Sudden Death

Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Rosenfelt
Tags: #genre
    “Of course.”
    We shake hands on the deal, which I am willing to do since I’ve given up absolutely nothing and gotten something in return. I decide to test him right away. “Can you get me a list of the players Kenny was closest to?”
    “I’ll have our people get started on it. We’ll also put out the word that they should talk to you, but of course, we can’t force them.”
    I push it a little further. “Actually, you do a lot of personal research on players before you draft them, right?”
    “You’d be amazed how much.”
    “Then I’d like everything you have on Kenny.”
    “No problem,” he says.
    I’m starting to like this feeling of power. “Any chance you can get the information the Jets have on Troy Preston?”
    “I’ll try. I think that information might be helpful. I don’t know the specifics, but I believe Preston was a problem.”
    I press him for more information, but he professes not to have any. I thank him for his time, then turn with a flourish and trot to the sidelines, imagining the crowd roaring in appreciation of my spectacular touchdown pass.
    I’ve got a really strong imagination.
    When I get back to the office, Tanya Schilling, Kenny’s wife, is waiting for me. I had asked Edna to set up an appointment with her, but I characteristically forgot about it.
    Tanya is a strikingly beautiful young woman and one who radiates a strength that belies her diminutive size. “Mr. Carpenter, I know you hear this from every client you’ve ever had, but I’m going to say it anyway. Kenny is innocent. He simply could not have done this.”
    I know that she is telling me the truth as she sees it, but that doesn’t make it the truth. “He’s got an uphill struggle,” I say.
    She nods. “Let me tell you a story about Kenny. When he was eight years old, he woke up one morning in his apartment and found the police there. His mother had reached under her bed and was bitten during the night by a neighbor’s pet snake. It had gotten loose and somehow made it into the Schillings’ apartment. The police asked her why she didn’t call them during the night when it happened, and she said it was because in the dark she assumed she had been bitten by a rat. That’s the kind of neighborhood Kenny grew up in. So uphill struggles don’t scare him; they’re the story of his life.”
    “That is indescribably awful,” I say, “but this may be tougher.”
    She nods. “But he’ll come out on top. Usually, he does it on his own; sometimes we do it together. This time we need you to help us.”
    I ask her some questions about Kenny and his relationship with Troy Preston but get basically the same answers that Kenny gave me. By the time Tanya leaves, I’m very impressed by her, and by extension impressed that Kenny was able to get her to marry him.
    Laurie arrives a few minutes later, and once again I get a mini–electric jolt of remembrance that she may be leaving. We’ve agreed not to discuss it for a while, but rather to sit with it and let our feelings settle. Patient introspection is not my strong point, so my approach is to let work push everything else in my head out of the way. Seeing Laurie makes that very difficult.
    Laurie is here to discuss the case and find out what I want her investigation to cover. In these early stages I’m interested in three basic things. The first is Troy Preston, especially after Simmons’s comment at Giants Stadium. The second is Kenny Schilling; it is absolutely imperative to know who the client is, warts and all, before he can be properly defended. The third is the relationship between the two men, and whether or not there is anything there that Dylan can claim to be a motive for murder.
    Kevin comes in just as the first discovery documents arrive. They’re mostly police reports, detailing the actions of the officers on the scene when Kenny turned Upper Saddle River into the O.K. Corral. The reports are devastating but not surprising; we already

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