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Authors: Wayne Greenough

Tags: #Mystery, #Thriller

Thanet Blake

BOOK: Thanet Blake
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I avoid murder cases like I would avoid the plague. Unfortunately murder finds me and I have to deal with it.

 

 

When Thanet Blake checked into police headquarter he had no idea he was going to be asked by police captain Holt to find the killer of serial killer Stanley Sudowsky. Thanet agreed to look around because Holt told him he was a suspect. Can Thanet prove he's innocent? Thanet suspects his lady friend, Starla, offed Sudowsky. What will he do if she's proven to be guilty?

 

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Thanet Blake

Copyright © 2013 Wayne Greenough

ISBN: 978-1-77111-758-6

Cover art by Carmen Waters

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Devine Destinies

An imprint of eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:

www.devinedestinies.com

 

 

 

 

 

Thanet Blake

 

 

By

 

 

Wayne Greenough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

 

I know a superb lady named June. She’s my wife.

 

Chapter One

 

 

I don’t subscribe to a newspaper, my television isn’t hooked up to the cable, and I don’t use a computer. However, I know what’s going on in the world from people who delight in telling me all about planet Earth’s daily gory details. That’s why I’m able to write that there’s too much hate, zero reasoning, and very little love in century twenty-one. Name a country that isn’t having some sort of conflict ripping it apart. I can’t.

I’m Thanet Blake, Private Detective. People who consider me to be a walking bubonic plague might decide my introduction should be modified to private defective, snooper, peeper, shamus, dick, the dimwitted private eye with no balls, or even worse, the dick that uses his head for a castle battering ram. In reality I’m a great guy, a real dear, dear individual.

Stanley Sudowsky was my barber and a serial killer. Somebody finalized him into maggot food. I thought I had. But six unfired bullets in my revolver proved I hadn’t. So who
did
put him in the permanent horizontal position? Personally, I don’t give a damn one way or the other. The person who offed him deserves a medal.

Because I was feeling good after having my usual breakfast of three shots of rye and six gaspers, I leaned back in my battered swivel chair, propped my size twelves on my wooden desk, and began singing. “There once lived a maid, who said she wasn’t afraid…”

“Give me the name of the person who said you could sing, and I’ll shoot him.”

Why is it whenever I start to sing, somebody shows up and makes a nasty comment about my warbling? Could they possibly be right? Oh well. What the hell? Captain Holt, wearing his slept-in police outfit, popped in from nowhere. He’s somebody I don’t like to see. Trouble brews when I look him up or when he looks me up. We stared at each other for a few seconds before I came up with the idle conversation bit.

“Do I really sing badly?”

“Badly would be a compliment as to how you sound.”

“Yeah, well, I love you, too, sweetheart. Now, are you going to tell me why you’re airing up my office with your coffee-and-donut breath, or have you just come to drink my booze?”

“Pour me a drink.”

I opened the bottom right-side drawer of my desk, grabbed a shot glass, and poured Holt a full-sized shot of rye. He gulped it down and motioned for another. I poured and asked, “Are you on duty?”

“So what if I am?”

“Well, nothing, but something is really puckering your ass into a knot. Care to tell me about it?”

He gulped his second rye and motioned for another. I poured. He sipped three times and said the reason why he was sitting across the desk from me. It wasn’t to visit.

“I want your thirty-eight.”

“Why?”

“Sudowsky was killed with a thirty-eight.”

“Shit, Holt, there must be thousands of guns in this city that are the same caliber. It wasn’t mine that offed the barber, and you know it.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Well, I do. I unloaded my gun, and none of the bullets had been fired. When Sudowsky and I squared off in that alley I heard a gunshot. I thought it was from my gun and that I had killed him. Well, it wasn’t from my gun, and that means I didn’t kill him. And it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that somebody else did.”

Holt took my gun right after he finished his rye.

Chapter Two

 

 

I was still cussing when Monk showed up.

“Godfather wants to see you.”

“Why?”

“He didn’t say, and I’m not an information booth. Lately he’s been…different.”

“Oh?”

Monk fidgeted. Tears dropped as his mouth worked around several sentences he couldn’t say in a coherent manner. From what I gathered, Godfather was drinking milk instead of booze. He was mumbling to himself, becoming feeble, staring at nothing, while being less demanding and sleeping more often in his wheelchair.

“Blake, I love the old guy. He got me off the street. He’s been a father to me for as long as I can remember.”

“Yeah, I like him, too. He’s a real guy, one to travel in the same car with. Monk, he came into this world a whole century ago. Sad to say, maybe his time is up.”

“No, damn it, you’re wrong. He has time left. Come to see him now, on your feet or off them.”

I decided on my feet would be more fun.

 

My first glance at Godfather was enough for me to want to get shit-face drunk immediately or even sooner. As I mentioned, he’s a century old. He looked much older as he hunched over all bent-like in his wheelchair. Unshaved, hair a disheveled stork’s nest, his body trembling, and a feeble voice, all this replacing the strong-willed, vibrant man from the last time I saw him.

I swallowed twice before I whispered, “Tell me what’s wrong, my old friend.”

He shook his head and cried.

Monk grabbed my arm. We left the room and ended up in Godfather’s library. We sat, and Monk poured booze. “I didn’t level with you, shamus. I do know what’s tearing him apart. It’s Selena and Jennifer. They’ve escaped.”

Oh, boy. “Has the gang been searching for them?”

Monk’s face soured. “Need you have asked? We searched all of Godfather’s hideaways before we turned this town upside-down looking for them. We batted zero. They’ve dropped completely out of sight, just like they never existed in the first place.” He shivered and sighed. “Godfather’s scared. He’s terrified Selena and Jennifer will start killing again. We’ve got to find them and lock them up. This time for keeps.”

I shuddered over Monk’s
for keeps
words before saying, “Out with it, Monk. I know you’re trying to tell me something, which is why you’re telling me what you’re telling me.”

Monk grimaced. “Blake, Selena hates you. I can see why. She flopped herself in front of you, and you never took the bait. It’s a good bet that if she continues her offing hobby, you’re a target. You being dead would not make the Godfather happy. So get busy, nose around, and see if you can preserve your pickled self for a few more days.”

“Monk, in my business you can’t hide. Do you know anything about Jennifer?”

“Not much. Godfather paid for her plastic surgery. She looks different, so much so that the last time I saw her, I didn’t recognize her.”

“That doesn’t help me at all.”

“I know, shamus. Sorry about that.”

 

Just before I got the usual blindfold whacking my eyeballs so I wouldn’t know where I had been, I told Godfather I would look around for Jennifer and Selena. He perked up a little and smiled, which told me he was on the comeback road to being his old self.

Chapter Three

 

 

Captain Holt was barking out orders as I stepped into his office and sat down in front of his desk. He took one look at me before becoming a clam for all of a minute. His silence got to me so I tried to be funny. “Would you like a rye from my hip flask?” He didn’t laugh or smile. He did throw words my way.

“Who’s your gunsmith?”

“What?”

“You heard me. Name the guy.”

“Why?”

“Shit, Blake. You do a lousy job of trying to act dumb. The barrel on your thirty-eight is new.”

“So what if it is? Come on, Captain, instead of flapping your jaws with wasted words, give me the straight skinny. “

“Blake, ballistics checked your gun. It didn’t fire the bullet that killed Sudowsky.”

“I told you so. Why is it not in my hand at this moment?”

A belch coupled with a sour face from Holt told me something was giving him indigestion. “You know damn well that a new barrel on your gun changes the ballistic marks on a bullet.”

Oh, Christ. “Meaning I could still be Sudowsky’s killer, right, Holt?”

“You got it, until we check your gun’s old barrel.”

“You’ve got to be joking.”

“Do you really think so?”

“No, Captain.” I belched my disgust at him. “I think if your mother had a thirty-eight you’d put a ballistics check on it. After all the years we’ve known each other, you still don’t trust me.”

“It’s my job. I can’t take any person’s word that they’re innocent. They have to prove their innocence to me. As for my mother, she doesn’t own a thirty-eight. If she did, I’d have it checked.”

You can’t argue with Holt. He’s too good at it. I changed the subject. “I’ll bring in the gun barrel, but I won’t give you the name of my gunsmith.”

“That means he doesn’t have a license.”

“Damn it, Holt, stop being a cop and act like a friend to me. I’ve decided to look for the person who killed Sudowsky.”

“I was going to ask you to do that. You and your squeals.”

“Why, when I’m a suspect?”

Holt spent a minute cussing. “One of these days, I’m going to give you slammer time in a padded cell so I won’t have to put up with your damn questions. Take that smile off your beat-up kisser. You’re on the payroll. Go find Sudowsky’s killer for us.”

“I intend to. First I want you to fill me in on details, if you have any.”

“We got zero. We know the caliber of the gun, and that’s it. Now take your booze-and-cigarette smell outa here.”

 

When I opened my office door I saw my old landlord sitting at my desk. The chewed-on cigar he’s never without was actually lit. It adorned his face along with the sour expression informing me of his daily bilious attack. Through a cloud of smoke he mumbled words I surely couldn’t have heard correctly.

“Blake, I want you back.”

See what I mean? For those of you who might have come in late, my ex-landlord is the one who kicked me out because I couldn’t pay the rent I owed him. I now have an office in an old theater guild building. I’m in the downstairs green room. Upstairs is an Irish Pub that is no longer owned by Paddy O’Malley Hooligan Schultz. A real dangerous somebody was after Paddy, so Paddy went back to Ireland.

“Well, are you going to just stand there chewing your cigar, or are you going to sit down and tell me why you have given me the honor of asking me to come back to my original homestead?”

“It’s the Isis Jones dame. She’s my new renter, a swell looker, but she’s crazy. I want you to tame her down.”

“Oh, hell, do the same thing you did to me. Kick her out.”

He burped and looked sick. “I can’t. She owns fifty-five percent of the building. Don’t ask me how that happened. I own the other forty-five, and I’m still the landlord.”

I damn nearly laughed. “Tame her down? That sounds like you’re offering me a case.”

“Yeah, I’m offering.”

I poured him a shot of rye. He downed it.

“You know my fee.”

“You can have your old office back rent-free.”

That sounded so good I poured him another shot. “Free for how long?”

“Let’s say for how long the taming takes.”

I gulped a shot of rye and burped. “All right, so where is this wild lady located in your building? Or should I say her building?”

“She’s across the hallway from your office.”

Chapter Four

 

 

Somebody should kick my ass. I need to ask more questions before I agree to anything. Oh, hell, I was back at my old office. A sign painter was painting
Thanet Blake, Private Detective
on my door, and my old landlord was chuckling.

BOOK: Thanet Blake
8.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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