The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. A pandemic grips the nation, isolating everyone from each other. But sometimes they still need a little help. A man calling himself Gregori Malcovich hired me to find his
The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. A pandemic grips the nation, isolating everyone from each other. But sometimes they still need a little help. A man calling himself Gregori Malcovich hired me to find his niece, Anya Koslov. But she didn’t know him, and two gunmen kidnapped her before I could figure out what was going on. Malcovitch turned out to be a man named Greg Parks, who was murdered by fellow criminal Liam O’Connell. Now my friend Li and I have to track him down and rescue Anya.
Read the full details Here and the unfolding case below.
I pulled up to the police station alone. Li was willing to bend the rules, but breaking into the precinct was too much for him.
Knowing what I was walking into, I’d changed into something more fitting for the work: a dark suit with heels too high, skirt too tight, and neckline too low for proper business attire. But nothing lewd. The trick was to be distracting, not memorable. I wanted to avoid people looking at my face.
The required mask helped with that too. It also saved me thirty minutes of applying makeup, which that outfit usually required. I completed the look with a small briefcase.
Mustering the gusto of an angry lawyer, I marched into the station. I singled out a young officer and made a point of ruining his day.
“You there! Where’s Van Wert? Or Stallings? I was supposed to hear from them an hour ago. This is a career making case.”
“Ugh, why am I even bothering with you?” I brushed past him. “I’ll be waiting at Van Wert’s desk, tell me the moment they return, or I’ll have your badge by the end of the week.”
“End of the week!” I left him stuttering in the entry hall and headed through the side door to the bullpen.
I’d been in the station enough times to have a pretty good idea of which desk belonged to whom, though I was typically accompanied by an irate detective.
Van Wert’s desk was, thankfully, one of the many abandoned in an effort at social distancing. I slipped into his chair and fired up the old desktop. While it sputtered back to life, I glanced around the room.
The handful of detectives present were engrossed in their own business, with only about a third of the usual compliment on the job. Great for me, but not so much for the cops who had to pick up the slack.
I turned back to the screen. The computer was still trying to boot up. A sticky note with a ten-digit string of letters and numbers was tucked under the monitor.
No wonder Lucky knows his password.
I was prompted with a login. I entered the detective’s password and waited while the system loaded. Once the “Welcome Bob!” screen transitioned to the standard desktop screen, I called Lucky.
“Okay, I’m in. What will I need to access the database?”
“The password is—”
“I’ve got that, is there anything else?”
He chuckled. “So, Van Wert hasn’t learned?”
“Time is kind of pressing here.” I started up the software.
“Right, sorry.” He started rattling off procedures I already knew.
I let him talk while the computer struggled to initiate the program. Things may have changed since I last did this.
As slow as the computer was, I hoped the database was better maintained. Fortunately, I was not disappointed.
A few quick keystrokes and the system searched for the owner of the license plate number I’d entered.
“…Then you can send that to the printer.”
“You do remember I used to be FBI, right? It’s not like I’ve never run a plate before.”
“Hey, you asked.”
The screen switched to the results page. “I’ve got a hit.”
Sean Cassidy, six foot three, red hair.
Sounds like our guy. I enlarged the picture. Sure enough, he had a small scar under his right eye.
“Got him.” I jotted down the address. “Let’s just hope he’s home.”
“She’s right over there.” Someone said from the doorway. It might have been the officer from earlier but I couldn’t be sure.
I hung up on Lucky and closed the program. As slow as the computer was, there was no time to completely shut it down, so I turned the monitor off.
Hope that’s good enough.
“Can I help you, Miss…?” Detective Van Wert came up behind me.
“Johnson.” I looked at him expectantly. “From the DA’s office. We’ve been expecting you for an hour.”
“Is this about the Pierce case?”
“Obviously. Come on, let’s get moving.” I ushered him out the door before he could notice his computer was running. Or ask me any questions about whatever the Pierce case was.
Out in the parking garage, I gestured to my car. “I have another stop to make, but you should head straight over.”
“All right, I’ll meet you there.”
“Sure thing.” I got in my car and drove out.
I sped back to Li’s Diner.
Li was waiting for me in the parking lot. “So, how’s the life of crime?”
“Cute. Give me a minute to change, then we can go get this guy.” I tossed him my notepad. “Make yourself useful and type that address into your phone.”
I traded out the suit for tactical gear. If this guy is as bad as Lucky says, there’s no knowing what we’re walking into.
“I hate to break it to you, but this address is a warehouse by the waterfront.” Li handed my pad.
“It’s still our best lead.”
“All right, then.” He climbed into the passenger seat of my car.
“Sure, now that there’s an internationally wanted criminal involved you want me to drive.”
“No reason for us to both be connected to this if it goes sideways.”
“You just don’t want bullet holes in your van.”
Once we arrived at the waterfront, I pulled over and we continued on foot. The warehouse was practically identical to any number of buildings that crowded the industrial district of the city.
Li and I snuck over to one of the pedestrian doors. It was locked, but a few moments with my picks fixed that. Lucky could have had it open in half the time. I silently cursed his carelessness. Again.
The large room was dimly lit. Shipping containers filled much of the space, but the beat-up gray sedan sat near the loading doors.
I pointed it out to Li. “Looks like somebody’s home.”
We circled the storeroom until we reached a small office.
A man’s voice came from inside. “Look it’s almost over. A few more favors and the girl goes free. That’s what you want, right?”
I gestured to Li, and we took up tactical positions around the door.
The man’s voice again. “That’s more like it. No need for things to get messy. Well, messier.”
We’re past the time for subtlety. I signaled Li.
He nodded and moved into position.
On my fingers, I counted him down from three.
At zero, Li kicked in the door.
To Be Continued…