Echo Park (Harry Bosch Series #12)by Michael Connelly
In 1993 Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket. Harry Bosch worked the case but couldn't crack it, and the twenty-two-year-old was never found. Now, more than a decade later, with the Gesto file still on his desk, Bosch gets a call from the District Attorney.A man accused of two heinous murders is willing to come clean about several others, including the killing of Marie Gesto. Taking the confession of the man he has sought-and hated-for thirteen years is bad enough. Discovering that he missed a clue back in 1993 that could have stopped nine other murders may just be the straw that breaks Harry Bosch.
The Washington Post
The New York Times Sunday Book Review
The New York Times
No matter how much critics and readers love him, Connelly's Harry Bosch is definitely a downer. To catch the spirit of the popular series without sending listeners leaping out of their windows requires an unusually talented reader, who can take the tiny shreds of light the author sprinkles very sparingly through his dark and bloody outings and turn them into veritable bonfires. Fortunately, Cariou is a veteran of four previous Bosch audios who knows his man down to his obsessive socks. Cariou can also do Connelly's normal, only semidepressed supporting characters with grace and depth: Harry's female partner, other cops with mixed motives, crooked lawyers, on-the-make politicians, even a convicted serial killer trying to escape the death penalty by reopening one of Bosch's old wounds. Cariou, of course, can't remove Harry's guilt or ease his obsessions: he's an actor, not a therapist. But his talent adds a Prozac-like sense of ease not to be taken lightly. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 4). (Nov.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
A suspenseful, fast-paced Bosch page-turner."Associated Press"
Delivers all the punch of a compelling, suspenseful thriller."People magazine
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By Michael Connelly
LITTLE, BROWNCopyright © 2006 Hieronymus, Inc.
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Chapter OneTHE CALL CAME IN while Harry Bosch and his partner, Kiz Rider, were sitting at their desks in the Open-Unsolved Unit, finishing the paperwork on the Matarese filing. The day before, they had spent six hours in a room with Victor Matarese discussing the 1996 murder of a prostitute named Charisse Witherspoon. DNA that had been extracted from semen found in the victim's throat and stored for ten years had been matched to Matarese. It was a cold hit. His DNA profile had been banked by the DOJ in 2002 after a forcible rape conviction. It had taken another four years before Bosch and Rider came along and reopened the Witherspoon case, pulled the DNA and sent it to the state lab on a blind run.
It was a case initially made in the lab. But because Charisse Witherspoon had been an active prostitute the DNA match was not an automatic slam dunk. The DNA could have come from someone who was with her before her killer turned up and hit her repeatedly on the head with a two-by-four.
So the case didn't come down to the science. It came down to the room and what they could get from Matarese. At 8 a.m. they woke him up at the halfway house where he had been placed upon his parole in the rape case and took him to Parker Center. The first five hours in the interview room were grueling. In the sixth hefinally broke and gave it all up, admitting to killing Witherspoon and throwing in three more, all prostitutes he had murdered in South Florida before coming to L.A.
When Bosch heard his name called out for line one, he thought it was going to be Miami calling him back. It wasn't.
"Bosch," he said after grabbing the phone.
"Freddy Olivas. Northeast Division Homicide. I'm over in Archives looking for a file and they say you've already got it signed out."
Bosch was silent a moment while his mind dropped out of the Matarese case. Bosch didn't know Olivas but the name sounded familiar. He just couldn't place it. As far as signed-out files went, it was his job to review old cases and look for ways to use forensic advances to solve them. At any given time he and Rider could have as many as twenty-five files from Archives.
"I've pulled a lot of files from Archives," Bosch said. "Which one are we talking about?"
"Gesto. Marie Gesto. It's a 'ninety-three case."
Bosch didn't respond right away. He felt his insides tighten. They always did when he thought about Gesto, even thirteen years later. In his mind, he always came up with the image of those clothes folded so neatly on the front seat of her car.
"Yeah, I've got the file. What's happening?"
He noticed Rider look up from her work as she registered the change in his voice. Their desks were in an alcove and pushed up against one another, so Bosch and Rider faced each other while they worked.
"It's kind of a delicate matter," Olivas said. "Eyes only. Relates to an ongoing case I've got and the prosecutor just wants to review the file. Could I hop on by there and grab it from you?"
"Do you have a suspect, Olivas?"
Olivas didn't answer at first and Bosch jumped in with another question.
"Who's the prosecutor?"
Again no answer. Bosch decided not to give in.
"Look, the case is active, Olivas. I'm working it and have a suspect. If you want to talk to me, then we'll talk. If you've got something working, then I am part of it. Otherwise, I'm busy and you can have a nice day. Okay?"
Bosch was about to hang up when Olivas finally spoke. The friendly tone was gone from his voice.
"Tell you what, let me make a phone call, Hotshot. I'll call you right back."
He hung up without a good-bye. Bosch looked at Rider.
"Marie Gesto," he said. "The DA wants the file."
"That's your own case. Who was calling?"
"A guy from Northeast. Freddy Olivas. Know him?"
"I don't know him but I've heard of him. He's lead on the Raynard Waits case. You know the one."
Now Bosch placed the name. The Waits case was high profile. Olivas probably viewed it as his ticket to the show. The LAPD was broken into nineteen geographic divisions, each with a police station and its own detective bureau. Divisional Homicide units worked the less complicated cases and the positions were viewed as stepping-stones to the elite Robbery-Homicide Division squads working out of the police headquarters at Parker Center. That was the show. And one of those squads was the Open-Unsolved Unit. Bosch knew that if Olivas's interest in the Gesto file was even remotely tied to the Waits case, then he would jealously guard his position from RHD encroachment.
"He didn't say what he has going?" Rider asked.
"Not yet. But it must be something. He wouldn't even tell me which prosecutor he's working with."
She said it slower.
"Rick O'Shea. He's on the Waits case. I doubt Olivas has anything else going. They just finished the prelim on that and are heading to trial."
Bosch didn't say anything as he considered the possibilities. Richard "Ricochet" O'Shea ran the Special Prosecutions Section of the DA's office. He was a hotshot and he was in the process of getting hotter. Following the announcement in the spring that the sitting district attorney had decided against seeking reelection, O'Shea was one of a handful of prosecutors and outside attorneys who filed as candidates for the job. He had come through the primary with the most votes but not quite a majority. The runoff was shaping up as a tighter race but O'Shea still held the inside track. He had the backing of the outgoing DA, knew the office inside and out, and had an enviable track record as a prosecutor who won big cases-a seemingly rare attribute in the DA's office in the last decade. His opponent was named Gabriel Williams. He was an outsider who had credentials as a former prosecutor but he had spent the last two decades in private practice, primarily focusing on civil rights cases. He was black, while O'Shea was white. He was running on the promise of watchdogging and reforming the county's law enforcement practices. While members of the O'Shea camp did their very best to ridicule Williams's platform and qualifications for the position of top prosecutor, it was clear that his outsider stance and platform of reform were taking hold in the polls. The gap was closing.
Bosch knew what was happening in the Williams-O'Shea campaigns because this year he had been following local elections with an interest he had never exhibited before. In a hotly contested race for a city council seat, he was backing a candidate named Martin Maizel. Maizel was a three-term incumbent who represented a west-side district far from where Bosch lived. He was generally viewed as a consummate politician who made backroom promises and was beholden to big-money interests to the detriment of his own district. Nevertheless, Bosch had contributed generously to his campaign and hoped to see his reelection. His opponent was a former deputy police chief named Irvin R. Irving, and Bosch would do whatever was within his power to see Irving defeated. Like Gabriel Williams, Irving was promising reform and the target of his campaign speeches was always the LAPD. Bosch had clashed numerous times with Irving while he served in the department. He didn't want to see the man sitting on the city council.
The election stories and wrap-ups that ran almost daily in the Times had kept Bosch up to date on other contests as well as the Maizel-Irving contest. He knew all about the fight O'Shea was involved in. The prosecutor was in the process of bolstering his candidacy with high-profile advertisements and prosecutions designed to show the value of his experience. A month earlier he had parlayed the preliminary hearing in the Raynard Waits case into daily headlines and top-of-the-broadcast reports. The accused double murderer had been pulled over in Echo Park on a late-night traffic stop. Officers spied trash bags on the floor of the man's van with blood leaking from them. A subsequent search found body parts from two women in the bags. If ever there was a safe, slam-bang case for a prosecutor-candidate to use to grab media attention, the Echo Park Bagman case appeared to be it.
The catch was that the headlines were now on hold. Waits was bound over for trial at the end of the preliminary hearing and, since it was a death penalty case, that trial and the attendant renewal of headlines were still months off and well after the election. O'Shea needed something new to grab headlines and keep momentum going. Now Bosch had to wonder what the candidate was up to with the Gesto case.
"Do you think Gesto could be related to Waits?" Rider asked.
"That name never came up in 'ninety-three," Bosch said. "Neither did Echo Park."
The phone rang and he quickly picked it up.
"Open-Unsolved. This is Detective Bosch. How can I help you?"
"Olivas. Bring the file over to the sixteenth floor at eleven o'clock. You'll meet with Richard O'Shea. You're in, Hotshot."
"We'll be there."
"Wait a minute. What's this we shit? I said you, you be there with the file."
"I have a partner, Olivas. I'll be with her."
Bosch hung up without a good-bye. He looked across at Rider.
"We're in at eleven."
"What about Matarese?"
"We'll figure it out."
He thought about things for a few moments, then got up and went to the locked filing cabinet behind his desk. He pulled the Gesto file and brought it back to his spot. Since returning to the job from retirement the year before, he had checked the file out of Archives three different times. Each time, he read through it, made some calls and visits and talked to a few of the individuals who had come up in the investigation thirteen years before. Rider knew about the case and what it meant to him. She gave him the space to work it when they had nothing else pressing.
But nothing came of the effort. There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no lead on Gesto's whereabouts-though to him there still was no doubt that she was dead-and no solid lead to her abductor. Bosch had leaned repeatedly on the one man who came closest to being a suspect and got nowhere. He was able to trace Marie Gesto from her apartment to the supermarket but no further. He had her car in the garage at the High Tower Apartments but he couldn't get to the person who had parked it there.
Bosch had plenty of unsolved cases in his history. You can't clear them all and any Homicide man would admit it. But the Gesto case was one that stuck with him. Each time he would work the case for a week or so, hit the wall and then return the file to Archives, thinking he had done all that could be done. But the absolution only lasted a few months and then there he was at the counter filling out the file request form again. He would not give up.
"Bosch," one of the other detectives called out. "Miami on two."
Bosch hadn't even heard the phone ring in the squad room.
"I'll take it," Rider said. "Your head's somewhere else."
She picked up the phone and once more Bosch opened the Gesto file.
Excerpted from Echo Park by Michael Connelly Copyright © 2006 by Hieronymus, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Michael Connelly is a former journalist and has won every major prize for crime fiction. He lives in Florida.
- Sarasota, Florida
- Date of Birth:
- July 21, 1956
- Place of Birth:
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- B.A. in Journalism, University of Florida, 1980
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I recommend any book by Michael Connolly. I've read them all and very few authors keep me on the edge of my seat like he does. I have yet to read one of his books that I wished I hadn't. I buy each as soon as it comes out. You won't regret reading anything by this author.
I was a bit disappointed in the last few Bosch novels but after reading "Echo Park" Michael Connelly and Harry Bosch are back with this excellent and well told tale. Harry Bosch has returned from retirement and is now working in the Open Unsolved Unit. The book opens with Harry working on a case that involves the murder of a young beautiful girl. Harry still remains a believable character. He has his flaws but overall he is a pretty decent fellow. In other words he's the same old Harry that I have always enjoyed reading about. Echo Park continues Harry's journey into the dark side of men and once again he gets knocked around, but his persistence keeps him faithfully at doing his job. In summary, I give Echo Park a enthusiastic endorsement.
It was very suspensfully and excellent ending. I will get another vehicle.
Yep. I thought I had it solved too. But didn't. My first Connelly book. Dialog was real. Harry was real. Couldn't put it down. More Connelly in my future.
Lucky Listeners! Whether your preference is for an Abridged editon or the Unabridged version of Michael Connelly's latest electric thriller, both are read by estimable stage, film and television actor Len Cariou. A Tony Award sits on his mantel for his incomparable performance in Sweeney Todd, and his film credits include such hits as About Schmidt, Shall We Dance, and Secret Window. His television perforamces are both acclaimed and numerous - The West Wing, The Practice, Law and Order, and more. It has been said that in suspense author Connelly has no superiors - Len Cariou has none in the dramatic arts. With 'Echo Park' Detective Harry Bosch is back, much to the joy of fans. It's his 12th thriller and neither time nor familiarity has dulled his appeal. One more tribute to Connelly's talents! It's a cold case, the murder of Marie Gesto, one that Bosch hasn't been able to forget. Now, it's obvious that another detective has an interest in the Gesto case. In addition, a man is willing to plead guilty to her death and a number of others in order to avoid the death penalty. Case closed? With Connelly and his pen at the ready - no way. It's a circuitous, fascinating trip to the finish - don't miss it. - Gail Cooke
I am fairly new to Michael Connelly's books, maybe 18 months or so. However, the Harry Bosch series are my favorite. Although I didn't start them in order, it doesn't seem to matter. I am loving every one of them.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Echo Park. It's one of those books that you don't want to put down. The plot had a unique twist to it and there was a nice balance of drama and comedy. The characters were believable and the reading was easy. I'd never read anything by Michael Connelly before, but I really like his style.
You can't go wrong with the Harry Bosch series. This is one of the best!
Very compelling story and characters. Would read more from this author along these lines. I like the strong detective with a measure of angst on the side. Sort of the misfit, but the hero that still has a sensitive, romantic side. I like the author's complex development of characters that really adds depth to the stories he tells.
This my 4th Michael Connelly novel and I enjoyed it very much. The thing I like most is that the plotting is so meticulous; there is no pat ending just because he reached the requisite number of pages. It is plausible and realistic. As you read, you can easily see how Harry and you the reader are thrown by the very cleverly crafted red herrings. The dialog is delighful; these are characters you care about. Read this book. You won't be disappointed.
If you like books that are well written, edgy and a little out of the main stream, try 18 seconds and samaritan.
Having read several books by Connelly, I bought this one expecting something a cut above the usual crime thriller genre. Although the plot is somewhat interesting, the characterizations are weak and there is just too much tough cop talk and unbelievable heroics. The narration is not very good, and the personification of the girlfried FBI agent is absolutely grating. The love story is trite and contrived. I did finish it, but it was a chore to get through. Definitely not recommended.
Another great Bosch novel with a truly sinister bad guy case with corrupt political overtones.
Another excellent book from this author. Highly recommended!
I always enjoy a Harry Bosch book
I have read other books of Harry Bosch. Great books.
Slightly similar to other Harry Bosch books. But an easy read.
I love Harry Bosch mysteries! Michael Connelly has a succinct way of storytelling.
Rocky padded in.
Anyone wanna mate? I'm bi.