One Private Eye. One Case. One sackful of trouble.
When Jake agrees to take a package across America, he doesn’t know if he’ll live to tell the tale. If the CIA, the Feds and the British Secret Service don’t get him then the mob will. How’s a cowardly private dick going to survive in these bloody times? The Case is a stand-alone pulp noir novel. A wry take on the jaw-dropping violent side of private investigator life by Leopold Borstinski, writer of the six-book Lagotti Family series.
Alice Lechuga entered my office looking like a million dollars or rather someone who had been short-changed a million dollars. The hem of her dress was unraveling and you could sense the general tiredness that permeated the very material of her clothes. There were no bruises, but her expression looked as though she had been pummeled repeatedly over several years. I thought this before she opened her mouth.
Her story was a typical sad affair. Alice got married young and regretted the decision within weeks of the ceremony. The husband was not a violent man, despite my expectations, but he was not a faithful man either and this was the cause of her problem.
Axel had a wondering dick, and he’d spend night after night away from home, sleeping with the single women in the neighborhood. This generated many a marital argument because soon after he strayed from his marital oath, tongues wagged.
Soon, the gossip was flying back to Alice, who confronted Axel about his extramarital encounters. To her surprise, he didn’t deny her accusations, but reveled in them, proud as anything. Axel reminded Alice they were married and she couldn’t get out of it and, no matter what she may say or do, he wouldn’t agree to a divorce. Either she accepted how he behaved or she didn’t, but he wasn’t changing his ways for her. She didn’t satisfy him enough sexually and that was the end of the matter. Or so he thought.
That was four years ago and nothing had changed. Now Alice had suffered in silence but she would not take it any more. She knew she’d burn in hell for an eternity, so she thought, but if she couldn’t get a divorce then he would have to die.
At this point in the proceedings, Alice pulled out a large manila envelope from her bag. Inside the bag was a large amount of cash. She had saved money from her housekeeping allowance and, quietly and secretly, had stashed it away until there was nearly five hundred dollars. Enough for me to buy a new ride.
“What do you want me to do in exchange for that money, Mrs. Lechuga?”
“Call me Alice. And I want you to kill my husband.”
“Alice, do you understand what you have just said is a criminal act and you could go to jail for a very long time?”
“Do you realize that unless you report me to the police right now you’ll be guilty of conspiring with me to kill Axel?”
“Well put. Does he have to die? Can he not be hurt until he agrees to a divorce?”
“No, I want him punished. He must suffer as he has made me suffer.”
“And you think I’m the best man for this job?”
“I don’t know, to be honest, but you come recommended by a friend of a friend which makes you the best chance I have to be rid of that man.”
I thought for a minute because I’d never been paid to murder before. Sure I’d killed in Korea, but that was different. I was mighty tempted by the dough and the cash could be useful seed capital to head east at some point.
The clincher? The pitiful, distraught face sat on the other side of my desk. At that moment, I’d have done anything to bring relief to that pained expression, that anguished howl of a woman.
“We will not meet here again, understand? And you will not be a client of mine during the process either.”
“I got it.”
“After it is over, we will never see or communicate with each other again.”
“Most important is that we don’t write anything down. You will tear up any piece of paper you have with my name or number on it. I will take no notes. I am saying this because there must be absolutely no trail of evidence that connects us. Nothing.
“What we are embarking on is a very dangerous state of affairs and each needs to be protected from the other in case the police investigation uncovers you or I as being involved. Understood?”
“Why yes, Jake.”
“Good. I am going to take most of the money now so we won’t have any problems later with the financial side of the business.”
“Don’t worry, Axel will be dead within a week. I don’t welch on a deal and there’s no way I’m gonna want this matter to hang around me any longer than it needs to. The more time I spend on it, the greater my chances of getting caught.”
Alice then gave me loads of details of where Axel worked, what he did and didn’t like and as much as she knew of his paramours. After an hour we were through and I detailed an arrangement for the two of us to contact each other. She cried some more and we shook hands. Not quite a blood pact, but sufficient for our needs. Now we both knew a deal was a deal; we were committed.
Thank you, Leopold Borstinski and damppebbles blog tours
About the author
Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching. There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often. He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Case-Leopold-Borstinski-ebook/dp/B07QDF1KGB/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+case+leopold+borstinski&qid=1560364887&s=digital-text&sr=1-1 Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Leopold-Borstinski-ebook/dp/B07QDF1KGB/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+case+leopold+borstinski&qid=1560364981&s=gateway&sr=8-1