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When brilliant geneticist Rodney Moorhen is found hanging in a seedy Seattle hotel room it looks like an easy case for the Seattle P.D. But the trail of death is only beginning, for sinister forces believe that Moorhen had made the greatest discovery in history. All that stands in their way is Moorhen=s sister and a middle-aged, hypochondriac detective sergeant.
In the heart of Vancouver’s glittering downtown, Marylee Scott lay on a king-sized bed in the Colonial Arms on Hornby, a cold towel on her face, nose tingling and running from the last line of coke. Despite the nose candy, she had a pounding headache and was expecting police at the door any minute. But her mind was not in the Colonial Arms. Instead it was a half block from Pioneer Square in Seattle, in a fifth floor, high-ceilinged room of a tawdry barn-red brick hotel called the Tara Sands Inn and known locally as the Tarsands. In that fifth floor room, hanging naked in an S & M harness, was the body of a skinny young man she had enticed to his death a couple of nights before.
That poor man.
Marylee snuffled and wiped at her eyes. God, the rain had been so heavy when she persuaded him to leave the cab and go into the Tara Sands with her. Just to dry off a bit. She remembered a drunkenly snoring desk clerk with a stream of spittle running down his frayed vest. A creaking elevator with a puddle of something that looked like canned corn and smelled like puke. Going into that cheap, tacky room to change from the shimmering red sheath dress she’d worn for the pickup to jeans and a sweatshirt. Slipping back out and spotting the sallow young man standing in the front room, holding his soaking wet shirt and gazing out the window at a crowd streaming towards Seahawks Stadium for a Seahawks-Forty Niners game.
Such apprehension as she’d eased the heavy bolt back on the massive old door, allowing it to open just a crack. The lithe, dark form of Lennie slipping in, to the gloom of the hallway.
What was it the poor man had said? Something about this couldn’t happen between them because he had someone waiting for him?
Marylee, her head absolutely throbbing, went in search of another line of coke. "Lightning" Lennie Lennox had not left her any additional supplies. There were a few grains in a large glass ashtray and she desperately snorted them. There was no rush, just another throb from her head, and she tottered back to the bed where she collapsed again, whimpering, feeling her stomach doing flip-flops. She couldn’t decide if she was hungry or going to be sick.
He had said he couldn’t stay. That was it. The poor man had a girlfriend and he couldn’t stay. He had been going to pull his sodden shirt back on and go to meet his girlfriend.
Then Lennie had stepped from shadows, a horrid, slack-mouthed, heavy-lipped grin splitting his face, feral brown eyes restlessly darting about the room before settling on his prey.
She remembered the horror on the man’s face as he caught sight of Lennie, and started to fumble his way into his wet shirt. Stopping only when he saw the nickel-plated Saturday night special in Lennie’s long-fingered, effeminate hand.
Marylee tossed restlessly, sweat breaking out on her forehead and trickling down her ribs. God, where was Lennie? Couldn’t he find that fucking guy so they could get out of there? Go back to the States and get out of this place where everyone had such fucking good manners and the money was funny colors?
Why had she agreed to do that terrible thing?
Well, there was Lennie’s cattle prod, for one thing. She didn’t want to feel that again. Or the coat hanger. And, for another, she had trusted the bastard. It was just going to be a shakedown. All she had to do was pick up a man at the Outriggers. She had waited with Lennie in his Cadillac for more than an hour in that musty parking garage until he got a call on his cell phone. Then he’d leapt out, raced over to a Mercedes and slammed a switchblade into the tires. Hopping madly around the car, he got all four, then ran back to the Cadillac and pushed Marylee out with a hissed "you do it right, girl." In a few minutes, the elevator had opened and the young man, whose name she later learned was Rodney Moorhen, came face to face with the four flat tires. The rest had been childishly simple.
Born in Vancouver, B.C. Graduated Courtenay High School. Attended (at various times) Vancouver City College, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
Warehouseman, truck driver, forklift operator, tree planter and laborer, 1963--1967.
Reporter, The Victoria Times, 1967. Reporter, copy/layout editor, The Vancouver Sun, 1969 to present.
With family and about 10,000 spiders, mostly in the basement.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 330
Paper Weight (lb): 13.8
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