By Jonathan Kellerman
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Additional resources for Mystery (Alex Delaware Series #26)
She said, “I’ve been watching a lot of cop shows. ” Sigh. Throat clear. “Anyway, I’m on the way out. ” “Not a chance,” she said. “There’s nothing to say. I lived what they call a high-risk life. Cleaned-and-sobered-up for seven years but kept dating Tommy Tobacco. My lungs never stopped bitching at me to quit, I didn’t, so they got pissed and cultivated a nice little bumper crop of tumors. I went through one course of chemo, asked the oncologist if there was a purpose to any of it and he was such a pussy, hemmed and hawed, that I got my answer.
Ten minutes later he left a message. m. at his home in the Pico-Robertson district. I’d missed his call because I’d been talking to someone else. retchen Stengel answered her phone after one ring. ” Her voice was low, hoarse. The tail-end of each word faded. “This is Dr. ” “Doc,” she said. ” “Been told I’m hard to forget,” she said. I waited. ” Coughing. ” I said, “My messages tend to be spoken. ” She barked laughter, slid into a coughing fit, caught her breath with a sharp intake of air. ” Giggling.
Lack of crime did not pay. I’d been tagging along with Milo as he worked the death of a beautiful young woman named Lauren Teague who’d once been part of Gretchen’s call girl stable. Gretchen had just finished serving two-thirds of a thirty-two-month sentence for tax evasion. Still in her thirties, she’d come across prematurely aged, sullen, unkempt, quite likely stoned. Her arrest and trial four years previous had been nectar for the media and every wrong turn in her life had been retracted, probed, and aspirated like a surgical wound.