The Overlook - Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly - The Overlook


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