By Bill Pronzini

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He did, on and off. yet he couldn’t make sufficient funds doing that, so he went to paintings for Kellenbeck. ” “This fish corporation is the place? ” “A little methods north of right here, at the road. ” “Is it open on Saturdays? ” “Yeah. on a daily basis yet Sunday. ” “Which boat did Jerry paintings on? ” “The Kingfisher. Andy Greene’s troller. ” “And the place may i locate Greene? ” “Over on the marina, most likely. at the different aspect of the bay. He lives on board the Kingfisher. ” I requested him approximately Victor Carding, and obtained a replay of the unenlightening solutions Lainey Madden and Dave Brodnax had given me. Then Farmer paused, frowned, and requested: “Do the police imagine Jerry had whatever to do with what occurred to his previous guy? Is that why you’re asking approximately him? ” “It’s conceivable. ” “Not to me, it isn’t. i presumed they arrested the man who shot Mr. Carding; that’s what the papers stated. ” “Martin Talbot isn’t guilty,” I acknowledged. “He confessed, didn’t he? ” “Yes. yet he’s now not in charge. There are mental the reason why anyone may confess to a criminal offense he didn’t devote. ” Farmer half-turned and stared over at one of many fridge devices. After a time he acknowledged, “How can something like this occur? ” yet he looked to be speaking extra to himself than to me. “Jerry’s mom lifeless in an coincidence, his father murdered, Chris murdered—everybody he cared approximately simply . . . burnt up. What if he’s useless too? ” Yeah, i assumed. What if he’s lifeless too? He confronted me back. “Jerry’s no longer a killer, he’s a sufferer. you know? He’s a sufferer no matter if he’s alright or now not. ” “I comprehend, son. ” He appeared all at once a bit embarrassed, as though he felt he had displayed an excessive amount of emotion in entrance of a stranger. “Look, I, uh, I’ve bought paintings to do. Is there anything? ” “Just a number of issues. Is Martin Talbot’s identify widespread to you? ” “No. I by no means heard of him until eventually the day past. ” “How approximately Laura Nichols? Karen Nichols? ” “No. ” “About Christine—did she have any enemies you could find out about? ” “You suggest an individual who’d make these threats the paper acknowledged she’d been getting? ” He shook his head. “No. Whoever that loopy bastard is, he needs to be the person who killed her. ” “So it is going to seem,” I acknowledged. after which requested him the query I were saving for final: “What are you able to inform me approximately Bobbie Reid? ” His response used to be rapid: he jerked just a little, as though I had swatted him one, and his face closed up and anything flickered in his eyes that will were discomfort. “What does Bobbie need to do with any of this? ” “I don’t be aware of that she has something to do with it. yet she and Chris have been associates. ” “The hell they have been. ” “You didn’t be aware of that? It’s actual, Steve. ” “Bobbie’s dead,” he acknowledged stiffly. “She killed herself greater than a month in the past. ” “So I’ve been advised. have you learnt why? ” “No. ” yet he stated the be aware a bit too speedy, it appeared to me. “Listen, I don’t are looking to speak about Bobbie, ok? ” “You’ll need to consult a person approximately her ultimately. If now not me, then the police. ” “She couldn’t have whatever to do with what occurred to Chris. How may she? No—I’ve acquired adequate lifeless humans to contemplate because it is.

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