The Darkness Knows

The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honigford Read Free Book Online

Book: The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honigford Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cheryl Honigford
folded her arms tightly across her chest as the car lurched into gear again.
    â€œAre you all right?” Mr. Haverman asked, briefly taking his eyes from the road.
    Vivian sighed. “I’m a little rattled, to be honest.”
    He grunted sympathetically. They passed under the El at Wabash and then made a left onto Michigan Avenue to head north. Speed West with Streamliners to California! the brightly lit billboard announced off to her right. What she wouldn’t give to get on a screaming-fast train headed anywhere right now, she thought.
    â€œSo what’s it like to be a private eye?” she asked. “Is it terribly exciting?”
    â€œIt depends.”
    â€œOn what?”
    â€œOn what I’ve been hired to do.”
    â€œI think Graham has the impression that it’s terribly exciting all the time,” she said.
    â€œI let him believe what he wants to believe. It makes for a better show.”
    The lights of the city sparkled off the black mirror of the Chicago River as they rumbled over the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
    â€œDo people really call you Chick?”
    â€œOnly Mr. Yarborough.”
    She smiled. “And I bet you’ve never been tied up and left for dead in an emerald mine.”
    â€œCan’t say I have,” he replied drily. Then he returned her smile, his teeth a flash of muted white in the semidarkness of the sedan.
    Vivian broke from his gaze and turned back to the window. The activity outside had quieted. Traffic was light, and they’d just passed the elegant white wedding cake of the Wrigley Building and the towering gothic spire of the Tribune Tower across from it. North Michigan Avenue was subdued, the immediate hubbub of the Loop behind them on the other side of the river. The soaring Palmolive Building was ahead, the recesses in its limestone facade lit impressively with floodlights and the blazing white Lindbergh Beacon at the top swiveling 360 degrees to guide airplanes into Chicago Municipal Airport southwest of the city from more than two hundred miles away.
    â€œSo what is it that you do exactly—assuming you aren’t always disarming kidnappers and saving damsels in distress?”
    â€œOh,” he said. “Usually a lot of waiting around, trying to catch people doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”
    Vivian glanced sidelong at the detective. “Like cheating husbands?”
    â€œAnd wives…”
    Vivian tried to imagine what The Darkness Knows would be like every week if all Harvey Diamond did was lurk outside hotel rooms waiting to catch unsuspecting couples in flagrante delicto. Less dramatic, she thought, and decidedly not suitable for radio.
    â€œI can only assume you have a lot of leggy, mysterious brunettes showing up in your office asking you to look into wayward husbands, missing heirs, things like that?”
    â€œNot nearly as many as I’d like.”
    â€œIs that why you became a private detective, Mr. Haverman?”
    â€œThe promise of leggy women in need had a lot to do with it, yes.” He took his eyes off the road for a moment to fix her with a curious stare. “Why the third degree? Interested in giving up your career in radio for the life of a private dick?”
    â€œOh no,” she said, ducking her head. “It’s just helping take my mind off…off the situation.”
    â€œI don’t mind.”
    Vivian’s attention was again drawn out the passenger-side window, gazing at the vast, inky void of Lake Michigan. Mr. Haverman turned the car left onto the quiet side street. “The short answer is that it’s the family business. My father, that’s Charles Haverman Sr., taught me everything I know.” He paused a few seconds and then added, “No one calls him Chick either.”
    Vivian smiled.
    â€œAnd what’s the long answer?” she asked. “Oh, here it is. You can let me off on the corner.”
    â€œThe long answer is a

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