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DescriptionWhen a young woman becomes the recipient of a lurid photo of herself with an older married man, she enlists the help of Private Investigator Harry Landers. His search for answers takes him in a direction he stumbles into but never set out to investigate.
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Excerpt:Remember that game kids used to play when it was okay for kids to carry penknives in their pockets? Put a hand down on the table, fingers spread apart like a fan, look the opponent in the eye while he randomly brings the knife down, over and over around the hand on the table and in and out of the space between the fingers without cutting it? A test of faith: If you flinch, you lose. If he cuts you, you both lose. It was a game of wills—yours trying not to chicken out and his trying to strike you.
I play this game of wills every day. Every day some poor loser comes into my office, looking for help in finding the person or persons who cut him or her. When I got into this line of work, I did it because I thought it would be exciting. Ten years later all I know is that it shows me the underbelly of humanity. I hope every time my door opens the story will be different, but it never is. By the time the case gets closed, I realize I’ve seen or heard it all so many times over.
I was sitting behind my desk, alternating my attention between the cars stopped at the intersection and the Sudoku puzzle in the folded daily resting on my leg. The puzzle is supposed to keep my mind sharp, the gazing out my window to remind me where I am. The thing about the puzzle is no matter how the clues are laid out, there’s going to be only one solution for that particular puzzle. It’s a lot like my line of work. I just wait for the clues to line up in the right order to solve the case. So when I looked up from the puzzle to see the cab stopped at the light and saw her get out at the red, I should have realized there were only so many ways I could fill the boxes she was about to toss in front of me.
Her name was Leslie Vorich, a petite blonde in a pair of tight jeans and a red-and-white striped T-shirt with a plunging V-neck. I think it was what was once called a French cut, but I was never up on fashion. A white shirt and striped tie was about all I bought to go with my khakis. People weren’t coming to me for style tips.
Mumbly PegBy: Jack Bates