Darkest Fear Page 69

“Agreed,” Win said.

“Isn’t there a Partridge Family marathon on TV Land?”

Myron suddenly stopped.

“Myron?” Win said.

He did not reply.

“Hello, world.” Esperanza snapped her fingers in Myron’s face. “There’s a song that we’re singing. Come on, get happy.”

Myron switched off the television. He looked at Win, then at Esperanza. “Say one last good-bye to the boy.”

Esperanza and Win exchanged a glance.

“You were right, Win.”

“About what?”

“Human nature,” Myron said.

40

Myron called Kimberly Green at her office. She answered the line and said, “Green.”

“I need a favor,” Myron said.

“Shit, I thought you were out of my life.”

“But never your fantasies. You want to help me or not?”

“Not.”

“I need two things.”

“Not. I said ‘not.’ ”

“Eric Ford said that the supposedly plagiarized novel was sent directly to you.”

“So?”

“Who sent it?”

“You heard him, Myron. It was sent anonymously.”

“You have no idea.”

“None.”

“Where is it now?”

“The book?”

“Yes.”

“In an evidence locker.”

“Ever do anything with it?”

“Like what?”

Myron waited.

“Myron?”

“I knew you guys were holding something back,” he said.

“Listen to me a second—”

“The author of that novel. It was Edwin Gibbs. He wrote it under a pseudonym after his wife died. It makes perfect sense now. You were searching for him right from the get-go. You knew, dammit. You knew the whole time.”

“We suspected,” she said. “We didn’t know.”

“All that crap about thinking he was Stan’s first victim—”

“It wasn’t total crap. We knew it was one of them. We just didn’t know which one. We couldn’t find Edwin Gibbs until you told us about the Waterbury address. By the time we got there, he was already on his way to kidnap Jeremy Downing. Maybe if you had been more forthcoming—”

“You guys lied to me.”

“We didn’t lie. We just didn’t tell you everything.”

“Jesus, you ever listen to yourself?”

“We owed you nothing here, Myron. You weren’t a federal agent on this. You were just a pain in the ass.”

“A pain in the ass who helped you solve the case.”

“And for that I thank you.”

Myron’s thoughts entered the maze, turned left, turned right, circled back.

“Why doesn’t the press know about Gibbs being the author?” Myron asked.

“They will. Ford wants all his ducks in a row first. Then he’ll hold yet another big press conference and present it as something new.”

“He could do that today,” Myron said.

“He could.”

“But then the story dies down. Right now the rumors keep it going. Ford gets more time in the limelight.”

“He’s a politician at heart,” she said. “So what?”

Myron took another few turns, hit a few more walls, kept feeling for the way out. “Forget it,” he said.

“Good. Can I go now?”

“First I need you to call the national bone marrow registry.”

“Why?”

“I need to find out about a donor.”

“This case is closed, Myron.”

“I know,” he said. “But I think a new one might be opening.”

Stan Gibbs was at the anchor chair when Myron and Win arrived. His new cable show, Glib with Gibbs, was filming in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and the studio, like every television studio Myron had ever seen, looked like a room with the roof ripped off. Wires and lights hung in no discernible pattern. Studios, especially newsrooms, were always much smaller in person than on television. The desks, the chairs, the world map in the background. All smaller. The power of television. A room on a nineteen-inch screen somehow looks smaller in real life.

Stan wore a blue blazer, white shirt, red tie, jeans, and sneakers. The jeans would stay under the desk and never get camera time. Classic anchorman-wear. Stan waved to them when they entered. Myron waved back. Win did not.

“We need to talk,” Myron said to him.

Stan nodded. He sent away the producers and motioned Myron and Win to the guest chairs. “Sit.”

Stan stayed in the anchor chair. Win and Myron sat in guest chairs, which felt pretty strange, as though a home audience were watching. Win checked his reflection in a camera glass and smiled. He liked what he saw.

“Any word on a donor?” Stan asked.

“None.”

“Something will come through.”

“Yeah,” Myron said. “Look, Stan, I need your help.”

Stan intertwined his fingers and rested both hands on the anchor desk. “Whatever you need.”

“There’s a lot of things that don’t add up with Jeremy’s kidnapping.”

“For example?”

“Why do you think your father took a child this time? He never did that before, right? Always adults. Why this time a child?”

Stan mulled it over, chose his words one at a time. “I don’t know. I’m not sure taking adults was a pattern or anything. His victims seemed pretty random.”

“But this wasn’t random,” Myron said. “His choosing Jeremy Downing couldn’t have been just a coincidence.”

Stan thought about that one too. “I agree with you there.”

“So he picked him because he was somehow connected with my investigation.”

“Seems logical.”

“But how would your father have known about Jeremy?”

“I don’t know,” Stan said. “He might have followed you.”

“I don’t think so. You see, Greg Downing stayed up in Waterbury after our visit. He kept his eye on Nathan Mostoni. We know he didn’t travel out of town until the day before the kidnapping.”

Win looked into the camera again. He smiled and waved. Just in case it was on.

“It’s strange,” Stan said.

“And there’s more,” Myron said. “Like the call where Jeremy screamed. With the others, your father told the family not to contact the cops. But he didn’t this time. Why? And are you aware that he wore a disguise when he kidnapped Jeremy?”

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