is another tightly plotted gem. It has a great story, introduces some great characters and it kept my attention from the very beginning. A body is found in a LA motel room, and it transpires it’s a missing LAPD Narcotics Detective. Rumours were rife that he had crossed over to the dark side, and death was quickly declare a suicide. But Harry has other ideas about it.

Things don’t add up for Harry. Unanswered questions about the crime scene, about the cop before he died and the people he was keeping company with lead Harry off on his own investigation. Harry ends up going across the border, but he finds far more than he bargained for while he is assessing the situation.

Corruption, drugs and police politics are all called into play in The Black Ice. The investigation takes many twists and turns for Harry, but he is determined in his quest for the truth of what happened to the LAPD Detective. Even when Harry finds himself in danger, he doesn’t give up.

I love this series, and the re-reading in order is definitely the best decision. Early Harry is so great to read about. He is without a doubt one of my favourite characters in fiction, EVER. Michael Connelly is such a brilliant writer too. His years as a police reporter are clearly evident in his writing. He captures subtle things that less experienced authors might miss. Characterisation is spot-on too. I can’t praise these books enough!

Highly recommended!

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

About the book:

Black Echo

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call-out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.

To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

My thoughts:

I’ve decided to go back to the start of the Harry Bosch novels, created by Michael Connelly, as I missed out on a fair few over the years. It was only natural to start at the beginning and re-introduce myself to Detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. My plan is to try to read one a month on top of my review books, so I read The Black Echo in April.

In The Black Echo, we meet Harry Bosch for the first time when he gets a call on his pager to attend the scene of a body that has been discovered in a drainage tunnel. What he finds leads him to believe there is more at play than just a simple drug-related death.

What startles Harry more though, is the fact that he recognises the dead body as someone he served with during the Vietnam War. A tunnel rat called Billy Meadows. Meadows used to run the tunnels and flush out anyone hiding in them, and these tunnels were dubbed the black echo.

What follows, during the course of the investigation, is the uncovering of far more than just one death. Corruption, conspiracy and so much more take place in The Black Echo. I had forgotten how good Connelly is at creating such a strong plot. Whilst it moves at a slower pace, nothing is out-of-place, there is no padding. The whole story fits together effortlessly and is supported with an excellent cast of characters.

I can’t recommend Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch series highly enough. A must for crime fiction readers! I can’t wait to pick up the next book. Hopefully I can sneak it in during May. 🙂

 

~Night Market by Daniel Pembrey~ Blog Tour~ Guest post

Hi everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the lovely Daniel Pembrey, author of Night Market, his latest novel in the excellent Henk van der Pol series. Daniel has done a great post for today’s stop, which you can catch further down. Here’s all of the important bookish information first!

About the book:

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When Henk van der Pol is asked by the Justice Minister to infiltrate a team investigating an online child exploitation network, he can hardly say no – he’s at the mercy of prominent government figures in The Hague. But he soon realises the case is far more complex than he was led to believe… Picking up from where The Harbour Master ended, this new investigation sees Detective Van der Pol once again put his life on the line as he wades the murky waters between right and wrong in his search for justice.

Sometimes, to catch the bad guys, you have to think like one. . .

Night Market by Daniel Pembrey

About the author:

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Daniel Pembrey grew up in Nottinghamshire beside Sherwood Forest. He studied history at Edinburgh University and received an MBA from INSEAD business school in France. Daniel then spent over a decade working in America and more recently Luxembourg, coming to rest in Amsterdam and London — dividing his time now between these two great maritime cities.

He is the author of the Henk van der Pol detective series and several short thriller stories, and he contributes articles to publications including The Financial Times, The Times and The Field. In order to write The Harbour Master, he spent several months living in the docklands area of East Amsterdam, counting De Druif bar as his local.

To receive occasional email updates and offers of free exclusive content, please sign up at http://www.danielpembrey.com. Daniel is also on Twitter, @DPemb.


KM: You just interviewed Michael Connelly for The Telegraph, [Investigate a different side of Los Angeles by Daniel Pembrey]  – and Titus Welliver, who plays Bosch *swoons*! Was Bosch a big influence on your own detective fiction?

 

DP: Very much so. I pretty much conceived my character as a Dutch Harry Bosch – which is sort of ironic, given that Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter – but I couldn’t find that type of police detective story when I began living in Amsterdam, so decided to write what I wanted to read.

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Michael Connelly in Los Angeles

 

KM: I have to ask you right away: what is Titus Welliver like?

 

DP: Very down to earth, for a prominent Hollywood actor. I visited the night time set where they were filming an outdoor chase between Bosch and the bad guy in remote, wooded terrain; in the story, it takes place on an island off the coast, but it was in fact shot in LA’s Griffith Park. Titus was calling his wife between takes, saying goodnight to his kids. He’s clearly a big family man …  a seriously cool guy.

 

KM: Bosch began 25 years ago, a lot younger, but your character, Henk, starts off close to retirement. Why did you make that choice?

 

DP: Generally I’m more interested in older characters. They have life experience, and mental scars, and tend to be more complex. It’s more engaging when they have to use their cunning and street smarts to take on a villain. It’s the same with Ian Rankin’s Rebus character: a physically imposing guy who was in the SAS, but who is now older, who has to use his contacts and wiles. That’s a more interesting character to write. How do you feel as the reader?

 

KM: Well, I agree … though a physically in-shape man has a certain appeal too!

 

DP: Henk van der Pol can still look after himself, physically. But your point is a good one, so I can reveal for the very first time here (*drum roll*) that I’m working on a new story – a novella, to start with – in which Henk is at the start of his career, in 1983. He’s a young man in a hurry, chasing after the woman, Petra, who is to become his wife, and working on the infamous Freddy Heineken kidnapping that year. The working title is Henk 83.

 

KM: Ooh, I like the sound of that! Has it been done before – writing an earlier version of an established detective character?

 

DP: I also just interviewed Jørn Lier Horst in Norway (coming soon to another newspaper near you!), and his latest book, When it Grows Dark, takes his William Wisting character back to 1983 too. Mankell did a similar thing with Wallander, in The Pyramid.

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Jørn Lier Horst in Stavern, Norway

 

KM: Fab. So when will ‘Henk 83’ be out?  

 

DP: All being well, later this year. Hopefully in time for Christmas. It takes a lot of of research. I’ve tracked down one of the police detectives who ran the Heineken case. I’m also watching ‘80s Dutch films; it was a different city then, much more edgy. There was open drug use in the streets, people lived in squats. Canal-side houses, which now go for millions, are vacant.

 

KM: The location is key for you?

 

DP: It really is. This was something else I learned from Connelly and his use of Los Angeles for Bosch, which I wanted to explore in that Telegraph article. Rankin, Edinburgh and Rebus; Horst, Vestfold County and Wisting. These characters not only inhabit their settings but also grow organically from them.

 

KM: Can location be restricting?

 

DP: Possibly, eventually. Connelly rotates his characters – he has Haller, the defense attorney, and a couple of others. For me, it was important that my character could get out and rove around the Benelux region (and beyond). So his investigations take him to Brussels, Antwerp, London, and even Norway – William Wisting’s beat, as it happens.

 

KM: But he returns Amsterdam.

 

DP: He does. It’s his beat. And it’s a great beat to have.

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Photo by Dirk Bakker