Cliff Walk: A Liam Mulligan Novel

Free Cliff Walk: A Liam Mulligan Novel by Bruce DeSilva

Book: Cliff Walk: A Liam Mulligan Novel by Bruce DeSilva Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bruce DeSilva
    “What’s she like?”
    “Girl of my dreams. Young, pretty, smart, honest, and legs that go all the way to the floor.”
    “If she’s so honest,” he said, “what’s she doing representing the Maniellas?”
    “Hey, porn’s not illegal. And a girl’s gotta make a living.”
    “Name like Yolanda, sounds like she might be black.”
    “That she is.”
    “Didn’t know that was your type.”
    “The good-looking ones are all my type,” I said. “So what did she have to say?”
    “I left a message. She didn’t return the call.”
    “Maybe she’ll return mine,” I said. I’d been looking for an excuse to call her, and now I had one.
    “And you’ll let me know what you learn?”
    “After three days or so, you mean?”
    “Maybe I’ll drop in on Vanessa, too. See if she likes reporters more than cops.”
    “I’m betting not,” he said.
    *   *   *
    The Maniellas’ front door had a mahogany frame, a round-top transom, four panels of stained glass, and a hand-wrought iron grill. This was the first time I’d seen it in daylight. I stood on the porch and admired it for a moment before I rang the fleur-de-lis-shaped doorbell. The door swung open to reveal a stout Hispanic woman in a demure black-and-white maid’s uniform. Behind her, I caught a glimpse of a vast foyer with a sparkling white marble floor.
    “Yes?” she said, although it came out sounding more like “Jes?”
    “Is the lady of the house in?”
    “Who may I say is calling?”
    “Mr. Mulligan of the Dispatch .”
    “Un momento, por favor,” she said, and firmly shut the door.
    I stood on the porch and looked out over the lake, its surface riffling in a stiff breeze. It was late in the season for water sports, but three teenagers in wet suits roared past on Jet Skis, throwing spray onto the Maniellas’ floating wooden dock. It was a good five minutes before the maid swung the door open again and stood aside so Vanessa Maniella could block the entrance with her ample hips.
    I knew her to be thirty-five, but she appeared younger in knee-high calf boots and the kind of short, clingy skirt favored by the Kardashian sisters. Bleached blond tresses tumbled to her shoulders in a style suitable for one of Sal’s MILF videos. Vanessa looked me up and down and smirked.
    “How was Rome?” I asked, trying an old reporting gambit. Pretend you know something you don’t, and more often than not a source will either confirm it or correct you.
    “Barcelona,” she blurted out. “We were in Barcelona.”
    “Don’t suppose your dad came along for the ride.”
    “I’ve got nothing to say about that.”
    “Do you know where he is?”
    She was closing the door now.
    “Is he in the morgue?”
    I heard the dead bolt click.
    “Why won’t you ID the body?” I shouted. “Is the maid in the country legally? Are you paying her Social Security taxes?” Not that I cared about that. It was just something to say.
    I climbed into Secretariat, cranked the ignition, peeled out of the driveway, and tore down the narrow causeway at a reckless speed. After weeks of work on the Maniellas, I still had nothing worth printing. The frustration was getting to me. I felt like pounding on something.

    It was nearly eight in the evening when I picked up a burger and fries to go at the lunch cart next to Providence City Hall and called Joseph DeLucca from the Bronco. He sounded groggy, as if my phone call had awakened him. Must have been his day off.
    “Mulligan? Whassup?”
    “I need a favor.”
    “Name it.”
    “I need to hit something.”
    “Sure. No prob. Vinny gave me a key to the gym. Meet you there in thirty minutes.”
    Vinny Pazienza’s private gym was in an old brick firehouse on Laurel Hill Avenue. Inside, the walls were hung with fight memorabilia: Everlast boxing gloves, framed sports pages, fight cards, and boxing posters from Foxwoods, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City.
    Vinny was a local folk hero, partly because of

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