Mystery and Crime Fiction posted June 4, 2017 Chapters:  ...39 40 -41- 42... 


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Granite Suspects Alicia White

A chapter in the book The Last Laugh

The Informant

by mbroyles2

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Previously

“Well Barb might not have seen it,” Hank said. “Alicia was the first detective on the scene.  She’s the one you want to talk to.  They got her on desk duty since she broke her leg a week back.  Barb’s been kind of filling in until she’s ready to hit the streets again.  Craziest thing.”

“What did you just say?”  Granite straightened as if he touched a live wire.  “Who’s Alicia?”

“Oh, you haven’t met her yet? She’s John Hazelton’s original partner on this case.  Great gal, but can be a little fruity at times.  You know what I mean?”

“My God.  Sorry, Hank, but I really do have to go.”

He pushed by the big guy and made his way to his car.  His mind raced through all the possibilities.  Everything pointed to Barbara being the informant.  It made perfect sense.  He hadn’t met this Alicia, she wouldn’t have had the ability to point him in the wrong direction.   Barbara had to be the one.  But yet, there was always –

Hope.

 
 
Chapter 41
 
Granite’s heart thumped in rhythm with the high-speed wipers.  The rain pummeling the car sounded as if a thousand soldiers marched across the roof.  His recent calls to Brown went straight to voice mail.  The request he left with the duty officer to have Barbara call him as soon as she arrived, had produced no results.  Granite feared the worst.

He parked the Malibu close to the front entrance and sprinted to the door.  The massive downpour felt like stones, and the wind caused him to stumble.  By the time he entered the building, he looked like he’d been swimming in the Red River. 

His feet squished in his wet shoes as he made his way to the front desk.  A pimply-faced officer with oily black hair greeted him.  “Yes, sir, how can I help you?”

“Granite.  Has Detective Paige reported in yet?”

“No, sir, she hasn’t been in.”

“Granite?  Matthew Granite?”  A woman, on crutches, hobbled around the corner.  Heavy, but not fat, she carried her weight well, with generous breasts and hips. Plump, would be a perfect word to describe her, Granite thought.  Her badly dyed hair, the color of a pencil, hung to her shoulders.  She wore an album-cover tee shirt of Prince’s Purple Rain and cut-off jeans, which revealed a cast on her left leg from thigh to foot.  “I’m Detective Alicia White, I’ve been working the Ozlet case with Detectives Hazelton and Paige.  Please come back to my desk.”

Pimple Face motioned Granite to come around the desk and pointed to Detective White’s area.  “She’s back there,” he said.  “The one with all the get well cards stuck on the computer monitor.”

Granite went to the desk and took a seat, while the detective propped her crutches on the side and fell into her chair.  She noticed Granite taking in the large cast.  “Fell off a ladder helping my sister clean her gutters.”

“That must have smarted,” Granite said.

“Hurt like hell.  I was more embarrassed than anything though.  I think I’d been better off if I landed on my ass.”  She patted her rear. “Lots of padding there.  You ever have a bad fall?”

“A time or two, but I never broke my leg though.”

“Trust me, it ain’t anything you want to go through.  I screamed like a little girl.”

“I can relate.”

“Yeah, I bet you can.  Anyways, enough about my stupid leg.  What’s all the fuss about Barbara?”

Before Granite could answer, John Hazelton entered through the back entrance.  His chest heaved from rapid breathing, and water puddled around his feet.  He pushed his hands through his hair and rubbed his eyes to clear his vision.

“Jesus, John,” Detective White said.  “You look like a drowned nutria. If any more of you guys come in, we’re going to need to get some buckets and start bailing.”

Hazelton looked at Granite.  “You too?”

“Yep,” Granite answered.

“Let’s go back to the locker room.  I’ve got a couple changes of clothes we can get into.  Can’t do much about the shoes and undies though.”

Granite got up to follow.  “I’ll be fine.”

In the locker room, Hazelton grabbed a towel.  He motioned for Granite to do the same.  A strong smell of bleach wafted through the air. Hazelton retrieved a pair jeans along with a blue polo shirt and began to strip down. “I can’t reach Barbara, what’s this all about?”

Granite relayed the story of the ledger, Barbara’s intentions of bringing it to the station, Marko’s call, and the information given to him by Hank.  He ran the towel through his hair and then dried his arms.  “At first, I suspected Barbara was the informant, but the more I think about it, the more I’m leaning towards Detective White.  I mean there’s evidence that hasn’t been released, and Barbara wasn’t in the know yet.”

“That’s pretty thin, Granite.”

“I know.  Shit.”

“So if Barbara isn’t in cahoots with this Operator, then where is she?”

“I know I’m reaching here, but I think Detective White tipped the Operator off and he somehow intercepted Barbara and Jimmy.”

“Where could he have possibly pulled that off?”

“Here,” Granite answered.  “Let’s check the parking lot.  You got a couple of umbrellas?”

“If it’s raining like it was a minute ago, umbrellas won’t do us any good.  I wished you would have said something to me before I changed.”

Fortunately, the storm had moved on and dissipated to nothing more than a light sprinkle.  Granite and Hazelton scanned the back parking lot.  Brown’s silver Nissan Maxima was parked next to a blue Ford Taurus.  “That’s it,” Granite said.  “Alabama license plates.”

“And that’s Barb’s Ford next to it,” Hazelton added.  “That tells us they were here, but it doesn’t clear Barb of being the informant.”

“I know.  Damn. Let’s go inside and check the security footage.”  They turned to head back inside the station.  Granite hung his head.  Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a small blinking blue light. “Hold on.”  He moved to a small bush not far from the parked cars.  Lying on the ground were two cell phones, both message lights flashing.  Granite picked them up and ran an index finger over them.  The first came to life with the Cincinnati Cyclones’ team logo across it, while the other had a smiling portrait of Barbara Paige.

“What’s that?”  Hazelton asked.

“It’s their cell phones.”

“Christ.”

“The Operator has them.  I’m sure of it, and I bet my last dime that Miss Alicia White knows where they are.”  Granite shoved the phones in his pockets and clenched his fists.  He marched towards the entrance.

Hazelton reached out and stopped him with his right arm.  “Hold on there, Granite.  You can’t go storming in there and throw a bunch of accusations around.”

“Watch me.”

“I mean it.”  He whirled Granite around.  “Let me talk to her first.  If she knows something, I’ll squeeze it out of her.  Just go to the lobby and I’ll take her somewhere private.  Even if she knows where they are, we can’t have her tipping the Operator off that we’re coming.”

“I’ll give you five minutes, but it doesn’t matter if he knows I’m coming or not.”

“Why is that?”

“Because he won’t be able to stop me.”

 
 
Matthew Granite       Investigator seeking the assassin and answers to the Ozlet girls' murders.
The “Operator”         The Assassin looking for a mysterious "box" that the Ozlet family has hidden.
Marko                         aka "The Mountain". A private bodyguard hired by Granite.

Camille                       aka "The Shadow". A former CIA agent hired by Marko
Jimmy Daniels             aka "Brown". A computer genius hired by Granite
R.J. McBride                Granite's former partner while on the police force.

Harold Banisek           Granite's business manager
Woody               
           Manager of "Stingrays" a bar owned by Granite
Mutton Chops              The leader of “The Chamber”
Todd Grilliot                 Mitchell Ozlet’s son by Marie Grilliot
John Hazelton               A Detective working on the Melody Ozlet murder case.
Barbara Paige               A Detective working on the Melody Ozlet murder case


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Work schedule is still a bear, but I have two chapters ready to go this week.
Thank you for the terrific support.
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