My laughter sounds like a horse neighing. I shut my mouth, put my phone away, slam the shift stick into drive. None of this is funny. And I’m tired. Trying to understand a woman, particularly Meshango without a decent night’s sleep is stupid. Why can’t people just say what they think without all the games?
I stay inside the minivan’s earlier tracks, drive out onto the road, pay special attention to the patches of what the weatherman reports as black ice. On the coast I remember wondering what the hell they meant. Ice isn’t black. Now I know. Half a block later the car’s rear end hits a black spot, slides sideways. I right the vehicle. Adrenaline rush.
No more delays—I’ll have the shop install studded tires in the morning.
Conscious of the faint ache in the back of my neck, I park, enter the detachment. It’s late. I can’t bring myself to go home. The house in Fort George is only a house. Without Angie no place is home.
The ache in my neck worsens. I’ve a couple of choices. Either visit a chiropractor or a sweat lodge. Or the third, suck it up.
Focus on the job.
My stomach growls.
The vending machine holds two of my favourite chocolate bars. Three painkillers later, accompanied by a mouthful of coffee and one of the bars, I roll up my sleeves, read over the crime reconstruction report from Surrey.
Gauthier, the investigator already on the case, someone I’ve worked with in the past, left a voice message saying he’d call me after his interview with Warner’s assistant in Ottawa. Though Warner hadn’t worked with her for almost a year, Gauthier thinks she’ll have insight into the man nobody else can give us.
GIS Security at House of Commons writes down the additional questions I have for Warner’s assistant and promises they’ll pass them along. After ample assurances that yes I’ll hear back from Ottawa ASAP, I hang up. It’s amazing how cooperative everyone is when the victim’s an ex-minister. Normally, I’d have to wait until morning to get anywhere.
I finish the last chocolate bar, turn on the computer. The analysis program used to profile cases doesn’t give much. Once again I key in the particulars. Almost immediately it comes back flashing Mrs. Warner’s name. Probability strong.
“Where’s the evidence?”
No gunpowder residue was detected on her person or her clothing. No weapon. The spent shell casing is missing. There were no tire tracks or footprints on the property. So far, no records or files hint at political improprieties, none of the nasty e-mails most politicians live with daily. No revenge-seeking stalkers. No hint of a jilted lover.