There is another store. It’s in the Valley. He was working there. The family lives together in the middle. In the Wilshire District.”
It seemed clear to Bosch that Chu knew what he was doing. He didn’t need Bosch to prompt him with questions.
“Okay, we’re going back up front. You deal with her and after her son arrives it might be better to take everybody downtown. You okay with that?”
“I’m fine with it,” Chu said.
“Good. Tell me if you need anything.”
Bosch and Ferras went down the hall and to the front of the store. Bosch already knew everybody on the forensics team. A team from the medical examiner’s office had also arrived to document the death scene and collect the body.
Bosch and Ferras decided to split up at that point. Bosch would stay on scene. As lead detective he would monitor the collection of forensic evidence and the removal of the body. Ferras would leave the store and go knock on doors. The liquor store was located in a commercial area of small businesses. He would go door-to-door in an effort to find someone who had heard or seen something related to the killing. Both investigators knew this would likely be a fruitless effort but it was one that needed to be made. A description of a car or a suspicious person could be the piece of the puzzle that would eventually break the case. It was basic homicide work.
“All right if I take one of the patrol guys?” Ferras asked. “They know the neighborhood.”
Bosch thought that knowing the lay of the land was not Ferras’s true reason for taking a patrol officer with him. His partner thought he needed backup to knock on doors and visit stores in the neighborhood.
Two minutes after Ferras left, Bosch heard loud voices and a commotion coming from outside at the front of the store. He stepped out and saw two of Lucas’s patrol officers trying to physically detain a man at the yellow tape. The struggling man was Asian and in his midtwenties. He wore a tight-fitting T-shirt that displayed his lean build. Bosch quickly stepped toward the problem.
“Okay, stop it right there,” he said forcefully so no one would doubt who was in charge of the situation.
“Let him go,” he added.
“I want to see my father,” the young man said.
“Well, that’s not the way to go about doing it.”
Bosch stepped closer and nodded to the two patrolmen.
“I’ll take care of Mr. Li now.”
They left Bosch and the victim’s son alone.
“What is your full name, Mr. Li?”
“Robert Li. I want to see my father.”
“I understand that. I’m going to let you see your father if you really want to. But you can’t until it’s clear. I’m the detective in charge of this whole thing and I can’t even see your father yet. So I need you to calm down. The only way you will get what you want is if you calm down.”
The young man looked down at the ground and nodded. Bosch reached out and touched him on the shoulder.
“Okay, good,” Bosch said.
“Where’s my mother?”
“She’s inside in the back room being interviewed by another detective.”
“Can I at least see her?”
“Yes, you can. I’ll walk you around back in a minute. I just need to ask you a few questions first. Is that okay?”
“Fine. Go ahead.”
“First of all, my name is Harry Bosch. I’m the lead detective on this investigation. I’m going to find whoever killed your father. I promise you that.”
“Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. You didn’t even know him. You don’t care. He’s just another-never mind.”
“I said, never mind.”
Bosch stared at him for a moment before responding.
“How old are you, Robert?”
“I’m twenty-six and I would like to see my mother now.”
He made a move to turn and head toward the back of the store but Bosch grabbed him on the arm. The younger man was strong but Bosch had a strength in his grip that was surprising. The young man stopped and looked down at the hand on his arm.
“Let me show you something and then I’ll take you to your mother.”
He let go of Li’s arm and then pulled the matchbook from his pocket. He handed it over. Li looked at it with no surprise.
“What about it? We used to give these away until the economy went bad and we couldn’t afford the extras.”
Bosch took the matchbook back and nodded.
“I got it in your father’s store twelve years ago,” he said. “I guess you were about fourteen years old then. We almost had a
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