(Note: This follows yesterday’s opening chapter. I may be absent for a bit. I have writing to do.–jrs)
Homicide detective Tom Hannarty stood in my office with his chin in his hand as the coroner’s people took the body down the steps. I was a little envious at how sharp he looked, considering the weather and the time of day.
“So,” he said through his mahogany fingers, “whoever killed this guy thinks you’re dead.”
“Assuming whoever it was knew me and wanted to kill me.” I said. It was strange speaking of myself in the past tense. “Whoever put the body in my chair certainly thinks I’m dead. That’s probably the place to start.”
Hannarty looked at me. “You think the killer and the people who moved the body don’t know each other?”
“I don’t think anything. But it seems right to not assume that the killer dragged it up here. But somebody involved knew me, or the body would have stayed where it was. You saw the sand in the hair and on the jacket?”
Hannarty nodded. “And in his pockets, his shoes, his socks, and, I’m guessing, his shorts. Given the weather, the condition of the clothing, and the height of the rivers, I’m guessing the body was moved more than once.”
“From where the murder took place to where somebody who knew me found it.”
It’s a working hypothesis,” said Tom.
“And,” I continued, “whoever it was took my father’s .36-caliber Navy Colt from the desk. That has me seriously motivated to find them.”
“They must’ve been pretty sure that you wouldn’t need it anymore.”
“Yes. I will do my best to make them regret taking it.”
“Be careful about that,” Tom said. “I know how you are.”
“I wonder how long I should stay dead.” I felt like rubbing my hands in glee.
Hannarty sighed. “Why do I get so nervous when you sound happy?”
I took that as a rhetorical question and waved to Tom as he left, shaking his head. I looked at my watch. I had two phone calls to make.
This is wonderful art from Jim Craighead. He drew it after reading an Ironwood scene.