Dead Pigeon (A Brock Callahan Mystery)
William Campbell Gault
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In his final case, Brock investigates the murder of his troubled college roommate
Maybe Mike Gregory was too smart for football. When he and Brock Callahan roomed together at Stanford University, Mike was a second-stringer with the skill to go pro. But he squandered his talent and drifted after college, briefly working as a stockbroker before descending down society's ladder, becoming a drunk, then an addict, and finally a snitch. The police aren't surprised when they find him in Santa Monica, face blown off with a sawed-off shotgun, but Brock is puzzled. Even at his lowest, Mike was too smart to go out like that.
Though he's been retired for years, Brock's investigative instincts kick in at Mike's funeral. As he plumbs the depths of his old friend's broken life, he uncovers a toxic cocktail of cultists, mobsters, and corrupt law enforcement. Caught in the middle, this unlucky snitch had nowhere to turn.
that shot at Lars. Day after day on his job he saw only the seamy side of the street. And if Mike hadn’t been my savior, I doubt if Heinie would have phoned me. I might never have learned that Mike was dead. It wouldn’t be important news to the San Valdesto paper. A lecture to Crystal and a cheap shot at Lars … Maybe I needed a Dale Carnegie course. I went over my notes again and saw something I had overlooked. When he first came to the hotel, Nolan had told me he didn’t know what Bay’s
the man.” “Where? How?” “Through a friend who should know.” He stared at me. “If you’re thinking what I’m suspecting, please don’t mention my name to your friend.” “I won’t. There is one more place Clauss could have gone to, but it’s a doubtful one. His son lives in Brentwood. He might be home.” I directed him to the apartment house and went in to ring young Clauss’s bell. Nothing. When I came out to the car, Dennis asked, “Now where?” “Back to the hotel for me. I’m beginning to stink. I
still out on her patio, varnishing two redwood benches and a redwood picnic table. She smiled at me. “If you’ve come to talk with my brother, he should be here soon. He’s at the Santa Monica police station now. But one of your people phoned a few minutes ago to tell me he would soon be released.” “My people?” She nodded. “From the ACLU. He thinks we might have a harassment case. You know, putting Robert’s picture in the paper and bothering me.” “What happened?” “He was visiting my father in
said, “I’m not a Clauss fan. What the sergeant told you is true. Emil’s turned into a weirdo, the word I got.” He looked at Lars. “We’ll do what we can, but don’t expect any miracles. This is the wrong end of town for asking questions.” Lars was smiling when we went out. “Feisty little bastard, isn’t he? He was a pretty fair bantam-weight boxer a few years ago. I’m going home from here. I doubt if Grosskopf wants to talk with me. Did you learn anything this afternoon?” I shook my head. I told
pavement. I was bending over him when Lars stuck his head through the open window. “Dead?” he said. “Dead.” “Give me your gun.” “Why?” “Don’t ask dumb questions. Give me the damn gun and take mine. Go back to the car and wait for me. I’ll phone the station from here.” I was back in the car when the ambulance and the squad car showed up. I stayed there until they left again a long time later. When Lars came, he said, “You can take me home now. I’ll take the Department car to the station.