"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."
"I want you to be there. I want you to see the dedication in our young people's faces. I want to reacquaint 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."
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."
Copyright © 2005 by Hieronymus, Inc.
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