NYPD Red 4
said. “They were cellies at Otisville, and they’ve been bunking together ever since. Not gay, just a couple of underdogs who threw their lot in together, hoping that the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts.”
    “And is it?” I asked.
    “If they were remotely competent, would I be here?” he said. “I’ll start with Teddy. He’s white, midthirties, comes from a family of grifters. His mom and dad sold swampland in Florida back in the eighties, and over the years they’ve probably run every scam in the con man’s bible. They were good, Annie and Buddy Ryder. He died a few years ago, and Annie’s about seventy, so she’s basically out of the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she still kept her hand in by bilking the blue-haired granny crowd out of their bingo winnings.
    “Sadly for Annie and Buddy, whatever criminal acumen was in their DNA skipped a generation. Their only progeny, Teddy, has zero street charisma. The poor boy couldn’t sell a five-dollar cure for the clap if it came with a four-dollar coupon. Also, he’s never been arrested for carrying a piece. Jacking a limo at gunpoint is so far out of his league I’m surprised he didn’t shoot himself.”
    “How about the other one?” I said.
    “Raymond Davis is fortysomething, biracial—mom was white, father was African American, both long gone. He’s about as smart as a turkey sandwich, and to prove it he was scouting the bars uptown looking for a buyer for some hot jewelry. He tried to keep it vague, but that lasted until he was pressed for a description, and he all but held up a picture of that diamond necklace that was on the front page of the morning paper. Raymond’s done two stretches for armed robbery, so if I were a betting man, I’d say he was your shooter.”
    “Do you know where we can find these two?” Kylie said.
    “No, but I bet you’ve got someone down at One P P who can help you out.”
    That got a laugh. “Wiseass,” she said. “We can take it from here. Thanks. You got anything else?”
    “Not for NYPD. But I might have something for you. Something more … personal.”
    Q Lavish might joke with me about working the night shift with Kylie, but he’d never get smarmy with her. He was too much of a gentleman. Plus, the look in his eyes said he was dead serious.
    “Go ahead,” Kylie said.
    “I heard you’re looking for your husband.”
    “Jesus, Q,” she said. “I know you’re wired, but how did you—”
    “I have clients in the TV business. They talk. I listen. I don’t know where he is right now, but I know he’s been over the edge. It’s not my place, but if you need an extra pair of eyes and ears …”
    “Oh God, yes. Thank you.”
    “Don’t thank me yet. Just tell me whatever you think might help.”
    She recapped the last few days since Spence went missing. Q didn’t say anything until she told him about our run-in with Baby D.
    “Drug dealers are the worst,” he said. “And that pretty boy is as bad as the rest of them. He wouldn’t call you if Spence came over to his house and shot his mother. Giving him your card was just a waste of paper. But now that I know he’s one of your husband’s contacts, I’ll keep him on my radar.”
    Kylie stood up, shook his hand, and thanked him again. Even if Q didn’t come up with a single lead toward helping us find Spence, she knew that his offer was genuine. And if he ever reached out to her for help getting one of his overprivileged clients out of a jam, she’d reciprocate in a nanosecond.
    In the New York criminal justice system, it’s all part of the circle of life.

    AS RELIABLE AN asset as Q Lavish might have been, the State of New York didn’t think he was reliable enough. We couldn’t arrest Davis and Ryder solely on the word of an informant. We needed an arrest warrant, and finding a judge to sign one at this hour of the night would take time. Time we didn’t want to waste.
    Parole officers, on the other

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