He reached into an inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a photograph of Marie Gesto. He showed it to Kay and asked if he recognized her as someone who might have looked at the apartment. He said he didn't recognize her.
"Not even from TV?" Edgar asked. "She's been missing ten days and it's been in the news."
"I don't have a TV, Detective," Kay said.
No television. In this town that qualified him as a free thinker, Bosch thought.
"She was in the newspapers, too," Edgar tried.
"I read the papers from time to time," Kay said. "I get them out of the recycle bins downstairs. They're usually old by the time I see them. But I didn't see any story about her."
"She went missing ten days ago," Bosch said. "That would have been Thursday the ninth. You remember anything from back then? Anything unusual around here?"
Kay shook his head.
"I wasn't here. I was on vacation in Italy."
"I love Italy. Where'd you go?"
Kay's face brightened.
"I went up to Lake Como and then over to a small hill town called Asolo. It's where Robert Browning lived."
Bosch nodded like he knew the places and knew who Robert Browning was.
"We've got company," Edgar said.
Bosch followed his partner's gaze down to the cul-de-sac. A television truck with a satellite dish on top and a big number 9 painted on the side had pulled up to the yellow tape. One of the patrol officers was walking toward it.
Harry looked back at the landlord.
"Mr. Kay, we'll need to talk more later. If you can, see what numbers or names you can find of people who looked at or called about the apartment. We'll also need to talk to the person who handled things while you were in Italy and get the name and forwarding address of the former tenant who moved back to Texas."
"And we're going to need to talk to the rest of the tenants to see if anybody saw that car being dropped off in the garage. We will try not to be too intrusive."
"No problem with any of that. I'll see what I can dig up on the numbers."
They left the apartment and walked with Kay back to the elevator. They said good-bye to the manager and went down, the steel cube lurching again before smoothing out on the descent.
"Harry, I didn't know you love Italy," Edgar said.
"I've never been."
Edgar nodded, realizing it had been a tactic to draw Kay out, to put more alibi information on record.
"You thinking about him?" he asked.
"Not really. Just covering the bases. Besides, if it was him, why put the car in his place's own garage? Why call it in?"
"Yeah. But then, maybe he's smart enough to know we'd think he'd be too smart to do that. See what I mean? Maybe he's outsmarting us, Harry. Maybe the girl came to look at the place and things went wrong. He hides the body but knows he can't move that car because he might get pulled over by the cops. So he waits ten days and calls it in like he thinks it might be stolen."
"Then maybe you should run his Italian alibi down, Watson."
"Why am I Watson? Why can't I be Holmes?"
"Because Watson is the one who talks too much. But if you want, I'll start calling you 'Homes.' Maybe that would be better."
"What's bothering you, Harry?"
Bosch thought of the clothing neatly folded on the front seat of the Honda. He felt that pressure on his insides again. Like his body was wrapped in wire being tightened from behind.
"What's bothering me is that I've got a bad feeling about this one."
"What kind of bad feeling?"
"The kind that tells me we're never going to find her. And if we never find her, then we never find him."
The elevator jerked to a hard stop, bounced once and came to a rest. Bosch pulled open the doors. At the end of the short tunnel that led to the cul-de-sac and the garages, he saw a woman holding a microphone and a man holding a television camera waiting for them.
"Yeah," he said. "The killer."
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