Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Novel-The Plan: Special Detective Louis Brinks

When I first received Davis' call about his daughter it reminded me of an over-protective, maybe even meddlesome, dad.
I felt sorry for the girl.

Having had my own, in the form of an overbearing, widowed mother, who visualized me dead in a ditch every time an ambulance would scream, whizzing  by her Pittsburg front porch even five minutes later than my Friday check-in call. A call I had been making regularly for...what had it been...43 years. Up until the time the ambulance did not whiz by, but stopped instead to pick up the mortal remains of one Gertrude Louis, age 84 . Then notify her stunned-to-silence son who had made his final somewhat resented and obligatory Friday call, and became concerned when no one picked up the phone.

He felt the hot lump rise in his throat.

Three years later, he still missed her quavering voice on the other end every Friday night, and his shortness with her through the years. Her only child. Missed having his perfunctory I love you that signalled the end of the conversation (and relief for him) met with her small, quiet, sincere

"And I love you more, son."

He reflected on it often these days.  She really had.

When Davis' mentioned the possible but improbable tie-in with Dr. Richard Troy he felt the skin on his scrotum tighten and the hair on the back of his neck rise.

He had cut his teeth on the wife's murder case as a Junior Homicide Detective. A horrid ugly brutal attack. And one that had always left a burning niggling question in his mind.

"Pittsburg Police Department doesn't run on niggling or hunches."

The Chief had dryly remarked

"It operates on FACTS."

and with a wave of his hand he had been dismissed. The Chief, then,  turned away to announce the case solved, to the throng of reporters gathered at the base of the station's steps like a swarm of blood seeking insects.

He had always choked back the unspoken but undeniable: BECAUSE THEY WERE.

He had even shared this opinion with his late mother. It was the only thing that they ever agreed on completely.

To make matters even more serendipitous, General Davis' missing daughter was married to one Jerry Black. Also seriously deceased. Incidentally, just after leaving Dr. Richard Troy's office.

He was The Chief Detective, now. He could go right up the damned doctor's ass with a microscope if he found it necessary. Correction- when he found it necessary. He could follow a hunch, or any niggling doubt he pleased. Especially after what he considered the mishandling of Sarah Troy's death.

 If you are up to something, you bastard...whatever it is...I will find out, he thought angrily.

It was a look, that day.

Nothing more.

Can you convict someone on a look?

In his mind, he had.

Just after informing Doctor Troy that his wife had survived the attack.

A glimpse, really.

It couldn't have been more than a few seconds. But the look was there, all the same.

Not of love, or pain, or even relief that she was still alive.

Instead, a moment of sheer panic.