Edward Thomas (b. 1932; d. 23 Feb 2010) was the husband of Patricia Thomas, and a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division in the mid-1990s. In the department he was known as Praying Mantis because of the way he would hold reading material up close to his face.
In 1995, he was targeted by the serial killer known as the Poet. Journalist Jack McEvoy, working with FBI agents, set a trap to catch the Poet in L.A. using Thomas as bait. Thomas was not injured, but the Poet was not caught.
After retiring from the Department, he opened the Book Carnival mystery bookstore in Orange County. The Poet attempted once more to kill Thomas in April 2004 by posing as a customer requesting appraisal of his book collection. Thomas was narrowly saved by Harry Bosch and Rachel Walling who had Thomas under surveillance.