The Assassin's List

The Assassin's List by Scott Matthews Read Free Book Online

Book: The Assassin's List by Scott Matthews Read Free Book Online
Authors: Scott Matthews
someone who could make an arrest in a biker’s bar without interference.
    “Mr. Martin called and said you needed to talk to me. Come on in,” he said, holding open the door to his office.
    Drake saw that he’d been right about Sam Newman’s background. The wall behind Sam’s cluttered desk was covered with pictures of citations received, plaques attesting to years of service and photos of his family and friends. The office was unpretentious, a place to work, not a monument to the man’s ego.
    “Where’d you serve?” Drake asked.
    “Palo Alto, twenty-six years. I’ve been here in God’s country for the last four. Thought I’d find a cushy security position for a few years, and slow down. Hasn’t quite worked out that way. How can I help you, Drake?”
    “Mr. Martin’s told me some of it, but he’s not a security expert. I understand the security system failed around the time his secretary was murdered. That doesn’t sound like a coincidence to me.”
    “You here to find a scapegoat, or find out what happened?” Sam asked.
    Drake recognized the response. He interviewed too many police witnesses who wanted to know he was on their side before they told him what really happened.
    “Sam, I’m here to help the company get through this, with as little damage as possible. If you screwed up and you’re responsible, then I guess you’re the goat. I’ll know sooner or later. If there’s another explanation, I need to know what it is sooner rather than later.”
    Sam watched Drake’s eyes for a good ten seconds before making up his mind.
    “I’m trying to quit smoking, but this doesn’t look like the week that’s going to happen. Care to take a walk with me out of this no smoking zone?”
    When he walked by his secretary’s desk, Newman showed her his pack of Marlboros, eliciting a nod and a smile. Drake caught the smile and wondered if she covered for him for other things.
    They walked out of the office and down the hall to an outside door with a security pad. Entering his security code, Newman led them out of the building and down an outside path to a bench beneath two white-flowering magnolia trees. He sat down, lit a cigarette, and looked out over the expanse of lawn.
    “You ever work in the D.A.’s office?”
    “Five years. Why?”
    “How long did it take you before you could spot a felon on the street?”
    “Not long.”
    “Well, I know an ex-con when I see one, and three of the new security guards assigned here have been in prison, I’m sure of it. I checked their records and couldn’t find a thing. They all have adopted Muslim names, but suspiciously clean records. I know the look, I know the walk.”
    “What does that have to do with Martin’s secretary?”
    “Someone got into this building, and we’re supposed to have the best security system money can buy. It had to be an inside job. Somehow, this involves these ex-cons, or the company they work for,” Newman said.
    “You’re not buying the theory that this was a burglary that ended in murder?”
    “No way. Janice Lewellyn was a careful person. She didn’t like working at night and didn’t work late often. We talked about it. When she walked to her car, she always had her mace in hand. She would fight like a hellion if someone tried to rape her. If someone tried to rob her, she would let the thief take what he wanted. This had to be something else.”
    “So how did the surveillance system get turned off? All the cameras, all the touch pads, everything went down at the same time. How’d that happen?” Drake asked.
    “I don’t know,” Sam answered. “There are only two people who have the code to shut down the security system. I have it, in my safe. The guy from ISIS who installed the system has it.”
    “Could a security guard obtain the code somehow?”
    “I don’t think that’s possible, but I guess we’ll know soon enough. Detective Carson said they were going to polygraph all the ISIS security personnel assigned

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