The Blacker Death: An Ebola Thriller

The Blacker Death: An Ebola Thriller by Larry Enright

Book: The Blacker Death: An Ebola Thriller by Larry Enright Read Free Book Online
Authors: Larry Enright
headed to the Main Line, last bastion of old money Philadelphia and haven for the nouveau riche. Jacque Birot’s company was near Route 202, an area fast-becoming a corridor for high tech and new tech.
    “How much do you know about the elder Birot?” I asked.
    “He’s in his sixties, widowed, very rich, and very generous with his money. He supports many charities here and in Belgium.”
    “What brought him over here?”
    “Like many people, he came to your country in the 1970s looking for your streets of gold.”
    “Streets of gold. Is that what everyone thinks?”
    “It is true. America is a land of great opportunity. He met his future wife here, they got married, and he became a citizen.”
    “She was American?”
    “Does he have dual citizenship?”
    “Oh, yes, as did his son.”
    “What line of business is he in?”
    I looked at the business card again. “What does Voorhoede mean?”
    “I guess you would say vanguard? Avant-garde, perhaps?”
    “Advanced Research?”
    “Yes, that’s good.”
    My phone rang. It was Roberts.
    “Are you sitting down?” she said.
    “I’m not going to like this, am I?”
    “Carmine and his friends pled guilty this morning and agreed to a fine of $7,000 each. They have to appear in New York for a hearing on revoking their gun permits. We had to let them go.”
    “What about the murder charge?”
    “The D.A. said there wasn’t enough to make a case, and Gyro wasn’t worth it.”
    I should have been happy that Carmine had helped clean some of the scum off the edge of pool, but I wasn’t.
    “Bam, are you still there?”
    “What about the harassment?” I said.
    “They dropped the charges as part of the plea deal. Evers wants you back in the office tomorrow.”
    “Who’s got surveillance on Carmine?”
    “No one. Fink said to drop it.”
    “That man’s going to drive me to quit drinking.”
    “Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?”
    “It’s the only way I’ll ever get promoted past that son of a bitch so I can fire his ass. Who’s working research today?”
    “Can you patch me through to him?”
    “Sure, hold on. Will you be in tomorrow?”
    “Most likely.”
    “Okay. See you then, Bam. Hold on.”
    I waited until Travis came on the line. We rotated the juniors through different office duties to get them familiar with things. Travis was a good egg. He and Billy came through the academy together.
    “Travis,” he said.
    “Hey, bud, it’s Matthews.”
    “Hello, sir. How’s Billy?”
    “Holding his own.”
    “Good. We’re all pulling for him.”
    “I’ll let him know you were asking about him.”
    “What can I do for you, sir?”
    “I need a little research done, if you’ve got time. If not, no biggie.”
    “It’s a slow day. Shoot.”
    I told him what I was looking for, gave him our car’s ID so he could relay the information back through West Detective Dispatch, and hung up.
    “Do you always keep investigating cases you’ve been told to drop?” Izzy said.
    “It’s a bad habit of mine.”

Chapter 6

    Research Voorhoede was located in a four-story building tucked at the back end of a high tech industrial park. It reminded me of a car with tinted windows all around, the kind that keep you from seeing what’s going on inside when the guy in the car can see every move you make, like being on the wrong side of the one-way glass in an interrogation room.
    “And you don’t trust him because of that?” Izzy asked as she pulled into one of the visitor parking spaces.
    “I don’t trust a lot of people.”
    “What about me?”
    “I trust you.”
    I had plenty of reasons to trust Izzy. I thought she was a straight shooter, and I respected that. She was trying her best under tough conditions. I respected that too. And she put up with me.
    “Because you look good in a Hawaiian shirt,” I said.
    A security guard met us outside the main door and wanted to know our

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