10 Partner in Crime by J A Jance

10 Partner in Crime by J A Jance

Author:J A Jance [Jance, J A]
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00

I HAD HUNG UP after talking with Naomi and was wondering what to do next. It sounded like the Naomi Pepper door in my life was about to be slammed shut in my face. It came as no surprise that I immediately went back to thinking about Anne Corley.

I recognized I’d gone slinking off to Bisbee, Arizona, without mentioning it to my friend Ralph Ames. If I had been willing to ask him questions about Anne Rowland Corley’s history, I’m sure he could have given me answers, chapter and verse. As her attorney, he had known everything about her. Well, almost everything.

The problem with asking Ralph about Anne is that he knew her too well. Not only that, he had cared for her almost as much as I had. Ralph and I are friends, good friends, so whatever he might tell me would automatically go through those two distinctly separate filtering processes. I had no doubt that Ralph would tell me the truth—up to a point—but I suspected he might leave out a detail or two, if only to spare my feelings.

I was wavering between calling him and not, when I heard a siren. I looked up as a patrol car came racing up to the traffic circle from Highway 80. I’m always conscious of cop cars. It’s something I notice wherever I go. While in town, I had spotted several city of Bisbee patrol cars. They were white with a blue shield on the door. The fast-moving Crown Victoria making its way around the traffic circle sported a gold star on the door. That meant it belonged to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department.

I watched it go and wondered about it, but then I heard a second siren coming from the direction of Old Bisbee. This one was a cumbersome Ford Econoline van, but the same star was emblazoned on the outside. Something was up, something serious. The sheriff’s department was being summoned en masse.

Should I follow or not? I wondered.

Then, barely seconds later, a third vehicle came along—this one a second Crown Victoria. It followed the same path as the first one. As it slowed to negotiate the curve of the circle, I caught a glimpse of bright red hair behind the wheel. This Crown Vic was being driven by Sheriff Brady herself. Whatever had happened was serious enough to summon her away from her family emergency. That did it. Moments later I was in the Sportage and trying to catch up.

Of course, there was never any question that the underpowered Sportage would catch up. The best I could hope for was to keep the Crown Vic in sight. It rounded the traffic circle and took off in what I judged to be a southwesterly direction. As I turned off the traffic circle myself, I thought at first that I’d lost her. Then, after coming through two subdivisions, past a mysterious no-visible-reason stoplight and through what looked like a genuine slum, I caught sight of her again.

From what I


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