"Don't believe everything you read. Reporters have to sell newspapers. "
"Tell me about it." Kovich laughed, a harsh guttural noise that burst from his throat. He turned to the other detective, still standing against the wall. "Right, Mick?" he asked.
The detective, who had introduced himself as Reginald Brinkley, not Mick, only nodded in response, and the pursing of his lips told Jack he didn't welcome the attention. Brinkley, also middle-aged, wore a well tailored brown sport coat with a maroon silk tie, still tight despite the late hour and affixed to his white shirt with a gold-toned tie bar. His gaze chilled the room and the uptilt to his chin was distinctly resentful. Jack didn't know what he had done to provoke the detective and only hoped it worked against him.
"So, Mr. Newlin," Kovich was saying, "hey, can I call you Jack?"
"You got any other family, Jack? Kids?"
"Oh yeah?" Kovich's tone brightened. "What flavor?"
"A girl. A daughter."
"I got a sixteen-year-old!" Kovich grinned, showing his bad teeth. "It's" a trip, ain't it? Teenagers. You got just the one?"
"Me, I got a thirteen-year-old, too. Also a girl. Houseful of blow dryers. My wife says when they're not in the bathroom, they're in the chat rooms. Yours like that, on the computer?"
Jack cleared his throat again. "I don't mean to be impolite, but is there a reason for this small talk?" He didn't want to go there and it seemed like something a murderer would say.
"Well, uh, next-of-kin notification is our job. Standard procedure, Jack."
He tensed up. He should have thought of that. The police would be the ones to tell Paige. "My daughter lives on her own. I'd hate for her to hear this kind of news from the police. Can't I tell her myself?"
Copyright Lisa Scottoline, 2000. Used by the permission of Harper Collins Publishing. All rights reserved
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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