To Make a Killing

To Make a Killing by K.A. Kendall

Book: To Make a Killing by K.A. Kendall Read Free Book Online
Authors: K.A. Kendall
was a punter who had been ruined after losing on a huge bet, and he accredited the loss to Russell
     
    That left one motive category which Keane considered to be the most likely:
     
    9. Greed/money
    * Drug-dealing – Russell was killed by a major crime syndicate (Russian mafia?) – wine is just a cover
    * smuggling of wine / customs evasion – Russell was killed by Passant or another gang member after a disagreement
    * Russell and the killer were partners in crime and his partner (Passant/second man/Randolph/unknown person?) wanted it all
    * Russell had been knocked off by a Chilean secret agent, as Penrith’s success was a threat to Chilean wine exports
     
    He did, however, not receive unanimous (or even much) support. There was in fact hardly any consensus in the group at all. He found the drawback with this particular new-fangled, American approach of “empowerment”, was that people were loathe to see beyond the ideas and theories that they themselves had spent ages concocting.
    The exercise did not bring the clarity or brilliant insights he had hoped for. Perhaps he himself was just too deflated to energize the group?
     
    He tried to summarize the results of the brainstorming, and then decided to wrap up the meeting by putting one final question to the group: “Were Russell, Marie Passant and the second man working together?”
     
    Again the group were divided; there was a lot of speculation and very little of it based on the facts they had at hand. He felt it was time to let them go. Hayes in particular was under time pressure, and he himself wanted to get off to France as soon as possible. He thanked them for their efforts, informed them that Angus would be in charge until he got back from France, and arranged to meet them all again on Monday morning, where they once again could take stock of the situation.
     
    *********
     
    Once he got back to his office, he looked over the report from Interpol and contacted the local French Police station that had dealt with the case. With great difficulty and no doubt numerous faux pas, he staggered along with his schoolboy French and managed to convince the officer on duty of the veracity of his call. He then explained that he would be arriving there the following morning to discuss the case with the officer who had been in charge of the investigation, a Monsieur Lavalle. He was pleased by how many “Wey-wey”, “Se-bo’” and “Pas de problème, Monsieur” he got. He even managed to squeeze out the phone number of Chateau Plencque.
     
    Minutes later, and to his great relief, he was speaking English to the relatively ‘new’ owner of the Chateau, Madame Fourcard. He presented himself and the reason for his call.
     
    “But, Monsieur, it happened a long time ago. There cannot be any connection to your murder. You would be wasting your time and mine.”
     
    “I can assure you, Madame Fourcard, the murders of Madame Chaboulet and Mr. Russell are so unique, that they must have been committed by the same person. I understand that it must be difficult for you to be asked to look once more at a shocking episode which everyone is trying to move on from.”
     
    “But I cannot tell you anything that has not already been told to the French Police.”
     
    “It is my hope that the details of this latest murder will help you to look upon the tragic death of Madame Chaboulet in a new light, and perhaps even help to clear up the mystery of her death.”
     
    “I really am afraid your visit will be in vain, Inspector Keane.”
     
    Keane paid no attention to his momentary degradation, but tried another tack, “I can only imagine the Chateau’s business and the whole atmosphere at the chateau must have been badly affected by her death. I am convinced, Madame Fourcard, that if we can shed any new light on the circumstances surrounding her death, it can only be of benefit to everyone involved.” Keane knew it would have been catastrophic to add “assuming she was

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