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Michael Bennett 10 - Haunted by James Patterson

Michael Bennett 10 - Haunted by James Patterson

Author:James Patterson [Patterson, James]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


PART THREE

CHAPTER 53

I TRIED NOT to think of the next day as a workday. I was still on vacation, after all. But that didn’t change the fact that Sandy Coles picked me up in a police car precisely at nine so we could be on our way to interview some kind of local heroin dealer.

The Linewiler police had treated the area where we had found Tricia Green’s shoe like it was a crime scene. But there was no information or leads on the missing kids, and Tom-Tom Bacon’s father was no longer as nonchalant about his son’s disappearance as he had been the previous night. He was yammering about calling a state senator so we could get more help.

That didn’t change Sandy’s attitude about the investigation in any way. She didn’t care if the kids were rich or poor, just that they were in danger. It was sort of her role with the Linewiler Police Department. Mostly detective, partly assistant chief, and always trying to help people. That’s all anyone could ask of a cop.

And it didn’t take much for me to agree to go with her. At least I felt like I might help out if things didn’t go as planned with the dealer. There was no such thing as a rational and reasonable drug dealer if his back was against the wall. And they always believed their backs were against the wall.

The dealer’s house was on a winding unpaved road in the foothills about five miles from town. For more than a quarter mile, I noticed abandoned cars and old appliances stacked up in some semblance of order. It looked like the place was a junkyard. Except there were woods all around it and no signs. From a police perspective it would be a nightmare to search.

Sandy caught me up on the dealer, Dell Streeter, as we approached the house.

“He moved into this place around four years ago. He came from somewhere along the border in Texas. He did seven years in a Texas state prison for manslaughter. That’s why I needed you to come along.”

I said, “What’s he been like since he lived here?”

“He got in one fight in town. He punched a guy in a sports bar. Even though the guy had a shattered nose and a bunch of missing teeth, something scared him bad enough to prevent him from pressing charges. No matter how hard I pushed.”

“This guy sounds like a sweetheart. And I love what he’s done with the property.”

Sandy pulled up to the gate closest to his driveway. I noticed there were two goons sitting on the porch. I guess they were protecting the rusting washer and dryer that stood to one side of the driveway. Or maybe they were worried someone would try to steal the gas stove that rotted right in the center of the front yard.

One of the goons, a muscle-bound redneck with tattoos running up his left arm, stepped inside the house. A moment later, a tall, lean man with a weather-beaten face came onto the porch.



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