The Guilty Dead: Monkeewrench #9 by P. J. Tracy

The Guilty Dead: Monkeewrench #9 by P. J. Tracy

Author:P. J. Tracy [P. J. Tracy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Published: 2018-09-10T16:00:00+00:00



G ARY JUNEAU HAD cleared the last of the trucks for the day and checked them into the lot out back, but he was taking his time with the paperwork, hoping to hear from Jim. At first he’d been mildly uneasy about the whole situation, but as the clock had ticked down the hours to quitting time, his mood had darkened until he felt a full-blown doom.

He maybe wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he knew how the cops worked because he’d spent a few years trying to evade them. They would have taken seriously a report of something like this, as a possible jacking or a theft on Jim’s part, and there would have been cops here long before now asking questions.

The only possible explanation, at least in his mind, was that Lloyd hadn’t called the cops, and that didn’t wash. As things stood now, Lloyd was out a truck and some equipment, which probably added up to a hundred grand, maybe a little more. The old man wouldn’t take that sitting down. He should have been running around, screaming at the top of his lungs and punching his fists through walls. The fact that he wasn’t was a pretty clear indication Lloyd knew more than he was saying, and in that instant, Gary knew Jim was in trouble. The thought made his stomach clench.

Gary looked up when he heard Lloyd’s office door creak open. His boss stuck his craggy, scowling face into the space between the door and the jamb, and shouted, “I’m leaving in five, and if your paperwork’s not done by then, don’t bother coming in tomorrow morning.”

Gary bit his tongue to stifle a nasty retort. “Almost finished. What did the cops say?”

“The fuck? They’re looking for that piece of shit right now. Not that it’s any of your goddamn business.”

“Right,” he muttered under his breath, tapping in his final entry. “Finished. I’m outta here.”

Lloyd just looked at him with squinty pig eyes, then slammed his office door.

Gary put some distance between himself and Lloyd’s HVAC, walking under the hot sun until his shirt was clinging to him like a leech. He didn’t mind the heat or the humidity—it reminded him of living in Florida, which had been the best part of his life, back when he’d had a decent future ahead of him and a brand new bicycle. That segment of his existence had been short-lived, from birth to the age of thirteen, but he still had fond memories of it.

He stepped into a dark pub and pulled up a squeaky stool at the bar. The two other customers perched there gave him laconic looks, then refocused on the drinks in front of them without so much as an acknowledgment. That was the kind of place Mario’s was, and that was why Gary liked it.

It was a dive, with greasy floors, cast-off furniture, and sagging booths with tears in the red vinyl upholstery that exposed dingy puffs of fill. If you wanted to rack a game of pool, you’d have to play three balls short.


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