Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Hotel in Paris by Margot Justes

I missed the excerpt blog last week, but thought I'd include the piece below today.
Peter Riley on his way to Paris to investigate the murder of a British Peer and artist Minola Grey.

Yves Lanier, of the Police Nationale, was a man with a mission. His dingy grey office with matching furniture was so littered with papers and books that he couldn't find the phone on his desk. It was here somewhere, he knew. Damn it, I used it yesterday. He momentarily stared at the mess…then, with quiet efficiency, slid everything off his desk to the floor and heard the ping of the phone hitting the ground. He bent down, picked it up, and dialed a London number he knew well. A quiet voice answered: "Peter Riley."
"Bonjour, Peter. How are you, my friend?"
"I know that tone, Yves. Interpol at your service. What's going on?"
"Peter, Yardleigh was murdered sometime late last night or early this morning. I think your investigation into money laundering just veered off track."
The silence at the other end was palpable. "What the hell happened? He was cooperating. What do you have?"
"We have nothing, mon ami. He was shot once in the chest with a small-caliber gun. No exit wound–the lab's still working on that. Purely as an observation, it looks like he knew his killer. No surprise or fear…there's nothing reflected on his face. Nothing stolen. Everything, as you English say, was neat and tidy, save for the corpse on the floor. We secured the crime scene and did all the other things we are supposed to do. The bastard was not nice enough to leave any clues." Lanier spoke with the confidence of a seasoned cop.
"Let me talk to Clivers, my superior. Murder is out of our jurisdiction. I suppose that leaves Scotland Yard in the game."
"Peter, this started in England."
"Don't I know it. I will call you back." Lanier heard the phone click in his ear.
* * *
Peter Riley ran a hand through his hair and swore. As he reached for his phone, it rang. "Riley," he recognized the brooding voice, "what the hell is going on?"
"Sir, I just spoke with Lanier. I assume you know as much as I do."
"Scotland Yard just filled me in. As of right now you are on loan to Scotland Yard. Riley, get over there…yesterday."
"Sir, just what am I supposed to do? We can continue the internal investigation here…" Peter was cut off again.
"He was killed in Paris. You will go to Paris, do I make myself clear?" The voice at the other end softened perceptibly. "I can't think of a better man to handle this mess. Keep me posted."
"Yes, sir, I am on my way," Peter responded, and hung up the phone. "Bloody hell," he murmured to himself. He made a couple of phone calls and prepared to leave for Paris.

Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris


Rob said...

GREAT opening Margot. Loved it.

Deb Larson said...

Great opening! Glad you had a chance to share with us!
DL Larson

Margot Justes said...

Thank you both-I really appreciate it.