"Seems odd they never managed to identify her."
"He thought so, too. It's one of those cases really stuck in his craw. He kept thinking there was something he'd overlooked. He'd go back to it when he could, but he never made much progress."
"And you're thinking what, to have another go at it?"
"If I can talk him into it. I think it'd make a world of difference in his attitude."
I leafed through the photocopies, watching the progression of dates and events. "Looks like just about everything."
"Including black-and-white prints of the crime scene photographs. He had another couple of files but this is the one caught my eye." He paused to wipe his mouth and then pushed his plate aside. "It'd give him a lift to get back into this and see about developing some information. He can act as lead detective while we do the legwork."
I found myself staring. "You and me."
"Sure, why not? We can pay for your time. For now, all I'm suggesting is the three of us sit down and talk. If he likes the idea, we'll go ahead. If not, I guess I'll come up with something else."
I tapped the file. "Not to state the obvious, but this is eighteen years old."
"I know, but aside from Stacey's interest, there hasn't been a push on this since 1970 or so. What if we could crack it? Think what that'd do for him. It could make all the difference." It was the first time I'd seen any animation in his face.
I pretended to ponder but there wasn't much debate. I was sick of doing paperwork. Enough already with the file searches and the background checks. "Stacey still has access to the department?"
"Sure. A lot of folks out there think the world of him. We can probably get anything we need--within reason, of course."
"Let me take this home and read it."
Dolan sat back, trying not to look too pleased. "I'll be over at CC's from six until midnight. Show up by eight and we can swing over to St. Terry's and bring Stacey up to speed."
I found myself smiling in response.
From Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton, Copyright © October 2002, G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., used by permission.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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