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The Closers (Harry Bosch)

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The Closers (Harry Bosch) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

I

Within the practice and protocol of the Los Angeles Police Department a two-six call is the one that draws the most immediate response while striking the most fear behind the bulletproof vest. For it is a call that often has a career riding on it. The designation is derived from the combination of the Code 2 radio call out, meaning "respond as soon as possible," and the sixth floor of Parker Center, from which the chief of police commands the department. A two-six is a forthwith from the chief's office, and any officer who knows and enjoys his position in the department will not delay.

Detective Harry Bosch spent over twenty-five years with the department in his first tour and never once received a forthwith from the chief of police. In fact, other than receiving his badge at the academy in 1972, he never shook hands or spoke personally with a chief again. He had outlasted several of them-and, of course, seen them at police functions and funerals- but simply never met them along the way. On the morning of his return to duty after a three-year retirement he received his first two-six while knotting his tie in the bathroom mirror. It was an adjutant to the chief calling Bosch's private cell phone. Bosch didn't bother asking how they had come up with the number. It was simply understood that the chief's office had the power to reach out in such a way. Bosch just said he would be there within the hour, to which the adjutant replied that he would be expected sooner. Harry finished knotting his tie in his car while driving as fast as traffic allowed on the 101 Freeway toward downtown.

It took Bosch exactly twenty-four minutes from the moment he closed the phone on the adjutant until he walked through the double doors of the chief's suite on the sixth floor at Parker Center. He thought it had to have been some kind of record, notwithstanding the fact that he had illegally parked on Los Angeles Street in front of the police headquarters. If they knew his private cell number, then surely they knew what a feat it had been to make it from the Hollywood Hills to the chief's office in under a half hour.

But the adjutant, a lieutenant named Hohman, stared him down with disinterested eyes and pointed to a plastic-sealed couch that already had two other people waiting on it. "You're late," he said. "Take a seat."

Bosch decided not to protest, not to make matters possibly worse. He stepped over to the couch and sat between the two men in uniform, who had staked out the armrests. They sat bolt upright and did not small-talk. He figured they had been two-sixed as well.

Ten minutes went by. The men on either side of him were called in ahead of Bosch, each dispensed with by the chief in five minutes flat. While the second man was in with the chief, Bosch thought he heard loud voices from the inner sanctum, and when the officer came out his face was ashen. He had somehow fucked up in the eyes of the chief and the word- which had even filtered to Bosch in retirement-was that this new man did not suffer fuckups lightly. Bosch had read a story in the Times about a command staffer who was demoted for failing to inform the chief that the son of a city councilman usually allied against the department had been picked up on a deuce. The chief only found out about it when the councilman called to complain about harassment, as if the department had forced his son to drink six vodka martinis at Bar Marmount and drive home via the trunk of a tree on Mulholland.

Finally Hohman put down the phone and pointed his finger at Bosch. He was up. He was quickly shuttled into a corner office with a view of Union Station and the surrounding train yards. It was a decent view but not a great one. It didn't matter because the place was coming down soon. The department would move into temporary offices while a new and modern police headquarters was rebuilt on the same spot. The current headquarters was known as the Glass House by the rank and file, supposedly because there were no secrets kept inside. Bosch wondered what the next place would become known as. The chief of police was behind a large desk signing papers. Without looking up from this work he told Bosch to have a seat in front of the desk. Within thirty seconds the chief signed his last document and looked up at Bosch. He smiled.

"I wanted to meet you and welcome you back to the department."

His voice was marked by an eastern accent. De-paht-ment.

This was fine with Bosch. In L.A. everybody was from somewhere else. Or so it seemed. It was both the strength and the weakness of the city.

"It is good to be back," Bosch said.

"You understand that you are here at my pleasure."

It wasn't a question.

"Yes sir, I do."

"Obviously, I checked you out extensively before approving your return. I had concerns about your . . . shall we say style, but ultimately your talent won the day. You can also thank your partner, Kizmin Rider, for her lobbying effort. She's a good officer and I trust her. She trusts you."

"I have already thanked her but I will do it again."

"I know it has been less than three years since you retired but let me assure you, Detective Bosch, that the department you have rejoined is not the department you left." "I understand that."

"I hope so. You know about the consent decree?"

Just after Bosch had left the department the previous chief had been forced to agree to a series of reforms in order to head off a federal takeover of the LAPD following an FBI investigation into wholesale corruption, violence and civil rights violations within the ranks. The current chief had to carry out the agreement or he would end up taking orders from the FBI. From the chief down to the lowliest boot, nobody wanted that. "Yes," Bosch said. "I've read about it."

"Good. I'm glad you have kept yourself informed. And I am happy to report that despite what you may read in the Times, we are making great strides and we want to keep that momentum. We are also trying to update the department in terms of technology. We are pushing forward in community policing. We are doing a lot of good things, Detective Bosch, much of which can be undone in the eyes of the community if we resort to old ways. Do you understand what I am telling you?"

"I think so."

"Your return here is not guaranteed. You are on probation for a year. So consider yourself a rookie again. A boot-the oldest living boot at that. I approved your return-I can also wash you out without so much as a reason anytime in the course of the year. Don't give me a reason."

Bosch didn't answer. He didn't think he was supposed to. "On Friday we graduate a new class of cadets at the academy. I would like you to be there."

"Sir?"

"I want you to be there. I want you to see the dedication in our young people's faces. I want to reacquaint you with the traditions of this department. I think it could help you, help you rededicate yourself."

"If you want me to be there I will be there."

"Good. I will see you there. You will sit under the VIP tent as my guest."

He made a note about the invite on a pad of paper next to the blotter. He then put the pen down and raised his hand to point a finger at Bosch. His eyes took on a fierceness.

"Listen to me, Bosch. Don't ever break the law to enforce the law. At all times you do your job constitutionally and compassionately. I will accept it no other way. This city will accept it no other way. Are we okay on that?"

"We are okay."

"Then we are good to go."

Bosch took his cue and stood up. The chief surprised him by also standing and extending his hand. Bosch thought he wanted to shake hands and extended his own. The chief put something in his hand and Bosch looked down to see the gold detective's shield. He had his old number back. It had not been given away. He almost smiled.

"Wear it well," the police chief said. "And proudly."

"I will."

Now they shook hands, but as they did so the chief didn't smile.

"The chorus of forgotten voices," he said.

"Excuse me, Chief?"

"That's what I think about when I think of the cases down there in Open-Unsolved. It's a house of horrors. Our greatest shame. All those cases. All those voices. Every one of them is like a stone thrown into a lake. The ripples move out through time and people. Families, friends, neighbors. How can we call ourselves a city when there are so many ripples, when so many voices have been forgotten by this department?"

Bosch let go of his hand and didn't say anything. There was no answer for the chief's question.

"I changed the name of the unit when I came into the department. Those aren't cold cases, Detective. They never go cold. Not for some people."

"I understand that."

"Then go down there and clear cases. That's what your art is. That's why we need you and why you are here. That's why I am taking a chance with you. Show them we do not forget. Show them that in Los Angeles cases don't go cold."

"I will."

Bosch left him there, still standing and maybe a little haunted by the voices. Like himself. Bosch thought that maybe for the first time he had actually connected on some level with the man at the top. In the military it is said that you go into battle and fight and are willing to die for the men who sent you. Bosch never felt that when he was moving through the darkness of the tunnels in Vietnam. He had felt alone and that he was fighting for himself, fighting to stay alive. That had carried with him into the department and he had at times adopted the view that he was fighting in spite of the men at the top. Now maybe things would be different.

In the hallway he punched the elevator button harder than he needed to. He had too much excitement and energy and he understood this. The chorus of forgotten voices. The chief seemed to know the song they were singing. And Bosch certainly did, too. Most of his life had been spent listening to that song.

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jt4130, February 18, 2007 (view all comments by jt4130)
Harry's back on the force with a badge and attitude. Devoted to the rule that 'everybody counts or nobody counts'. His first cold case assignment that brings a mystery overlooked for 15 years that was full of clues overlooked and then forgotten. Harry pieces the clues together to discovers several layers of intrigue and heart wrenching stories of lost souls in LA.
The Closers is at the top of the new best sellers list for good reason, if your not a Connelly fan yet you will be.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780446616447
Author:
Connelly, Michael
Publisher:
Warner Books (NY)
Subject:
Police
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Los angeles (calif.)
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Unsolved murders; DNA evidence; Racially mixed people; Conspiracies; Teenage girls
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
A Harry Bosch Novel
Publication Date:
20060231
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
7 x 4.25 x 1.125 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Closers (Harry Bosch) Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Warner Books - English 9780446616447 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "LAPD detective Harry Bosch, hero of last year's The Narrows and other Connelly thrillers, is back on the force after a two-year retirement. Assigned to the Open Unsolved (cold cases) unit and teamed with former partner Kiz Rider, Harry's first case back involves the killing of a high school girl 17 years before, reopened because of a DNA match to blood found on the murder gun. That premise could be a formula for a routine outing, but not with Connelly. Nor does the author rely on violent action to propel his story; there's next to none. In Connelly/Bosch's world, character, context and procedure are what count, and once again the author proves a master at all. The blood on the gun belongs to a local lowlife white supremacist, Roland Mackey; the victim had a black father and a white mother. But the blood indicates only that Mackey had possession of the gun, so how to pin him to the crime? Connelly meticulously leads the reader along with Bosch and Rider as they explore the links to Mackey and along the way connect the initial investigation of the crime to a police conspiracy. Most striking of all, in developments that give this novel astonishing moral force, the pair explore the 'ripples' of the long ago crime, how it has destroyed the young girl's family — leaving the mother trapped in the past and plunging the father into a nightmare of homelessness and drink — and how it drives Rider, and especially Bosch, into deeper understanding of their own purposes in life. Connelly comes as close as anyone to being today's Dostoyevsky of crime literature, and this is one of his finest novels to date, a likely candidate not only for book award nominations but for major bestsellerdom. Agent, Phillip Spitzer. Major ad/promo; 11-city author tour." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Bosch, after two years of retirement, finds himself rusty in certain areas; his lack of finesse with the cell phone more than once threatens to blow his cover. But he proves his detective skills are still sharp, pursuing the Verloren case with a dogged, moral purpose. Connelly, too, is at the top of his game, and the latest installment of the Bosch saga comes with thrills, twists to spare, and a deeply satisfying conclusion." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Fans and newcomers alike will love seeing Bosch back in uniform, stirring up trouble."
"Review" by , "Connelly sets up a great premise here...and he makes the most of it....Give Connelly credit for having the courage to tinker with one of the richest characters in the genre."
"Review" by , "Connelly is one of the most consistently excellent authors in current-day crime fiction: his characters, particularly the world-weary Bosch, are complex and appealing; his stories fast-paced, edgy and believable."
"Review" by , "Connelly...is the real thing: an immensely skilled entertainer who has mastered the requirements and expectations of his genre but also from time to time rises above them....Connelly writes grown-up novels that...remind us that the place to look for serious American fiction is not in the schools of creative writing but out there in the real world."
"Review" by , "Like James Ellroy and John Fante, both of whose work is referred to here, Mr. Connelly continues to make his doomy, secretive Los Angeles a living, breathing character in his stories."
"Review" by , "The Closers finds both Bosch and Connelly on the top of their game."
"Review" by , "The Closers is a worthy if not especially noteworthy entry in the Bosch saga. Average Connelly is far better than average."
"Review" by , "[I]n the absence of a feral Poet-like serial killer to keep things exciting, this plodding expedition never really takes off. (Grade: B-)"
"Synopsis" by , In Los Angeles in 1988, a 16-year-old girl was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the chest. Although detectives on the case found clues that pointed toward murder, no one was ever charged. Detective Harry Bosch, newly returned to the LAPD with the job of closing unsolved cases, gets the report of a new DNA match that makes the case very much alive again. A white supremacist with close ties to the LAPD becomes a suspect — but Bosch and his partner, Kizmin Rider, can't take a step without threatening higher-ups in the department. And the case turns out to be anything but cold. Everywhere he probes, Bosch finds hot grief, hot rage, and a bottomless well of treachery and danger.
"Synopsis" by , The death of a teenage girl almost two decades ago comes back to haunt all of L.A. — and detective Harry Bosch — in this spellbinding new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.
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