Murder in the Rue De Paradis

Murder in the Rue De Paradis by Cara Black

Book: Murder in the Rue De Paradis by Cara Black Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cara Black
happened to her. Persona non grata, on the world security watch list. Her American mother was still wanted— that is, if she was still alive.
    She crumpled the paper, about to throw it in the trash, then smoothed it out and opened her bottom drawer. The drawer that held her father’s death certificate, the one photo of her mother—carmine red lips holding Aimée as a baby at the baptismal font—the drawer of the past. She had to put this away. Forget and move on. But she didn’t know if she could. Then she glanced at the time; Drieu was waiting. She put the crumpled paper in the drawer and closed it.
    René’s car . . . thank God. She’d take that, faster than a taxi. On quai d’Anjou she unlocked the car, turned the key in the ignition, and gunned the engine.
    She crossed Pont Louis Philippe at the tip of the island, passing over the sluggish green currents of the Seine, drove up to rue de Rivoli, and turned left.
    The sun, which shone to almost 11 P.M. in July, set earlier now each day. She hated, as she had as a child, to climb in bed while vanilla light painted her room. And she loathed being sick.
    Her mother’s voice came back to her, the lilting singsong voice making up stories about Emil, the Royal mouse in the Louvre, illustrating them on old postcards in the bright splashed evening, dabbing Aimée’s fevered brow. . . . Why think of that now? Useless.
    She shook off memories, wedged the Citroën next to a sleek Mercedes, set the parking brake, and hurried out.
    Inside the seventies-era steel-and-smudged-glass Agence France-Presse, video monitors showed sweeps of the interior. A blond man in his early thirties, his white shirtsleeves rolled up over pressed khaki pants, leaned over in earnest conversation with the reception guard.
    He straightened up. Tall, wide brow in a tanned face with a jagged nose, handsome in a prizefighter sort of way. He extended his hand. “Mademoiselle Leduc?”
    She nodded and reached for his.
    Strong dry grip, a white untanned thread of skin where a wedding band would have been. “Gerard Drieu. I just got off the phone with the Brigade Criminelle. It’s terrible.” He seemed shaken. “Words fail me to . . . well, to explain it.”
    He’d spoken with Rouffillac, as anyone—not just the smart, accomplished type she figured him for if he worked here— would do. Gotten the lowdown. She wondered if Rouffillac had warned him against her.
    “Monsieur Drieu, I’d appreciate speaking with the members of the staff who worked with Yves.” She shifted on her heels. “Could you provide me with an introduction?”
    “I am sorry, but everyone’s left. There seemed to be no point to the meeting,” he said. “It’s so hard to believe. Yves’s work is up for the Renadot journalism award for that incredible piece he wrote on the Cairo poor dwelling in the cemetery. Like all his articles, incisive and based on solid reporting. Such a waste.” Drieu shook his head. “We’re stunned, we’ll have to reorganize priorities and assignments tomorrow. It’s a blow!”
    More than a blow.
    “A real maverick; he did it his own way. But then Yves got the stories no one else did. A stellar journalist.”
    Aimée clutched her bag. An award . . . she’d had no idea.
    “There’s breaking news, bureaus all over the globe, constant streams of data to coordinate. But as I told the Brigade, we’ll furnish anything pertinent they need.”
    She aimed for tact. “Look, wouldn’t the Cairo branch know—”
    “But Yves worked out of Turkey for the last six months.”
    Why hadn’t he told her? But then she remembered his words about the indigo sky over Mount Ararat. If only she’d insisted that Yves explain instead of interrupting with her stupid excitement over his assignment in Paris.
    “Yves was involved in an investigation; I’m sure it had to do with—”
    “But the Brigade indicated a man with his wallet and cell phone was suspected,” Drieu said, his words slower.
    Her anger rose

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