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Книга EchoPark. Страница 46

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“Can you guys give us some space?” O’Shea said to the two deputies.

When everybody else was in the hallway and the interview room door was closed, O’Shea continued.

“Getting stuffy in there,” he said.

“Yeah, with all of his bullshit,” Bosch said.

“What now, Bosch?” the prosecutor asked.

“‘What now’ is that I don’t believe him.”

“Why not?”

“Because he knows every answer. And some of them don’t work. We spent a week with the cab companies going over records for every pickup and drop. We knew that if the guy moved her car to the High Tower, then he needed some kind of ride back to his own car. The stables were one of the points we checked. Every cab company in the city. Nobody made a pickup or a drop-off up there that day or night.”

Olivas injected himself into the conversation by stepping up next to O’Shea.

“That’s not a hundred percent and you know it, Bosch,” he said. “A cabbie could’ve given him a ride off the books. They do it all the time. There’s also gypsy cabs. They hang outside restaurants all over the city.”

“I still don’t buy his bullshit stories. He’s got an answer for everything. The shovel just happens to be leaning against the barn. How was he going to bury her if he didn’t happen to see it?”

O’Shea spread his arms wide.

“There’s one way to test him,” he said. “We take him out on a field trip and if he leads us to that girl’s body, then the little details that bother you aren’t going to matter. On the other hand, if there is no body, then there is no deal.”

“When do we go?” Bosch asked.

“I’ll go see the judge today. We’ll go tomorrow morning if you want.”

“Wait a minute,” Olivas said. “What about the other seven? We still have a lot to talk to this bastard about.”

O’Shea held one hand up in a calming motion.

“Let’s make Gesto the test case. He either puts up or shuts up with this one. Then we’ll go from there.”

O’Shea turned and looked directly at Bosch.

“You going to be ready for this?” he asked.

Bosch nodded.

“I’ve been ready for thirteen years.”

13

THAT NIGHT, RACHEL brought dinner up to the house after calling first to see if Bosch was home. Bosch put some music on the stereo, and Rachel laid the dinner out on the dining room table on plates from the kitchen. The dinner was pot roast with a side of creamed corn. She’d brought a bottle of Merlot, too, and it took Bosch five minutes of hunting through kitchen drawers to find a corkscrew. They didn’t talk about the case until they were sitting across from each other at the table.

“So,” she said, “how did it go today?”

Bosch shrugged before answering.

“It went okay. Your take on everything was very helpful. Tomorrow’s the field trip, and in Rick O’Shea’s words, it will be put-up or shut-up time.”

“Field trip? Where to?”

“The top of Beachwood Canyon. He says that’s where he buried her. I drove up there today after the interview and looked around-couldn’t find anything, even using his description. Back in ’ninety-three we had the cadets looking in the canyon for three days and they found nothing. The woods are thick up there but he says he can find the spot.”

“Do you believe he’s the guy?”

“It looks like it. He’s convinced everybody else and there’s that call he made to us back then. That’s pretty convincing.”

“But what?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s my ego not being ready to accept I was so wrong, that for thirteen years I was looking at one guy and I was wrong about him. Nobody wants to face that, I guess.”

Bosch concentrated on eating for a few moments. He then chased a mouthful of pot roast with some wine and wiped his mouth with a napkin.

“Man, this stuff is great. Where’d you get it?”

She smiled.

“Just another restaurant.”

“No, this is the best pot roast I think I’ve ever had.”

“It’s a place called Jar. They say it stands for Just Another Restaurant.”

“Oh, I get it.”

“It’s off Beverly near my place. They’ve got a long bar where you can eat. After moving out here I ate there a lot at first. Alone. Suzanne and Preech always take care of me. They let me take food to go and it’s not that kind of place.”

“They’re the cooks?”

“Chefs. Suzanne’s also the owner. I love sitting there at the bar and watching the people come in, watching their eyes scanning the place to see who’s who. A lot of celebrities go there. You also get the foodies and you get the regular people. They’re the most interesting.”

“Somebody once said that if you circle around a murder long enough you get to know a city. Maybe it’s the same with sitting at the counter in a restaurant.”

“And easier to do. Harry, are you changing the subject or are you going to tell me about Raynard Waits’s confession?”

“I’m getting to it. I thought we’d finish eating first.”

“That bad, huh?”

“It’s not that. I think I just need a break from it. I don’t know.”

She nodded like she understood. She poured more wine into their glasses.

“I like the music. Who is this?”

Bosch nodded, his mouth full once again.

“I call this ‘miracle in a box.’ It’s John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk at Carnegie Hall. The concert was recorded in nineteen fifty-seven and the tape sat in an unmarked box in archives for almost fifty years. Just sat there, forgotten. Then some Library of Congress guy was going through all the boxes and performance tapes and recognized what they had there. They finally put this out last year.”

“It’s nice.”

“It’s more than nice. It’s a miracle to think it was there all that time. It took the right person to find it. To recognize it.”

He looked at her eyes for a moment. He then looked down at his plate and saw he was down to his last bite.

“What would you have done for dinner if I hadn’t called?” Rachel asked.

Bosch looked back at her and shrugged. He finished eating and started telling her about Raynard Waits’s confession.

“He’s lying,” she said when he was finished.

“About the name? We’ve got that covered.”

“No, about the plan. Rather, the lack of a plan. He tells you he just saw her in the Mayfair, followed her and grabbed her. Uh-uh, no way. I don’t buy that. The whole thing doesn’t feel like a spur-of-the-moment thing. There was a plan to this, whether he’s telling you or not.”

Bosch nodded. He had the same misgivings about the confession.

“We’ll know more tomorrow, I guess,” he said.

“I wish I could be there.”

Bosch shook his head.

“I can’t make a federal case out of this. Besides, it’s not what you do anymore. Your own people wouldn’t let you go, even if you were invited.”

“I know. I can still wish.”

Bosch got up and started clearing the plates. They worked side by side at the sink and after everything was cleaned and put away they took the bottle out on the deck. There was enough left for them each to have a half glass.

The evening chill drew them close to one another as they stood at the railing and looked down at the lights in the Cahuenga Pass.

“Are you staying tonight?” Bosch asked.

“Yes.”

“You don’t have to call, you know. I’ll give you a key. Just come up.”

She turned and looked at him. He put his arm around her waist.

“That fast? Are you saying all is forgiven?”

“There’s nothing to forgive. The past is past and life’s too short. You know, all of those clichés.”

She smiled and they sealed it with a kiss. They finished their wine and went inside to the bedroom. They made love slowly and quietly. At one point Bosch opened his eyes and looked at her and lost his rhythm. She noticed.

“What?” she whispered.

“Nothing. It’s just that you keep your eyes open.”

“I’m looking at you.”

“No, you’re not.”

She smiled and turned her face away from him.

“This is sort of an awkward time for a discussion,” she said.

He smiled and used his hand to turn her face to his. He kissed her and they both kept their eyes open now. Halfway through the kiss they started laughing.

Bosch craved the intimacy and reveled in the escape it brought. He knew she knew this, too. Her gift to him was in taking him away from the world. And that was why the past no longer mattered. He closed his eyes but didn’t stop smiling.

23

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