On The Beat (Goosey Larsen Book 3)

On The Beat (Goosey Larsen Book 3) by James Vachowski Read Free Book Online

Book: On The Beat (Goosey Larsen Book 3) by James Vachowski Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Vachowski
merchandise, or should I just write it all off as a loss?”
    I choked back a laugh. At that very moment, those thousands of novelty T-shirts were probably already on their way to any number of flea markets and garage sales across the Palmetto State. Even as we spoke, some redneck mom in Goose Creek probably had a few of his shirts spread out on the living room floor of her singlewide trailer, picking through the colors and designs while she tried to assemble new spring wardrobes for all eight of her kids. But since there was no way in hell I was stupid enough to share my personal opinion with a damned civilian, I did my best to put a shine on the situation. “Don’t worry about a thing, Mr. Regan. I’ll make sure to give this case my personal attention.”
    The intimate yet noncommittal touch seemed to pacify him, at least for the moment, so I went back to picking my way through the mess. It was a slow process since I had to watch my step over the fallen shelves, and it took a great deal of agility to avoid all the loose piles of damaged merchandise which were strewn about the floor. Normally it would have been my golden opportunity to pick up a light injury in the line of duty, and for a moment I seriously considered taking a dive right then and there. Losing my footing and having a slow, controlled fall would have undoubtedly made for another lucrative worker’s compensation claim, especially if the department was willing to throw in a couple weeks off for rest and recuperation. I decided against it, though, since it’s been my experience that it’s always better to score an injury during the early morning hours. There’s a ton of paperwork involved with workplace accidents and besides, the last thing I wanted was to get stuck in a downtown emergency room next to all the whackjobs who come out on the night shift.

3.
    Just a few seconds later, my moment of quiet reflection was shattered by a screeching sound in front of the store. The noise was the sound of car tires braking hard, and it echoed up the narrow street. When I turned to look, I was blinded by the flashing glare of a revolving blue light reflecting off the plate glass window. I took a few tentative steps closer in order to steal a quick peek outside, then instantly regretted my move. One of our crime scene station wagons had just arrived and parked with three wheels up on the sidewalk, almost as if it was responding to an active robbery or something. As the driver’s side door flew open, out bounded all five feet nothing of Corporal Jason Mealor. The kid took the shop’s front steps two at a time, his movements powered by an unbridled passion for his criminal forensics. I swear, just the sight of that guy was enough to leave me exhausted.
    As Mr. Regan unlocked the door Mealor burst inside with a full head of steam, his enthusiasm leading him on. The pasty little twerp was holding a huge digital camera in one chubby hand and a bright orange tackle box full of crime scene geek stuff in the other. Mealor’s normally pale face was flushed red from the excitement, almost as if he’d been running lights and sirens the entire way over. The kid pumped his head up and down at a rhythmic pace, as if our mess of a crime scene was precisely the situation that he’d been expecting to find. Turning to face me, Mealor let loose with a wide grin which showed off two disgustingly perfect rows of lily-white teeth. “Goosey! How’ve you been? How’s your girlfriend Katie? And you’re working down in foot patrol now? When did you get transferred? So where’s the point of entry?”
    Over the years Mealor had earned himself quite a reputation as the department snitch, and all the other cops usually just referred to him by his official nickname of “Squealer.” He and I had been forced to work together on a couple of cases before, and unfortunately that meant we were required to stay on speaking terms. Since I was one of the few cops who were able to tolerate the

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