Print ISBN: 978-1-61188-029-8
E-book ISBN: 978-1-943486-39–7
Publication Date: February 7, 2012 --
“I don't think I can say enough about this novel. It really was that amazing to me.” – My Reading Room
“Pop some popcorn and find a comfy chair because you are in for one heck of a ride with this legal thriller.”
– The Top Shelf
“As a lover of John Grisham novels I’m always thrilled to find a talented legal/political thriller author and I have certainly found that in James LePore. I now look forward to reading all his past and future novels.”
– Book Bags and Cat Naps
“This thriller novel is BEYOND a 5-Book worthy rating. The rush that flows through the reader with each new page twist is awesome.”
– Reviews by Molly
“I loved it!”
– Tonto Williams’s Electronic Scrapbook
“Gods and Fathers was a great suspense-filled novel that you enjoyed and were turning pages as fast as you could.”
– Sweeping Me
“A fast-paced international suspense thriller that is action-packed and full of intrigue.”
– Jersey Girl Book Reviews
“Gods and Fathers by James LePore is a superb murder mystery/thriller that gets you right on the first page.”
– Celtic Lady’s Reviews
“Gods and Fathers is a powerful book! It draws you into it and does not let you go before you have turned the last page.”
– Me and Reading
“Fantastic novel!! If you like thrillers and who-dun-its then you'll love this book. I know I did.”
– Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
“This book has it all...good guys, bad guys, twists, surprises and a great ending! I'd definitely recommend it to lovers of mystery/suspense.”
– I’d Rather Be At The Beach
“I think James LePore is destined to be one of the top crime writers of our time. He is definitely one to watch and put on your must read lists.”
– Alaskan Bookie
“LePore has a way of crafting a plot where you think you know exactly what’s going to happen next when — Kapow! — total left hook.”
– Words by Webb
“The plot was just fantastic, twisting and turning with so many unexpected series of events! Really awesome!”
– Words I Write Crazy
“The story will surprise you, puzzle you, challenge you and simply refuse to let you go.”
– View from the Phlipside
“If you like political thrillers then you need to get this book!”
– Purple Penguin Reviews
“I love legal thrillers, being a fan of John Grisham and Corban Addison, now James LePore is on the scene, promising thrills and chills in a world of lawmakers, enforcers and law breakers. If you enjoy a good legal thriller, you will find it in Gods and Fathers.”
– My Bookshelf
“This thriller is ‘A Perfect Escape,’ sit back and enjoy this fast paced dramatic ride, you will not be able to put it down!”
– Escape with Dollycas
“James LePore is one of my favorites among the current group of thriller writers, and his latest novel, Gods and Fathers, may be his best yet.”
– Rough Edges
“I couldn’t put the book down.”
– Novel Reaction
“Excitement from the first page to the last, Gods and Fathers by James LePore will capture your attention and keep it for the duration. In fact, you may not want to put this one down until you have devoured the last word.”
– Single Titles
“This story has so many twists and turns and becomes an incredible cat and mouse chase with Matt trying to do everything possible to save his son.”
– Jagged Edge Reviews
“James LePore never ceases to impress me with his complex plots and deeply driven characters. Gods and Fathers is his strongest international thriller thus far, with stronger characters and suspense that will have you grinding your teeth with tension. Throw in moral complications that up the wince factor, and you’ve got a thriller that’s going to keep you up all night.”
– Nights and Weekends
“LePore is on my radar – he definitely is a fantastic writer and I am anxious to see what he comes up with next!”
– Every Day is an Adventure
Matt DeMarco's anger has fueled his success as a prosecutor, but it has a cost that he learns has to be paid in full as he struggles against internal and external demons as he sets out to save his son Michael from an unjust charge of murder.
Half black, half Chinese, attorney Jade Lee is too beautiful for her own good. She has given up on men, and is on the verge of losing her son to his biological father, a man who deals in filth, when she and Matt join forces to save Michael, and each other.
Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.
Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.
Gods and Fathers is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore's signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.
“I can honestly recommend this title without any reservations. I truly believe it was presented well and offers readers the chance to escape into a world of mystery that will get your heart pounding with an ending you won’t see coming.” – Joel M. Andre
New York Times bestselling author William Landay said, "Jim LePore is a great discovery." Blogcritics called his first novel, A World I Never Made, “An outstanding first novel, and a wonderful thriller.” Of his most recent novel, The Fifth Man , Tome Tender said, "This is another great read from James LePore, who seems to have a knack for writing dark, gritty and gripping scenes with characters that can make your skin crawl and will have you looking over your shoulder." LePore’s brilliance is his ability to create complex, relatable characters and place them in tense situations where their very humanity comes into question. The result is stirring fiction that hits you in the gut and the heart at the same time.
“Gods and Fathers is a fantastic international thriller. It's also a great legal drama with a deftly written mystery intertwined. How can that not be everything you're looking for in your next read?” – From the TBR Pile
From Gods and Fathers:
hen he saw the silver BMW parked in front of the garage, and the lights on in his house as he turned into the driveway, Matt DeMarco knew that his son, Michael, a graduate student in Boston, was home, and that his weekend would be ruined. When Michael was a boy, Matt, chafing under the rigid visitation schedule imposed by his bitter ex-wife, had yearned for spontaneity in his relationship with his son. Now he dreaded it.
He took a deep breath of the cold night air as he turned the key in the front door, letting it out slowly as he entered and hung his winter coat in the hall closet. The television was on in the living room, where the remains of a half-eaten pizza sat congealing on the coffee table. In the kitchen he put his briefcase on a counter and splashed some scotch over ice. He could hear the thud-thud-thud of a lopsided load in the washing machine in the adjacent laundry room, and, over that, the angry cadences of rap music coming from upstairs. Back in the living room, he flicked off the television and then headed to his bedroom at the back of the house, shaking his head as he went, trying to ignore the pizza, the misuse of the washing machine, and his son’s nasty music.
In the bedroom, a small sanctuary with a sitting area facing a fireplace and a study tucked into a corner, he placed his drink on his dresser and changed into khakis and an old sweater. As he turned to pick up his scotch, his eye was drawn to the nearby gleaming gold frame of a color photograph of him and his son taken on the day of Michael’s graduation from high school in Manhattan. He picked it up and stared at it.
They were standing side by side at the ornate front door of the Parnell International School on Central Park West. Michael’s thick head of hair was a deep, lustrous brownish-black, like Matt’s, but unlike Matt’s it contained streaks of light brown, as if sand had been mixed with ebony, the result of his mother’s northern Italian genes. Other than those sandy streaks, they could, from not too great a distance, be taken for twins. They were both the same lithe and graceful six-foot in height; they both had the same wiry, hard muscled bodies, and both had the same deep-set raven-black eyes above high, wide cheekbones and full lips. Their dusky complexions, aquiline noses, and hooded, piercing gazes spoke of a bloodline that had spawned desert nomads and medieval warriors, its feral nature never quite yielding to the civilizing influences of Europe and America. That nature, Matt knew, thinking of the scene he had made in court that afternoon, was never far beneath the surface. Of all the facts of his life, it was the hardest and most durable, almost completely resistant to the softening forces of time and experience, like a rocky outcrop still sharp and jagged, and lethal, though the sea’s waves had broken over it for centuries.
Matt focused on the photograph again, on the two DeMarco men as they stood next to each other on that day six years ago. He had chosen this picture because he and his son were together and smiling, a rarity. But of course it had been a mistake, wishful thinking. They were not really together, and the smiles were not real smiles. Matt’s was forced, and you could tell, if you looked hard enough, that, lurking beneath his son’s was a smirk. A smirk that had evolved into a more or less permanent sneer as the years passed and the barren ground between them became impassable.
Next to this picture was one of Matt and his father, taken at Rose Hill on the day Matt graduated from law school in 1986. Seven years later Matt, Sr., who had raised Matt alone in the Gunhill Road neighborhood of the Bronx before buying a small house on City Island, was dead from lung cancer.
Like his son and grandson, Matteo DeMarco, Sr., was dark and charismatically handsome, one of the cigarettes that killed him dangling from his half-smiling lips. It was the money that his father left him that had enabled Matt to buy his Pound Ridge house and still keep his small apartment in Manhattan.
The guy was a worker, and a fighter, Matt thought, the same half-smile crossing his face for a second, remembering the daily early morning calisthenics and the weekly shooting lessons that were as much a part of his childhood as spelling and math.
The ringing of his cell phone broke Matt’s brief reverie. He returned the picture of himself and his son to its place on the dresser, and looked at his phone’s screen. The call was from Jon Healy. He thought for a moment, then decided to let it go to voice mail. As he made his way through the living room, Matt was surprised to see Michael in the entry foyer talking to two young men. He had not heard the front doorbell ring, which was not surprising since the rap music, or whatever it was, was still blaring. He was about to turn toward the kitchen, to avoid an introduction, but something about the two men, presumably friends of Michael’s, made him change his mind. They did not look like the pseudo-hip, superficial young men, with their spiked hair, polished fingernails and meticulous, form-fitting clothes that his son usually gravitated toward.
These two were a bit older, perhaps in their late-twenties. Both wore jeans, expensive leather jackets and the bulky type of shoes that looked like if they kicked you, could do some damage. Both were swarthy, with several days’ growth of black beard. The taller one was balding, his dark eyes heavy-lidded. The shorter one had a crooked nose and a head of thick, black, wiry hair. They seemed civilized enough as they chatted with Michael, smiling at something he was saying, standing casually with their hands in their jacket pockets. But there was a hardness about them, in their eyes and in their bearing—intensity that he knew his unworldly son, eager to be cool, would either be oblivious of or think fascinating—that Matt did not like.
Neither of them looked at Matt as he entered the foyer. Michael ignored him too for a couple of long and uncomfortable seconds, then turned to greet him.
“Hi,” he said. “I didn’t know you were home.”
“My briefcase is on the kitchen counter.”
“I didn’t see it.”
“I didn’t know you were coming. Is your mother away?”
“They’re in St. Moritz.”
Sometimes Matt’s ex-wife, Debra, and her husband, Basil, let Michael use their Park Avenue apartment when they were away, and he was in town to see his girlfriend, Yasmine, who was a senior at Columbia. Sometimes—for reasons Matt could not quite understand—they didn’t, which is when Michael condescended to visit him, if you could call it that, at his place in Pound Ridge, the heavily wooded, extremely quiet enclave fifty miles due north of New York City.
“And you are?” Matt said to the taller of Michael’s friends.
“This is Adnan,” Michael said, “and Ali. They work for Basil. We’re going out.”
Matt stood motionless, looking first Adnan and then Ali in the eye, waiting for one of them to put a hand out, but neither did. Instead each nodded slightly and made half-hearted attempts at smiles.
“Where are you going?” Matt asked. He was curious because he knew of no place in the area that was hip enough for the likes of Michael and his new friends.
Michael rolled his eyes at this question, then, shrugging his shoulders, said, “Greenwich, we’re not sure.” Turning to his two friends, he said, “come on up.”
“Wait,” Matt said, before any of them could move.
“What?” Michael said, the irritation in his voice sharp and unmistakable.
“You need to move your car,” said Matt, his voice measured, under control. “It’s blocking the garage and it’s starting to snow.”
Matt met Michael’s glare with one of his own, tired of these small battles but unable to stop engaging in them, even though the war had been lost long ago.
“Sure, Dad, no problem,” Michael said, feigning agreeability, but making little effort to hide his real feeling, which Matt could see was closer to disgust than mere irritation. Because I asked him to move his car.
Matt watched as the three went up to the second floor, which contained Michael’s room and a second bedroom that used to function as Matt’s office. He waited, pondering these two new, and different, friends of his son’s, until he heard the door to Michael’s room click shut. Then he retrieved the pizza and brought it into the kitchen, where he picked up his briefcase. Back in his study he returned Jon Healy’s call—without listening to the message—but the D.A. did not answer.
He turned on his computer and, sipping the remains of his scotch, turned his mind away from Michael and onto work, something that had not been so easy to do when his troubles with his son first began, but that—for better or worse he could not be sure—had gotten easier over the years.
He was trying a case in which an illegal Mexican immigrant had been charged with the rape and murder, by stabbing, of a young black prostitute in a courtyard of the Lillian Wald housing project on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The NYPD had installed an extensive video surveillance system in and around the Wald Homes in 1997. Despite relentless vandalism, the camera in the courtyard of 12 Avenue D still worked ten years later, and the thirty-year-old defendant, Mauro Morales, had been caught on tape. Mauro offered an alibi defense through his grandmother. They were watching American Idol in her apartment in East Harlem. The tape was grainy. That wasn’t her grandson. He would never do such a thing.
The problem for Mauro was that DNA taken from sperm found in the girl’s vagina matched his.
Also, the jacket that the attacker was wearing on the tape, with a picture of John Lennon painted on the back clearly visible, was found in Mauro’s girlfriend’s place in Brooklyn. Fabric samples found at the scene matched this very jacket.
The problem for Matt was that the judge trying the case, Pete Sullivan, had taken it upon himself to harshly cross-examine the grandmother, his tone of voice increasingly sarcastic and incredulous with each new question. Matt had gone easy on her. She was lying to help her grandson. The jury would see that, might even respect it. Also, it never paid to beat up old ladies in front of juries. They all had grandmothers. They might get mad enough to give your defendant a pass.
In the middle of Sullivan’s questioning, Matt knocked a glass carafe of water onto the floor, shattering it. Everyone was startled. The bailiff cut herself cleaning up the shards. The jury was excused. While they were out, Matt politely asked Sullivan to apologize to the witness and to tell the jury to disregard his unnecessary intrusion into the case. That’s what a competent judge who had temporarily lost his mind would do, Matt had said. Sullivan went berserk and had probably called Healy. And now Healy was calling him.
Matt searched through Westlaw, the legal search engine, for a case that would help him, but none of them did. When judges lent their authority in this way to a prosecution, the convictions that inevitably followed were just as inevitably overturned by appellate courts. A fair trial, one court said, difficult as that concept might be of precise definition, definitely does not include the court acting as a second prosecutor. He e-mailed this opinion—as it happened, from the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court—to Healy to lay the groundwork for his explanation of his stunt in court today. If Healy supported him, he might actually get Sullivan to say and do the right thing, which was Matt’s only hope of successfully defending his conviction at the next level. But Healy wouldn’t, Matt was all but certain. He was a publicity whore who lived for conviction headlines. Appellate reversals meant nothing to him. The case could always be tried again.
He reached for his cell phone to call Healy again, but before he could start dialing, the music from Michael’s room suddenly invaded his bedroom, its volume so high that it would make talking impossible. Trying to control his anger, Matt made it to his son’s room where the noise was so loud the door was shaking. Matt knocked as hard as he could but got no response. He was about to kick the door in, his frustration building with every motherfucker coming over Michael’s fancy speakers, when, simultaneously, Adnan emerged from the hall bathroom, zipping his fly, and the music stopped.
“The door is not locked,” Michael’s friend said, smiling his faux smile, deigning to look directly at Matt through his lowered eyelids, still in his leather coat.
Matt said nothing. What is it with this kid, he thought, why is he so cocky?
“What do you do, Adnan?” Matt said. He had waited a few seconds, his eyes locked on the young
Arab’s, before speaking.
“What do I do?”
“Yes, for a living.”
It was Adnan’s turn to pause, his face serious now, the smile gone.
“This is a question I am not used to answering,” he said, finally.
“Do you think it disrespectful?” Matt asked.
“Not the question,” Adnan replied. “The tone.”
“Ah, the tone,” Matt said. It was meant to be disrespectful, as you are to me in my house. But before he could speak these words, Michael’s door opened and he and Ali came out of his room.
“Dad,” Michael said. “What’s up?”
“The music, Michael.”
“The volume control got stuck.”
“The volume control got stuck?”
Matt shook his head, then, nodding in Adnan’s direction, said, “Your friend won’t tell me what he does for a living.”
“He thinks I disrespected him.”
“They were just leaving,” Michael said, shaking his head again. More disgust.
“Good. What about you?”
“I’m staying in.”
Staying in, Matt thought. That’s a new one . Before he could assimilate this, Adnan said, “Yes, we go.” Gesturing to Ali to follow, he turned and went quickly down the stairs. Michael, following them, grabbed his coat from the hall closet, and walked with his two Arab friends out to their car.
Matt watched through the mullioned windows of the front door as Michael, Adnan and Ali shook hands and did some kind of ghetto chest hug before the two Arabs got in their car, a black Mercedes sedan, which was parked at the curb, and drove off through the now steadily falling snow.
Matt was still in the foyer, standing at the foot of the stairs, when Michael returned. He watched his son as he took off his coat, carefully brushed the snow from it, and hung it in the closet.
“Who were those guys?” Matt asked, when this coat removal ritual, which took too much time to
be anything but affected nonchalance, was finished, and Michael had no choice but to turn toward him.
“I told you, they do odd jobs for Basil,” Michael answered, facing his father, standing slightly slouched, slightly bored. “We hang out sometimes.”
“I thought you were going out?”
“You scared them away.”
“Why can’t you stay at your mother’s when they’re away?”
“I told you, Basil’s worried about security.”
Though this statement was challengeable on several levels, Matt let it pass. The marriage six years ago of Debra DeMarco, nee Rusillo, and Basil al-Hassan, a rich and handsome Syrian businessman, had marked the beginning of the end of Matt’s long and tortured fight for a place in his son’s heart.
Armed with the ultimate weapon—her new husband’s money—Debra had made quick work of destroying the last vestiges of Matt’s hopes. A penthouse on Park Avenue, a beach house in East Hampton, a flat in Paris, a “cottage” in Bermuda, clothes and cars virtually on demand, Matt had no way of competing with all this, and no way of expressing his anger—until tonight.
“What about Mina?” Matt asked.
“What about her?”
“Why aren’t you seeing her?”
“Yes, studying. You keep repeating what I say. She’s a student. Students study.”
This statement was delivered dismissively, not sarcastically. You’re stupid, Dad. I’m tired of you.
Why am I bothering with you? is what Matt heard, and it occurred to him, with a clarity that shocked him after all these muddled and painful years of effort and rejection, effort and rejection, ad nauseum, that he could not hurt Michael, that his own son was indifferent to him, and this was a blow, and strangely a release.
“Well, your friends are assholes, and you are too, Michael. You’re an arrogant, shallow asshole.
Where you came from, I don’t know. But not from me.”
“That could be. Maybe Mom had an affair—like you did—and I’m not your son. Do I care? No, I don’t. Can I go upstairs now? I’ll leave in the morning.”
In the kitchen, Matt poured himself another scotch. He took the pizza out of the refrigerator and sat down to eat it, surprised to find that he actually had an appetite. Until tonight, despite the bad cards he had drawn, he had never stopped trying to break through to his son. It’s over, he said to himself, over and done. He’s not your son. He’s Debra’s son, Basil’s son. You lost him a long time ago.
He finished the pizza and was wrapping the garbage to take out in the morning when the doorbell rang. He looked out the kitchen window and saw that it was snowing heavily. Those idiots , he thought, they’re probably stuck someplace. No choice but to let them in. But when he swung open the front door, it wasn’t Adnan and Ali, but his friends Jack McCann and Clarke Goode, homicide detectives who he had worked with for many years, standing facing him. He could see their unmarked car at the curb, and behind it, blocking his driveway, a Pound Ridge patrol car, its engine running and headlights on, two uniformed officers in the front seat. McCann, a florid Irishman whose blue eyes were usually lit by some inner secret joke, looked grim, and Goode, a gnarled black man who never failed to greet Matt with a big smile, was not smiling. Far from it.
“Come in. What’s up?” Matt said. Then, nodding toward the street where the patrol car sat:
“What’s with the uniforms?”
The two detectives stepped into the foyer.
“Take your coats off,” Matt said. He could see they were dressed for work, sport jackets and ties on under their trench coats.
“Matt…” McCann said.
“Talk, Jack,” Matt said. “Is somebody dead?”
“Is Michael home?” Goode asked. He had not taken off his coat, and neither had McCann.
“That’s his car out there,” Matt said. “You know that.”
“Where is he?”
Matt looked from McCann to Goode, then back to McCann; looked in the eyes of each, and did not like what he saw. “What about Michael?” he asked.
“We’re here to arrest him,” McCann replied.
“For what?” Drugs, Matt thought, good, let the kid get a taste of the pain he’s always inflicting on others. Him and his two Arab suppliers.
“For murder, Matt,” Goode said. “His girlfriend was shot dead today in her apartment. Yasmine Hayek. I’m going upstairs.” Goode, burly and very strong, headed toward the nearby staircase. Matt stepped quickly in front of the detective, blocking his way. “No you’re not,” he said.
Matt knew Goode’s story: raised on the streets, a Desert Storm veteran, a decorated patrolman. But Matt’s other nature, the one that killed Johnny Taylor, announced itself with a whoosh of blood that swelled his brain and turned the low thrum that always murmured, sleeping lightly, somewhere in Matt’s psyche, to a too-familiar wild drum beat. He stood there, waiting for Goode, now a predator in his house, to try to force his way past him. Because then it would have to be over Matt’s dead, or unconscious, body. Murder, Goode had said. Murder. The word echoed in his head, the dry, metallic taste of fight night once again in his mouth. I’ll kill this cocksucker, he thought, I’ll kill him if he tries to get past me. It’ll be easy.
Goode did not blink, but after a long two seconds, in which each man’s eyes remained locked on the other’s, he did step back. Reaching into his inside coat pocket he pulled out some papers, the kind with the old fashioned light blue backers that the State of New York uses for service of legal papers on its citizens, and handed them to Matt.
“There’s a search warrant there, too,” said McCann, stepping between his two friends. “Come on, Matt.” The detective put his hand, gently, on Matt’s bicep. “We asked for this detail. You’re a friend.
It’s bad shit. Very bad. Come on. I need a drink.”
“I’m going up with you,” Matt said, still looking at Clarke Goode, but the drum beat getting softer, the monster retreating to its cave. He doesn’t know how lucky he is, he thought. Me too.
“You can’t, Matt,” Goode said. “You’re lucky Healy let us be the ones to do this.”
“We had to fight him,” McCann said. “Come on, I need a drink.”
His heart rate slowing, his head clearing, Matt allowed himself to be led into the kitchen by McCann, where the Irishman, who had been there many times, poured them each out three fingers of bourbon neat. Matt drank his down in one gulp, then picked up the warrants: Murder… probable cause… Michael DeMarco… Yasmine Hayek… the entire premises and a late model BMW automobile…computer and/or computer hard drive…
“Pete Sullivan,” Matt said, seeing the signature on the warrants. “When did you bring these to him?”
“About an hour ago.”
“Where was he?”
“At Manny’s, where else?”
“He hates my guts.”
“He’s a jerkoff,” McCann replied. “But the warrants are good.”
Matt knew what this meant, but remained silent, staring at his detective friend, making sure he had heard right.
“I can’t believe it,” he said, finally, shaking his head. “The kid’s a…” Matt paused, thinking of what he had called his son, to his face, just a few minutes ago, but not willing to utter the word to McCann. “He’s a snob, Jack,” he said. “A wise guy, a momma’s boy, but he’s no killer. Drugs, I could see, but not murder. I know this kid. Talk to me. What do you have?”
“His prints, of course,” McCann replied. “The surveillance tape, the doorman, e-mails.”
“What kind of e-mails?”
“Lover’s quarrels? Come on, Jack.”
“Your son can get pretty nasty.”
Matt let this pass. He had no choice. It was true.
“What about a weapon?” he asked.
“Here it is,” said Clarke Goode, stepping into the kitchen and holding up a Ziploc bag with a nine-millimeter pistol and detached silencer in it. Michael stood next to him, his face drained of its usual color, but his eyes haughty. His hands were cuffed behind his back.
“That’s not mine,” Michael said.
“It was in the bottom drawer of his dresser,” said Goode. In his other hand he was holding another Ziploc evidence bag, a large one, with Michael’s Blackberry and laptop in it.
Matt looked directly in his son’s eyes. He saw no fear in them, just the same contempt for inferiors—that would of course include McCann and Goode—that was his default attitude when dealing with people outside his circle of wealth and privilege.
“Is this a joke, Dad?” Michael said. “Did you put these two idiots up to this?”
“Don’t say another word, Michael,” Matt said, his voice clear and sharp. “Not one word. Here—in the car—at the station. Nowhere . I’ll be down with a lawyer very shortly. Not one more word.”
“He has to put his coat on, Clarke,” Matt said, turning to the black detective.
“You’re right,” Goode replied, taking the handcuff key out of his pocket and leading Michael by the arm to the hall closet.
“What else?” Matt asked McCann, when Goode was out of the room, wanting to get as much information as he could before the detectives left.
“The bullets were nine millimeter.”
“She’s been autopsied already?”
“Two went through her neck into her desk.”
“So he hides the gun in his dresser? Come on, Jack.”
“It’s not my case, Matt,” McCann replied.
“Whose is it?”
“Bobby Davila caught it. Him and Nick Loh. Talk to them. I’ve said enough already.”
“Bobby? He can’t keep it either.”
“I know, it’ll go to Homicide South.”
“Let’s go, Jack,” said Clarke Goode. “The kid’s in the car.” He was standing in the kitchen doorway, snow melting on his short thick hair. Then to Matt: “We’re taking him to the two-o, on 82nd Street.”
“Do me a favor,” Matt said.
“Tell the front desk I’m right behind you.”