Read Kill Plan (Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thrillers -) Online

Authors: Eva Hudson

Tags: #mystery, #thriller

Kill Plan (Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thrillers -) (3 page)

BOOK: Kill Plan (Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thrillers -)
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“I’m fine. I’m guessing from what I just overheard you were graced by the presence of the ambassador?”

“Sorry about that—I just couldn’t wait to call my mom.” Jennifer suddenly looked much younger than her twenty-four years. She could have been fresh out of high school.

“I don’t care who you call.” Ingrid was a little relieved someone else had reacted to an audience with Frances Byrne-Williams the same way she had.

“She was so charming. Came right in here, and introduced herself to me. Can you imagine?”

Only too well

Ingrid glanced around the office. It looked pretty much as she’d left it. Jennifer hadn’t taken the opportunity to switch desks in her absence. Even though she had been making noises about a reorganization of the office furniture since the departure of her fellow clerk a few days ago. They were still waiting for his replacement to arrive. For some reason it was taking a while for the State Department to assign one of their embassy clerks to the FBI Criminal Investigation Unit. “Apart from the excitement of meeting the ambassador, how have things been here?”

“Oh real quiet. A couple stolen credit cards to deal with. A road traffic accident—no serious injuries. Nothing you need to worry about.” She stood up. “Sure I can’t get you that coffee?”

“Actually I’d like you to run a check on the trader who died this morning.”

“How’d it go at the bank? How did the trader die?”

Ingrid wondered if the pathologist had arrived at the bank by now. “Too early to say.” She fired up her desk computer. “I should know more later.”

Jennifer tapped something into her keyboard. “Matthew Fuller… social security records, school records, college… employment… medical. Have I forgotten anything?”

“Criminal,” Ingrid added helpfully.

“You said he was the victim?”

“Still worth looking into.”

“Of course. I wasn’t thinking.” Jennifer, always eager to please, twitched an embarrassed smile in Ingrid’s direction.

Ingrid’s online search was a little less clearly defined. She wanted to know which substances might trigger a heart attack in an otherwise healthy victim.

After ten minutes of surfing, she had compiled such a long list of possible agents, some everyday innocuous household substances, some rare and highly toxic chemicals, that it would take a lab months to test Matthew Fuller’s tissue for all of them. She got up and wandered over to Jennifer’s desk. “Have you checked his medical records yet?”

Jennifer swiveled in her chair to another computer screen. “I can do that for you right now.” She ran her fingers over a second keyboard in a blur of typing. A moment later a half dozen windows opened on the monitor. Ingrid started reading over the clerk’s shoulder. When she was halfway down the first list of information, Jennifer closed the window.

“I hadn’t finished,” Ingrid told her.

“Sorry—I can scan text stupidly fast. You want me to bring it back up?”

“No—you carry on.”

“What am I looking for exactly?”

“Any evidence of heart disease. Or a history of it in his family.” Ingrid had been wondering why Matthew Fuller had died and, as far as she knew, the maintenance guy had survived. An underlying weakness in Fuller’s heart might explain it.

“Not getting any indication of that so far.”

“Let me know when you’re done.”

Ingrid returned to her desk and did a little research into the organizational structure of the City of London Police. As far as she could work out, the force’s main responsibilities within the Square Mile were investigating cyber crime and corporate fraud and dealing with threats of terrorism.

“Ingrid? Can you take a look at something?” Jennifer was frowning at her computer screen. “I haven’t seen anything like this before,” she said. “I don’t know what it means.”

Ingrid hurried to the clerk’s desk. “What is it, have you found something in his medical records?”

“Nothing connected to heart disease. But look at this.” She pointed at her screen. “In 1992 the records just stop. There’s nothing here about him before he was eight years of age. Looks like it’s all been redacted.”

“No record of his place of birth? Inoculations? Childhood illnesses?”

“He had chicken pox aged nine. From birth to seven, your guess is as good as mine. Have you seen records just stopping like this before?”

“It’s weird, isn’t it?” Ingrid said innocently and peered more closely at the information on the computer monitor. She had indeed come across something very similar before. But never for someone so young. In her experience, there was usually just one explanation for it, but it certainly wasn’t something she wanted to share with Jennifer right now. Not until she had more information. “And no sign of heart disease after 1992?” Ingrid asked.


“Family medical history?”

“I’ve only been checking on Matthew Fuller himself up till now—so the information I have is what appears on his insurance applications. His dad died in 2003, but he was involved in an accident. Nothing to do with his heart. I guess Matthew Fuller was a pretty healthy guy.” Jennifer gazed eagerly at Ingrid. “So if he wasn’t sick, does that mean he was murdered?”

“Ask me again tomorrow, when we have the autopsy report.”

Jennifer’s shoulders slumped a little.

Ingrid searched the FBI database and brought up the same records for Matthew Fuller that Jennifer had, plus another couple that the admin clerk didn’t have the security clearance to access. Ingrid stared at the screen, wondering what this revelation meant to the investigation into Fuller’s death. The records she was looking at now, from the US Marshals database, confirmed her hunch. For some reason, at the ripe old age of seven, Matthew Fuller had been enrolled into the Federal Witness Protection Program.


Ingrid had eventually asked Jennifer to fetch her a coffee from the local Italian coffee shop, rather than the embassy cafeteria, hoping that in the time it would take the clerk to walk there, wait for her order, and walk back again, she would have gleaned all the information she needed from the US Marshals Service. She’d been wrong. Fifteen minutes later, she was on hold, having been transferred a half dozen times. Each person she’d spoken to had refused to give her any details about Matthew Fuller’s former identity, or the reason he’d been enrolled in the Witness Protection Program in the first place. Every time she’d been rebuffed she’d insisted on speaking to that person’s superior. Now she’d just been left hanging. She was just about to slam the phone down when Jennifer appeared at the door. Ingrid listened to another second of hold music then gently returned the handset of the phone to its cradle. She smiled up at Jennifer.

“They insisted on calling it an Americano, even though I asked for a long black,” the clerk said. “But I watched the barista as he was making it. He poured the espresso into the water, just the way you like it.” She carefully placed the cardboard cup on Ingrid’s desk.

“Thanks, it’s exactly what I need. Now you’re back, I might stretch my legs.” She shoved her cell and DI Mbeke’s card into a pocket, picked up the coffee and strode toward the door. “I won’t be long.”

She made her way to the emergency stairwell at the end of the corridor, where she knew she wouldn’t be disturbed, and sank onto a cold concrete step. She tapped Mbeke’s number into her contacts list—she had the feeling she might be speaking to the man a lot—and called him.

“DI Mbeke.” He sounded a little irritated. Maybe he was having as frustrating a time as she was.

“Hello, this is Agent Skyberg, from the embassy?”

“I don’t really have any developments to report, I’m afraid,” he said, his tone mellowing a little. “I’ll get in touch just as soon as I do.”

“Actually I have something to tell you,” Ingrid said quickly, concerned Mbeke was just about to hang up on her. She told him everything she’d uncovered so far about Matthew Fuller.

“Witness Protection?”

She’d kept that morsel until last, hoping it would pique his interest.

“Why was he put into the program?” Mbeke asked her.

“I’m still waiting for the US Marshals Service to get back to me on that.” It was only the smallest of lies.

“You think he may have been specifically targeted?”

“It’s a possibility, right?”

“But if someone wanted Fuller dead, why go to those lengths? Why not choose a baseball bat to the back of the head on a dark street? Why endanger other people?”

“Maybe the killer doesn’t care about collateral damage.”

“Do you really believe that?”

“I’m not ruling out any possibilities at this stage of the investigation.”

“You think I am?” The irritable tone was back.

The last thing she wanted to do was piss off the investigating detective. “Not at all. I just thought I should let you know about anything I dig up, Stateside.”

He paused a beat before answering. “Look, it’s been a long day, we’ve got dozens more people to interview… I didn’t mean to be short with you.”

“Has anyone else complained of the same symptoms as Wennstein? The tingling fingers, numb hands?”

“Not to my knowledge. Could be we just haven’t spoken to them yet.”

Ingrid grabbed the handrail and pulled herself up. “How is Wennstein?”

“He seems fine. He’s still working.”

“And the maintenance guy?”

“Still waiting to hear back from the hospital about him. I’ll let you know when I get an update.” He hung up without saying goodbye.

Ingrid wandered back to the office, an untouched cup of coffee in her hand.

“Matthew Fuller has no criminal record,” Jennifer announced as soon as Ingrid stepped in from the corridor. “No misdemeanors, major or otherwise.”

“Good work, Jennifer, thank you.”

The clerk smiled a self satisfied grin. “So, what’s next?”

“Find out everything you can about Fisher Krupps Bank. The police are working on the assumption that someone has targeted the bank. I need to know why Fisher Krupps may have been singled out. What have they done that’s any worse than any of the other banks? I need you to find out everything you can about them.”

“You know for sure no other banks have been targeted?”

Ingrid thought about calling Mbeke back to confirm, but there was no way he would have forgotten to mention something like that to her. “Concentrate on Fisher Krupps for now—we can widen the search later if we have to.”

Ingrid then trawled FBI intelligence herself to see if any anti-capitalist threats had recently been intercepted. After about an hour of intensive searching, she discovered that apart from the usual general social media chatter, no specific threats, about either Fisher Krupps, or the City of London in general, had been issued. Which made her more inclined to believe Matthew Fuller had been the target. For some reason, someone had decided to kill him in the middle of his place of work, using a method that meant collateral damage would be pretty much unavoidable.


She looked up to see Jennifer had swiveled in her seat to face her.

“Something to report?”

“Thought I’d give you a little summary of what I’ve found so far.”

Ingrid found a notebook and pen in her desk drawer. “OK—go for it.”

“Fisher Krupps are a little different from other banks.”


“If it hadn’t been for a buyout back in 2011, they wouldn’t even exist today. They were on the verge of bankruptcy.”

Ingrid tried to square that statement with the expensive interior decor she’d seen at the bank. Fisher Krupps must have recovered significantly in the past two years. “The banking crisis was in 2008. Why did it take so long to hit Fisher Krupps?”

“Their trouble wasn’t caused by the meltdown in ’08—they survived it almost unscathed. In 2011 they almost went bankrupt because of a rogue trader. He lost the bank nearly a billion dollars through bad investments. Then Wall Street lost faith in them and their share price bombed.”

“So what saved them from going under?” Ingrid wasn’t at all convinced Fisher Krupps’ previous financial troubles had any bearing on what had happened today in their London office.

“A shale gas billionaire bought the company for a dollar. From what I’ve read, it seems he’d always dreamed of owning a bank.”

“The way some guys want to own a football or baseball team?”

“Oh, this guy owns those things too. He’s very, very rich.”

“And in all your research, have you discovered any reason why somebody might want to target his bank?”

“Not so far. But I’m just getting started.”

“Thanks. Let me know if you do dig up any major enemies who might want to see Fisher Krupps suffer.”

“Sure.” Jennifer turned back to face her computer and started typing.

Ingrid felt a little sorry for the clerk, it would be a long and tedious task. Unless Jennifer dug up some specific threat to the bank, Ingrid was still more inclined to suspect Matthew Fuller was the intended victim. Discovering the reason for his involvement in the Witness Protection Program was vital to prove or disprove her hunch. Tomorrow she would speak to her boss about the situation. The US Marshals Service might be able to decline her request for information, but they’d have a much tougher time denying an official request from the assistant deputy chief.


At 7.30 p.m., after putting in a call to DI Mbeke and learning the man had nothing new to report, Ingrid decided there was nothing more to be usefully done and started to pack up her things. Hopefully tomorrow would yield more success. Right now she was too frustrated and hungry to concentrate on anything more than getting back to her hotel and ordering something from room service.

She had been staying at the four star hotel in Marylebone ever since she’d arrived in London, back in December. It was convenient more than luxurious, and lately she’d seriously been considering looking for an apartment to rent. The Bureau offered a pretty generous relocation package and she figured it might make sense to take advantage of it. But first she had to decide whether or not she was planning to stay.

A decision she had managed to avoid making for the last four and a half months.

BOOK: Kill Plan (Ingrid Skyberg FBI Thrillers -)
3.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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