The Closers (Harry Bosch Series #11)

The Closers (Harry Bosch Series #11)

4.3 236
by Michael Connelly
     
 

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"In Los Angeles in 1988, a sixteen-year-old girl disappeared from her home and was later found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. The death appeared at first to be a suicide - but some of the evidence contradicted that scenario, and detectives came to believe this was in fact a murder. Despite a by-the-book investigation, no one was ever charged." "Now Detective… See more details below

Overview

"In Los Angeles in 1988, a sixteen-year-old girl disappeared from her home and was later found dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. The death appeared at first to be a suicide - but some of the evidence contradicted that scenario, and detectives came to believe this was in fact a murder. Despite a by-the-book investigation, no one was ever charged." "Now Detective Harry Bosch is back with the LAPD with the sole mission of closing unsolved cases, and this girl's death is the first he's given. A DNA match makes the case very much alive again, and it turns out to be anything but cold. The ripples from this death have destroyed at least two other lives, and everywhere he probes, Bosch finds hot grief, hot rage, and a bottomless well of betrayal and malice." And it's not just the girl's family and friends whose lives Bosch is stirring up afresh. With each new development, Harry Bosch finds increasing resistance from within the police force itself. Old enemies are close at hand. Even as he pushes relentlessly to find the truth, Bosch has to wonder if this assignment was intended to be his last. Digging up the past may heal old wounds - or it may expose new, searing ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
Connelly, a former reporter on newspapers in Florida and Los Angeles who went straight and started writing fiction about two decades ago, 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. Chandler self-evidently is his muse and occasionally the influence is a bit too blatant, but Connelly writes grown-up novels that -- along with work by the likes of Scott Turow, Elmore Leonard and John Grisham -- 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.
— The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
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.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Connelly's bruised but unbeaten crime buster, Harry Bosch, is back in harness at the Los Angeles Police Department after a two-book retirement (Lost Light, The Narrows) during which he sought justice as a private eye. Luckily, reader Cariou has returned with him. Cariou's deep, dry and slightly mournful delivery proved a perfect match for Bosch's moody first-person PI narration. With Connelly reverting to the third-person format he prefers for his hero's police procedural cases, Cariou opts for a more objective, faster-paced, just-the-facts-ma'am approach to the descriptive passages, smoothly slipping back into Bosch-voice for the book's abundant dialogue sequences. Finding the right nuances for that voice is a tougher job this go-round, since Harry is in a state of constant emotional flux. He's happy to be back on the force, working with his former partner Kiz Rider and, for the first time, for men he respects, but he's not sure he can adjust to the new, streamlined LAPD. Cariou effectively enacts a large, carefully crafted cast of suspects, victims and cops, maneuvering easily past ethnic and sexist vocal land mines. Judiciously placed blues and jazz riffs add the finishing touches to this solid audio production. Bonus features include Connelly explaining Bosch's return to the LAPD, plus his reading of a chapter from his next novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, featuring Bosch's half-brother. Simultaneous release with Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 4). (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
The traditional novel, like poetry, may have sunk to irrelevance, but crime fiction has never been better. This book is a prime example of just how brilliant the mystery genre has become. Characters here are vividly brought to life. The descriptions provide true-to-life portrayals of Los Angeles and its often-troubled police department. The internal political battles ring true, and the suspense keeps readers turning pages. Some literary critics scorn mysteries: Their popularity makes them suspect. But Shakespeare, Dickens and numerous other top-tier writers hardly refrained from attempting to appeal to popular audiences. (19 Sep 2005)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
The return of Detective Harry Bosch to the Los Angeles Police Department is nothing less than outstanding. The unique mix of eloquent, almost poetic dialog mixed with the smart banter of a murder investigation makes this novel seem like the welcome return of an old friend. After a three-year absence from the department, Connelly's hero is assigned to the open/unsolved (cold case) squad of the robbery/homicide division. The work has nobility in that these detectives "speak for the dead" and "no person ever is murdered and forgotten by the city." Harry's first case involves a DNA match on a 1988 murder of a 16-year-old high school girl. Insert the usual departmental politics and the clever plot twists and you have a top-notch detective story. Len Cariou's narration is solid, especially his use of accents. Highly recommended.-Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446616447
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Series:
Harry Bosch Series, #11
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
131,973
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.12(d)
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

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 25 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 in the chief's office. 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 24 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, not withstanding 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 uniforms 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 fuck ups 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 the 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 30 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 re-acquaint 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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