Книга Sense Of Evil. Содержание - 16

“The taco place. If I’m going to spill my guts, I’m going to need sustenance first.”

“I really wish you’d used a different phrase,” Ally said. “Really.”


ISABEL STUDIED THE NOTE and then nodded, passing it on to Hollis and Mallory. “It looks like a sketch of handcuffs to me. Sort of stylized, the way an artist would maybe do it, which could be one reason we missed it. Nice catch, Ginny.”

“I should have caught that,” Hollis said, more to herself than to the others, and in a tone that struck her own ears as wistful.

“You’re just all a little preoccupied,” Ginny murmured.

“Good thing you aren’t,” Isabel told her. “Okay, a paralegal might have doodled handcuffs, I suppose, but having them on this particular note has got to mean something more than absentmindedness. It’s one more indication Tricia Kane was involved, or looking to get involved, with Jamie Brower.”

Hollis said, “Any chance Jamie might have trusted Tricia with that box we so badly want to see?”

Isabel started to reply, then looked at Rafe. “What do you think?”

“I’m not the profiler.”

“Off the top of your head. What do you think?”

“No,” he heard himself reply, and frowned as he went on slowly. “Jamie wouldn’t have trusted that box with anyone else-unless it was the partner who saw her unmasked.”

“Very good,” Isabel said. “And my feeling as well. That box is either stored somewhere Jamie considered safe, or kept by someone she really, really trusted. And we know by now that she didn’t trust many people.”

Hollis produced the Eyes Only file and opened it to study the photographs. It didn’t take long for her to reach a conclusion and close the folder. “This isn’t Tricia Kane. For one thing, she had a couple of moles on one arm that would have shown up in the photos. For another, unless the photos were taken months ago, there wouldn’t have been time for her hair to grow out.”

“But you can’t see her hair in the photos because of that hood,” Ginny objected. Then she blinked. And blushed. “Oh. That hair.”

Isabel smiled at her. “Why don’t you go make a few copies of Tricia’s note so we can bag the original. And then I really do think we all need to call it a day. Start fresh in the morning.”

As soon as Ginny was out of the room, Isabel said to Rafe, “I’m going to go talk to her. Be right back.”


“Did I miss something?” Mallory wondered when Isabel had gone.

“We’ll be arresting Hank McBrayer,” Rafe told her. “Assault charges filed by his daughter.”

Mallory looked blank for a moment, then scowled. “Son of a bitch. I’d heard talk, but Ginny never said anything.”

“Most victims of abuse don’t,” Hollis said. To Rafe, she asked, “Is Isabel going to try to convince her to stay in a hotel tonight?”

“She’s going to try to convince her to let you two and a couple of officers go back to her house with a warrant for her father’s arrest and get him out of there tonight.”

“Can we do that?” Mallory asked.

“Yes. I called the judge from the car. The paperwork’s almost ready.”

Mallory was still frowning. “Why Isabel and Hollis? I mean, why not just send a couple of our officers? I’ll volunteer. Since I hate bullies just on principle, I’d love to accidentally break McBrayer’s arm while he’s resisting arrest.”

“So would I,” Rafe said. “But it was Isabel and Hollis who realized what was going on and talked to Ginny about it, and Isabel and I both feel Ginny will be more comfortable if they’re along for the arrest.” He hesitated, then said, “Plus, I think Isabel has something else in mind.”

Hollis looked at him. “Do you, now? Like what?”

“Assuming he’s sober enough to listen, I think she intends to take him down a peg or two. Without laying a finger on him.”

“If anybody can,” Hollis said, “it’s Isabel. Guys look at that beautiful face and centerfold body, all that blond hair, big green eyes all wide and innocent, and think they know exactly what she is. Boy, do they get a surprise.”

“I certainly did,” Rafe murmured.

“Speaking of which,” Hollis said. “Are you?”

He didn’t have to ask what she meant. “Apparently.”

Hollis whistled. “Dunno whether to say congratulations or sorry about that.”

“I’ll let you know when I figure out how I feel about it.”

Mallory said, “Hello? What’s going on? Are you what?”


She blinked. “You’re psychic?”

“So I’m told.”

“How could you be and not know?”

“The short answer,” Hollis said, “is that he always was, but it was an inactive ability, so he wasn’t aware of it. I think we talked about latents when we first got here. Rafe, as it turns out, was a latent. Something happened to activate his abilities.”


Hollis lifted her brows at Rafe.

“Damned if I know. She-I was told it could have been some kind of subconscious shock, which I suppose it had to be since I don’t recall any consciously shocking or traumatic events in my life recently. Other than this killer.”

“No bump on the head?” Hollis asked. “Concussion?”

“No,” he said. “Never, in fact.”

Mallory eyed him somewhat warily. “So what can you do?”

“Not a whole hell of a lot. Yet, anyway. The consensus seems to be I am-or will be-clairvoyant.”

“Like Isabel? Just knowing stuff?”

“More or less.”

“And that doesn’t scare the shit out of you?”

“Did you hear me say it didn’t?”


“Well, then.”

Mallory leaned back in her chair, tipped her head back, and addressed the ceiling-and whatever lay beyond. “A few weeks ago, I led a perfectly ordinary existence. No killers. No spooky psychic abilities. Nothing on my mind more weighty than which kind of takeout I wanted for my supper. Those were the days. I’m sorry now I didn’t appreciate them.” She sighed and looked at the others. “I must be paying off karma for a really, really bad decision in a former life.”

You must be?” Rafe shook his head.

Isabel returned to the room before the discussion could continue, saying, “We have a slight change of plan. Hollis, we’re going to swing by Ginny’s on the way back to the inn and pick up her mother; both of them will be staying there tonight.”

“Hank’s out on the town?” Rafe guessed.

“Yeah. Seems he often spends Sunday afternoons and evenings drinking in an undisclosed location with others of… like temperament.”

Rafe sighed. “Yeah, we have a few basement bars in the county. Unlicensed, unregulated, and highly mobile. They tend to change location more often than they wash the glasses.”

“Well, apparently Mr. McBrayer has a semiregular habit of drinking all evening and passing out somewhere between the bar and home. Or at the bar, sometimes. In any case, he seldom makes it home on Sunday nights. But on the off chance that tonight would be one of those nights, I’ve persuaded Ginny to get her mother and come stay at the inn.”

“I’ll have all the patrols keep an eye out for him tonight,” Rafe said. “If they don’t spot him, we’ll catch up with him tomorrow.”

“Good, thanks.” Isabel frowned slightly.

“I’ve also arranged to have all single female officers escorted home and their places checked out before they lock up for the night,” Rafe said. “And each is under orders to wait for two male officers to meet them tomorrow morning, if they’re on duty, to be escorted back here.”

“You’re reaching through again,” Isabel said.

“I am?”

“I was just thinking about Mallory’s report that some of the female officers feel they’ve been watched or followed and wondering what we should do to help protect those most likely to be at risk if it’s our killer-the single ones in the right age range. Don’t tell me you read that on my face. I may not be subtle, but I’m not a damned billboard.”

Mallory looked at Hollis, who shrugged.

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