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Книга EchoPark. Страница 64

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After getting through about half of the meal he pulled out his cell and called the reporter’s number. She answered right away.

“Keisha,” he said. “It’s Harry Bosch.”

“Harry Bosch,” she said. “Well, long time no see.”

“Well, with you being a big shot on the political scene now…”

“Ah, but now it is politics and police coming together in a violent collision, isn’t it? How come you didn’t call me back yesterday?”

“Because you know I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation, especially an investigation involving myself. Besides that, you called after my phone died. I didn’t get your message until I got home, and it was probably after your deadline.”

“How is your partner?” she said, putting the banter aside for a serious tone.

“Hanging in.”

“And you came away unscathed as reported?”

“In the physical sense.”

“But not the political.”

“That’s right.”

“Well, the story is already in the paper. Calling to comment and defend yourself now doesn’t exactly work.”

“I’m not calling to comment or defend myself. I don’t like my name in the paper.”

“Oh, then I get it. You want to go off the record and be my Deep Throat on this.”

“Not quite.”

He heard her blowing out her breath in frustration.

“Then why are you calling, Harry?”

“First of all, I always like hearing your voice, Keisha. You know that. And second, on the political beat, you probably have direct lines to all of the candidates. You know, so you can get them to give a quick comment on any issue that comes up in the course of a day. Right? Just like yesterday?”

She hesitated before answering, trying to get a read on where this was going.

“Yes, we’re known to be able to get hold of people when we have to. Except cantankerous police detectives. Sometimes they can be a problem.”

Bosch smiled.

“There you go,” he said.

“Which brings us to the reason you are calling.”

“Right. I want the number that will get me directly to Irvin Irving.”

This time the pause was longer.

“Harry, I can’t give you that number. It was entrusted to me and if he knows I gave-”

“Come on. Entrusted to you and every other reporter covering the campaign and you know it. He wouldn’t know who gave it to me unless I told him, and I’m not going to tell him. You know you can trust me when I say that.”

“Still, I just don’t feel comfortable giving it out without his permission. If you want me to call him and ask if I can-”

“He won’t want to talk to me, Keisha. That’s the point. If he wanted to talk to me I could leave a message at campaign headquarters-which is where, by the way?”

“On Broxton in Westwood. I still don’t feel comfortable just giving you the number.”

Bosch quickly grabbed the Daily News, which was folded to the page with the political fallout story. He read the byline.

“Okay, well maybe Sarah Weinman or Duane Swierczynski will feel comfortable giving it to me. They might want to have an IOU from somebody who’s in the middle of this thing.”

“All right, Bosch, all right, you don’t have to go to them, okay? I can’t believe you.”

“I want to talk to Irving.”

“All right, but you don’t say where you got the number.”

“Obviously.”

She gave him the number and he committed it to memory. He promised to call her back when there was something relating to the Beachwood Canyon incident that he could give her.

“Look, it doesn’t have to be political,” she urged. “Anything to do with the case, okay? I can still write a cop story if I’m the one who gets the story.”

“Got it, Keisha. Thanks.”

He closed his phone and left money for the bill and tip on the counter. As he stepped out of the restaurant he reopened the phone and punched in the number the reporter had just given him. Irving answered after six rings without identifying himself.

“Irvin Irving?”

“Yes, who is this?”

“I just wanted to thank you for confirming everything I always thought about you. You are nothing but a political opportunist and hack. That’s what you were in the department and that’s what you are out of it.”

“Is this Bosch? Is this Harry Bosch? Who gave you this number?”

“One of your own people. I guess somebody in your own camp doesn’t like the message you’re putting out.”

“Don’t worry about it, Bosch. Don’t worry about a thing. When I get in, you can start counting the days until you-”

Message delivered, Bosch closed his phone. It felt good to have said what he said, and to not worry that Irving was a superior officer who could say and do whatever he wanted without retribution from those he slighted.

Happy with his response to the newspaper stories, Bosch got in his car and drove to the hospital.

20

ON THE WAY DOWN the hallway in ICU Bosch passed a woman who had just left Kiz Rider’s room. He recognized her as Rider’s former lover. They had met briefly a few years earlier when Bosch happened to see Rider at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.

He nodded to the woman as she passed but she didn’t stop to talk. He knocked once on Rider’s door and went in. His partner looked much better than she had the day before but still not even close to a hundred percent. She was conscious and alert when Bosch entered her room and her eyes tracked him to the side of her bed. There was no longer a tube in her mouth but the right side of her face drooped and Bosch immediately feared that she had suffered a stroke during the night.

“Don’t worry,” she said in slow, slurred words. “They’ve made my neck numb and it’s working on half of my face, too.”

He squeezed her hand.

“Okay,” he said. “Other than that how do you feel?”

“Not so good. It hurts, Harry. It really hurts.”

He nodded.

“Yeah.”

“I have surgery on my hand in the afternoon. That’s going to hurt, too.”

“But then you’ll be on the road to recovery. Rehab and all of that good stuff.”

“I hope so.”

She sounded depressed and Bosch didn’t know what to say. Fourteen years earlier, when he had been about her age, Bosch had woken up in the hospital after taking a bullet in his left shoulder. He still remembered the screaming pain that had set in every time the morphine started to wear off.

“I brought the papers,” he said. “You want me to read ’em to you?”

“Yeah. Nothing good, I suppose.”

“No, nothing good.”

He held the Times front page up so she could see the mug shot of Waits. He then read the lead story and then the sidebar. When he was finished he looked over at her. She looked distressed.

“You okay?”

“You should’ve left me, Harry, and gone after him.”

“What are you talking about?”

“In the woods. You could’ve gotten him. Instead you saved me. Now look at the shit you’re in.”

“It comes with the territory, Kiz. The only thing I could think about out there was getting you to the hospital. I feel really guilty about everything.”

“What exactly do you have to feel guilty about?”

“A lot. When I came out of retirement last year I made you leave the chief’s office and partner with me again. You wouldn’t have been there yesterday if I-”

“Oh, please! Would you shut your fucking mouth!”

He didn’t remember ever hearing her use such language. He did what she told him.

“Just shut up,” she said. “No more of that. What else did you bring me?”

Bosch held up the copy of the Gesto murder book.

“Oh, nothing. I brought this for me. To read if you were asleep or something. It’s the copy of the Gesto file I made back when I retired the first time.”

“So what are you going to do with that?”

“Like I said, I was just going to read it. I keep thinking there’s something we missed.”

“‘We’?”

“Me. Something I missed. I’ve been listening a lot lately to a recording of Coltrane and Monk playing together at Carnegie Hall. It was right there in the Carnegie archives for like fifty years until somebody found it. The thing is, the guy who found it had to know their sound to know what they had in that box in the archives.”

“And that relates to the file how?”

Bosch smiled. She was in a hospital bed with two bullet wounds and she was still giving him shit.

“I don’t know. I keep thinking there’s something in here and I’m the only one who can find it.”

“Good luck. Why don’t you sit on that chair and read your file. I think I’m going to go to sleep for a while.”

“Okay, Kiz. I’ll be quiet.”

He pulled the chair away from the wall and brought it closer to the bed. As he sat down she spoke again.

“I’m not coming back, Harry.”

He looked at her. It was not what he wanted to hear but he wouldn’t object. Not now, at least.

“Whatever you want, Kiz.”

“Sheila, my old girl, was just visiting. She saw the news and came in. She says she’ll take care of me until I get better. But she doesn’t want me going back to the cops.”

Which explained why she hadn’t wanted to talk to Bosch out in the hallway.

“That was always a point of contention with us, you know?”

“I remember you told me. Look, you don’t have to tell me any of this stuff now.”

“It’s not just Sheila, though. It’s me. I shouldn’t be a cop. I proved that yesterday.”

“What are you talking about? You are one of the best cops I know.”

He saw a tear roll down her cheek.

“I froze out there, Harry. I fucking froze and I let him… just shoot me.”

“Don’t do this to yourself, Kiz.”

“Those men are dead because of me. When he grabbed Olivas, I couldn’t move. I just watched. I should have put him down, but I just stood there. I just stood there and I let him shoot me next. Instead of raising my gun I raised my hand.”

“No, Kiz. You didn’t have an angle on him. If you had fired you might have hit Olivas. After that it was too late.”

He hoped she understood that he was telling her what to say when the OIS came around.

“No, I have to own up to it. I-”

“Kiz, you want to quit, that’s fine. I’ll back you one hundred percent. But I won’t back you on this other shit. You understand?”

She tried to turn her face away from him but the bandages on her neck prevented her from turning.

“Okay,” she said.

More tears came down and Bosch knew that she had wounds that were far deeper than those in her neck and hand.

32

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