Likely to Die
broken into by another junkie who knew that his victim might be reluctant to deal with the police because of her own substance abuse. She had surprised him, and surprised Johanna, with her candor and her cooperation. Yesterday, she had been scheduled to testify before the grand jury in our effort to obtain an indictment.
     “Yeah, she was fine. I just have a few questions about how many counts of rape to charge. I mean, he kept assaulting her, then he’d get up and walk into the kitchen to get a beer, then he’d come back and go at her again. Are those all separate crimes or is it just one ‘rape’?”
     “Bring up your paperwork around eleven. I’ll look it over and listen to the facts more carefully so we can make a decision. It’s pointless to overcharge him, but if there are distinct sexual acts, punctuated by other events, you’ll definitely have some multiple counts.”
     She got off the elevator on six as I continued up to the eighth floor, where my office had been since I took over the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit. It was across the main hallway from Battaglia’s suite and on the corridor with other executives of the Trial Division who supervised the thousands of street crime cases police officers brought to our doorstep every single day and night of the year.
     I turned on the light in my secretary’s cubicle, the anteroom to my office, and unlocked my door. My space was neater than usual as I glanced around, which pleased me. I knew how cluttered it would soon become with the reams of paperwork, police reports, diagrams, notes, and news clips that were the staples of a major investigation. I liked to start out with a spot of visible green blotter under the piles of case reports so that I didn’t lose control of any matter that required action or attention.
     My first call was to David Mitchell’s office.
     He had read the morning papers and knew that I was assigned to the Mid-Manhattan case, “I would never have left the note about Zac last night if I had known you would be this busy. I’m sorry to have bothered you.”
     “Are you kidding? It will be a pleasure to have her to come home to, David. Plus, she may even coax me out for a jog over the weekend. You know I like her company. If I’m not home when you leave, just let her in with your key.”
     “Great. I’ll walk her tomorrow morning, then take her back to your place.”
     “Have time for a favor before you go?”
     “Always. What do you need?”
     I outlined what was going on in the medical center and explained that we wanted Maureen to be inside as an observer—unknown to administration or staff.
     “Shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as they have available beds. And as long as you’ll back me when the AMA tries to lift my license for—”
     “No problem. The Police Commissioner has to approve the whole thing, so you’ll be acting at his direction once we tell him about it. And I know there are beds. Two of the homeless guys were sleeping in private rooms the past four days. For a change, no complaints about the food, either.”
     “Okay, here’s what I suggest. Have Maureen call me so we can discuss some of her symptoms. Then I’ll call a neurologist I’ve done some work—”
     “No, David. Dogen was a neurosurgeon. We want Mo on the neurosurgical floor.”
     “Don’t worry, it is the same floor at Mid-Manhattan. The first referral would be quite naturally to a neurologist.”
     “I don’t know the difference. Why don’t you start with that?”
     “Of course. Neurologists are the physicians who study and treat the structure and diseases of the nervous system. A neurosurgeon wouldn’t be involved at this stage unless you’re ready to wheel Maureen into the operating room.”
     “Do they work with each other, the neurologists and neurosurgeons?”
     “Yes, but the neurologists can’t perform operations, they can’t do the surgery themselves.”
     “Dogen did mostly brain

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