The Harry Bosch Novels is a web novel created by Michael Connelly.
This lightnovel is currently completed.
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Irving stopped to gulp down some air. Bosch noticed that the a.s.sistant chief seemed just as winded as anybody in the room.
“There will be no charges on this,” Irving finally continued. “Lieutenant, you baited him and got what you got.”
Irving’s tone invited no debate. Brockman, his chest still heaving, put his elbows on the table and began running his fingers through his hair, trying to look as if he still had some composure but all he had was defeat. Irving turned to Bosch, anger bunching the muscles of his jaw into hard surfaces.
“And you. Bosch, I don’t know how to help you. You’re always the loose cannon. You knew what he was doing, you’ve done it yourself. But you couldn’t sit there and take it. What kind of man are you?”
Bosch didn’t say anything and he doubted Irving wanted a spoken answer. Brockman started coughing and Irving looked back at him.
“Are you all right?”
“Go across the street, have one of the paramedics check you out.”
“No, I’m all right.”
“Good, then go down to your office, take a break. I have someone else I want to have talk to Bosch.”
“I want to continue the inter-“
“The interview is over, Lieutenant. You blew it.” Then, looking at Bosch, he added, “You both did.”
Irving left Bosch alone in the conference room and in a few moments Carmen Hinojos walked in. She took the same seat that Brockman had sat in. She looked at Bosch with eyes that seemed filled with equal parts anger and disappointment. But Bosch didn’t flinch under her gaze.
“Harry, I can’t believe-“
He held a finger up to his mouth, silencing her.
“What is it?”
“Are our sessions still supposed to be private?”
“Even in here?”
“Yes. What is it?”
Bosch got up and walked to the phone on the counter. He pushed the b.u.t.ton that disconnected the conference call. He returned to his seat.
“I hope that was left on unintentionally. I’m going to speak to Chief Irving about that.”
“You’re probably speaking to him right now. The phone was too obvious. He’s probably got the room wired.”
“C’mon, Harry, this isn’t the CIA.”
“No, it’s not. Sometimes it’s even worse. All I’m saying is Irving, the IAD, they still might be listening somehow. Be careful what you say.”
Carmen Hinojos looked exasperated.
“I’m not paranoid, Doctor. I’ve been through this before.”
“All right, never mind. I really don’t care who’s listening or not. I can’t believe what you just did. It makes me very sad and disappointed. What have our meetings been about? Nothing? I’m sitting in there hearing you resort to the same type of violence that brought you to me in the first place. Harry, this isn’t some joke. This is real life. And I have to make a decision that could very well decide your future. This makes it all the more difficult to do.”
He waited until he was sure she was done.
“You were in there with Irving the whole time?”
“Yes, he called and explained the situation and asked me to come over and sit in. I have to say-“
“Wait a minute. Before we go any further. Did you talk to him? Did you tell him about our sessions?”
“No, of course not.”
“Okay, for the record, I just want to reiterate that I do not give up any of my protections under the patient-doctor relationship. We okay on that?”
For the first time she looked away from him. He could see her face turning dark with anger.
“Do you know what an insult that is for you to tell me that? What, do you think I’d tell him about our sessions just because he may have ordered me to?”
“You don’t trust me at all, do you?”
“No, he didn’t.”
“It’s not just me. You don’t trust anyone.”
Bosch realized that he had been out of line. He could see, though, that there was more hurt than anger in her face.
“I’m sorry, you’re right, I shouldn’t have said that. I’m just … I don’t know, I’ve got my back to the corner here, Doctor. When that happens, sometimes you forget who’s on your side and who isn’t.”
“Yes, and as a matter of course you respond with violence against those who you perceive are not on your side. This is not good to see. It’s very, very disappointing.”
He looked away from her and over to the potted palm in the corner. Before leaving the room, Irving had replanted it, getting his hands dirty with black soil. Bosch noticed it was still slightly tilted to the left.
“So what are you doing up here?” he asked. “What does Irving want?”
“He wanted me to sit in his office and listen to your interview on the conference line. He said he was interested in my evaluation of your answers as to whether I believed you could have been responsible for the death of Lieutenant Pounds. Thanks to you and your attack on your interviewer, he didn’t need any evaluation from me. It’s clear at this point you are p.r.o.ne to and quite capable of violence against fellow police officers.”
“That’s bulls.h.i.t and you know it. d.a.m.n it, what I did in here to that guy masquerading as a cop was a lot different than what they think I did. You’re talking about things that are worlds apart and if you don’t see that, you’re making your living in the wrong business.”
“I’m not so sure.”
“Have you ever killed anyone, Doctor?”
Saying the question reminded him of his true confessions conversation with Jasmine.
“Of course not.”
“Well, I have. And believe me it’s a lot different than roughing up some pompous a.s.s in a suit with a shine on its a.s.s. A lot different. If you or they think that doing one means you can do the other, you all have a lot to learn.”
They were both quiet for a long while, letting their anger ebb away.
“All right,” he finally said. “So what happens now?”
“I don’t know. Chief Irving just asked me to sit in with you, to calm you. I guess he’s figuring out what to do next. I guess I’m not doing a very good job of calming you.”
“What did he say when he first asked you to come up here and listen?”
“He just called me and explained what happened and said he wanted my take on the interview. You have to understand something, despite your problems with authority, he is one person who I think is in your court on this. I don’t think he honestly believes you’re involved in the death of your lieutenant- at least directly. But he realizes that you are a viable suspect who needs to be questioned. I think if you had held your temper during the interview this all might’ve been over for you soon. They would’ve checked your story in Florida and that would have been the end of it. I even told them that you told me you were going to Florida.”
“I don’t want them checking my story. I don’t want them involved.”
“Well, it’s too late. He knows you’re up to something.”
“When he called to ask me to come over he mentioned the file on your mother’s case. The murder book. He said it was found at your house. He also said they found the stored evidence from the case there …”
“And he asked if I knew what you were doing with all of it.”
“So he did ask you to reveal what we’ve talked about in our sessions.”
“In an indirect way.”
“Sounds pretty direct to me. Did he say specifically that it was my mother’s case?”
“Yes, he did.”
“What did you tell him?”
“I told him that I was not at liberty to discuss anything that was talked about in our sessions. It didn’t satisfy him.”
“I’m not surprised.”
Another wave of silence washed between them. Her eyes wandered the room. His stayed on hers.
“Listen, what do you know about what happened to Pounds?”
“Irving must have told you something. You must’ve asked.”
“He said Pounds was found in the trunk of his car Sunday evening. I guess he had been there a while. A day maybe. The chief said he … the body showed signs of torture. Particularly s.a.d.i.s.tic mutilation, he said. He didn’t go into detail. It had happened before Pounds was dead. They do know that. He said that he’d been in a lot of pain. He wanted to know if you were the type of man who could’ve done that.”
Bosch said nothing. He was imagining the crime scene in his mind. His guilt came crushing back down on him and for a moment he thought he might even get nauseated.
“For what it’s worth, I said no.”
“I told him you weren’t the type of man who could’ve done that.”
Bosch nodded. But his thoughts were already a great distance away again. What had happened to Pounds was becoming clear and Bosch carried the guilt of having set things in motion. Though legally innocent, he knew he was morally culpable. Pounds was a man he despised, had less respect for than some of the murderers he had known. But the weight of the guilt was bearing down on him. He ran his hands hard over his face and through his hair. He felt a shudder move through his body.
“Are you all right?” Hinojos asked.
Bosch took out his cigarettes and started to light one with his Bic.
“Harry, you better not. This isn’t my office.”
“I don’t care. Where was he found?”
“Pounds! Where was he found?”
“I don’t know. You mean where was the car? I don’t know. I didn’t ask.”
She studied him and he noticed the hand that held his cigarette was shaking.
“All right, Harry, that’s it. What’s the matter? What is going on?”
Bosch looked at her for a long moment and nodded.
“Okay, you want to know? I did it. I killed him.”
Her face immediately reacted as if perhaps she had seen the killing firsthand, so close that she had been spattered with blood. It was a horrible face. Repulsed. And she moved back in her chair as if even a few more inches of separation from him were needed.
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