Wednesday, December 26, 2018

An Excerpt From Ten-Seven Now Available for Pre-Order. Release Date January 21.

Happy Boxing Day. As part of the Christmas spirit (and because I don’t feel like being overly creative as I type this), I have a gift for you: a sample chapter pulled directly  from Ten-Seven, which releases January 21 from Down & Out Books.

Doc called the examiner in Pittsburgh on his way back to the interview room when the PA speaker told him of a visitor at the same time Stush asked for a minute. He asked Shimp to wait with Virdon. “You’ve taken polygraphs. Everyone thinks they’re no big deal until they’re strapped into the machine. Let him know what to expect. Bullshit around, see what his interests are. Come up with a couple distracters the examiner can use. If he lets something slip, fine, but we’re not trying to break him. That’s what the test is for.”
Shimp nodded, went on her way. Doc noted she never needed to be told anything twice, entered Stush’s office.
Stush cut right to it. “Stirnweiss died about fifteen minutes ago. The hospital called while you were scheduling the examiner.”
“He ever wake up? Make any kind of statement?”
Stush shook his head. “Doctor said he didn’t know why he wasn’t dead when they brought him in. What they told you before, about how if he made it through another night he had a chance? They couldn’t believe he made it through last night. Figured if he lasted one more, he might be immortal.”
“I’ll call for the autopsy.”
“Already done. You were busy, I had the phone in my hand, so I called Pittsburgh.” Penns River in Neshannock County—pretty much was Neshannock County—had no medical examiner of its own. Farmed the work out to Allegheny. “They’ll pick him up, said they might even get to him this afternoon.”
“Slow day?”
“Must be. When’s the examiner due?”
“Probably an hour, hour and a half.”
“What’s up with your suspect?”
“I sent Shimp in to relax him, tell him what to expect. I don’t want anyone coming back later saying he blew the machine because he was nervous.”
Out of Stush’s office, down the hall, through the locked door to the waiting room. Doc’s visitor a fireplug of a man starting down the road to fluffy. A double chin covered most of the knot in his tie. Doc identified himself, asked what he could do. The man handed him a business card, said, “I’m here to see Robert Virdon.”
“And you…Mr. Crenshaw, are?”
“I’m Mr. Virdon’s counsel.”
“He didn’t say anything about a lawyer. I’m not arguing—he’s certainly entitled to one—I’m wondering why he didn’t say anything before.”
“Can I see him?”
“Sure. Wait here while I find a place you can talk. He’s in an interview room now, with a two-way mirror. We’ll put you someplace more private.”
“You don’t have a room for client consultations?”
“We do, but I don’t know if anyone’s using it.”
“I’ll come with you.”
“Uh-uh. You have a right to a confidential meeting with your client, not to roam our halls. I won’t be a minute.”
Doc found the small consultation room unoccupied, put up the “In Use” sign. Walked into the interview room where Shimp and Virdon talked about decks. “Mr. Virdon, your lawyer’s here. I found a room where you can speak privately.”
“Huh? I don’t have a lawyer.”
“You didn’t call a…Alvin Crenshaw?” Doc as confused as Virdon seemed to be.
“How could I call him? I been here with you all morning.”
“You didn’t call him before you came in?”
“No. I didn’t figure I needed one.”
“You want to talk to him?”
“Uh-uh. He sounds like some kind of ambulance chaser. See what he wants.”
In the visitor’s area, Doc said to Crenshaw, “Mr. Virdon says he never heard of you. Who retained you?”
“That’s between Mr. Virdon and myself.”
“Well, Mr. Virdon doesn’t want anything to do with you until he knows who you are. He sent me back to find out.”
“Are you denying me access to my client?”
“No, sir, I am not. All I’m trying to do is find out if you have a client in the building. Mr. Virdon says no.”
“This can be easily settled, Detective. Let me explain to him why I’m here, and he’ll know I’m legitimate.”
Doc wondered if these things ever happened to Lennie Briscoe or Andy Sipowicz. “Counselor, I’m good with that but for one thing: if he didn’t ask for you, doesn’t want you, I don’t know if there are legal ramifications for any potential prosecution down the road. I can go next door and get the city solicitor to give me an opinion. That might take a while. He’s been known to research things to within an inch of their lives.” Doc sensed a Constitution citing about to spring forth, said, “Give me some little thing to tell him that’ll set his mind at ease. I mean, it’s not like we won’t know who hired you sooner or later.”
Crenshaw glowered as if debating the likelihood he’d get to argue the matter before the Supreme Court. “Tell him his mother hired me. Alice Virdon.”
“Why didn’t you say so in the first place? I’ll be right back.”
Through the locked door, down the hall, into the interview room. “Is your mother’s name Alice, Mr. Virdon?”
“Yeah. So?”
“This lawyer—Crenshaw—says he was hired by your mother. Alice Virdon.”
“How’d she know I was here?”
“You didn’t tell her?”
“I told you I came over soon as I heard you were looking for me. I didn’t call anybody.”
“Well, he’s here and she appears to have paid for him. You want to talk to him, I’ll take you right over.”
“I wouldn’t talk to Patty Hewes if my mother paid for her.”
Doc damn sure Vic Mackey never put up with this kind of shit. “Who’s Patty Hewes?”
“On that show? Damages? The actress with the man’s name plays her?”
Doc watched network television about as often as PNC Park allowed dogs to watch Pirate games. Looked to Shimp for help. “Glenn Close.”
Deep breath. “So you’re saying you don’t want your mother’s help.”
“That’s right. I didn’t shoot this guy at the casino last night, but if anyone ever shoots that bitch, I’m the one to look for.”
Out of the interview room, down the hall, through the locked door. “He doesn’t want to see you.”
Crenshaw failed to hide his amazement and disdain. “You told him his mother sent me?”
“Yes, sir. I told him. Do you know who Patty Hewes is?”
“Glenn Close, on Damages. So?”
“She any good as a lawyer?”
“Yes. So?”
“Then you’re in good company. Virdon says he wouldn’t talk to her, either. Not if his mother sent her.” The polygraph examiner came through the main entry door. Doc held up a finger for him to wait. “I’m sorry. I have to go.”
Crenshaw so mad his wattle trembled. “You can’t prevent me from seeing my client! He has rights!”
Doc’s voice icy calm. “That’s correct. He has the right to an attorney. You, however, do not have a right to a client. I know you’ve been on the clock since you got up from your desk to come over here. My advice is to explain the situation to Mrs. Virdon and move on.” Turned toward the examiner, came back. “I’ll call her later and will damn sure take it to the solicitor if I hear you tried to run up a bill on her. We’re done here.”

Ten-Seven is available for pre-order now from Down & Out Books, who will cut you a deal while they’re at it—that’s the kind of folks they are. It’s the Holiday Season®, after all.

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