2. Body of Evidence (1991) by Patricia Cornwell

2. Body of Evidence (1991) by Patricia Cornwell

Author:Patricia Cornwell [Cornwell, Patricia]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary, Adult, Medical Examiners (Law), Women Physicians, Kay (Fictitious Character), Richmond (Va.), Scarpetta, Forensic Pathologists
ISBN: 9780708930199
Amazon: 1439135711
Barnesnoble: 1439135711
Goodreads: 132336
Publisher: G. K. Hall
Published: 1991-01-02T06:00:00+00:00

“Here’s what I’m going to suggest,” Ethridge said, his eyes fixed on mine. “Let me handle Sparacino. I want you to have no contact with him at all, if possible. You mustn’t underestimate him, Kay. Even when you think you’ve told him very little, he’s reading between the lines, is a master at making inferences that can be uncannily on the mark. I’m not sure what his involvement with Beryl Madison, the Harpers, really was or what his real agenda is. Perhaps a mixture of unsavory things. But I don’t want him knowing any more details about these deaths than he already knows.”

“He’s already gotten a lot,” I said. “Beryl Madison’s police report, for example. Don’t ask me how—”

“He’s very resourceful,” Ethridge interrupted. “I advise you to keep all reports out of circulation, send them only where you must. Tighten the lid on your office, beef up security, every file under lock and key. Make sure your staff releases no information about these cases to anyone unless you’re absolutely certain the person calling in the request is who he says he is. Every crumb Sparacino will use to his advantage. It’s a game to him. Many people could be hurt—including you. Not to mention what could happen to the cases come court time. After one of his typical publicity blitzes we’d have to change the damn venue to Antarctica.”

“He may have anticipated that you’ll do this,” I said quietly.

“That I’d relegate myself to being the lightning rod? Step into the ring instead of letting an assistant handle it?”

I nodded.

“Well, perhaps so,” he answered.

I was sure of it. I wasn’t Sparacino’s intended quarry. His old nemesis was. Sparacino couldn’t pick on the attorney general directly. He would never get past the watchdogs, the aides, the secretaries. So Sparacino picked on me instead and was being rewarded with the desired result. The idea of being used this way only made me angrier, and Mark suddenly came to mind. What was his role in this?

“You’re annoyed and I don’t blame you,” Eth-ridge said. “And you’re just going to have to swallow your pride, your emotions, Kay. I need your help.”

I just listened.

“The ticket that will get us out of Sparacino’s amusement park, I strongly suspect, is this manuscript everyone’s so interested in. Any possibility you might be able to track it down?”

I felt my face getting hot. “It never came through my office, Tom—”

“Kay,” he said firmly, “that’s not my question. A lot of things never come through your office and the medical examiner manages to track them down. Prescription drugs, a complaint of chest pain overheard at some point before the decedent suddenly dropped dead, suicidal ideations you somehow manage to get a family member to divulge. You have no power of enforcement, but you can investigate. And sometimes you’re going to find out details no one is ever going to tell the police.”

“I don’t want to be an ordinary witness, Tom.”

“You’re an expert witness. Of course you don’t want to be ordinary.


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