Nightzone by Steven F. Havill Read Free Book Online

Book: Nightzone by Steven F. Havill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steven F. Havill
up hurting or killing.”
    â€œBest laid plans. At least it’s not a school bus route.” Miles Waddell’s mesa was dark against the stars, but come dawn the heavy machinery would bellow into life with his observatory project…machinery coming and going that would shake the ground.
    â€œYou called dispatch just after one.”
    â€œI did.”
    â€œAnd Mr. Waddell contacted dispatch at roughly the same time. That’s how dispatch logged it. The sound of the saw woke him, he says. He said he wouldn’t have called, but no one saws wood in the middle of the night. He drove across his mesa from where he was parked to the rim, looked out and saw the fire already starting. He missed the poles actually dropping. And he says he didn’t see a vehicle. That’s how quickly our guy decided to leave the scene.”
    â€œAll right. You said two things bothered you.”
    She nodded. “Oh, si. We’ve been talking about Curt Boyd’s partner in this stunt. There could be more than one, sir. At least two more could fit in that little pickup. Maybe three.”

Chapter Five
    At one point earlier that morning, Miles Waddell and I had been looking at each other from opposite ends of the county. The killer—or killers—had been sandwiched between us, scooting north to the rendezvous with the unprepared Deputy Perry Kenderman. Despite my best intentions to mind my own business, I found myself trying to imagine how I would juggle two wildly different but related crime scenes if that lot fell to me. It was easiest just to say, “Well, I’m retired now. Good luck, guys.”
    I admit that I hadn’t particularly warmed to Perry Kenderman over the years. He had his share of family issues that got in his way, and on top of that, when he put on his gun belt, he developed a certain swagger that made me nervous. He had finally attended and graduated from the state Law Enforcement Academy, well below the middle of the scholastic heap. He had been a part-timer for first the village and then for the sheriff’s department largely because I had had grave reservations about his sloppy law enforcement skills. On occasion, it seemed that he made laws up as he went along. I had kept him on a short leash, letting him have minor duties. Sheriff Torrez had hauled in the slack even more. None of that meant that Perry Kenderman should end up lying on the pavement, his brains and blood soaking into the macadam.
    On top of that, the volatile Johnny Boyd would have to be told that his youngest son was dead, with no ready answers about why.
    â€œWhat can I do for you, other than staying out of the way?” By this time, my insomnia was beginning to lose ground, and a toasty bed was inviting. I was hoping the undersheriff would say something politely dismissive, like “We’ll talk later.”
    Instead she reached out a hand and gently took my left elbow. “Maybe you’d talk to him .” She nodded toward the county road. I turned and saw the SUV pulling to a stop behind all the other vehicles, the winking lights playing off its red slab sides. Frank Dayan, now owner and publisher of the weekly Posadas Register, scrambled out and immediately drew a bead with his digital camera. What he, or the camera, could see in the light-exploded night was unclear.
    â€œThat I can do. ‘Investigation is continuing,’ a department spokesman said?”
    â€œThat’s perfect. No one is identified until Bobby gives the okay.”
    I nodded. I knew the drill. “Frank will be able to figure out the ‘who’s who’ all by himself. Is there anything special about the power pole damage you want Dayan to know?” For once, the publisher had lucked out. His paper came out on Thursday. An early Thursday morning disaster was perfect for him, a man who lived for the opportunity to scoop the metro papers and TV stations almost as much as he relished a new full page

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