Excerpt from Echo Park by Michael Connelly, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Echo Park

By Michael Connelly

Echo Park
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2006,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2007,
    464 pages.

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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?”

Rider nodded.

“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.”

“Ricochet.”

“What?”

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.

Copyright © 2006 by Hieronymus, Inc.

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