Even the Wind: A Jonas Brant Thriller

Free Even the Wind: A Jonas Brant Thriller by Phillip Wilson

Book: Even the Wind: A Jonas Brant Thriller by Phillip Wilson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Phillip Wilson
car’ll be alright at the station for the night.’’ Clatterback said, rising to leave. Brant attempted half-heartedly to wave him away but gave up without protest.
      He called Mrs. Rodrigues from the back of the cab to tell her he was on his way home. She rang off without asking why he’d needed a cab or why he’d spoken with a mouth full of marbles.
      Outside, a light rain had begun to fall. Asphalt glistened in the taxi’s headlights. The steady drum of the rain and the thrust and pull of the cab’s wipers played in iambic pantameter, lulling him to sleep. On the radio, Bruce Springsteen’s ``My Hometown.’’ Brant smiled as he followed along to the lyrics and as he recalled his own father, a big old Buick and the hometown of his youth now lost to memory.  

C HAPTER E IGHT

    He woke with a hangover and a sliver of pain where the bullet had entered his head. His mouth felt full of cotton candy.
    Thankfully, Ben had known something was wrong and did his best to get ready for school without the usual morning ritual of tantrums and fighting.
    The woman at Little Acorn was less forgiving.    
    ``Late night?’’ Carolyn Growski had asked when he’d dropped Ben at the door.
    The big woman peered over small, miserly bifocals. She seemed to be enjoying herself as she pursed her lips and awaited a response.
    Screw you, Brant thought as he silently commiserated with his son. Damned if he was going to be judged.
    The squad room was stifling. He wore a short-sleeved polo shirt, chinos, a leather belt, checked knitted socks and brown Rockport loafers. The Beretta sat in its leather shoulder holster, snug in the pit of his arm.
      ``It’s like the Bahamas in here,’’ he said to no one in particular. ``If the heat won’t kill you, the humidity will.’’
      ``Doesn’t seem to bother them.’’  
      Katy Malloy, a junior detective with two solved murder cases already under her belt, rolled her eyes and pointed to the glass enclosure at the end of the squad room where Jolly was meeting with Julian March, one of the more senior detectives. The two had been going at it for nearly half an hour. Jolly stood at one point, paced the small room then hit the side of the door with enough force to rattle the inch-thick glass. Jolly, voice raised, gesticulated wildly towards Brant and the other detectives. Chastened, March slumped into his seat, eyes cast downward to his hands.
      ``They aren’t planning the Christmas party.’’
      Malloy turned back to the binders on her desk. She’d been asked earlier by Brant to start contacting hospitals throughout the state with the hope they’d be able to find where Allison Carswell had given birth. With luck, Brant figured, they’d be able to locate the doctor. Maybe they’d even be able to interview the hospital staff who’d presided over the baby’s birth. There was also a chance she’d gone out of state, or that she’d forgone a hospital completely in favor of a mid-wife or something even further ``off-grid.’’  
      Malloy had already been in contact with Carswell’s parents to tell them about the investigation and in the hope they’d be able to narrow the scope of the hospital investigation. The mother had answered the phone, but seemed evasive and tentative. The shock of their daughter’s death had yet to fully sink in, the woman had said, explaining that they’d lost contact a few years earlier and had little knowledge or awareness of her life in Boston.
      The mother had agreed to call back when she had something more to contribute, leaving the team with little to go on but the hospital search and Carswell’s place of work.
      ``Do you want to help?’’ Malloy asked when Brant had placed a pile of Boston-area hospital records on her desk.
    ``Afraid I have other things to do,’’ Brant said. ``Have you seen Junior?’’
      ``Who?’’ Malloy furrowed her brows.
      ``Clatterback.’’
      ``He hasn’t come in yet.’’
      Around them,

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