Echo Park Part 43

With his arm across her back he walked her out to the waiting Mustang. He helped her get in, then put a bag of cards and gifts she had received into the trunk and came around to the driver's side.

"You want to go anywhere first?" he asked once he was in the car.

"No, just home. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed."

"I hear you."

He started the car and pulled out, heading back to the freeway. They drove silently. When he got back to the 134 the flower vendor was still in the median. Rider looked down at the bouquet in her hand, realized that Bosch had gotten them as an afterthought and started laughing. Bosch joined in.

"Oh, s.h.i.t, that hurts!" she said, touching her hand to her neck.

"Sorry."

"It's all right, Harry. I need to laugh."

Bosch nodded his agreement.

"Is Sheila going to come by today?" he asked.

"Yeah, after work."

"Good."

He nodded because there wasn't anything else to do. They lapsed back into silence.

"Harry, I took your advice," Rider said after a few minutes.

"What was that?"

"I told them I didn't have a shot. I told them I didn't want to hit Olivas."

"That's good, Kiz."

He thought about things for a few moments.

"Does that mean you're going to keep your badge?" he asked.

"Yes, Harry, I'm keeping the badge ... but not my partner."

Bosch looked over at her.

"I talked to the chief," Rider said. "After I finish rehab I'm going to go back to work in his office, Harry. I hope that will be all right with you."

"Whatever you want to do is all right with me. You know that. I'm glad you're staying."

"Me, too."

A few more minutes went by and when she spoke again it was as if the conversation had never lagged.

"Besides, up there on the sixth floor, I'll be able to watch out for you, Harry. Maybe keep you out of all the politics and bureaucratic sc.r.a.pping. Lord knows you're still going to need me from time to time."

Bosch smiled broadly. He couldn't help it. He liked the idea of her being up there one floor above him. Watching out and watching over.

"I like it," he said. "I don't think I've ever had a guardian angel before."

Acknowledgments

The author gratefully acknowledges a number of people who greatly helped in the research and writing of this book. They include Asya Muchnick, Michael Pietsch, Jane Wood, Pamela Marshall, Shannon Byrne, Terrill Lee Lankford, Jan Burke, Pam Wilson, Jerry Hooten and Ken Delavigne. Also of great help to the author were Linda Connelly, Jane Davis, Maryelizabeth Capps, Carolyn Chriss, Dan Daly, Roger Mills and Gerald Chaleff. Also many thanks to Sgt. Bob McDonald and Detectives Tim Marcia, Rick Jackson and David Lambkin of the Los Angeles Police Department.

About the Author

Michael Connelly is the author of the bestselling Harry Bosch series of novels as well as the recent #1 is the author of the bestselling Harry Bosch series of novels as well as the recent #1 New York Times New York Times bestseller bestseller The Lincoln Lawyer. The Lincoln Lawyer. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He spends his time in California and Florida. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He spends his time in California and Florida.

ALSO BY MICHAEL CONNELLY

Fiction

The Black Echo

The Black Ice

The Concrete Blonde

The Last Coyote

The Poet

Trunk Music

Blood Work

Angels Flight

Void Moon

A Darkness More Than Night

City of Bones

Chasing the Dime

Lost Light

The Narrows

The Closers

The Lincoln Lawyer

Nonfiction

Crime Beat

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