He moved in closer to her and stepped around the side of the easel. The portrait had only just been started. But she had begun with the eyes. The same eyes in the portrait that hung on the wall in the other room. The same eyes he saw in the mirror.
She hesitantly came closer to him. There was not a glimmer of embarra.s.sment or unease in her face.
"I thought that if I painted you, you would come back."
She dropped her brush into an old coffee can bolted to the easel and came even closer. She embraced him and they kissed silently. At first it was a gentle reunion, then he put his hand against her back and pulled her tightly against his chest as if she were a bandage that could stop his bleeding. After a while she pulled back, brought her arms up and held his face in her hands.
"Let me see if I got the eyes right."
She reached up and took off his sungla.s.ses. He smiled. He knew the purple below his eyes was almost gone but they were still redrimmed and shot with swollen capillaries.
"Jesus, you took the red-eye."
"It's a long story. I'll tell you later."
"G.o.d, put these back on."
She hooked the gla.s.ses back on and laughed.
"It's not that funny. It hurt."
"Not that. I got paint on your face."
"Well, then I'm not alone."
He traced the slash on her face. They embraced again. Bosch knew they could talk later. For now he just held her and smelled her and looked over her shoulder to the brilliant blue of the bay. He thought of something the old man in the bed had told him. When you find the one that you think fits, then grab on for dear life. Bosch didn't know if she was the one, but for the moment he held on with everything he had left.
About this t.i.tle
Harry's life is a mess. His new house has been condemned because of earthquake damage. His girlfriend has left him. He's drinking too much. And he's even had to turn in his badge: he attacked his commanding officer and is suspended indefinitely pending a psychiatric evaluation.
At first Bosch resists the LAPD shrink, but finally he recognizes that something is troubling him, a force that may have shaped his entire life. In 1961, when Harry was twelve, his mother was brutally murdered. No one was ever even accused of the crime.
Harry opens up the decades-old file on the case and is irresistibly drawn into a past he has always avoided. It's clear that the case was fumbled. His mother was a prost.i.tute, and even thirty years later the smell of a cover-up is unmistakable. Someone powerful was able to keep the investigating officers away from key suspects. Even as he confronts his own shame about his mother, Harry relentlessly follows up the old evidence, seeking justice or at least understanding. Out of the broken pieces of the case he discerns a trail that leads upward, toward prominent people who lead public lives high in the Hollywood hills. And as he nears his answer, Harry finds that ancient pa.s.sions don't die. They cause new murders even today.
The Last Coyote is that rarest of novels, a moral thriller, a breakneck-paced tale that opens up the heart's most secret wounds. No one who reads it will remain unchanged or forget the pa.s.sion of Harry Bosch.
Before he can get back on the beat, Harry has to convince the LAPD psychiatrist-and more importantly, himself-that he's emotionally up to it.
BOOKS BY MICHAEL CONNELLY.
THE HARRY BOSCH NOVELS.
City of Bones
A Darkness More Than Night
The Last Coyote
The Concrete Blonde
The Black Ice
The Black Echo
The Lincoln Lawyer
Chasing the Dime
Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops And Killers