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The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly

The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly

Author:Michael Connelly [Connelly, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


23

After the last curve, Sunset dropped down to the beach, and Ballard saw a vast parking lot next to a closed tourist restaurant. There was only one car in the lot and it did not have the boxy lines of a city ride. Ballard had forgotten that Davenport likely drove undercover wheels for his gang work. While she waited for the traffic light to change, she called him.

“You there yet?”

“We’re here waiting and you’re late.”

“What car are you driving? I’m about to pull in.”

“It will be obvious, Ballard. We’re the only car in the lot. Just get in here.”

He disconnected. Ballard looked at the glowing red light in the traffic signal. She acknowledged to herself that Bosch had spooked her. She checked the gas station on the corner and the supermarket parking lot beyond it and didn’t see Bosch’s old Cherokee. There was no way he could have gotten here from his house so quickly.

The light changed to green and she crossed into the parking lot. The arm was up on the ticket dispenser because it was after hours. She drove toward the car parked in the middle of the lot at an angle that put her headlights through the driver’s-side window. As she got close, she recognized Davenport behind the wheel. She then made a looping turn and saw his passenger was in the front seat. She pulled her car up alongside so they could speak window to window and dropped the transmission into park. Before she killed the engine she took out her mini-recorder, turned it on, and started recording. She slid it into the side air-conditioning vent, where it would not be seen by the informant but would catch every word. She then held the rover up and called in her location to the com center so there would be a record of her last location should anything go wrong.

She lowered her window and killed the engine.

The woman sitting three feet away in Davenport’s undercover ride was Latina and maybe forty years old. She had heavy eye makeup, long brown hair, and a high collar on her blouse that Ballard thought probably hid tattoos or the scars left by their removal.

Davenport leaned forward so he could see around his passenger to Ballard.

“What’s with the cloak-and-dagger, Ballard? And you called this in? Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Robinson-Reynolds told me to.”

“You shouldn’t even have told him about this.”

“I had to. You pull me forty minutes out of the division and I had to tell someone. He told me to tell coms when I — ”

“Yeah, well, he’s a fuckhead. You’ve got twenty minutes, Ballard. Ask your questions.”

Ballard looked at the woman. She seemed put out by the shouting coming from Davenport beside her.

“Okay, what’s your name?” Ballard asked.

“No names!” Davenport yelled. “Jesus Christ, Ballard, I told you. No. Names.”

“Okay, okay, what do you want me to call you?” Ballard asked. “I want this to be a conversation and I’d like to have a name for the person I’m talking to.



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