In the Company of Liars

Free In the Company of Liars by David Ellis

Book: In the Company of Liars by David Ellis Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Ellis
Tags: thriller, Mystery
continuing.
    â€œThat’s where I put it.” She raises her chin and keeps her voice strong, as she faces the window. “It’s still there, that post. The paint has chipped away some but it’s still the only yellow post out there. I—I can’t say why I went there. I—we hadn’t shopped there for years. I didn’t think anyone would ever connect me to it.”
    She takes a deep breath and faces him. His eyes retreat again.
    â€œYou buried the trophy from the manufacturers’ association next to a yellow post behind the Countryside?” Mat asks. “The one on Apple and Riordan?”
    â€œI did. So if I’m convicted, you tell this to Jessica. But only then.”
    Mat’s gaze moves about the room, anywhere but at her. He is lost in thought for a long moment, blinking rapidly, eyes narrowing. “Okay. If it ever comes to it, I can tell her about that. I’m—let’s find something to eat.”
    Allison takes a step toward him. “You’re the only personwho knows this,” she says. “I haven’t even told my lawyer. If this got out—if anyone found out—”
    â€œAllison.” He stops on his way to the kitchen but does not look at her. She senses a tightening in his posture.
    â€œI won’t tell a soul,” he assures her.

ONE DAY EARLIER
MONDAY, MAY 3
    A llison stares at the ghost in the mirror. She wants the judge to see her as she used to be, before the stress started doing its damage three months ago. She wants him to know her as a person, to know her life and background, to understand what she is capable of and what she is not.
    But Judge Wilderburth will not know these things. Will not care to know. The facts of the case are the only things of relevance to him. It is a tainted filter, she realizes now more than ever. He will never know the full story. No jury, no judge ever has.
    She looks at her watch, expecting Mat to walk in the door any minute to drive her to court, when the phone rings. It’s seven-thirty in the morning and the phone is ringing.
    She walks out of the master bathroom and finds her phone by the bed. The caller ID is noncommittal; the call is coming from an office.
    â€œAllison, Paul Riley here.”
    Paul Riley is the first lawyer Allison retained on the case. “How are you, Paul?”
    â€œGreat, Allison. I’ve been following the trial. It looks good.”
    â€œNice of you to say.” Allison is sure the comment is insincere.
    â€œThe evidence is circumstantial,” Paul adds, the classic take from a defense attorney. “They still don’t have the murder weapon, do they?”
    Allison catches her breath. She grips the phone until it hurts. “The, uh—”
    â€œThe murder weapon,” Paul repeats. “They don’t know for sure what it is, and they surely don’t have it, as far as I can tell.”
    â€œNo—no,” Allison manages through the burn in her throat. “They don’t have it.”
    â€œThat will be tough for them, I would think. That’s how you really put someone at a crime scene. No murder weapon, it’s all speculation.”
    â€œI—I hope so.”
    â€œI think I’ve upset you here, Allison. Listen to me, talking about murder weapons. All I really wanted to tell you is I’m rooting for you.”
    â€œThank you, Paul. I should—I should probably—”
    â€œYou need to get going. Best of luck, Allison.”
    She sets the phone down and puts a hand against the wall to support herself. She feels the heat on her face, the perspiration gather on her forehead.
    The murder weapon .
    The front door opens, Mat calls out to her to come down.
    She shakes her head hard. Okay. She collects herself and takes the stairs down.
    J ane McCoy sits in the back row, far left corner, a place that has been kept open for her. She’s wearing herglasses—first time in years—and a

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