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It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

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City of Bones

by

City of Bones Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

The old lady had changed her mind about dying but by then it was too late. She had dug her fingers into the paint and plaster of the nearby wall until most of her fingernails had broken off. Then she had gone for the neck, scrabbling to push the bloodied fingertips up and under the cord. She broke four toes kicking at the walls. She had tried so hard, shown such a desperate will to live, that it made Harry Bosch wonder what had happened before. Where was that determination and will and why had it deserted her until after she had put the extension cord noose around her neck and kicked over the chair? Why had it hidden from her?

These were not official questions that would be raised in his death report. But they were the things Bosch couldn't avoid thinking about as he sat in his car outside the Splendid Age Retirement Home on Sunset Boulevard east of the Hollywood Freeway. It was 4:20 p.m. on the first day of the year. Bosch had drawn holiday call-out duty.

The day more than half over and that duty consisted of two suicide runs ?one a gunshot, the other the hanging. Both victims were women. In both cases there was evidence of depression and desperation. Isolation. New Year's Day was always a big day for suicides. While most people greeted the day with a sense of hope and renewal, there were those who saw it as a good day to die, some ?like the old lady ?not realizing their mistake until it was too late.

Bosch looked up through the windshield and watched as the latest victim's body, on a wheeled stretcher and covered in a green blanket, was loaded into the coroner's blue van. He saw there was one other occupied stretcher in the van and knew it was from the first suicide ?a thirty-four-year-old actress who had shot herself while parked at a Hollywood overlook on Mulholland Drive. Bosch and the body crew had followed one case to the other.

Bosch's cell phone chirped and he welcomed the intrusion into his thoughts on small deaths. It was Mankiewicz, the watch sergeant at the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"You finished with that yet?"

"I'm about to clear."

"Anything?"

"A changed-my-mind suicide. You got something else?"

"Yeah. And I didn't think I should go out on the radio with it. Must be a slow day for the media ?getting more what's-happening calls from reporters than I am getting service calls from citizens. They all want to do something on the first one, the actress on Mulholland. You know, a death-of-a-Hollywood-dream story. And they'd probably jump all over this latest call, too."

"Yeah, what is it?"

"A citizen up in Laurel Canyon. On Wonderland. He just called up and said his dog came back from a run in the woods with a bone in its mouth. The guy says it's human ?an arm bone from a kid."

Bosch almost groaned. There were four or five call outs like this a year. Hysteria always followed by simple explanation: animal bones. Through the windshield he saluted the two body movers from the coroner's office as they headed to the front doors of the van.

"I know what you're thinking, Harry. Not another bone run. You've done it a hundred times and it's always the same thing. Coyote, deer, whatever. But listen, this guy with the dog, he's an MD. And he says there's no doubt. It's a humerus. That's the upper arm bone. He says it's a child, Harry. And then, get this. He said . . ."

There was silence while Mankiewicz apparently looked for his notes. Bosch watched the coroner's blue van pull off into traffic. When Mankiewicz came back he was obviously reading.

"The bone's got a fracture clearly visible just above the medial epicondyle, whatever that is."

Bosch's jaw tightened. He felt a slight tickle of electric current go down the back of his neck.

"That's off my notes, I don't know if I am saying it right. The point is, this doctor says it was just a kid, Harry. So could you humor us and go check out this humerus?"

Bosch didn't respond.

"Sorry, had to get that in."

"Yeah, that was funny, Mank. What's the address?"

Mankiewicz gave it to him and told him he had already dispatched a patrol team.

"You were right to keep it off the air. Let's try to keep it that way."

Mankiewicz said he would. Bosch closed his phone and started the car. He glanced over at the entrance to the retirement home before pulling away from the curb. There was nothing about it that looked splendid to him. The woman who had hung herself in the closet of her tiny bedroom had no next of kin, according to the operators of the home. In death, she would be treated the way she had been in life, left alone and forgotten.

Bosch pulled away from the curb and headed toward Laurel Canyon.

Copyright © 2002 by Hieronymus, Inc.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780446611619
Author:
Connelly, Michael
Publisher:
Warner Books (NY)
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
Children
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Police
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
Subject:
Los angeles
Subject:
Bosch, Harry
Subject:
Los angeles (calif.)
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Harry Bosch
Series Volume:
150-490-675
Publication Date:
20030331
Binding:
Mass Market Paperbound
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
6.75x4.23x1.00 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

City of Bones Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Warner Books - English 9780446611619 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This riveting thriller finds Harry even more introspective than usual, and while the tight prose of the plot swirls around the mystery of the bones, Harry's turbulent life and career are changed forever in a stunning conclusion. Another thrilling winner for Connelly's many fans."
"Review" by , "Harry wanders deeper into that abyss this time than ever before, and it drives him to a shocking decision that will leave series fans reeling. Hard-boiled cop fiction at its most gripping."
"Review" by , "Michael Connelly is one of those masters...who can keep driving the story forward in runaway locomotive style."
"Review" by , "Recalls no one so much as Raymond Chandler...ambitious, skillful, moving, intricate, and clever....Connelly puts his foot on the gas and doesn't let up."
"Review" by , "High-voltage adventure....Connelly is a whiz at both cophouse politics and investigatory technique...thoughtful, knowing...spellbinding."
"Synopsis" by , Connelly's powerful "New York Times" bestseller finds Detective Harry Bosch intent on solving a 20-year-old murder case--with an explosive ending that will leave all Bosch fans shocked and breathless. "Great, gulp-in-one-sitting fun."--"Entertainment Weekly."
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