City Of Bones - Michael Connelly Page 0,1

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.

Chapter 2

BOSCH listened to the Lakers game on the car radio while he made his way into the canyon and then up Lookout Mountain to Wonderland Avenue. He wasn’t a religious follower of professional basketball but wanted to get a sense of the situation in case he needed his partner, Jerry Edgar. Bosch was working alone because Edgar had lucked into a pair of choice seats to the game. Bosch had agreed to handle the call outs and to not bother Edgar unless a homicide or something Bosch couldn’t handle alone came up. Bosch was alone also because the third member of his team, Kizmin Rider, had been promoted nearly a year earlier to Robbery-Homicide Division and still had not been replaced.

It was early third quarter, and the game with the Trail Blazers was tied. While Bosch wasn’t a hardcore fan he knew enough from Edgar’s constant talking about the game and begging to be left free of call-out duty that it was an important matchup with one of the Los Angeles team’s top rivals. He decided not to page Edgar until he had gotten to the scene and assessed the situation. He turned the radio off when he started losing the AM station in the canyon.

The drive up was steep. Laurel Canyon was a cut in the Santa Monica Mountains. The tributary roads ranged up toward the crest of the mountains. Wonderland Avenue dead-ended in a remote spot where the half-million-dollar homes were surrounded by heavily wooded and steep terrain. Bosch instinctively knew that searching for bones in the area would be a logistical nightmare. He pulled to a stop behind a patrol car already at the address Mankiewicz had provided and checked his watch. It was 4:38, and he wrote it down on a fresh page of his legal pad. He figured he had less than an hour of daylight left.

A patrol officer he didn’t recognize answered his knock. Her nameplate said Brasher. She led him back through the house to a home office where her partner, a cop whom Bosch recognized and knew was named Edgewood, was talking to a white-haired man who sat behind a cluttered desk. There was a shoe box with the top off on the desk.

Bosch stepped forward and introduced himself. The white-haired man said he was Dr. Paul Guyot, a general practitioner. Leaning forward Bosch could see that the shoe box contained the bone that had drawn them all together. It was dark brown and looked like a gnarled piece of driftwood.

He could also see a dog lying on the floor next to the doctor’s desk chair. It was a large dog with a yellow coat.

“So this is it,” Bosch said, looking back down into the box.

“Yes, Detective, that’s your bone,” Guyot said. “And as you can see…”

He reached to a shelf behind the desk and pulled down a heavy copy of Gray’s Anatomy. He opened it to a previously marked spot. Bosch noticed he was wearing latex gloves.

The page showed an illustration of a bone, anterior and posterior views. In the corner of the page was a small sketch of a skeleton with the humerus bone of both arms highlighted.

“The humerus,” Guyot said, tapping the page. “And then we have the recovered specimen.”

He reached into the shoe box and gently lifted the bone. Holding it above the book’s illustration he went through a point-by-point comparison.

“Medial epicondyle, trochlea, greater and lesser tubercle,” he said. “It’s all there. And I was just telling these two officers, I know my bones even without the book. This bone is human, Detective. There’s no doubt.”

Bosch looked at Guyot’s face. There was a slight quiver, perhaps the first showing of the tremors of Parkinson’s.

“Are you retired, Doctor?”

“Yes, but it doesn’t mean I don’t know a bone when I see-”

“I’m not challenging you, Dr. Guyot.” Bosch tried to smile. “You say it is human, I believe it. Okay? I’m just trying to get the lay of the land here. You can put that back into the box now if you want.”

Guyot replaced the bone in the shoe box.

“What’s your dog’s name?”