Friday, 15 January 2021

Case 2 - Episode 20 - Sykes and Felicity chat to Willy Blines

Both Sykes and Felicity waited by the elevator door watching the progress of the lift coming down to street level until they heard the ding forewarning the arrival of the elevator car.

The doors opened and Willy was standing back leaving room for them to join him 

"Detective Sykes is it now?" Willy said as the doors closed.

There was a slight lurch before the elevator started its upward journey.  Felicity thought it was straining considering the combined weight of her two traveling companions.  Sykes could afford to lose 20 or 30 pounds before he had a heart attack, and the other man, Willy, well he was past the point of no return.

The car stopped at the fourth floor and they all got out.  Willy headed for the bar at the other end of the room, while the other two follow more slowly, looking in the rooms they passed, till they came out into a large dining/living space.

She had expected an office but instead, it was a newly renovated apartment.

Sykes stopped not far from Willy, who had turned to look in his direction.  "Drink?"

Sykes surveyed the array of bottles on the countertop, just about every type of alcohol there was, he thought, and, for a moment considered asking for a gin and tonic.

He was working, so no.  He shook his head to indicate he didn't.

Willy swiveled to look in Felicity’s direction, on the opposite side of the room, beside a large, rather gloomy-looking painting of the Brooklyn Bridge almost lost in the fog.

It was an odd depiction of such a famous landmark.

"Miss?"

"No thanks."

Willy shrugged.  "Suit yourselves."  He turned back to the counter, and poured himself a generous serve of Scotch whiskey, then went to the refrigerator and loaded over from the door ice maker.

Satisfied his drink was right, he turned to face them.  "Now what can I do for you, Detective?"

"Did Ned call you?  I was there earlier it would be a shock if he didn't."

"No point saying, he didn't.  But he's not doing anything wrong, Detective.'

"Who is employing him as a security guard and why?"

Willy took a sip of his drink and winced, perhaps the raw liquid not as smooth as he thought it would be.  He turned back to the ice maker and this time added some cold water before turning his attention back to Sykes.

"I am.  You know as well as I and a lot of others how unsafe it is down there.  He's more or less doing the public service."

"Unsafe is right, Willy.  Theo is a testament to that.  Who would want to kill him?"

Willy's eyes strayed from Sykes to Felicity, then back to Sykes.  "I heard it was a girl who done for him."

He nodded in Felicity's direction.  "Wouldn't be her would it?"

"She didn't kill him, no, but if your brother had not startled her, it might have saved himself the indignity of getting a harmless flesh wound.  Self-defence, against someone like Theo, is not a crime Willy.  No, your brother was killed by a professional hitman, three to the heart one to the head.  So the question remains, who did Theo insult so bad they wanted to make a point."

Sykes pulled an envelope out of his inside coat pocket, took it to the bench, and pushed it across towards Willy.  

"Just in case you think that I'm lying, that's the medical examiner’s report on Theo's death.  It means that if you are going after this young lady," Sykes nodded in her direction, "or any other woman you might think is connected, then I suggest you don't."

Willy glanced at the envelope, then Felicity, then back Sykes.  "Why should I believe you?"

"Simply this.  If you want to make trouble, that's fine, if you do then I'll come after you, and the first item on my agenda will be that so-called vacant block of dockland.  I'll have it searched from top to bottom, on the ground and under it, and I'll make sure the media makes it very clear you're the reason we're doing it.  I imagine that won't make your employer happy."

Willy's expression told Sykes all he needed to know.


© Charles Heath 2020-2021


Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Case 2 - Episode 19 – The building on Broadway

Losing Florenz wasn’t quite what happened.

When the moment of panic wore off, thinking that she had lost him, a short walk from the corner of Canal Street up Broadway led her to a building that had an inset elevator entrance., and since she had not seen him enter the building by the proper doorway, it was the only place he could have gone, quite literally walking through a wall if viewed side-on.

A quick check of the bank and stores on that side of the street showed he was not in any of them.

Nor, she suspected, had he come this far just to get on the subway at Canal Street.  There was ample opportunity to do that during his walking odyssey to this particular spot.

Of course, she could be wrong, but she was prepared to wait, perhaps for a half hour or so, and see if he materialized.

She crossed the street, dodging cars and a bus, and leaned against the column outside the building opposite, pretending to consult her phone, and have a fictitious phone call, keeping a continuous eye on that elevator entrance.

She’d been there about ten minutes when a voice beside her said, “I should arrest you for loitering.”

She turned to see Detective Sykes, a familiar voice, and one belonging to the last person she wanted to see or find her there.

“Are you on a job?”  We waited for her to answer, then guessed it was not one he wanted her to know about.

“Sort of.”

“That’s not much of an answer, is it.  I’m guessing you’re working for Harry, and not taking my advice to keep out of danger’s way.”

“This is me avoiding trouble.  Harry asked me to do some surveillance on his mother.”

“Why would he want his mother followed?”

“You’ve met the Walthenson’s, and I’m sure you think them as odd as I do.  But just the same I wasn’t following her, but Alicia Wentworth.”

“One of the partners at Walthenson’s practice.”

“Married to Harry’s father’s father.  It’s a convoluted arrangement, but Harry suspects she has something to do with his disappearance.  Anyway, she brought me into the city where she met Emile Florenz, one of his dad’s golfing friends.”

“Florenz?  You want to keep well away from him.”

“Perhaps someone should tell Harry’s mother that, because that was who he met next, and they had an intimate discussion downtown.”

“So, you’re telling me Florenz and the Walthenson’s are friends.”

“One I suspect more than the other.  I did a little digging and the mother and he used to be an item at University.”

“And you’re here now because?”

“I think Florenz is in the building opposite, and I’m waiting to see where he goes next.”

She could sense a reprimand in the wind, Sykes’ manner having changed markedly the moment he heard the name Florenz.  Sykes definitely knew more about Florenz than she did, but knew he wasn’t going to share it.  Just the same, she had to ask, “Is he dangerous?”

“He might very week have had something to do with Harry’s kidnapping.  A little advice, it might be time for you to walk away from this right now before he finds out about you.”

Too late.  If Blines had spoken to anyone before he died, and it was Florenz, a fact becoming more likely by the minute, then she was already in his sights.

“By the way,” she added, thinking it was better to tell him than not, “when I shot Blines, just after he gave me a name.  Florenz.  That made me think that he had something to do with that dockland property.”

She saw Sykes shaking his head.  Not a good sign.

“Your curiosity is going to get you the same treatment Harry got if you’re not careful.  This is not the place to be.”

“Why?  And why are you here?  It can’t be a coincidence.”

“It could.  But another piece of information, not for following up, but just to add to your notebook when you write your memoirs if you live that long, Blines brother lives over the road, and I’m going to drop in and have a chat.  Since Florenz is there too…”

“Maybe not a good idea.”

“You can use it as leverage on Blines.  He doesn’t know we know he knows Florenz.”  She almost confused herself with that statement, but the notion was valid.  Knowing something the interrogated didn’t know the interrogator knew gave them a distinct advantage.

Interrogation 101.

Sykes shook his head again, but for different reasons.

“Looks like we won’t have to wait long to see Ned.”

He followed her look across the street where Ned had just finished his meeting with Florenz and just as a car pulled up in front of them, blocking their view, Florenz hastily crossed to it, and got in.

When it was clear again, Ned had gone.

That’s when Sykes pulled out his phone and called Ned.  “Five minutes, outside the elevator.”

She didn’t hear what New said, but it didn’t sound friendly.

“Oh, there’s one other matter, there’s some chap following Corinne to school and back.  I took a photo of him.”

“Send it and I’ll see if he’s anyone of interest.  You sure it’s not an old boyfriend?”

“No.  He’s definitely following her.  He had a photo that fell out of his back pocket.”

“OK.  Now you’d better leave.”

“I don’t think so.  He needs to be told to stop targeting Harry’s sister.  I’m sure he thinks she’s the one who killed her brother, and he needs to know the truth.”

“You do realise these people don’t take much notice of the truth.”

“Even so, I should be there.  You can tell him I did it, and then tell him that seeking retribution will just see him buried in the same grave as his brother.”

Sykes glared at her incredulously.  “Do you have any idea what these people are like?”

“I’m sure you’ll sort it out.  Let’s not keep him waiting.”


© Charles Heath 2020-2021

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Case 2 - Episode 18 - Felicity follows Florenz to a building on Broadway (Revised)

 When Florenz didn’t stop at City Hall, what Felicity thought was the most likely destination, she thought that perhaps Florenz had discovered she was following him, and this would end up a wild goose chase.

But, when he continued walking slowly up Broadway towards Times Square, she began to think perhaps he was just out for a morning walk to his next appointment.  In the short distance past the entrance to the park, he had stopped to look at his watch, then his cell phone, as if he was checking one against the other.

Then, as he started walking again, he bumped into a man who was walking quickly, making the collision more than it might have been.  Florenz dropped his phone, the other man, who had staggered a few steps before regaining control, turned and told Florenz to watch where he was going, then continued on his way at the same breakneck speed.

Florenz turned to watch him leave, then started scanning the path behind him, and then his eyes coming back up the other side of the road where Felicity, thinking quickly on her feet, moved into a doorway that made her look as if she was going into the building.

That action lost her a valuable minute, and when she came back out onto the street, immediately looking where he was last standing, he’d gone.  Then, she looked further up the street and saw him, just, crossing the next intersection at Reade Street.

It looked to her like he had almost run to get that far in such a short time. 

Or he considered he was late for that appointment, and just walked fast.

She took the calculated risk of almost running herself to catch up, stopping still some distance from him, having to wait for traffic lights at both Duane and Thomas Streets, and by the time she crossed Thomas Street, Florenz had stopped at the Worth Street intersection and was checking his phone.

At least it was a good morning for a walk.  Rain had been predicted, the clouds were scudding by overhead, getting darker by the minute, and she was hot from the continuous exercise of walking fast, then slow.

By the time Florenz checked his phone, she had caught up and was now seriously considering a sandwich, or coffee.  Had she more time she might have, but she had to cross and then dodged some scaffolding almost walking into it her attention so intent on where Florenz was.

It was a moment where losing concentration, by the time she looked up, he was gone again.

Damn, this fellow is slippery.  Or, he knew he was being followed.

But a few seconds later she realized he had crossed the road, dodging several cars and taxis, a lot more dangerous than if he crossed at the lights.  Or had he just realized he was on the wrong side of the road?

At the intersection, Franklin Street, the scaffolding ended, and the next building would provide no cover.  She was maintaining about 20 yards distance between them, and she stopped when he did at the lights.

When they turned green, he didn’t immediately cross, but turned around and looked directly back towards her.  She almost missed his movement and, in her haste, to backtrack to the start of the scaffolding and a store she had seen there, she ran into a woman who was coming out of the store.

It caused the woman to drop a package.

All Florenz would have seen if he was looking in her direction was her back and a red-faced woman accepting a package.

He would not have heard her say abruptly to Felicity, “You should watch where you’re going, young lady.”

And heard her apology, in her meekest tone, “So sorry.”

The woman continued on her way, and Felicity followed behind her slowly, scanning ahead to see if she could see Florenz.  

For the moment he was missing.

Felicity caught up with him at Canal Street, once again the traffic lights her friend in need, the lights just changing and there he was, at the head of several others crossing the street.

She kept back until the lights just changed, then walked quickly across, and then stopped.  

She just managed to get a fleeting look of a man, not necessarily Florenz, disappearing into what looked like the side of a wall.


© Charles Heath 2020-2021

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Case 2 - Episode 18 - Felicity follows Florenz to a building on Broadway

When Florenz didn’t stop at City Hall, what Felicity thought was the most likely destination, she thought that perhaps Florenz had discovered she was following him, and this would end up a wild goose chase.

But, when he continued walking slowly up Broadway towards Times Square, she began to think perhaps he was just out for a morning walk to his next appointment.  In the short distance past the entrance to the park, he had stopped to look at his watch, then his cell phone, as if he was checking one against the other.

Then, as he started walking again, he bumped into a man who was walking quickly, making the collision more than it might have been.  Florenz dropped his phone, the other man, who had staggered a few steps before regaining control, turned and told Florenz to watch where he was going, then continued on his way at the same breakneck speed.

Florenz turned to watch him leave, then started scanning the path behind him, and then his eyes coming back up the other side of the road where Felicity, thinking quickly on her feet, moved into a doorway that made her look as if she was going into the building.

That action lost her a valuable minute, and when she came back out onto the street, immediately looking where he was last standing, he’d gone.  Then, she looked further up the street and saw him, just, crossing the next intersection at Reade Street.

It looked to her like he had almost run to get that far in such a short time. 

Or he considered he was late for that appointment, and just walked fast.

She took the calculated risk of almost running herself to catch up, stopping still some distance from him, having to wait for traffic lights at both Duane and Thomas Streets, and by the time she crossed Thomas Street, Florenz had stopped at the Worth Street intersection and was checking his phone.

At least it was a good morning for a walk.  Rain had been predicted, the clouds were scudding by overhead, getting darker by the minute, and she was hot from the continuous exercise of walking fast, then slow.

By the time Florenz checked his phone, she had caught up and was now seriously considering a sandwich, or coffee.  Had she more time she might have, but she had to cross and then dodged some scaffolding almost walking into it her attention so intent on where Florenz was.

It was a moment where losing concentration, by the time she looked up, he was gone again.

Damn, this fellow is slippery.  Or he knew he was being followed.

But a few seconds later she realized he had crossed the road, dodging several cars and taxis, a lot more dangerous than if he crossed at the lights.  Or had he just realized he was on the wrong side of the road?
At the intersection, Franklin Street, the scaffolding ended, and the next building would provide no cover.  She was maintaining about 20 yards distance between them, and she stopped when he did at the lights.

When they turned green, he didn’t immediately cross, but turned around and looked directly back towards her.  She almost missed his movement and, in her haste, to backtrack to the start of the scaffolding and a store she had seen there, she ran into a woman who was coming out of the store.

It caused the woman to drop a package.

All Florenz would have seen if he was looking in her direction was her back and a red-faced woman accepting a package.

He would not have heard her say abruptly to Felicity, “You should watch where you’re going, young lady.”

Nor hear her apology, in her meekest tone, “So sorry.”

The woman continued on her way, and Felicity followed behind her slowly, scanning ahead to see if she could see Florenz.  

For the moment he was missing.

Felicity caught up with him at Canal Street, once again the traffic lights her friend in need, the lights just changing and there he was, at the head of several others crossing the street.

She kept back until the lights just changed, then walked quickly across, and then stopped.  

Florenz had disappeared.



© Charles Heath 2020



Thursday, 22 October 2020

Case 2 - Episode 17 - Sykes has a chat with Ned Blines

 It was like an archetypal stand-off in the middle of a dusty western town, two gunmen eyeing each other off, waiting to see who drew first.

Ned had seen Sykes approaching but didn't move.  Instead, he kept his eyes on the Detective whilst nonchalantly smoking his cigarette.

Sykes stopped about fifteen feet from Ned.  After a few seconds, he said, "Hello Ned."

Ned gave him a long hard stare, blew smoke into the air, and took another puff.  He knew Sykes, and the two had sparred before.  "What are you doing here.  This is private property."

A technicality Sykes thought, but as an officer of the law, he had the right to enter if he considered a crime was being committed, or about to be.

"It's also a crime scene, so I could ask you the same question."

Ned flicked the cigarette butt into the air and watched it land about six feet away in a pothole in the road surface.

"You or that other detective find who killed Theo.  The other detective reckoned it was a woman whom he surprised when she was snooping around."

"She wasn't snooping around, and no, she did not kill your brother, someone else did, one of your many enemies, Ned.  You and Theo are not very well-liked."

"By the cops maybe.  You find the girl?"

"Yes.  And she was not responsible for his death.  Theo had five bullets in him.  One stray, and harmless shot, by the girl, and four from the killer.  It was a professional hit, Ned, so you and Theo are working for the wrong crowd this time.  Just what are you, and Theo before you, doing here?"

Sykes had noticed Ned had stopped leaning against the car, resisted the urge to have another cigarette by putting the pack back in his pocket, and stood ready for what might come next.

"Doing my job.  Why are you here?"

Sykes noted that it was not exactly a welcoming tone or stance.  He took a moment to check, mentally, if he could get to the gun quick enough if Ned rushed him.  Borderline.  He made a mental note to get in some more practice at the gun range.

"Is that the same job your brother Theo was doing?  Exactly what was he doing that got him killed?"

"Nothing wrong.  It's a simple security guard gig, watching over the property and make sure no one affects an illegal entry, more for their safety than anything else.  The property beyond the fence line to the water is unsafe."

'Effect and illegal entry'?  That, Sykes thought was Ned's brother Willy speaking.  Ned's vocabulary was limited, as was Theo's.

"Have you checked it yourself?"

"Why would I?  Didn't you just hear me tell you it's unsafe?  My job is to stop people from hurting themselves and hitting the owners with a huge insurance bill."

It was a simple set of instructions Willy had given them, but nothing like the truth. It was a case of keeping it simple stupid for his brothers 

There was another reason for their presence which no doubt Willy knew so it would have to wait till he saw him.

Sykes pulled out a card with his name and number on it, took the five or six steps to reach Ned's car, and put the card on the end of the bonnet.

"You call me if you see anyone snooping about before they try to shoot you, too.  Or if any girls turn up.  And a word of advice, Ned, so you don't end up in jail for life, Theo's killer was not the girl so if you or the equally dim-witted brother, Willy, try anything, I'll know and you will both be the first people I call on."

Ned said nothing, just stood silently, glowering at Sykes.

"Good," Sykes said.  "I'm glad that's settled. Say hello to your brother and let him know I'm coming to see him."

Ned glared at him for a few seconds then went back to leaning against his car, totally ignoring the card Sykes had left for him, and lit another cigarette.

He waited until Sykes had left before getting out his cell phone to call his brother.


© Charles Heath 2020


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Case 2 - Episode 16 - Sykes revisits the dockland crime scene

 It wasn't the first time Sykes had been down to the docks, especially this section that had been scheduled for reclamation for at least 10 years, but a series of setbacks had seen it put on hold or the subject of lawsuits, takeovers, and government red tape.

But that was only part of the story.  

There were a plethora of ownership claims, from gangsters to allegedly crooked businessmen, to multinational companies whose origins were wrapped up in so many trusts and shell companies that the owners were all but completely obscured.

Sykes' forensic accountant was only two levels back in the tangled web, and not likely to find much in a hurry.  Perhaps a little old-fashioned police work might yield results quicker.

He made sure that he left his destination with the desk officer in case of running into trouble.  He was also given the benefit of the colleague's advice, take someone with him, or get eyes on the back of his head.

It appeared everyone had a bad story about the docks.

Even in daylight, the disused docklands were eerie, and the place sent shivers down Sykes's spine.  It was still reputedly the burial ground for a long list of missing persons, sometimes gangsters who got caught in the crossfire, informants who all lived on a precarious edge, or people just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He walked the half-mile main frontage, feeling that there was more than one set of eyes watching him, and took in the details.  

There were old warehouses on one side of a wide street some all but falling.  On the other, there were large signs posted everywhere about the hazards of venturing past the chain wire fences, highlighting the fact the wharf was rotting and very dangerous, and the buildings near the wharves were equally subject to imminent collapse.

Back to the street and the fencing, five gates were all secured with new chains and locks over rusting metal fencing. It may have looked old and decrepit, but when Sykes tested it, it felt extraordinarily strong and sturdy. A closer inspection of parts of the fence showed signs of recent repairs.  What was intriguing was that someone had gone to great effort to make the whole structure look like something it wasn't.

He crossed the road and walked alongside the more sturdily constructed warehouse buildings made of brick, with mesh-covered windows and thick locked doors that would withstand to the pounding of a ram.  He knocked on a few, discovering they were very thick and the locks on the doors were new too.

A glance at the step showed under some of the doors, showed the door hadn't been opened in a long time, because of the lack of scrape marks.  Except for one, two buildings from the end where the door showed signs of being recently opened.

This had to be the one where Felicity had run into Theo.  Sykes conducted a methodical search within 50 yards of that doorway, and it led him to the point where Theo Blines had died.  Felicity had told him she had accidentally shot Ned close to the doorway.  There were still drops of blood on the steps, but none on the ground heading away from the doorway, showing that Theo Blines had been carried from the doorway and the building as if to remove an association from it.

That had been either mistakenly or intentionally omitted in the report Sykes had received. So, a new fact, Theo Blines had been moved and likely killed in that spot.  He would have to check the medical examiner's report again.

He went back to the doorway and pounded on the door.  He was not expecting anyone to answer, but it would be remiss of him if didn't try.

Back out on the street, he could hear a car coming, slow down as it approached the building, then stop.  It sat there for a minute before he heard a door open and close, then nothing.  Still in the doorway, it would be difficult form the car occupant to see Sykes, but poking his head out from the wall Sykes could see the occupant was standing beside their car, not looking in his direction, but instead smoking a cigarette and infrequently looking in one direction, then the other.

Even from that distance, he could recognize the form.  Ned Blines, taller and meaner looking than his younger brother Theo, a man with the gift of belligerence.  First to start a fight, and usually, the last man to leave with the least amount of damage.  Not someone to take on alone, not unless he had a gun, which, by a quirk of fate he was carrying.

He waited until Ned finished his cigarette, then stepped out from behind the wall.

Sykes had covered 50 yards before Ned saw him, turned, and stood waiting for him.  The fact Ned hadn't jumped in his car and fled meant he thought he was not doing anything wrong.

Technically, he wasn't.



© Charles Heath 2020

Monday, 5 October 2020

Case 2 - Episode 15 - Old Adversaries

 After some thought on who to see next, the notion of questioning what essentially was a blunt instrument considering Ned Blines was as daft as his younger brother, it was clear that it was a better idea to go to the eldest brother Willy, and see what he had to say first.

Whoever it was that sent them on the surveillance mission must not have known they were pushing the junior brothers to the upper limits of their capabilities. Sykes doubted Willy was masterminding this operation, his responsibility would be limited to finding work that was supposed to keep them out of trouble.  

Willy was the smartest of the three, but that didn't mean he could see trouble coming, or know that the work he was being given could lead to unexpected results.  Unlike his brothers he had a day job, working as a property manager for one of the councilors who was reputed, through a series of shell companies, the owner of a lot of decrepit buildings that were about to be rezoned.

Where there was money to be made, James Quirk was at the front of the line.  Once a prominent defense lawyer, he inexplicably changed sides to become a DA, and then an elected Councillor.  Joel may not have made the connection, but Sykes did.

Quirk’s ambitions, as everyone knew, didn't stop there, and he was now looking at the state legislature.  The only thing holding him back was the necessity to keep fighting brush fires, the likes of the rezoning scandal just one of many.  And those skeletons in the closet, lie Sykes, and what he knew of him.

Despite Quirk’s best efforts his affairs on the down-low, rezoning, for one, had made the news, but with some deft sidestepping, and another scandal involving a rival candidate surfacing at just the right moment, made Quirk’s problems just as quickly disappear.  That and the news of Willy Blines suddenly put his hand up and tendered the necessary ownership documentation.  There was no law against a city employee owning property, so long as he had no influence over decisions regarding that property.

For Blines part in alleviating Quirk's problem, he got a nondescript job in City Hall, and the rezoning proposal was shelved to take the heat out of the discussion.  It was an election year, and rezoning scandals were the last thing any of the incumbents rerunning for office needed.

The story at the time had piqued Sykes' interest, not only in that it was about a man, that very dame James Quirk, with whom he held a grudge going back many years, but also that it might have something to do with the docks.  With several areas up for possible residential rezoning that land would go from worthless to worth billions overnight, and a reason for corruption if ever there was one.

Sykes also had a history with the Blines brothers, having known them from the early years when they were the muscle for the penny and dime crime bosses who organized 'protection' for the shop keepers and aa collection agents for the loan sharks among the poorer tenants of the city.  Sykes himself had grown up in those very same apartment buildings, in that very area where the low-income families eked out a living in substandard housing and inconsistent employment.

After his parents had both died in a tragic fire, Sykes had escaped and moved to New Jersey.  A lot of those he'd grown up with hadn't. 

It was, in it's purest form, the survival of the fittest, and the Blines had always known which side of the law was most beneficial to them, as gad their father and his father before him.  For the Blines and their ilk, it had always been the wrong side of the law.  

Sykes picked the right, and as soon as he could, he signed up to become a cop, and as soon as he'd completed training he vowed he would come back and clean up the streets, and the old neighborhood.  

It didn't take long for Sykes to realize that it needed more than good intentions and a large dose of enthusiasm, it needed assistance from those who were in a position to affect a change.  Inevitably he had to concede, eventually realizing they were part of the problem.

Which, of course, led him to this point in time, still working the area as part of his beat, and had been for quite a few years now, with the same intentions, and still being one step behind.  The players were the same, only they were prospering, and his cold cases were mounting.

It was easy to see why.  Tracks were being covered, alibis being handed out, and the money trail was getting murkier and murkier. 

But, mulling over the developments arising from talking to Joel, Sykes realized that he might be moving into very dangerous territory, particularly if he was going start accusing a candidate for the DA’s job of corruption.

And now he had a new piece to the puzzle, Walthenson senior.  A cold fish if there was ever one, but he didn’t look, to Sykes, to be a master criminal.  He seemed to be more like the right man in the wrong place and then finding himself in a dilemma that he couldn’t get out of.  So, if he could find Walthenson, perhaps that might become another lead, and perhaps connect a few dots.

Perhaps a little more desk-bound investigation might be wise to see who else might be involved, before he started digging a very big hole for himself, one that he might not be able to get out of.


© Charles Heath 2020