“No drag marks,” Danko said. “He died where he fell.”

“Yeah,” Bobby said. He looked up at the small splatter of blood and gray matter on the wall directly above the slumping body.


The medical examiner said, “Look here.” He used the eraser end of a number two pencil to point at black stains on the dead man’s face. “There’s tattooing around the wound, but no abrasion collar. The shooter was probably six to twelve inches away when he fired.”

“For someone to get that close—think the vic knew his killer?”

“That’s where I’d start.”

Professional detachment, I thought. To Bobby and Danko, Berglund was a puzzle to be solved. They didn’t care if he was a nice guy who lectored at church, served meals to the homeless at the Dorothy Day Center, or drove his ailing mother and her friends to the bingo parlor—they didn’t want to know anything about the victim that wouldn’t help them find out who shot him. I used to be that way, too. Except, like I said, somewhere along the line I lost the knack. Looking down on Berglund now, I could think only that I should have treated him better than I had, with more respect; that it was jealousy that made me dislike him, and how did a guy who looked like him manage to seduce both Ivy Flynn and Heavenly Petryk, anyway?

Bobby stood. He stretched, arching his back and pressing his hands against his spine as if it took an enormous effort to straighten up.

“You don’t get enough exercise,” I told him.

“Three women in my house and none of them can open a jar—I get too much exercise,” he said.

“How are Shelby and the girls?”

“Same as when you saw them Saturday.”

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Bobby nodded with his chin. That was enough for Fontana to pat my shoulder in good-bye and return to his duties.

Bobby pointed at the body. “Anyone you recognize?”

“Josh Berglund. He was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota,” I said. “American lit.”

“Why is it you know so many of the victims I find at murder scenes, McKenzie?”

Good question. I didn’t answer it.

“Where’s Ivy Flynn?” I asked.

“Talk to me.”

“Of course, but Bobby, listen—I’ll tell you everything I know, only I want to see Ivy first. She called me—”

“I was wondering what you were doing here.”

“She asked for my help.”

“What help can you give her?”

“I don’t know. I only know if Ivy hadn’t called me, I wouldn’t be here now and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“You won’t mind if I listen in while you chat with your friend, will you, McKenzie?”

“Would it matter if I said I did?”

“Seeing as how you’re not her attorney, no.”

“Where is she?”

Bobby pointed at the apartment door with his thumb. It was open. I moved past him and stepped across the threshold, Bobby following close behind. When I stopped abruptly, he bumped into me. I turned and looked out of the apartment, noting the bloodstains on the wall directly opposite from the door.

“Whoever shot him was standing inside the apartment,” I said.

Bobby folded his arms across his chest. His exasperation was obvious.

“Whose apartment is this, anyway?” I asked.

“The lease is under Flynn’s name, but she claims Berglund was living with her,” Bobby said.

While he spoke, I examined the lock and door frame without touching either.

“No forced entry,” I said.

“Wow,” Bobby said. “You should be a cop. Oh, wait…”

I stepped deeper into the apartment. Jean Shipman was hovering above Ivy and writing in a small notebook. She was wearing surgical gloves. There were several other investigators rummaging through the apartment—they were all wearing gloves, too. Ivy was sitting in a stuffed chair but turned sideways so she was facing the window instead of the door. It took a moment before she saw me. She called my name, came out of the chair, and hugged my neck.

“Terrible, terrible, it’s so terrible,” she said. “I thought it would be fun, but it’s not. Oh God, how terrible.” Her voice was hoarse from weeping. I held her tight for a few moments, then gently eased her away so I could look into her face. Her eyes were swollen, and her cheeks were stained with tears.

“What should I do?” she asked. “Should I call a lawyer? Please, tell me what to do.”

I drew her close again and whispered in her ear—I hoped Bobby didn’t hear me. “If you’re innocent, tell them everything. If you’re guilty, don’t even tell them your name. I’ll call a lawyer.”

She nudged me back, this time so she could look into my face. “What about the gold?”

“Gold?” Shipman said.

“Don’t even think about that,” I told Ivy.

“What gold?” Shipman said.

“The gold that Jelly Nash stole seventy-five years ago,” Ivy said. “That’s why Josh was killed. I know it.” She brushed her eyes with the back of her hand. The rawness of her skin made me think she had been doing that a lot since Berglund was shot.

“I’ll tell them everything,” she told me.

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