Watch Me Die

Watch Me Die by Erica Spindler

Book: Watch Me Die by Erica Spindler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erica Spindler
    “She seemed genuinely freaked out. But the house was locked up tight with no sign of a forced entry.”
    “So how’d he get in?”
    “Exactly. Plus, I’m waiting on the path report and Hollister’s official TOD. But initially, Preacher at Gallier’s at one thirty, then dead in a French Quarter john a couple hours later?” He shook his head. “I’m thinking she was confused, didn’t even have the cross on in the first place. Preacher intended to kill her when he grabbed her throat, then ran when he heard the other two arriving. Or she’s making the whole thing up.”
    Bayle looked thoughtful. “But why?”
    “I like your original thought, a sick need for attention. Could be a form of mental illness?”
    “I’ve got another scenario,” she said. “She found Preacher and killed him. To get her cross back.”
    “It was a damn grisly job, Bayle. Deep wound, lots of blood.”
    “She cleans herself and the necklace up and calls you in a ‘panic.’”
    “Why the big ruse?”
    “She has to have a story to back up her wearing the necklace again.”
    He had a hard time reconciling the wisp of a woman with big wounded eyes and the person cold-blooded enough to plunge a blade into a man’s throat. But it made a certain twisted sense.
    “She had a male visitor last night,” he said. “I didn’t get a name, only asked if she thought he could have left the necklace.”
    “You have it?”
    “I left it with her. At that point, I saw no reason not to. It was a simple snatch and run, and she had her property back. It had also, obviously, been wiped.”
    Malone could see she wasn’t happy about his decision, but she kept it to herself.
    His phone rang. It was Percy. “Preacher had nothing on him. No cross necklace or anything else, no wallet, money or ID.”
    “Scenario number three, random robbery gone south?”
    “Possibility, bro. Though who’d think Preacher a good mark, I don’t know.”
    Malone didn’t know either, thanked him and hung up. He turned back to Bayle. “No cross on Preacher. Or anything else.”
    “Not surprised.”
    “I say we get a name from Gallier. Something here is definitely screwed up.”
    Bayle nodded. “You do it. She seems to trust you. Or thinks she can manipulate you.”
    He smiled. “I’ll go with trust, if that’s okay?”
    He brought up Gallier’s number on his cell phone and dialed her. She answered, sounding like a totally different woman from the night before. Moments later, after a bit of schmoozing, he had the name.
    “Connor Scott,” he said, holstering his phone. “An old friend and a vet, just back from Afghanistan.”

    Saturday, August 13
    9:20 A.M.
    The house was one of those pointed out on tours of the Garden District, the iron fence famous for the romantic story associated with it. The Greek revival, center hall–style home sat well back on its large corner lot.
    Malone took in the magnificent garden and ancient live oak and decided it made sense that Connor Scott, longtime friend of Mira Gallier, lived in this house. New Orleans royalty hung with New Orleans royalty. Such behavior was deeply embedded in the city’s culture, fostered by private schools, elite Mardi Gras krewes, exclusive country clubs and political deals made over one-hundred-year-old cognac. The gaping divide between the utterly rich and the tragically poor, protected by an army of the folks in between who kept things running.
    People like him. And Bayle.
    As they entered the gate and headed up the brick walk, Malone noted a security camera mounted in the oak tree along the pathway, then another at the front door.
    They rang the buzzer. “NOPD here to see Connor Scott.”
    “Hold, please.”
    A moment later a man opened the door. He wore khaki shorts, a white T-shirt and dog tags on a chain around his neck. He smiled and his face creased in all the right places, the way certain movie stars’ faces did.
    Malone took an instant dislike to him.

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