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The Harry Bosch Novels Volume 2: The Last Coyote, Trunk Music, Angels Flight    by Michael Connelly order for
Harry Bosch Novels Volume 2
by Michael Connelly
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2003 (1995)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The first volume of Harry Bosch Novels included The Black Echo, The Black Ice and The Concrete Blonde. Volume 2 continues with The Last Coyote, Trunk Music and Angels Flight. Though I had already read these when they were first released in the 90s, it was fun to re-read them all together and from the perspective given by later episodes in the series, in particular Lost Light.

Harry Bosch is forced to deal with baggage from his orphaned childhood in The Last Coyote. After attacking his boss, Harry is on 'involuntary stress leave', seeing the department psychologist three times weekly. His home has been rendered officially uninhabitable by earthquake damage and his last relationship fizzled out. Harry uses the time to re-open a very cold, clearly mishandled, case - the murder of a prostitute, who happened to be his mother. He doggedly works his way through a maze of lies, and crashes through fences around powerful men to an astonishing truth. It's Harry who is 'the last coyote', an old style detective with integrity.

Trunk Music opens on the discovery of a body in the trunk of a Rolls. Harry's leave is over and he's 'team leader' on the murder. He works with his old partner Jerry Edgar and a wonderful new officer, Kizmin, who is in a gay relationship with their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Grace Billets. The investigation soon takes Harry to Las Vegas and ex-lover, ex-FBI agent, and now ex-con, Eleanor Wish. The mob and money laundering are involved, and an easily angered Harry gets into conflict with the Organized Crime Investigation Division, the FBI and Internal Affairs investigators. His relationship with Eleanor heats up, despite the career risk involved for him in association with a criminal. And he gets his man, naturally.

Harry is still partnered with Edgar and Kizmin in Angels Flight, but his relationship with Eleanor is going down the tubes. He is handed a politically red hot case, when two bodies are found in a railcar of the short inclined railroad, Angels Flight. One of them is an activist attorney who made his living by 'probing the inflamed nerve of racism in the city' and was hated by a myriad of men in blue, whom he sued over the years. This episode involves child pornography as well as racism. When an old friend comes under suspicion of the murders, Harry's loyalties are torn. But, personally flawed as he is, Bosch is a brilliant investigator, who ignores organizational politics and the media, and keeps digging.

As always, Connelly's novels take a view of policing that has a cynical veneer (adminstrators who run scams on crime statistics etc.) over the deeper, more idealistic perspective that 'Everybody counts or nobody counts' taken by his hero. Harry 'Hieronymus' Bosch is one of the greats in cop characters, and this omnibus volume will be a welcome opportunity for many to be immersed or re-immersed in his adventures.

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