Home > In Death #28 - Promises in Death(9)

In Death #28 - Promises in Death(9)
Author: J.D. Robb

“There will be no statements to the media, offically or unoffically, on this matter unless cleared through me. You can all consider this part of your current caseload. She’s ours now.”

She walked to her office, straight to the AutoChef for coffee. She’d no more than taken the steaming mug out when Detective Baxter came in behind her. “Lieutenant.”

“Make it quick, Baxter.”

“I wanted to say Trueheart and I are cleaning up a few loose ends on a case. We should have it tied up pretty soon. You need grunt work, legwork, shit work, whatever on this, my boy and I,” he continued speaking of his stalwart aide, “we’re up for it. Screw the overtime, Dallas. We’re not putting in for any of that, not for this.”

“Okay.” She’d expected no less, but it was satisfying to have her expectations met. “I’m going to be talking to her boss, her partner, whoever she worked with back in Atlanta. I’m going to require copies of her case files, opened and closed, her notes. And I’m going to want fresh eyes going over them. I’m going to need runs on everyone in her apartment building. Everyone she came into contact with routinely. Her neighbors, the guy she bought her food from, who delivered her pizza. Any previous relationships, any current. Her friends, the bartender where she drank. I want to know her inside and out.”

“Morris—”

“I’ll be going back there, but he needs some time. By the time you tie up those ends, I’ll have plenty for you and Trueheart.”

“Okay. I, ah, made half a play for her a few months back.”

“Baxter, you make half a play for anything female.”

He smiled a little, appreciating her attempt to keep it light. “What can I say? Women are the best thing going. She gave me half a flirt back, you know? But she was all about Morris. There’s nobody out there who wouldn’t jump to work this case, because she was a cop. But every one of them will jump higher, jump faster because of Morris. Just wanted to say.”

“Let me know when you close your case.”

“Yes, sir.”

She took her coffee to her desk, noted she had multiple incoming transmissions. Some would be from the media, she thought, and those she’d dump on the liaison, until ordered otherwise.

Eve picked through, passed, discarded, held. And played the one from her commander. Whitney’s administrative assistant relayed his orders. She was to report the minute she was in her office.

She set her coffee aside, rose, and walked back to the bullpen. “Peabody, contact Coltraine’s lieutenant and request a meet with him at his earliest convenience. Also request he arrange same with her partner or partners. I’m with Whitney.”

She could wish for more time, Eve thought as she traveled the labyrinth of Cop Central to Commander Whitney’s domain. Time to put her thoughts together, to start her murder book, to refine her notes, to begin her cold and intrusive search through the life of a dead cop. But when Whitney pushed the bell, you answered the door.

He didn’t keep her waiting, either. The minute she walked into the outer office, the admin directed her into the inner sanctum.

He rose from behind his desk and filled the room with his presence. He wore command the way a man wore a suit perfectly tailored for his height, his girth. It belonged to him, Eve had always thought, because he’d earned it—with every step.

Though he rode a desk rather than the streets, that suit of command had been tailored for a cop.

“Lieutenant.”

“Sir.”

He didn’t gesture for her to sit. They would do this standing. He studied her for a moment, his wide, dark face solemn, his eyes cold.

“Report.”

She gave it quickly, straight out, every detail even as she laid disc copies of her on-scene on his desk. “I’m arranging to meet with her lieutenant, her partner, anyone from her house who may be able to provide insight or details.”

“Morris is covered.”

“Yes, sir. He was working, and there are witnesses, as well as security discs and his log to support. There’s no need to spend time ascertaining his whereabouts. He’s clear.”

“Good. That’s good. Play it out for me, Dallas. Your view.”

“She was home. She either received a call on her pocket ’link or had a previous meet—personal or official is not possible to confirm at this time—previously arranged. Her weapon box was unlocked and empty. There are compartments for her standard issue, and a smaller clutch piece, as well as holsters for both. She used a hip holster for her standard.”

For herself, Eve preferred the harness—the feel and the weight of it.

“She went out armed.”

“Yes, sir. I’m more inclined to think she went out on the job than socially. Because of the clutch piece. But I don’t know her yet. I don’t know what kind of a cop she was yet.”

He nodded. “Continue.”

“She left the apartment sometime after twenty-three eighteen. She had a droid pet and switched it to sleep mode at that time. She set her security, and took the stairs. Wits state this was her habit. The ambush came in the stairway, frontal assault. She took the hit, which knocked her back against the wall. The assailant transported her to the basement of the building, administered an as-yet-unknown stimulant to bring her to. At twenty-three forty, a weapon, possibly her own, was held to her throat and fired. I have EDD checking the security. We know that the rear door cam was jammed. He came in that way, and from my examination, the lock looked clean. So he had a key card and code, or he’s very skilled. He knew her habits, and knew she’d be coming down the stairs. He contacted her, and she went out to meet him. That’s how I see it. She knew her killer.”

“For the time being, any media will be funneled through the department liaison. The death of one cop won’t stir up the juices in any case. If that changes, I’ll let you know. You’re free to assign as many men to your investigative team as you feel necessary. Again, if that changes, you’ll be informed. This is now flagged priority, for every department involved. I want copies of all reports as they come in, or as they’re completed.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Whatever you need on this one, Lieutenant.”

“Understood.”

“I’ll be speaking with her family shortly, as will her lieutenant. I assume they’ll want a funeral or memorial in Atlanta, but we will be holding a memorial here. I’ll let you know when it’s arranged.”

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