The story begins here...

Chapter 1

 

For a guy who’d had a major problem with much of Metro Nashville’s finest a little more than a year ago, I was hardly overjoyed at finding myself in the midst of the department’s most tormenting case in years. Okay, maybe not in the midst. I was more like on the periphery, which was still a lot closer than I cared to be.

It happened on one of those spectacular early spring days that could have inspired a poet to grab pen and paper. The sky appeared so blue it dazzled. Early-blooming lilacs spread like a purple haze along the driveway, heavily scenting the nippy morning breeze. Jill and I left home full of anticipation, bound for lunch at Nashville’s spectacular Opryworld Hotel. We were meeting a prospect we hoped to make the first major client of McKenzie Investigations.

The gentleman in question, one Jesse Logan by name, awaited us in the spacious Lakeside Lobby on the far side of the sprawling hotel. He stood next to a mammoth fluted column with a Corinthian style capital, although I doubted the good folks from Corinth ever sculpted a stylized guitar on all four sides. Even if I’d not had the benefit of a previous investigative career, Logan would not have been all that difficult to spot among the throng of stockbrokers, analysts and such who had descended on the hotel for a meeting of securities dealers. Logan had told me he would look a little bit like Tiger Woods. In fact, he appeared to be early- to mid-thirties, medium height, trim, dressed in a brown knit shirt and khaki slacks. He didn’t share Tiger’s tentative grin, but I found him leaning against a tall, leather-adorned bag from which a mob of wood and metal heads protruded.

I approached him with a confident smile. “Mr. Logan?”

He glanced at his watch. “You must be Greg McKenzie. Right on time. Punctuality, I like.” Looking across at Jill, he said, “And this would be Mrs. McKenzie?”

It would, indeed. He reached out to take Jill’s hand, giving rise to what I called her motherly smile. Though old enough to be a grandmother several times over, she had coal-black hair and an attractive face and figure that made too many people wonder if she might not be my daughter. Happily, she was not. I’d had neither sons nor daughters but one wife for over thirty-five years.

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Logan,” Jill said.

I shook his hand also, approving of the firm grasp, then noted a set to his jaw that appeared to signal he was not the type who preferred standing around making small talk. “Ready for some lunch?” I asked.

“I sure am. I just got in from playing the Summerhouse Course with a lawyer I’m consulting about our situation. If you don’t mind, I’ll just bring the bag along and save some time. No telling how long it would take to get to my room and back.”

“Amen to that,” I said. The Opryworld’s room wings wandered off in every conceivable direction from its numerous lobbies and ballrooms and its monstrous areas under glass. “Bring the clubs. There’s a good eating place in the Lakeside area.”

“Great,” he said, smiling broadly. “I’ll confess, though, I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to my menu preferences.”

Logan, from Atlanta, had told me on the phone he was southeast regional manager for Leisure Foods Group, which operated a chain of specialty restaurants called King Cole’s. That had led me to speculate that he might be a merry old soul. The age category certainly didn’t fit.

The hotel’s restaurants were a tad pricey, but we were here to impress a prospect. Jill was decked out in a fashionable blue and white outfit and, though I preferred more casual attire, I wore my dark gray suit with the patterned red tie. I would certainly have been impressed were I in Logan’s shoes. We escorted him through a brick archway into an area that resembled a tropical garden. Large green plants grew in profusion among pools dotted with dancing water spouts. Off to the right was one of the hotel’s half a dozen eating spots, one that resembled a sidewalk café not far from a high waterfall that gushed out of huge manmade rocks. Nearby, a rotating lounge sat like a lily pad on an indoor lake. High above, you could see blue sky through what looked like acres of glass. Now that was impressive.

After Jill and I had ordered sandwiches considerably more expensive than McDonald’s and Logan had vetoed everything but a fruit plate, I asked him how he’d come to know Metro Detective Phillip Adamson, the officer who had recommended us.

“I got his name from a friend in the Atlanta Police Department. When I talked to Adamson, he said you two had been in business for only a few months. But he pointed out that you were retired from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and had been an investigator for the DA’s office in Nashville. He also told me about the murder case you folks solved down in Florida last fall.”

Phil Adamson had become a good friend–one of few in the Metro PD–despite a rocky start nearly a year and a half ago when I had stonewalled him while struggling to track down a group of Palestinians who had kidnapped Jill.

Logan proceeded to explain the problem that plagued him, which involved the King Cole’s unit in Hendersonville, a trendy town just across the county line on the northeast side of Nashville. It seemed that several employees, possibly including the manager, were suspected of skimming cash from the operation. The customer base appeared to be holding firm, though gross receipts were sliding down a slippery slope.

“We don’t want to get the cops involved and risk a rash of bad publicity,” he said. “We’re looking for a private detective agency to get a handle on the situation.”

The waitress brought our food, and as Logan picked his way through a mound of fruit and cottage cheese, Jill and I dug into sandwiches big enough for King Kong if not King Cole. As we ate, a burly ex-Metro police captain named Haley Edwards waved at me, then took a seat at a nearby table. He was security chief at the hotel. I had met him during my all-too-brief tenure with the District Attorney’s office. In light of his own problems with Nashville’s police hierarchy, he had readily expressed sympathy for my agonizing plight.

I was well into charting some possible routes the King Cole’s investigation might take when I saw Edwards jam a cell phone against his ear. His eyes widened. His face took on a doomsday look. He jumped up from the table, nearly knocked over his chair, and ran for the entrance.

Hearing the clatter and seeing the puzzled look on my face, Logan turned in time to catch a glimpse of the fleeing hotel official. “What the devil was that all about?”

“He’s head of Opryworld’s security,” I said. “From the looks of it, I’d say he has a major problem.”

Jill took that as a cue and donned a demure smile. “Why don’t we get back to how McKenzie Investigations can help with your problem, Mr. Logan?”

Count on my wife to seize the moment.

“Well, actually, you’ve pretty well convinced me you’re the people to solve our dilemma,” he said. He looked across at Jill. “I like the idea of your going in as a hostess to take an inside look at what’s happening out there. Tell me a little more about what you have in mind.”

“At the moment, I’m just kicking around some ideas,” I said. “We could be dealing with embezzlement of funds, or it might involve the waiters or waitresses.”

He stirred the tea in his glass, then looked back at Jill. “As an insider, you might be able to get some servers to talk.”

“That would be our hope,” I said.

“What kind of fee are we talking about?”

When I told him, he nodded.

“Sounds reasonable. Let me get with corporate and be sure we’re all singing from the same hymnbook. We should be ready to start something in a day or so.”

The prospects appeared so favorable that I blew the budget and ordered an exotic-looking dessert for the three of us. While we waited, Logan told us about being raised by his grandmother in the projects in Birmingham. She had done a heroic job of molding him into the successful young businessman who sat across from us.

When the dessert came, it was a monstrous concoction of cake and ice cream and various toppings. One serving would have done for the three of us. Or so I thought, though Jill and Logan demolished their portions rather thoroughly. After coffee and a final bit of friendly banter, we shook hands, I paid the check, Logan shouldered his golf bag for the trip to his room, and Jill and I headed back out to the lobby.

To our dismay, we found the scene there pure bedlam. Uniformed officers stood at every outside door, barring anyone from leaving the building. A police sergeant shouted orders. Desk clerks and bellmen scurried about in complete confusion. Clusters of guests, many wearing convention badges, chattered like seagulls on the beach beside our Florida condo, their faces twisted in bewilderment.

Jill stared. “What in the world is going on?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s obviously not a meeting of the Greg McKenzie Fan Club.”

As I looked about, I recognized a few Metro detectives in plain clothes questioning people in the lobby. Happily, my old nemesis, Murder Squad Detective Mark Tremaine, was not among them. But after searching the crowd a few moments, I spotted Phil Adamson talking to a stocky young man in a black windbreaker I thought I remembered as an FBI agent. Oh, for the good old days when the feds only wore conservative blue suits. At any rate, obviously something major had taken place.

I steered Jill toward where Phil stood, his face pinched into its usual dour expression. Though not impressive to look at—tall, gaunt, with thinning brown hair and a beak of a nose that appeared slightly out of joint—Adamson was a sharp, intelligent cop. Assigned to Homicide, he and his colleagues investigated other violent crimes in addition to murders.

As he turned away from the FBI guy, I tapped him on the shoulder.

He looked around, raising both eyebrows. “What the hell are you doing here, McKenzie?”

I grinned. “Having lunch with the client you sent our way, Phil. Thanks for the recommendation. What’s happening?”

He glanced toward Jill. “Hi, Miz McKenzie.” After looking around to check nearby faces, he lowered his voice, which had a somber, gravelly quality. “Somebody just shot Dr. Elliott Bernstein. Very dead.”

“The Fed chairman?” I recalled reading in the paper that he would be in town for a meeting at the local Federal Reserve Bank and to speak at the securities dealers convention.

“Right,” Adamson said with a nod. “Looks like an execution.”

 

Chapter 2

 

It was after two o’clock by the time we reached the office. The drive hardly took twenty minutes, but there had been the inevitable delays while the police, the FBI and the Secret Service tried to put things at Opryworld into some sort of perspective. Thanks to the intervention of Detective Adamson, we were allowed through the hotel’s guarded exit without excessive hassle. However, it didn’t take an old-time investigator to deduce the reason for the dark looks I got from a few of the cops at the door. Too many in the ranks still viewed me as something of an enemy.

We had scanned the radio dial on the way to the office but learned little more than we already knew about the Opryworld affair. Dr. Elliott Bernstein, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, whom some people called the second most powerful man in the country, had been killed by a gunshot while being escorted through the Governors’ Lobby by a group of convention officials and his two Secret Service bodyguards. Both Metro Police and the FBI were on the scene, but no one in an official position had commented on who the killer might have been or what could be the motive. The media, however, had already plunged headfirst into what it does best, speculating wildly on the possibilities. In the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy, the Iraq war, and continuing problems with Al Qaida, they called it a likely terrorist act.

At any rate, all was calm at the office of McKenzie Investigations when we showed up at the strip center a few miles from our home in Hermitage. This suburb on the southeastern side of Nashville was named after Andrew Jackson’s historic home. Being a native of St. Louis, I wasn’t all that conversant with our seventh president until the Air Force sent me down here as a short-haired shavetail in the sixties. After meeting Jill, I was quickly enlightened on the Jacksonian references that abounded in the area. Old Hickory Boulevard, for instance, which is our office address, came from the general’s nickname.

Although “boulevard” sounds fairly grand, our office was not. The space had been occupied until recently by a small beauty shop. The large window in front offered little in the way of privacy—not a good selling point for clients who preferred anonymity. We had discussed painting it with some kind of mural but couldn’t agree on the scene. Jill wanted a seashore with palm trees. I opted for mountains with colorful hardwoods. The only privacy we could offer at present lay in the rear, namely a storage room and a small bath. Up front McKenzie Investigations, being an equal opportunity employer, provided identical his and hers desks, small but adequate. Client chairs, a file cabinet, a paper shredder that gobbled up no-longer-needed working papers, and a narrow table for the essentials—coffee maker, fax, copy machine/printer and small TV—occupied the rest of the space. Our lone computer sat on Jill’s desk. As the only financial genius in the family, she served as treasurer.

I gathered the mail, mostly junk, from beneath the door slot and took it to my desk. Jill stashed her handbag in a drawer, then headed for the miscellany table.

“Let’s see if the TV folks have learned anything new,” she said.

I started tossing junk mail. “Or guessed at anything more deviously.”

I had picked up an envelope that showed a possibility of interest when the door opened and a woman wearing a short brown skirt and a well-filled green sweater walked in. She appeared thirtyish at first glance, though I upped that estimate by a few years when I saw the crow’s feet in the corners of large gray eyes. She had long reddish-brown hair and a shapely body that she maneuvered seductively as she crossed the room. I found her face attractive, even with a troubled cast to her eyes.

“Can we help you?” I asked.

“I hope so,” she said, stopping halfway to my desk. She glanced across at Jill. “You’re the McKenzies?”

I smiled. “Right on both counts.” I motioned to one of the client chairs. “Won’t you have a seat, Miss—?”

“Molly,” she said. “Molly Saint.”

I was glad it wasn’t Saint Molly. She really didn’t fit my vision of somebody ready for canonization. Apparently not my wife’s, either. Jill quickly switched off the TV, strode over and leaned against the side of her desk as Molly took a seat across from me.

“I’m Jill McKenzie,” she said. “This is my husband, Greg.”

I thought she put a little more emphasis than necessary on the husband part, but I suppose it’s a woman thing.

“How can we help you?” I asked.

“It’s a problem with my husband,” Molly said.

Jill gave her a sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Saint, but we don’t handle domestic relations cases. We can give you the names of some other agencies that do.”

Molly Saint had placed her denim-clad handbag on the floor. Now she twisted her hands in her lap. “It’s not what you’re thinking,” she said. “I’m not looking for somebody to snoop around and catch him in bed with another woman. I haven’t decided about a divorce.”

She had a voice that sounded somewhat argumentative. It made you want to hold up your hands and say okay, I believe you. I leaned my elbows on the desk. “Then what’s the problem?”

“I want you to do what I guess you’d call a background investigation on Damon.”

“How long have you been married?” Jill asked.

“About five years.”

I shook my head. “Isn’t it a bit late to be checking on his background now?”

She lowered her eyes. “Probably.”

“Then what are you looking for?” I asked.

“I’m not sure.”

I tried to keep my voice from mirroring the skepticism I felt. “So why check him out at all?”

She stopped twisting her hands and looked up. “I’m afraid of him.”

Jill frowned. “Has he been beating you up?”

“No.”

“Threatened you?”

“Not exactly.”

“Have you been to the police about this?” I asked.

“They say there’s no grounds for them to do anything, so they won’t. But I know he’s capable of violent things. I don’t think he realized I was watching, but a couple of months ago I saw him take a large knife—like a machete—and go after a neighborhood dog that kept barking at him.”

“That’s horrible,” Jill said, cringing. “Did he hurt the dog?”

“No. Thank God the dog got away.” Seeing Jill’s sympathetic reaction, Molly turned to her. “I’m really scared. If I tell him I’m leaving, he’ll do something terrible to me. I know he will.”

“Then don’t tell him,” I said. “Just take off. Leave a note if you want to.”

“He’d come after me,” she said, shaking her head. “I can’t quit my job. I’ve worked too hard to get where I am.”

“Where do you work?” Jill asked.

“Maxxim Motor Freight Lines. I’m taking a few days off. My nerves are shot.”

She didn’t look all that stressed out to me. I also couldn’t picture her in the cab of an eighteen-wheeler but couldn’t resist asking. “Do you drive a truck?”

That brought a frown I took as irritation. “No. I’m an administrative assistant. I work directly under Mr. Crenshaw, the owner.”

I had heard of Grant Crenshaw. He was a wheeler and dealer around Nashville, owning several large office buildings among other investments. He had started out with the truck line and had a reputation as a hard-driving businessman, the quintessential laissez-faire entrepreneur.

“Has your husband done anything else that concerns you?” Jill asked.

“I just feel it in my bones,” she said. “It’s the way he looks at me. Things he doesn’t say. Damon was in Vietnam. One of the drivers at work told me about some guys who fought over there. He said they did some real nasty things when they came back.”

I’d about had enough of Miss Molly and her goofy generalizations. “That was thirty years ago,” I said. “Those guys are either in prison or mental hospitals or living on the streets. Most of the guys who fought in Vietnam are no different from the rest of us. I doubt you have anything to worry about. If your husband should start stalking you or making threats, you can go to court and get a restraining order.”

Jill grimaced. “Come on, Greg. You know how that works. Restraining orders don’t restrain men determined to do bodily harm. Why don’t we find out a little more before we make any judgments?”

My wife can be so damned rational at times.

“Tell us about Damon, how you met him?” Jill asked. She wheeled the chair out from behind her desk and sat facing Molly.

The young woman rubbed her cheek with one hand and looked around. “You got a water fountain? My mouth’s awful dry.”

“How about coffee?” I asked. We were coffee drinkers, first and foremost.

“Just water’ll be fine.”

We didn’t have a water fountain, but we had a supply of soft drinks in a small refrigerator in the storeroom. “We’ve got Cokes, Sprite, that sort of thing,” I said.

“A Coke would be nice,” she said.

I headed to the back room as Jill rephrased her last question. “How did you meet Damon?”

“It was around five years ago,” she said. With the door open, I could easily hear her reply. “I had just broken up with this guy I’d been with for quite a while. I was at this bar having a few drinks one night and somebody suddenly started talking beside me. He was a very ordinary-looking guy, you know. I hadn’t paid any attention to him before that. Anyway, when he spoke he had this deep voice like a radio announcer. Only he talked real soft like and polite.”

She accepted the Coke can and a plastic cup with a silently mouthed thanks.

“So he wasn’t the handsome prince?” Jill said with a grin.

“Hardly. But there was something attractive about him. He was around your height, lots of muscles, long black hair. I never went for guys with long hair before that. I guess it was the eyes that really got to me, though. They’re dark as night, and when he looked at me, I felt like he was seeing right down into my soul. Whatever he saw, he must have liked. He asked me out the next day.”

“Was it a very long courtship?” Jill asked.

“Ha!” She took a swallow of Coke. “I went out with him two or three times and suddenly he wanted to marry me. Like I said, I was on the rebound. He seemed nice enough. What the hell, I thought. Why not?”

I figured there was more to it than that. Most likely some shenanigans in the bedroom she didn’t care to go into.

“So you married him,” Jill said. “How much did you know about him at that time?”

“Not enough, obviously.”

“How about some specifics,” I said.

She sipped on the Coke, then twisted the cup in her hands. “Well, he said he was raised in an orphanage and had no family.”

“Where was he raised?” I asked.

“Chicago.”

A big city. It could be a little difficult to check out but was no big deal. “What did he tell you about his military service?”

“Said he served in Vietnam. He retired from the Army later and lived mostly on his pension.”

“How much pension does he get?”

“He never said. It goes directly to his bank account, which is separate from mine.”

She was certainly on target when she said her knowledge of her husband was pretty meager.

“You say he lives mostly on his pension. What else does he do?” I asked.

“He works for Heritage Car Rentals. Ferries cars back and forth between local and out-of-town offices. They let him work as much or as little as he wants to.”

“Is he working today?” Jill asked.

She nodded as she finished her Coke. “I called the office. He left for Chattanooga this morning. That’s why I came over here now.”

Jill turned to me. “What do you think, Greg?”

I spread my hands and looked at Molly. “Nothing you’ve told us raises any major alarms. Apparently he didn’t harm the dog you mentioned.  He was probably just chasing it off. I still don’t see any reason to panic. And I have no idea what you want us to look for.”

Molly clasped her hands again, stared down at them, then back up at me. “I guess I’d just like to know more about him. You know, has he been in any trouble? Has he hurt anybody? as I want to know if my fears are real or just imagination.”

Before I could reply, Jill jumped in. “Let us talk it over tonight, Mrs. Saint. We’ll give you our decision in the morning.”

That was not the reply I had intended to give. I sometimes wondered about this monster I had created when I let Jill talk me into her being a detective and my partner in crime. She had even bought a small revolver that would fit in her handbag and took firing lessons, despite having expressed great reservations over the necessity of my carrying a gun while on active duty. She did really well on the range, though with that little .38 the targets weren’t too far away. My choice of weapon was a 9mm Beretta a bit smaller than the one I was issued in the Air Force. We both had permits to carry concealed weapons but, like most private investigators, saw no need to carry them routinely.

At any rate, I heard Molly exhale sharply as I sat there looking flustered.

“Don’t call me,” she said. “I seldom know where he’s gonna be. I’ll call you.”

 

Chapter 3

 

The phone rang as Jill accompanied Molly Saint to the door. Jesse Logan greeted me with word that he needed a little more embellishment on my ideas regarding how to pursue the King Cole’s investigation. I had been talking off the top of my head during lunch and told him quite frankly what I had in mind only amounted to bare bones at the moment. I would need more time to flesh out the plan. However, I did some quick improvisation and came up with enough meat to hopefully satisfy his bosses.

“I guess you got caught in the same dragnet I did after lunch,” he said when we finished our business.

“Right. Did you get interrogated by the cops?”

“Did I,” he said, a note of irritation in his voice. “After I finally convinced them I was a guest in the hotel and had just eaten lunch in the Lakeside restaurant, they let me go. I had no idea what was going on until after I got to my room and turned on the TV.”

“We’ve been too busy to check out the tube,” I said. “What’s the latest?”

“According to the last I heard on CNN, I’d say there was a little friction between the FBI and your local police. An FBI spokesman said it appears to be the work of a professional assassin. He said it could be a conspiracy that relates to Bernstein’s position with the Fed. The Nashville police chief leans to the theory that it might have been somebody local with a grudge against the chairman.”

“They have any evidence of that?”

“Seems the Fed office in Washington received a threatening letter from Nashville several months ago. It was anonymous.”

“Looks like they have their work cut out for them.”

“Yeah,” Logan said. “The cops apparently think the murder was committed by a black male who’s a present or former employee of the hotel.”

“So that’s why you got the treatment,” I said. “I’m sorry about that. I hope you won’t hold it against us.”

“Hey,” he said, “you guys had nothing to do with it. In fact, I understand you’ve had your own troubles with the local gendarmes.”

“Where did you hear that?”

“Detective Adamson. He said it was all a big misunderstanding, that I shouldn’t believe anything I might hear about it.”

“Phil’s a good guy. By the way, did CNN say what brought on the black employee theory?”

“Something about a black guy in a black hat and trench coat seen heading through an employee exit.”

When I got off the phone, I told Jill what Logan had said about the Bernstein murder and his request for more details on our investigation. She quickly let me know she had more interest in Logan’s problems than those of the police and the FBI. I did, too, of course, but I couldn’t ignore the lure of a high-profile murder case.

“What kind of initial retainer do you think we’ll get from Leisure Foods?” she asked.

I scratched my chin, entertaining thoughts about what this case might lead to in the future. “Enough to take care of the office for a few months, I’d think.”

The rent wasn’t all that much, but the overhead included lights and water and telephone. Fortunately, our interest in the agency didn’t center primarily on the money. It might be more properly called a rehabilitation project. I equated the term “retiree” with being put out to pasture, and I had no desire to lie around and eat grass. But the Air Force had declined to promote me to full colonel and cited regulations that insisted I had overstayed my welcome in the service. After re-locating to Jill’s hometown, I quickly found I had enjoyed all the leisure I could stand and took a job as an investigator for the DA. Then came the big flap over my comments in the newspaper about Detective Tremaine. The DA insisted I retire again. After I took on the task of solving the murder of a friend’s son in Florida last fall, Jill was nearly ecstatic. She said I acted like a new man. Not merely new, but someone with a purpose and, even more gratifying to her, a man with a pleasant disposition—something I had apparently lacked during my latest round of forced inaction. Since she had been a major factor in solving the Florida slaying, she proposed that we start our own detective agency, picking and choosing the cases we wanted to pursue.

“Let’s talk about Molly Saint,” I said.

I sat behind my desk, arms folded, head cocked at just the right angle, looking very judgmental and not at all compromising.

Grinning, Jill walked over and put an arm around my shoulder. “I had thought we would save that for pillow talk.”

I looked askance. “I’m shocked, babe. You would stoop to using womanly wiles to sway a business decision?”

Spinning my chair around, she plopped into my lap and looked up with those big brown eyes that made you feel in danger of falling in and drowning. “Unconscionable,” I murmured, then laid a big kiss on her.

Pulling away, I shifted my head and looked toward the front window. “What’s that boy staring at?”

Jill jumped off my lap and turned toward the window, straightening her skirt. She frowned. “What boy?”

“Just kidding,” I said with a chuckle. “You’ll have to admit it would’ve made a pretty steamy scene if a potential client had walked in.”

She punched me in the ribs. “You dog. I’d have told them I was just your secretary asking for a raise.”

“Well, you certainly got a rise out of me.”

She shook her head and returned to her desk. “I think we should take Molly Saint as a client.”

“I’m not sure her carpet goes wall-to-wall,” I said.

“Why?”

“That bit about feeling it in her bones. Things he doesn’t say. Unfounded inferences because he was a Vietnam vet. Hell, she married him on a lark. What did she expect?”

“I’m sure she didn’t expect to be frightened out of her wits. The look in her eyes was fear, Greg. Fear with a capital F.”

“I have some reservations about that.”

“There’s another thing that concerns me.” She continued right on as though I hadn’t spoken. “There’s something vaguely familiar about Molly. I’m sure we’ve never met before, but it’s...well, I have this eerie feeling about her.”

I had often spoken of hunches I’d had on cases, about going with my intuition. I figured that’s what she was driving at.

“What about King Cole’s?” I asked. “We’ll probably have our hands full with that.”

“Logan said they wouldn’t be ready for a day or so. It shouldn’t take long to check out Mr. Damon Saint. If something is really wrong, you don’t want to be responsible for what might happen to that young woman, do you?”

I let out a deep breath that must have sounded like what it was, a sigh of capitulation.

“Okay,” I said. “We’ll take the case. But if there’s any inkling that she’s gone off the deep end or lied about any of this, we’ll cut her off in a flash. I don’t care if she’s Saint Molly or Saint Mary. And we’ll demand a healthy advance against our fee.”

 

Deadly Illusions excerpt Copyright © 2005, Chester D. Campbell

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced, in any manner whatsoever, without the written permission of the Author.

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