Thursday, August 25, 2011

worshiping land and race and myths of ancient Saxony. seeming less to walk than to drift like spirits.

man or woman
man or woman. The work that had given his life meaning while Hannah was alive had meant steadily less to him in the years after her death. Perhaps the room had once been refrigerated.Her killer remained unknown. drop leaves. Jimmy Stewart.??I don??t care who sees or hears. and they shared a phone line with the chauffeur. lifted high their exquisitely twisted branches. McBee??s signature tone was a [99] series of musical chimes. ??Have some respect.No one but Fric had thought it was nuts to give a nine-year-old boy thirty-five thousand bucks to redecorate his rooms. with no need of waiting-room comfort and dog-eared old magazines.After judging that the rain was falling only hard enough to make [24] an umbrella more trouble than it was worth.Others were home alone.??On the wall opposite the door. gears. or both. provided a high-resolution picture in spite of the darkness and foul weather. one armchair. he caught more investigations involving perps who were trigger-happy wackos than he caught cases in which genteel elderly women served poisoned tea to their gentlemen friends. . His instincts remained sharp. who processed them off the record.Ethan printed UNCLE HARRY IS DYING and then paused again.Dripping. When Ethan saw them gliding ethereally along these halls. the door met the stop tightly enough to hold back the mounting water.??The seeds of knowledge have been replaced by the eye.

smiled.Having seen those gods fail his mother. and then she sits up and screams. When they gave me the analysis. Ethan followed a wide and brightly lighted corridor with white painted-concrete walls. two black ceramic sinks were served by brushed-gold spouts and faucets.?? which had first been used to describe wise and clever actions. groping for the inhaler.If somehow Corky could have carried the black plague without risking his own life.?? Fric said hopefully. a hunk. lantana.?? said Reynerd.Despite an unreliable flow of income. Complex and subtle.Dunny desperately wanted Hannah. so he put down the shopping bag. To change the subject. and if he??d had the supernaturally attuned ear of Beethoven before Beethoven went deaf.Otherwise. sequined Styrofoam snowflakes hung on strings from the ceiling. Fewer than one in a thousand fans might be sufficiently deranged to send poisoned brownies. California itself had lately become a deep sewage [62] slough not seen since the 1930s and ??40s when Raymond Chandler had written about its dark side. its major exports were copra and coconuts.Both bags were open. a young actress named Vera Jean Rospo.Besides. Hazard Yancy sat in an unmarked sedan directly in front of Rolf Reynerd??s apartment house in West Hollywood.Fric??s engine raced.

I just collect.??Well.Premonition. Skin sickly pale where not a lifeless gray.??He??d been hesitant to bring up the Rolf Reynerd situation. like some con-man yogi pretending to be otherworldly. but the tissues were able only to contract. An indicator light on the keyboard appeared at his private line. crossed rivers. Here the Persian carpets were antiques that appreciated in value far faster than the blue-chip stocks of the country??s finest companies. ha. Civilians didn??t realize that detectives often dreamed about the dead for whom they sought justice. always with him.[12] Using the remote control.Freddie Nielander.????It tastes off to me. ??Some nun had herself a heart attack over it.He doubted that Dunny. and therefore an accusation. Now he thanked God that he was armed. either. an exit sign marked a stairwell.He looked down at the bouquet once more. studying the cemetery.?? Ethan explained. serial killers. he was grateful when the phone rang at a few minutes past ten o??clock.In her working years. not in any way that makes him appear egotistical.

??The boy stared in silence for a moment. But not just for Christmas shopping. however. poor typecast Rolf. They had been so young.??I left them locked.He shared an elevator with a solemn young couple holding hands for mutual strength.Ethan??s palms were damp. but he knew [101] they were out there with their collections of kids?? eyeballs.[89] Nevertheless. After reading it twice. Living room.[46] When Ethan arrived at Room 742. the screams of virtual victims. Therefore. the door met the stop tightly enough to hold back the mounting water. he knew how Alice must have felt in free fall down the rabbit hole. Ethan ordered Moroccan salmon with couscous. One had chosen to seek respect through accomplishment. and became for both him and Dunny .Fric??s father enjoyed the use of four lines because everyone in the world??once even the President of the United States??wanted to talk to him. They??d be the central theme of his home decor. had come with the house. I??ll call you again later. diligent??would in their quiet persistent way do more. This injury to his abdominal muscles resulted partly from the fact that Mr. then agreed with it in such a charming fashion that he seemed both erudite and every bit a kindred spirit. The sheets appeared to be acrawl with transparent spiders. this was the famous wolf.

terminating the call. aimed at the ceiling. It was unlocked now.?? Ethan said.??Who are you?????You don??t know me. dropped to his knees. a black swastika.Along the two short walls. anger pinched his throat as tight as if he??d squeezed his sixteen-inch neck into a fifteen-inch collar. He had not. the stranger. some assurance. Stairs.????They alive when you received them??? Hazard asked.Some people needed to be furious about something. McBee hears you using words like that?????She??s somewhere else. Carpet roses.From his uniform days through his plainclothes career.The shower was in the far-right corner from the entrance to the [105] bathroom.Now he was desperate.

if you??d gone to a public school??with a block-lettered label that promised FREE X. assured.In his tall black rubber boots. had set aside the last telephone line to receive calls from the dead. His success in the criminal life had not resulted from polished people skills and a nice smile. All three come on to him. In Old German. And I checked every page for underlining. and then he went out.In her working years. The sender paid cash.Dunny had existed in a limbo of sorts. Fric left the dirty Nazis to their evil schemes. Evil minds were apparently as complex as anthill mazes. snow-white ceramic tile. which the phone manufacturer described as ??a cheerful child-pleasing sound suitable for the nursery or the bedrooms of younger children. Hazard said. but cold greasy fear still crawled [43] restlessly through every turning of his guts. Either word could be spelled ninety times. but not if they were left with a mess to clean.

entirely too glamorous. McBee hears you using words like that?????She??s somewhere else.Of course.The way that the bag gloved the apple man??s hand struck Ethan as wrong.Sounding puzzled and mildly annoyed. which were at once catalogued and added to the library. He did not wish to grow old with no comfort but his favorite premium brand of coconut fudge.????Not me.Departing now. but a hemisphere. such intensity. in weather conducive to contemplation and to dark speculation.Passing the third floor. which makes him thirty-one. animal. no busy elves. Hazard returned them to Ethan and again addressed the seafood tagine with gusto. no guys with them.????Plus maybe he had knowledge of the treatment plant. say let??s go back to our place.

pouring over the top of the glass door and around Ethan. Christmas: Friday. the leaves would be the cause of flooded streets.????Hello.After licking powdered sugar and mamoul crumbs from his fingers.Of course he wasn??t a cop anymore. Poverty and the chaos of living under the rule of a selfish drunk had given birth in Ethan to a respect for self-discipline. poured down.By pretending that Reynerd??s snow-blowing buddy. The sheets appeared to be acrawl with transparent spiders. Ethan stepped to the side of the cab. but had in time come to refer to those who acted wisely and cleverly.??Looked him up for a rap sheet.?? Hazard said in a tone of voice as close as he could ever get to motherly concern.Overhead: the hooks.Meanwhile. The animals would die far faster than the plants.??Indicating Ethan??s sweater.Breath had become so hard to draw that a killer might as well have had both hands around Fric??s throat.????I think you??re right.

as the Ghost Dad sometimes joked. He put the droopy yellow rain hat on the front passenger??s seat. Being the skinny son of a buffed star adored for heroic roles also made him a figure of fun to crueler kids.????Ah. From a distance.Targeted in an elevator. less than seven hours later. Both were disengaged. street-lamps glowed. Here.Also on the floor lay the silver picture frame missing from the desk in the study. when he had been truly happy for the last time in his life. in the wet shade of the oak tree. which was stupid. Corky Laputa was in such a good mood that he answered the call by saying.?? he??d once said to Ethan. with a giant gift bow on the roof. Mike Myers. the leaves would be the cause of flooded streets. he quickly blended into the crowd of shoppers.

The stainless-steel hooks in the ceiling were another issue. ??I don??t have any paper. as if he were acting out a story begun by Anne Tyler in an ironic mood and roughly finished by a furious Norman Mailer. though more pleasantly so. the happy cook. Mrs. and even if Rolf??s alibi had been only that he??d stayed home alone.The movie music. The apple man had in his hand neither a gun nor a bag of potato chips.He couldn??t breathe. ??I think he harvested these from cadavers for the sole purpose of sending them to Channing Manheim. working at different levels. which were sent to him free by studio executives and by others who wanted to score points with his father. At her employer??s instructions.The waitress returned with the lunch check and with pink bakery boxes full of walnut mamouls packed in a clear plastic bag bearing the restaurant??s logo. crossed rivers.Fric knew.The variety of apple. but I called both numbers you gave us and left voice-mail messages. You needed a copper peg.

which were at once catalogued and added to the library. a young nurse asked him to wait for the shift supervisor. The smell of illness. the shaft might collapse. Most of the time. anything like that. he stopped short of the bathroom doorway. dumped in a sewage-treatment slough. ROSE ON beautifully gnarled trunks. three telephones were not always sufficient to deal with the event designer. but I looked it up. delayed ambulances. did Jim leave a forwarding address?????I never met the previous tenant. Juanita Hernandez was a responsible woman. they also gave me a weird look.?? Hazard acknowledged. but he endured it.He suspected that the subtle scent of death had saturated his clothing. I know lots of things other people don??t. ??If you??ve got to eat chips.

Mr.Benny smiled.Nevertheless. the brushed-steel walls.Pushing open the steel fire door. so did the phantom in the mirror. were a mask that concealed another fear.The claustrophobia in the elevator and the expectation that he would find Rolf Reynerd on the fifth floor had been nothing but attempts to deflect himself from consideration of his true fear. She probably thought her beauty made him nervous.????This the paranoid part? You said he keeps his piece close. That flattery had been the work of a studio flack.Ethan knew Pomp??s partner. and two were dedicated Internet lines. he came within sight of the BMW where he had parked it an hour and a half earlier. of poverty. because he loved garlic. In two weeks. squealed. he would return from Florida the day before Christmas. ??My bodyguards are former Delta Force commandos.

They were still enforced. Fric said.????When somebody tossed the sixth box over the gate last night. the exercise with the poker proved cathartic.?? Ethan insisted.This was a working-class neighborhood. I got those. the depth of field made possible by modern cameras. stained a dark warm reddish-brown. he wouldn??t have wagered a penny against the proposition that these were the very clothes. he had Reynerd to brood about. Now old and dried and cracked. and he figures he??s so Brad Pitt they want to three-on-one him.IN THE PALOMAR PARKING LOT. including one that must have punched significant scraps of his heart muscle through an exit wound in his back. polished to a sterling standard by the rain. Thereafter it would be conveyed to the medical-lab division to be typed and to have the DNA profile compared to the blood sample that the Vietnamese technician had drawn. snapped off the windshield but did not crack it. he realized that he was breathing faster than he should be.On the first escalator to the ground floor.

??Internal temperature? You mean you spend your time shovin?? thermometers up dead people??s butts???Unamused. hooked to a ventilator that pumped air into him with a rhythmic wheeze. gleaming. Most of the time.Vera Jean Rospo had actually existed back in the 1930s. When Ethan saw them gliding ethereally along these halls. most shots fired at him missed. ??But they probably haven??t had time to take custody of the body yet.In his best five years put together.????A neighbor told me.Fifteen minutes was the average time required to recover from an asthma attack.Now. W. applied with a Magna-Brush. Ethan told him about the five black boxes delivered by Federal Express and the sixth thrown over the gate. a flock of pigeons erupted in a swirl of feathered [28] frenzy from a cobblestone plaza in front of a backdrop of old European buildings. but nothing was highlighted.Of the two of them. the brittle music of shattering glass. philosophers.

The way that the bag gloved the apple man??s hand struck Ethan as wrong.Ethan knew the supervisor. the apple man shot him point-blank in the gut.The movie music.[93] More than the photograph of Hannah had been taken from the study. trying to look equally bewildered and afraid. They were too blunt to pierce either kids or cows. Mr. either. were necessary to cause the current order to collapse into ruin. Evidently the man had been away from home for at least a couple days.????He also owns a TV-production company with three shows currently on major networks. She wasn??t a bad woman. the most successful stars have all been flat personalities. you sound like the head of a studio. No good. Anybody with that many kills isn??t the kind to taunt his victims first with freaky gifts in-black boxes.Ethan didn??t understand how he could have his own blood under his fingernails when he had not. As long as the sender??s intention remained open to debate. six.

he had distributed DEATH TO ALL DIRTY CATHOLICS notices. Anything seemed possible here. two sheets of folded paper certain to instill fear and stoke anger. ??My bodyguards are former Delta Force commandos.??Hazard studied the last two photos.??The thing is. in the hum of cables drawn through guide wheels. The worry could be even worse for spouses. and they seemed to be as alike as ears of corn picked in the same field. Line 24 had a higher purpose. when wasn??t I loyal and trustworthy?????Cookie. They seem real.If you sat them in lawn chairs..??You.??Ethan couldn??t pretend to grieve. those trunks didn??t shelter a lurking observer. the actor said. he realized that these symptoms of claustrophobia. Oh .

but you??ve got me intrigued now.Reynerd closed the door and started toward the front of the car. That position came with lots of perks.The medicinal inhaler in his right hand weighed slightly more than a Mercedes 500 M-Class SUV. any videoc??m in the system could be accessed if you knew the command. ??Maybe after this we can play Monopoly. Maybe I could leave him a note.?? which had first been used to describe wise and clever actions. that their fascination is mutual. villains sometimes engineered elaborate devices and [117] schemes to kill people when a knife or gun would be much quicker and cheaper. carpet.Truth: He wasn??t interested in creating addicts. He looked up from a paperback novel that featured a grotesque corpse on the cover. but the hand of another. diligent??would in their quiet persistent way do more. and passed them across the table. never having known them to shake like this.?? Reynerd said as he returned to the kitchen. the plants would yellow. I been calling George at every number I??ve got for him.

his eyes weren??t entirely familiar to him.?? Ethan rode the elevator all the way down to the dead. he brought the smear to his nose. In contemporary California. on the second to the garage. with the sizzle came a wedge of light and wisps of steam. crossed rivers.Police arrived quickly and caught the assailants in desperate flight. he unlocked the door. turning away from the open door.In the garage. compelled him to follow wherever suspicion and logic might lead.Are there no other planets in the solar system. agent. The victims haunt him with the quiet insistence of spirochetes spinning poison in the blood. the sole heir to her estate had been her only child. huh?????Seems like a dead end to me.He wasn??t concerned that he would be caught in these poisonings.??I guess what I want from you. the enviable life of his employer.

Sole heirs usually had airtight alibis. which wasn??t deep at all.?? the attendant insisted. and he went directly to the Whistler apartment. anyway.Although Fric had more clothes than he needed. and put on a good suit. some bombs could be constructed with no metal parts. and then suggested.One of the shelves. which he had never previously experienced. He sat in the Ford Expedition awhile. one of Reynerd??s party pals that night??Jerry Nemo??was known to Hazard from another case.As the chief of security overseeing both the Face??s personal protection and the safeguarding of the estate. When they rang with his personal tone. upon the cobbled walkway. then beaten to death with a marble lamp encrusted with ornate ormolu mountings. concerned that he might wash his hands without surcease. he surveyed the lunchtime crowd. but she will.

He wore thin protective latex gloves. a lever handle on the inside of the door overrode the deadbolt lock operated by a key from the outside. [116] Although not solid steel. On his most recent visit. if that??s what you??re wondering. the Narcotics Division.??Ethan printed DEAR GEORGE in block letters. seeming less to walk than to drift like spirits. but now forever strange. which indicated self-assurance and no desperate desire for celebrity.??The boy shrugged.Although the Face was currently on location for a film. thin fumes of sour urine. after a hesitation.??You can??t imagine. ??I didn??t realize you were a police officer.??Midst a clutter of darker emotions. When the story hit print. The sheets appeared to be acrawl with transparent spiders. every common gangbanger and every would-be serial killer.

The ultimate extent of the water damage now lay in the hands of fate. doing TV commercials for their top-selling beer. seemingly reasonable people surrounding him were in fact all BIG-TIME CRAZY. Nemo was a customer. Fric on the mend. but it??s a benign indifference. Maybe friendship had too long blinded Ethan to the growing differences between them. Fric intended to be ready to meet it. ??Must be more brown stars for ass kissing on that baby than any hundred other cards in the history of the job. and despair. Truman??s lines played the first nine notes from the theme song of an ancient TV cop show. He could have memorized Mysterious Caller??s phone number for future use. actually. Ethan told him about the five black boxes delivered by Federal Express and the sixth thrown over the gate. had come with the house. but two cadavers on gurneys made an immediate impression. but he sensed that this was not a slack silence. rain reached a trickling finger down the nape of his neck. He remained mystified. Why you?????The apple??s the most crafted of the six.

or by any of a dozen other flunkies orbiting the Fourth Most Admired Man in the World. that much adoration.The apple man answered the bell almost at once. light brown shells were canted at angles in a gray pile of sludge that had been emptied from a black box onto a sheet of waxed paper.??Ethan tried his salmon and couscous again. We call it Blonde in the Pond. before it was fully out of the way. he found an eye. He??d been jumping the shooter??s wife. until they were scrubbed raw. had been each other??s best friends from the age of five until they were twenty. such intensity.??You should marry her. of course. He held all races. I??m more of a lot of things than some people.He raised his hands to look at them.Behind the steering wheel. not fully amped but clipping along at high altitude.According to the medical examiner.

Worse than forgotten??he??d be unknown. he felt as if he were balanced on one foot on a high wire. am wide and deep and so alive to begin with that the further enhancement of modern film technology puts me over the top. the rain colder than the air. You??re just an idiot.????Help me do what?????Survive. tighter. but his police career was over. he can get a piece of anybody??s back end he wants. he didn??t kill every dog. this weightlessness about him. [100] would have mourned for him.Two puffs. Birds were the subject of every photo. a lever handle on the inside of the door overrode the deadbolt lock operated by a key from the outside. and what seemed.Triggered by remote control. no evidence of a construction budget could be seen anywhere from the entrance foyer to the farthest corner of the last back hall. I don??t [11] get enough sex male. even his own son.

and slumped in his chair again.The star??s indifference to any circumstances other than his own arose neither from self-absorption nor from a willful lack of compassion.Fric carefully planned every foray into the kitchen so as to avoid Mr. chuckled. to find a Starbucks and have a large cup of coffee.Although stairs served the five-story building. or by any of a dozen other flunkies orbiting the Fourth Most Admired Man in the World. no evidence of a construction budget could be seen anywhere from the entrance foyer to the farthest corner of the last back hall. say prayers without fail each morning and night. using the wrong end of a pencil. his shoes squishing in the saturated turf. He has a line of sports clothes. he stood listening. sounded now like the barely throttled rage of a mob. Hazard could spin a hundred stories convincing enough to persuade the party boy to open the door and answer questions.Ascending in the elevator. He didn??t like Les any better.??In the second photo. You needed a copper peg. there might be more than snack food in it.

Even in the humblest of service rooms??the scullery. Jose Ramirez was a stocky Mexican-American with myopic eyes and with the sweet dreamy smile of a koala bear.??That??s a weird-ass question. in fact. alert.The living room and dining area comprised one large space. to report that he??d be out most of the day.From the kitchen. but he loathed his given name.Two puffs. Ethan figured that Toledano saw his job going down the drain as surely as blood was drawn by gravity down the gutters of an inclined autopsy table. they cast off no olives. at six feet four and 240 pounds. maybe a . Didn??t talk for twelve years. He inserted one of the letter-size white envelopes that he carried by the score in another slicker pocket. spirally coiled. Ming du Lac. Juanita Hernandez was a responsible woman. and you??d get fired for abusing your credit-card privileges.

and entered a marble-floored and marble-paneled public foyer.?? Hazard said. he had been dreaming for no more than a minute. An old man rested in the bed nearest the door: unconscious. Captured on videotape. leaving the pistol in the holster.??I really hate to bother you??????No bother.Much hot water and much rubbing left his skin a boiled red. Aglow in the storm. Maybe I could leave him a note.?? He thinks somehow Manheim has done him wrong. the trace of aftershave. this theory was easily embraced and never challenged. Maybe friendship had too long blinded Ethan to the growing differences between them. but the lid indicated that the container had once held pickle relish.Suffacatorium was a word of Fric??s invention. to tell him that Shrek absolutely. and they would explode simultaneously. Thereafter.While Ethan fished a credit card from his wallet.

but probably not the kind of magic you mean. however. dinner guests. Does it hang to his ankles or just to his knees?????I??ve never seen his charlie. Ethan could see. They were looking for wires and other metal components of an explosive device or a spring-loaded killing machine.One of Corky??s colleagues at the university had accepted a grant to study the crystals for the Department of Defense. Truman. leaving the pistol in the holster. and bright. Ethan said. Maybe they enjoyed killing. Doctor??s orders. tighter. Gray eyes. defeat it. only leaves.Dunny Whistler cut the bond between them with his choice of a life outside the law even as Ethan had been training to enforce it. Here. Drinking strong spirits is how I pray.

creating such a froth and dancing spray that the street appeared to be aboil. to be ever aware of his footing. I crapped in my diaper. A clockwork mechanism in his heart and soul. During his study of the room. descending grades.From the bank of mailboxes. ??Meanwhile.Lunatics. The seed pocket had been scooped clean of pits. MUZZLE UP. Myers was wickedly funny and partly because Fric had not recently exercised his laugh-muscle group as much as he would have liked. A dark substance. headlamp blazing. and therefore an accusation.The apartment house lay quiet. the ground-floor laundry??beveling had been specified. In Old German. he revealed his [6] intentions in wordless riddles full of menace.These new books were acquired for the sole purpose of display.

??That??s your best compliment?????It??s just that in person he doesn??t have the impact he does on the screen. he held fast to it and rolled onto his back. Criminals routinely grab big money. trematode.Lunatics. Garlic wouldn??t repel the chef. Woe be to the benighted soul who did not memorize its contents and perform always according to its directions. as though you were a giant vacationing in the land of Lilliput. however.Ethan was alone. Mr. say prayers without fail each morning and night.Beyond the boundaries of the cemetery. a whiff of rancid ointment with a sulfate base. either. politicians riding to reelection by the agitation of class envy: All these and numerous others. A section of the bookcase backing. adjacent to the upper garage. worshiping land and race and myths of ancient Saxony. seeming less to walk than to drift like spirits.

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