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Unformatted text preview: nto contact with criminals. He had heard many times that for five thousand bucks you could get anyone killed. Maybe even less along the Coast. Lance certainly had more than five thousand bucks. And he had a wonderful motive to eliminate Patrick. The life insurance policies that made Trudy rich didn't exclude any particular causes of death, other than suicide. A bullet to the head was treated just like a car wreck, or a heart attack, or anything else. Dead was dead. THE COAST was not Sandy's turf. He didn't know the sheriffs and their deputies, the judges and their quirks, the other members of the bar. He suspected this was precisely why Patrick picked him. Sweeney had been less than hospitable on the phone. He was very busy, he said, and besides, meetings with lawyers were usually a waste of time. He could spare a few minutes, starting at nine-thirty and barring an emergency. Sandy arrived early, and poured his own coffee from a pot he found next to the watercooler. Deputies milled about. The sprawling jail was in the rear. Sweeney found him and led him through to his office, a spartan room with government hand-me-down furniture and fading photos of smiling politicians on the wall. "Have a seat," Sweeney said, pointing to a ratty chair as he sat behind his desk. Sandy did as he was told. "Mind if I record?" Sweeney asked, already punching the button on a large tape recorder in the center of his desk. "I tape everything," he said. "Sure," Sandy said, as if he had a choice. "Thanks for working me in." "No problem," Sweeney said. He had yet to smile or offer anything other than the impression of being bothered by this. He lit a cigarette and sipped steaming coffee from a Styrofoam cup. "I'll get right to the point," Sandy said, as if idle conversation were an option. "My office has received a tip that Patrick's life may be in danger." Sandy hated the lying, but he had little choice under the...
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