Excerpt from KILLER ODDS…

The elevator door opened onto a small but richly appointed lobby. Hunt prints hung on tastefully papered walls above Queen Anne wing back chairs. Matt followed Miller down a hallway to a brightly lit conference room where the detective held up his hand, a signal for Matt to wait as Miller continued through the open door. Matt could see a young woman sitting at the end of a mahogany conference table. She was talking to a man who stood with his back toward the door, head down, scribbling in a small notebook as she talked. The young woman began to sob. The man motioned for Miller to escort her out as he turned and looked at Matt in the doorway. Miller leaned in and said something. The man nodded and gestured Matt into the room and to the chair at the end of the table. Matt remained standing.

“Mr. West, I’m Detective Sergeant Lundy with the Germantown Police Department. Could you tell me the nature of your business here this morning?”

Matt leaned against the table and folded his arms. He smiled at the policeman. “I might be inclined to do that if you tell me what’s going on. Is Mr. Halston in some sort of trouble?” He watched the detective’s face as he spoke, trying to read Lundy’s expression.

Lundy was only slightly taller than Matt’s medium height. His close-cropped black hair was salted with gray as was his thin moustache. Several dark freckles on his cheeks stood out against his light brown skin. The black plastic frames on his glasses reminded Matt of the old military style, but his brown pinstripe suit was modern, even trendy. He guessed Lundy to be about 50, a decade older than himself. The narrow gap between his front teeth showed as he smiled at Matt’s response. “I can’t blame you for being curious, Mr. West, but we’re investigating a crime here, and I have to ask you to answer my question before I answer yours.”

Matt shrugged. “Fair enough. I was hired by Mr. Halston to look into the disappearance of some company products.”

“Private investigator?”

“More like industrial espionage consultant. I have an appointment with him this morning to go over the details of the loss so I can get started.”

“Did he say what products were involved?”

“Your turn,” Matt said with a nod to Lundy.

Lundy leaned his elbows on the leather chair in front of him. “One other question first, if you don’t mind. Where were you two nights ago around midnight?”

Matt frowned. He could sense where the line of questioning was going, and it wasn’t a good place. “Saturday night? I was home. And before you ask, I was alone, no witnesses. I did make a couple of phone calls to the west coast, but that’s it. Why do I need an alibi?”

 

KILLER ODDS — The new Matt West novel will be available soon…

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