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Cemetery Dance by Preston Douglas && Child Lincoln

Cemetery Dance by Preston Douglas && Child Lincoln

Author:Preston, Douglas && Child, Lincoln
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: FIC000000
ISBN: 9780446537841
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: 2009-05-12T04:00:00+00:00


41

What’ll it be, hon?” the harassed-looking waitress asked, elbow balanced on hip, pad open, pen at the ready.

D’Agosta pushed his menu aside. “Coffee, black, and oatmeal.”

The waitress glanced across the table. “And you?”

“Blueberry pancakes,” said Hayward. “Warm the syrup, please.”

“Will do,” the waitress replied, flipping her pad closed and turning away.

“Just a second,” said D’Agosta.

This bore consideration. In his experience during the time they lived together, Laura Hayward ordered—or cooked—blueberry pancakes for one of two reasons. She felt guilty about overworking and ignoring him. Or she was feeling amorous. Either option sounded good. Was she sending a signal? Breakfast had, after all, been her idea.

“Make that two orders of pancakes,” he said.

“You got it.” And the waitress moved off.

“Did you see the West Sider this morning?” Hayward asked.

“I did. Unfortunately.” The scandal sheet seemed hell-bent on whipping the entire city into a state of hysteria. And it wasn’t just the West Sider—all the tabloids had now picked up the hue and cry. The Ville was being depicted in ever more ghoulish terms, with plenty of not-so-subtle hints that it was behind the killing of the West Sider’s “star reporter,” Caitlyn Kidd.

But it was on Bill Smithback himself that the papers lingered with the greatest morbidity. The high-profile murder of Kidd by Smithback, after being pronounced dead and undergoing an autopsy; his corpse missing from the M.E.’s office—everything had been sifted and speculated on with the greatest relish. And, of course, with more dark hints that the Ville was ultimately responsible.

As far as D’Agosta was concerned, the Ville was responsible. Still, despite his own mounting anger, he knew the last thing the city needed was vigilante justice.

The waitress returned with his coffee. He sipped it gratefully, stealing a glance at Hayward. Their eyes met. Her expression didn’t seem particularly guilty, or particularly amorous. It seemed troubled.

“When did you visit Nora Kelly?”

“Last evening, as soon as I heard. Right after we finished searching the Ville.”

“What happened to the protection you arranged for her?”

D’Agosta frowned. “The handoff was botched. Each of the two teams assigned thought the other had things covered. Fucking idiots.”

“How is Nora?”

“Banged up here and there, some cuts and abrasions. Of greater concern is the second concussion she suffered. She’ll be in the hospital at least a couple more days for observation.”

“The neighbors broke it up?”

D’Agosta took another sip of coffee, nodded. “Her screams brought them running. They kicked down the door.”

“And Nora insists it was Smithback?”

“Sure enough to testify to it in court. Same with the neighbors.”

Hayward’s eyes were on the faux marble of the tabletop. “This is too weird. I mean, what’s going on?”

“The goddamn Ville is what’s going on.” Just thinking of Nora brought the anger back with a vengeance. It seemed he was always mad these days: mad at the Ville; mad at Kline and his oily threats; mad at the commissioner; mad at all the bureaucratic red tape that tied his hands; mad even at Pendergast with his irritating coyness and his insufferable little French Creole adviser.



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