Майкл Коннелли: Two Kinds of Truth

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Майкл Коннелли Two Kinds of Truth
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    Two Kinds of Truth
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Two Kinds of Truth: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town’s 3-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse. Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch’s LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him, and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren’t keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison. The two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

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Michael Connelly

Two Kinds of Truth

For Heather Rizzo

Thanks for the title and everything else.

Part One



Bosch was in cell 3 of the old San Fernando jail, looking through files from one of the Esme Tavares boxes, when a heads-up text came in from Bella Lourdes over in the detective bureau.

LAPD and DA heading your way. Trevino told them where you are.

Bosch was where he was at the start of most weeks: sitting at his makeshift desk, a wooden door he had borrowed from the Public Works yard and placed across two stacks of file boxes. After sending Lourdes a thank-you text, he opened the memo app on his phone and turned on the recorder. He put the phone screen-down on the desk and partially covered it with a file from the Tavares box. It was a just-in-case move. He had no idea why people from the District Attorney’s Office and his old police department were coming to see him first thing on a Monday morning. He had not received a call alerting him to the visit, though to be fair, cellular connection within the steel bars of the cell was virtually nonexistent. Still, he knew that the surprise visit was often a tactical move. Bosch’s relationship with the LAPD since his forced retirement three years earlier had been strained at best and his attorney had urged him to protect himself by documenting all interactions with the department.

While he waited for them, he went back to the file at hand. He was looking through statements taken in the weeks after Tavares had disappeared. He had read them before but he believed that the case files often contained the secret to cracking a cold case. It was all there if you could find it. A logic discrepancy, a hidden clue, a contradictory statement, an investigator’s handwritten note in the margin of a report — all of these things had helped Bosch clear cases in a career four decades long and counting.

There were three file boxes on the Tavares case. Officially it was a missing-persons case but it had gathered three feet of stacked files over fifteen years because it was classified as such only because a body had never been found.

When Bosch came to the San Fernando Police Department to volunteer his skills looking at cold case files, he had asked Chief Anthony Valdez where to start. The chief, who had been with the department twenty-five years, told him to start with Esmerelda Tavares. It was the case that had haunted Valdez as an investigator, but as police chief he could not give adequate time to it.

In two years working in San Fernando part-time, Bosch had reopened several cases and closed nearly a dozen — multiple rapes and murders among them. But he came back to Esme Tavares whenever he had an hour here and there to look through the file boxes. She was beginning to haunt him too. A young mother who vanished, leaving a sleeping baby in a crib. It might be classified as a missing-persons case but Bosch didn’t have to read through even the first box to know what the chief and every investigator before him knew. Foul play was most likely involved. Esme Tavares was more than missing. She was dead.

Bosch heard the metal door to the jail wing open and then footsteps on the concrete floor that ran in front of the three group cells. He looked up through the iron bars and was surprised by who he saw.

“Hello, Harry.”

It was his former partner, Lucia Soto, along with two men in suits whom Bosch didn’t recognize. The fact that Soto had apparently not let him know they were coming put Bosch on alert. It was a forty-minute drive from both the LAPD’s headquarters and the D.A.’s Office downtown to San Fernando. That left plenty of time to type out a text and say, “Harry, we are heading your way.” But that hadn’t happened, so he assumed that the two men whom he didn’t know had put the clamps on Soto.

“Lucia, long time,” Bosch said. “How are you, partner?”

It looked like none of the three were interested in entering Bosch’s cell, even if it had been repurposed. He stood up, deftly grabbing his phone from beneath the files on the desk and transferring it to his shirt pocket, placing the screen against his chest. He walked to the bars and stuck his hand through. Though he had talked to Soto intermittently by phone and text over the past couple of years he had not seen her. Her appearance had changed. She had lost weight and she looked drawn and tired, her dark eyes worried. Rather than shaking his hand, she squeezed it. Her grip was tight and he took that as a message: Be careful here.

It was easy for Bosch to figure out who was who between the two men. Both were in their early forties and dressed in suits that most likely came off the rack at Men’s Wearhouse. But the man on the left’s pinstripes were showing wear from the inside out. Bosch knew that meant he was wearing a shoulder rig beneath the jacket, and the hard edge of his weapon’s slide was wearing through the fabric. Bosch guessed that the silk lining had already been chewed up. In six months the suit would be toast.

“Bob Tapscott,” he said. “Lucky Lucy’s partner now.”

Tapscott was black and Bosch wondered if he was related to Horace Tapscott, the late South L.A. musician who had been vital in preserving the community’s jazz identity.

“And I’m Alex Kennedy, deputy district attorney,” said the second man. “We’d like to talk to you if you have a few minutes.”

“Uh, sure,” Bosch said. “Step into my office.”

He gestured toward the confines of the former cell now fitted with steel shelves containing case files. There was a long communal bench left over from the cell’s previous existence as a drunk tank. Bosch had files from different cases lined up to review on the bench. He started stacking them to make room for his visitors to sit, even though he was pretty sure they wouldn’t.

“Actually, we talked to your Captain Trevino, and he says we can use the war room over in the detective bureau,” Tapscott said. “It will be more comfortable. Do you mind?”

“I don’t mind if the captain doesn’t mind,” Bosch said. “What’s this about anyway?”

“Preston Borders,” Soto said.

Bosch was walking toward the open door of the cell. The name put a slight pause in his step.

“Let’s wait until we’re in the war room,” Kennedy said quickly. “Then we can talk.”

Soto gave Bosch a look that seemed to impart the message that she was under the D.A.’s thumb on this case. He grabbed his keys and the padlock off the desk, stepped out of the cell, and then slid the metal door closed with a heavy clang. The key to the cell had disappeared long ago and Bosch wrapped a bicycle chain around the bars and secured the door with the padlock.

They left the old jail and walked through the Public Works equipment yard out to First Street. While waiting for traffic to pass, Bosch casually pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked for messages. He had received nothing from Soto or anyone else prior to the arrival of the party from downtown. He kept the recording going and put the phone back in his pocket.

Soto spoke, but not about the case that had brought her up to San Fernando.

“Is that really your office, Harry?” she asked. “I mean, they put you in a jail cell?”

“Yep,” Bosch said. “That was the drunk tank and sometimes I think I can still smell the puke when I open it up in the morning. Supposedly five or six guys hung themselves in there over the years. Supposed to be haunted. But it’s where they keep the cold case files, so it’s where I do my work. They store old evidence boxes in the other two cells, so easy access all around. And usually nobody to bother me.”

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