All the Lucky Ones Are Dead

All the Lucky Ones Are Dead by Gar Anthony Haywood Read Free Book Online

Book: All the Lucky Ones Are Dead by Gar Anthony Haywood Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gar Anthony Haywood
problem.” Gunner offered the cop his hand as they both stood up, and Frick took it, shook it warmly.
    â€œYou have any more questions later, give me a ring, I’ll try to answer ’em for you if I can.”
    â€œWill do. Thanks.” Gunner was looking at Frick like a yellow octopus he’d just seen crawl out of a UFO.
    â€œSomething wrong?”
    â€œNot a thing. Just always throws me a little. Finding a cop I’ve never met so willing to treat me with a modicum of respect.”
    Frick smiled and opened the conference room door. “Forget about it,” he said. “Far as I’m concerned, you’re just another schmuck trying to keep his head above the slime, same as me. Bein’ private doesn’t change that.”
    Amazing, Gunner thought. A real human being in Beverly Hills.
    Gunner met with Desmond Joy at the Bad Rock Recording Studios in Hollywood shortly before noon, but only after a cute little sister in a bronze Lexus almost took the front end off his Cobra in the parking lot outside.
    She was flying out of the driveway as Gunner was turning in, and she stood on her brakes just in time to avoid a collision that would have cut Gunner’s sports car in half. The investigator gave her a hard look, trying to penetrate the black lenses of her sunglasses to reach her eyes, but he needn’t have bothered; no sooner had the short-haired beauty brought the big GS400 to a halt than she was flooring the gas pedal again. The Lexus swerved around the Cobra, dropped off the edge of the curb, and squealed away north down Highland Avenue, doing what had to be fifty-plus in a thirty-five-mile-per-hour zone.
    Gunner wondered what someone could have done to piss her off so completely.
    Inside Bad Rock, he sat in a small reception area near the studio’s front door and waited for Joy to join him, idly watching a recording session in progress on a closed-circuit TV. Joy had left word with Mickey earlier that he’d be here supervising a session featuring a kid named Dead-Ringa, and Gunner figured the stocky, bullet-headed young brother on the monitor overhead was probably him. Shouting into an oversized mic in an otherwise empty recording booth, a large pair of headphones draped across his gleaming head, the ’Ringa was dropping lyrics to a heavily sampled sound track that as near as Gunner could tell, told the story of a jealous girlfriend getting in the ’Ringa’s face over a woman he’d just had sex with at a party. The rapper wasn’t pleading innocent, exactly, but he was making the argument that he was only a man, and as such, there was no way he could be expected to decline a fine piece of ass if someone was going to offer it to him with no strings attached.
    It was an argument Gunner had heard made many times before, though never with any positive effect.
    Still, Joy’s client emoted through two takes of the song before a disembodied voice called for a short break. Minutes later, a door opened to Gunner’s left, and a middle-aged black man wearing white-on-white stuck his head into the room and said, “Come on back, Mr. Gunner.”
    Desmond Joy shook Gunner’s hand and introduced himself, then led the investigator down a narrow corridor to a large control room, where a black man Gunner assumed was a recording engineer sat alone before a massive bank of knobs and slide switches, a canned soft drink in one hand, half a sandwich in the other. The recording booth DeadRinga had occupied only moments before stood on the other side of a giant pane of glass, empty and silent.
    â€œWe’re going to need a few minutes, Larry,” Joy said curtly.
    The other man departed without comment. Joy closed the door behind him, then asked Gunner to take one of the three large swivel chairs in front of the console before taking one for himself. Between the white-on-white outfit and shoulder-length, dreadlocked hair, he looked like the kind of

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