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The Last Move

The Last Move

Page 50

“I’m a very good reporter.”

She shook her head as she traced a small nick on the table. “You’ve done a hell of a job of researching this killer. You have an inside track on details only the cops would know. In fact, you could have pulled off a good imitation of his murders.”

A frown wrinkled his brow. “I’m one hell of a reporter, not a killer.”

“Maybe too good.” She let the word hang. “It’s almost as if you know the killer.”

He pulled off his glasses and let them dangle between his fingers. “Do you think I’m the killer?”

“I’ve read your articles. Your ability to climb into his mind is astonishing.”

He sat back. “How am I supposed to react to a statement like that?”

“Take it however you like. Denial. Outrage. I would be upset if someone thought I was involved.”

Entertained, he sipped his coffee. “I didn’t kill anyone.”

“You interviewed Richardson several times in prison. Did he whisper sweet secrets in your ear?”

“No. He was quite evasive. He was using me to get his message of innocence out.”

She shook her head. “I think he gave you key details so you could stage this whole show. It’s the why that I can’t figure out.”

“You’re running down the wrong rabbit hole, Agent Hayden.” He smiled. “Can I call you Kate?”

“No.”

“Keep it formal. Maybe for the better. I reported the facts, and yes, I dug deep into a lot of facts on the Samaritan. Maybe I danced close to the line a couple of times as far as revealing too much information, but if I don’t sell my articles, then I don’t eat.”

“That sounds dramatic.”

“I live and die by the numbers.”

His demeanor suggested confidence that bordered on arrogance. He gladly took shortcuts, believing the ends justified the means. One cop had said Taylor would push his own mother off a cliff for a solid lead on a story.

“Okay.”

“Okay, what?”

“We’ve reached the end of this journey. You have nothing for me, and I’ve nothing for you.”

He looked disappointed. “Just like that? I don’t see you as the type that gives up so easily.”

“I don’t. I haven’t. I’m just finished with this conversation.”

Eyes narrowed, he shifted topics. “Gloria Sanchez doesn’t fit the profile of the first victims.”

“Really?”

“She’s a business success and well known. Not the random low-income woman that no one would miss right away.”

Kate didn’t respond.

“Have you tested ballistics? Did the same gun kill Gloria and the others? You can tell me. This is strictly off the record.”

She smiled. “No such thing as off the record. Didn’t you learn that in PR 101?”

He drew circles on his notepad. “The killer must have crossed paths with Richardson.”

She studied him, knowing he was fishing. “What other cases like the Samaritan have you covered?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Humor me.”

“At least a half dozen.”

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