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Authors: Michael Connelly

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The Overlook

BOOK: The Overlook
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The Overlook (Harry Bosch)
Michael Connelly
Vision (2008)
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Tags: Fiction, Mystery Detective, General, Police Procedural, Thrillers, Suspense, Crime
Fictionttt Mystery Detectivettt Generalttt Police Proceduralttt Thrillersttt Suspensettt Crimettt

In his first case since he left the LAPD's Open Unsolved Unit for the prestigious Homicide Special squad, Harry Bosch is called out to investigate a murder that may have chilling consequences for national security. A doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance is found murdered in the trunk of his car. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor's death. With the cesium in unknown hands, Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city.
Soon, Bosch is in a race against time, not only against the culprits, but also against the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI (in the form of Harry's one-time lover Rachel Walling), who are convinced that this case is too important for the likes of the LAPD. It is Bosch's job to prove all of them wrong.

**

 

Synopsis

In his first case since he left the LAPD’s Open Unsolved Unit for the prestigious Homicide Special squad, Harry Bosch is called out to investigate a murder that may have chilling consequences for national security. A doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance is found murdered in the trunk of his car. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor’s death. With the cesium in unknown hands, Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city. Soon, Bosch is in a race against time, not only against the culprits, but also against the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI (in the form of Harry’s one-time lover Rachel Walling), who are convinced that this case is too important for the likes of the LAPD. It is Bosch’s job to prove all of them wrong.

 

 

The Overlook

Michael Connelly

 

A book in the Harry Bosch series

Copyright © 2006, 2007 by Hieronymus, Inc.

 

Portions of this novel were originally published in serial form in the
New York Times Magazine
.

 

To the librarian who gave me
To Kill a Mockingbird

 

 

 

ONE

 

THE CALL CAME AT MIDNIGHT. Harry Bosch was awake and sitting in the living room in the dark. He liked to think that he was doing this because it allowed him to hear the saxophone better. By masking one of the senses he accentuated another.

But deep down he knew the truth. He was waiting.

The call was from Larry Gandle, his supervisor in Homicide Special. It was Bosch’s first call out in the new job. And it was what he had been waiting for.

“Harry, you up?”

“I’m up.”

“Who’s that you got playing?”

“Frank Morgan, live at the Jazz Standard in New York. That’s George Cables you’re hearing now on piano.”

“Sounds like ‘All Blues.’”

“You nailed it.”

“Good stuff. I hate to take you away from it.”

Bosch used the remote to turn the music off.

“What’s the call, Lieutenant?”

“Hollywood wants you and Iggy to come out and take over a case. They’ve already caught three today and can’t handle a fourth. This one also looks like it might become a hobby. It looks like an execution.”

The Los Angeles Police Department had seventeen geographic divisions, each with its own station and detective bureau, including a homicide squad. But the divisional squads were the first line and couldn’t get bogged down on long-running cases. When a murder came with any sort of political, celebrity or media attachment, it was usually shuttled down to Homicide Special, which operated out of the Robbery-Homicide Division in Parker Center. Any case that appeared to be particularly difficult and time-consuming—that would invariably stay active like a hobby—would also be an immediate candidate for Homicide Special. This was one of those.

“Where is it?” Bosch asked.

“Up on that overlook above the Mulholland Dam. You know the place?”

“Yeah, I’ve been up there.”

Bosch got up and walked to the dining room table. He opened a drawer designed for silverware and took out a pen and a small notebook. On the first page of the notebook he wrote down the date and the location of the murder scene.

“Any other details I should know?” Bosch asked.

“Not a lot,” Gandle said. “Like I said, it was described to me as an execution. Two in the back of the head. Somebody took this guy up there and blew his brains out all over that pretty view.”

Bosch let this register a moment before asking the next question.

“Do they know who the dead guy is?”

“The divisionals are working on it. Maybe they’ll have something by the time you get over there. It’s practically in your neighborhood, right?”

“Not too far.”

Gandle gave Bosch more specifics on the location of the crime scene and asked if Harry would make the next call out to his partner. Bosch said he would take care of it.

“Okay, Harry, get up there and see what’s what, then call me and let me know. Just wake me up. Everybody else does.”

Bosch thought it was just like a supervisor to complain about getting woken up to a person he would routinely wake up over the course of their relationship.

“You got it,” Bosch said.

Bosch hung up and immediately called Ignacio Ferras, his new partner. They were still feeling their way. Ferras was more than twenty years younger and from another culture. The bonding would happen, Bosch was sure, but it would come slowly. It always did.

Ferras was awakened by Bosch’s call but became alert quickly and seemed eager to respond, which was good. The only problem was that he lived all the way out in Diamond Bar, which would put his ETA at the crime scene at least an hour off. Bosch had talked to him about it the first day they had been assigned as partners but Ferras wasn’t interested in moving. He had a family support system in Diamond Bar and wanted to keep it.

Bosch knew that he would get to the crime scene well ahead of Ferras and that would mean he would have to handle any divisional friction on his own. Taking a case away from the divisional squad was always a delicate thing. It was a decision usually made by supervisors, not by the homicide detectives on the scene. No homicide detective worth the gold trim on his badge would ever want to give away a case. That just wasn’t part of the mission.

“See you there, Ignacio,” Bosch said.

“Harry,” Ferras said, “I told you. Call me Iggy. Everybody does.”

Bosch said nothing. He didn’t want to call him Iggy. He didn’t think it was a name that matched the weight of the assignment and mission. He wished that his partner would come to that realization and then stop asking him.

Bosch thought of something and added an instruction, telling Ferras to swing by Parker Center on his way in and pick up the city car they were assigned. It would add minutes to his arrival time but Bosch planned to drive his own car to the scene and he knew he was low on gas.

“Okay, see you there,” Bosch said, leaving names out.

He hung up and grabbed his coat out of the closet by the front door. As he put his arms into it he glanced at himself in the mirror on the inside of the door. At fifty-six years old he was trim and fit and could even stand to add a few pounds, while other detectives his age were getting round in the middle. In Homicide Special, there was a pair of detectives known as Crate and Barrel because of their widening dimensions. Bosch didn’t have to worry about that.

The gray had not yet chased all of the brown out of his hair but it was getting close to victory. His dark eyes were clear and bright and ready for the challenge awaiting him at the overlook. In his own eyes Bosch saw a basic understanding of homicide work, that when he stepped out the front door he would be willing and able to go the distance—whatever that entailed—to get the job done. It made him feel as though he were bulletproof.

He reached across his body with his left hand to pull the gun out of the holster on his right hip. It was a Kimber Ultra Carry. He quickly checked the magazine and the action and then returned the weapon to its holster.

He was ready. He opened the door.

The lieutenant had not known a lot about the case but he had been right about one thing. The crime scene was not far from Bosch’s home. He dropped down to Cahuenga and then took Barham across the 101 Freeway. From there it was a quick run up Lake Hollywood Drive to a neighborhood of homes clustered on the hills surrounding the reservoir and the Mulholland Dam. They were expensive homes.

He worked his way around the fenced reservoir, stopping only for a moment when he came upon a coyote in the road. The animal’s eyes caught the headlights and glowed brightly. It then turned and sauntered slowly across the road, disappearing into the brush. It was in no hurry to get out of the way, almost daring Bosch to do something. It reminded him of his days on patrol, when he saw the same challenge in the eyes of most of the young men he encountered on the street.

After passing the reservoir he took Tahoe Drive farther up into the hills and then connected with the eastern terminus of Mulholland Drive. There was an unofficial overlook of the city here. It was posted with NO PARKING and OVERLOOK CLOSED AT DARK signs. But these were routinely ignored at all hours of the day and night.

Bosch pulled in behind the grouping of official vehicles—the Forensics van and the coroner’s wagon as well as several marked and unmarked police cars. There was an outer perimeter of yellow police tape surrounding the crime scene and inside this boundary was a silver Porsche Carrera with its hood open. It had been sectioned off by more yellow tape and this told Bosch that it was most likely the victim’s car.

Bosch parked and got out. A patrol officer assigned to the outer perimeter took down his name and badge number—2997—and allowed him under the yellow tape. He approached the crime scene. Two banks of portable lights had been erected on either side of the body, which was in the center of a clearing that looked down upon the city. As Bosch approached he saw forensics techs and coroner’s people working on and around the body. A tech with a video camera was documenting the scene as well.

“Harry, over here.”

Bosch turned and saw Detective Jerry Edgar leaning against the hood of an unmarked detective cruiser. He had a cup of coffee in his hand and appeared to be just waiting. He pushed himself off the car as Bosch came over.

Edgar had been Bosch’s partner once, back when he had worked in Hollywood Division. Back then Bosch was a team leader on the homicide squad. Now Edgar was in that position.

“Been waiting on somebody from RHD,” Edgar said. “Didn’t know it would be you, man.”

“It’s me.”

“You working this solo?”

“No, my partner’s on the way.”

“Your new partner, right? I haven’t heard from you since that mess over in Echo Park last year.”

“Yeah. So what do you have here?”

Bosch didn’t want to talk about Echo Park with Edgar. With anyone, as a matter of fact. He wanted to stay focused on the case at hand. It was his first call out since his transfer to Homicide Special. He knew there would be a lot of people watching his moves. Some of them would be people hoping he would fail.

Edgar turned so that Bosch could see what was spread out on the trunk of the car. Bosch took out glasses and put them on as he leaned in close to look. There wasn’t a lot of light but he could see an array of evidence bags. The bags separately contained items taken from the body. These included a wallet, a key ring and a clip-on name tag. There was also a money clip with a thick fold of currency and a BlackBerry that was still on, its green light flashing and ready to transmit calls its owner would never make or receive.

BOOK: The Overlook
7.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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