Psych:Mind-Altering Murder

Psych:Mind-Altering Murder by William Rabkin Page A

Book: Psych:Mind-Altering Murder by William Rabkin Read Free Book Online
Authors: William Rabkin
interest in words that are so obvious they shouldn't carry any extra emotion or interest. That way the listener understands that while you seem to be answering the question, you're actually expressing contempt for the person who asked it."
    "Imagine that," Lassiter drawled.
    "Now that's better," Gus said.
    "Mandy Jensen was found hanging by her neck in her mother's basement," O'Hara said. "She had apparently put on her old college cheerleader's uniform, then tied a rope around a water pipe that ran across the ceiling and made a noose on the other end. She put the noose around her neck, then jumped off a chair."
    "Sounds like she must have been very unhappy," Gus said.
    "We haven't found any reason to think so," O'Hara said. "That's why we wanted to speak to Sam Masterson, to see if he knew whether she would have had any reason to kill herself. But if you can think of anyone else here who might have known her, that would be a place for us to start."
    "We are a dynamic and growing company," Gus said. "Half the employees here seem to have started after me. But let me check her file."
    O'Hara expected Gus to get up and leave the room or at least to pick up a phone to buzz a secretary to bring the file. Instead he waved his hand through a beam of light that shone down from the ceiling and a small square hatch slid open in what she had thought was a seamless piece of wood, revealing a computer monitor. He touched the screen in a couple of places and a virtual filing cabinet slid open. Gus waved his fingers over the image and files flew by until he found the one he wanted. Then he tapped the screen again and the image of the file opened. Gus leafed through the pages quickly.
    "Okay, it looks like she joined Benson three years ago as an assistant in our sales department. She was promoted twice within her first six months and then given a small sales route in our Midwestern region. When she exceeded all expectations, the company gave her the choice of any route in the country. She asked for central California specifically so that she could move back to Santa Barbara, where her mother lived. In the year she worked that territory our sales were up thirty-six percent. Apparently there was serious talk about bringing her back into corporate and giving her--" He stopped, looking surprised, then started again. "Well, giving her my job. My old job, that is."
    "They were going to make her the sidekick to a phony psychic detective?" Lassiter said.
    Gus smiled. "I'm impressed, Lassie. It was just seconds ago that I had to explain how sarcasm worked, and now you're practically a master at the stuff." He turned back to Juliet. "They offered her a position of junior vice president of marketing. She declined. She sent a letter saying she had decided to end her career in pharmaceuticals sales, thanked the company for the opportunity, and said good-bye."
    "When did all this happen?" O'Hara said.
    Gus glanced down at the screen again. "Looks like it was a little over a month ago. Just before they made me the offer."
    "Maybe Guster killed her," Lassiter said hopefully. "Got her out of the way so he could steal her job. Sure, it's a long shot, but we've got to exhaust every possibility."
    "We'll get right on that, Carlton," O'Hara said wearily.
    Gus slapped a hand down on the table. "Now, that's what I call sarcasm," he said.
    "Is there anything else you can tell us about Mandy?" O'Hara said.
    "I'm e-mailing you her entire file right now, but I don't think you're going to find anything in here," Gus said, already entering her e-mail address into the SEND box. "She was doing fine on her own, but then she suddenly felt a desire to return home to live with her mother. Then she quit her job for no reason. It sounds like some kind of downward spiral to me. Maybe she started sampling the product--it happens sometimes. Or maybe she was always fighting depression and it finally got the better of her. Either way, if it were my case I'd have to think it was

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