By JA Konrath
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I have a friend at the Post Office who gives me a discount rate. ” I hit the disconnect. ” Thorpe asked. “Like a charm. Go home and get some rest. ” The trick was finding an exchange location where I wouldn’t be conspicuous in a ski mask. Chicago had several ice rinks, but I didn’t think any of them allowed dogs. I decided on the alley behind the Congress Hotel, off of Michigan Avenue. I got there two hours early to check the place out. Time crawled by. I kept track of it in my notepad. 9:02am—Arrive at scene.
It was September, about seventy with clear skies, so I took a walk down the block. The first payphone I came to had gum jammed in the coin slot. The second one smelled like a urinal, but I made do. ” “Hi, Jack. ” “Phin? Haven’t seen you at the pool hall lately. ” 34 My lips twisted in a tight grin. Jacqueline Daniels was a police Lieutenant who busted me a few years back. We had an on-again-offagain eight ball game Monday nights. I’d missed a few. ” “No, work. ” “I prefer the term problem solver.
Herb asked. ” “I’m not sure yet. ” I switched gears. ” Herb smiled. “Yeah. ” “I tossed the bedrooms upstairs, found some basics; clothes, shoes, linen. Bathroom contained bathroom stuff; towels, toiletries, a lot of puzzle magazines. Another bookshelf—non-fiction this time. ” Benedict checked his pad. ” “Cancer drugs,” Phil Blasky said. He held Wyatt’s right arm. “That explains this plastic catheter implanted in his vein and this rash on his neck. ” A picture began to form in my head, but I didn’t have all the pieces yet.