Fly by Night (A Gracie Andersen Mystery Book 3)

Fly by Night (A Gracie Andersen Mystery Book 3) by Laurinda Wallace Read Free Book Online

Book: Fly by Night (A Gracie Andersen Mystery Book 3) by Laurinda Wallace Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laurinda Wallace
color of dog hair from her jeans, Gracie followed Haley to the driveway.
    Her father got out of the silver sedan, his face serious and brow furrowed. Her mother was trying to exit without success. Haley had pushed her way past the car door and was practically in Theresa’s lap.
    “Go on now, Haley. Let me get out. Who trained you anyway?” Theresa shoved Haley’s wet black nose away from her pink-flowered Bermudas.
    “Haley, come here!” Gracie shouted. “What’s going on, Dad?”
    Panting and thumping her tail against Gracie’s legs, the dog finally sat down, looking demure except for her legs, which splayed wide.
    “We thought we’d check on you and Jim. Has Jim gone home already?” Bob Clark answered.
    “No, he hasn’t been here since right after the funeral. Why?”
    “Your father was down at Midge’s for the afternoon bull session and…” Her mother hesitated.
    “And what?” Gracie began to brace herself for the worst. “What’s happened?” she demanded.
    Her father frowned. “Dan Evans came in and said he’d heard on the scanner that there was some kind of standoff going on up at Tobias McQuinn’s. Some family member was trying to talk him into giving himself up.”
    “What? No wonder Jim didn’t come back to work. Holy cow, Dad! I’ve gotta get up there. I told Jim that Toby was going off the deep end.” She patted her pockets, searching for her keys. “The guy is as crazy as a loon.”
    Gracie turned to run to the house. Haley whined, begging to get into the Clarks’ car.
    Bob opened the driver’s side back door and motioned for the dog. “Get in, Haley. I’ll drive you up there. And Gracie can come too!” he called to his daughter.
     
    *****
     
    Jim sat in his truck, his hands clenching the steering wheel, watching a very large deputy shove a handcuffed Tobias into the back of the cruiser. Toby’s goose was cooked for sure now. He’d held six law enforcement officers at bay for an hour, and everyone was more than a little irate. First, there had been a merry chase through the woods in his pickup. After abandoning the truck, he’d run through the brush, hiding in a hunting blind until the deputies and Jim stumbled across it. Toby had punched a deputy, bloodying the guy’s nose. Then he’d run again before being treed in his deer stand. There’d been a lot of talk about “they” and D. B. not listening to him, and a lot of other garbage. Jim dreaded telling his mother that her relation (a very distant one, he hoped) had assaulted a law enforcement officer and was on his way to jail and/or the psych ward.
    The line of police cars finally began oozing back down the narrow driveway through the thick cover of woods to Jemison Road. Jim put the truck in reverse and carefully backed around to follow them out.
    He met the Clark contingent on the way back. Haley’s head was hanging out of a rear window. She was thoroughly enjoying the wind in her face. He opened a window and told Bob to follow him. He’d fill them in and then head to his parents’ house. This had made his top-ten list of absolute worst days.

Chapter 8
     
     
    Jim was once again, tinkering with the AC unit that refused to run for more than five minutes at a time. The new system was on its way and none too soon. He’d be busy for the next day or two getting it installed. At least, it would give him something other than Toby to think about. The guy had racked up multiple felonies in the blink of an eye, with assaulting a police officer and first-degree murder topping the list.
    Jim would’ve loved to wash his hands of the whole thing. How he’d become the family babysitter to watch over the crazed and delusional relation was beyond him. His dad was retired. Why wasn’t he in charge of Toby? Or even better, where in the world were the man’s brothers? He dropped the screwdriver back into the toolbox and snapped the lid shut.
    “When does the new AC get here?” Gracie asked as she stepped out the back

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