False Justice (MM)


Heat Rating: Sizzling
Word Count: 77,124
0 Ratings (0.0)

Jimmy McSwain has to meet a man named Alexander Cort, a real-estate agent with a story to tell about an old set of friends, dating back to his childhood in Hell’s Kitchen. The friends called themselves the Four Kitcheneers, bonding together over their own ambitions and memories. On graduation night, one of the four disappeared and the other three engaged in a cover-up. Or maybe not.

The question of what happened to Silas Clayton lingers fourteen years later. As Jimmy begins his investigation of what happened that fateful night, he also tries to put the final nail in the casket of his previous case, one that ended with Captain Francis X. Frisano arresting him for killing Mr. Wu-Tin.

These pieces comprise a puzzle Jimmy just can’t seem to solve. Until two bodies are found at the construction site across the avenue from where he grew up. Suddenly Hell’s Kitchen’s shadows are being exposed to a blinding sun of truth.

False Justice (MM)
0 Ratings (0.0)

False Justice (MM)


Heat Rating: Sizzling
Word Count: 77,124
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Cover Art by Written Ink Designs

“Mr. Cort, I presume.”

“Alexander. Alex.”

“Which do you prefer?”

“Alexander for business, Alex when it’s less formal.”

That didn’t answer Jimmy’s question. Still, he accepted the offer to enter the apartment. It was tastefully decorated, Jimmy wondering if Alex had done it or paid for it. Didn’t feel like pre-judging this man. The ceilings were high, envious by New York standards, and in the distance of the expansive room he noticed another staircase which no doubt led to the bedroom area, perhaps other rooms, too.

“Nice place,” Jimmy said.

“Thanks. It’s a lot of space but I earned it.”

“What’s the story with the apartment downstairs?”

“Being renovated, it will soon be on offer. Interested?”

“Once my Mega-Millions comes in.”

Alex actually laughed. It was good to know the guy had a sense of humor. Because from all accounts he was business-centric. Uptight.

“Have a seat on the sofa, Jimmy -- you prefer that, or are you the kind of PI that likes to use his last name?

“I leave that to the movies. Jimmy is fine.”

“Settled. I hope you’ll join me in a glass of wine. I’ve just opened a bottle to allow it to breathe.”

“Probably shouldn’t,” Jimmy said, settling into the sofa cushions of a beige, plush sofa.

“I’d offer you a beer, but I don’t keep it in the apartment. Come on, I hate to drink alone.”

But probably did. Jimmy agreed, getting a head nod from his host. Reason he gave in, and probably why Alex had offered, was a chance for the two of them to grab an early assessment of the situation and of each other For Jimmy, Alex seemed to be trying too hard. Putting on airs, needing air more than did the wine. Again, came the idea that Alex’s name might be an alias. But in terms of his physical nature, he was about six feet tall, fit, a slight tan and possessed good teeth, like he’d paid a fortune to put his best smile forward. As though this Alex had worked hard to erase the person he’d once been ...

And then it hit him. A chill ran through his spine. Wait a minute, he knew this man. Rather, who he’d once been. Just as he’d suspected, Alexander Cort was a fabrication. His mind raced, but then it had to slow down as Alex and two glasses of wine entered the living room. He set them down on wooden coasters, then took up on a chair that sat kitty corner to the sofa. He unbuttoned his jacket, then reached for his full glass. Jimmy did the same, and the two drank without a toast. Unlike his mother’s earlier but had they it would have been a toast to the past.

“It’s good,” Jimmy offered.

“I don’t get all those pretentious about wines. I leave that to my wine guy down the street. He knows what I like and doesn’t try and push the really pricey stuff on me -- despite my address. But I do enjoy a glass -- mostly red -- when I arrive home from work.”

“And what is your line of work?”

“Real estate. Both commercial and residential.”

“Like the apartment downstairs.” Not a question.

“I own it, so I can control who I rent to.”

“Why not just take over all the floors?”

“Selling it will be a good investment. Tax deductions, that stuff. I leave that to the lawyers and accountants.”

Seems like Alex left a lot for others to do for him. Jimmy set the glass of wine down.

“Let me guess, it’s time to get down to business,” Alex said.

“Thought occurred to me.”

“Is there anything you’d like to ask me?”

Jimmy knew that was a test, or perhaps a tease. He did have a question; make it two.

“Let’s start with why you called me. This notion that you may have killed someone.”

“Yes, it was rather melodramatic.”

“And an odd combination of words. Maybe and killed rarely go together.”

“Interesting insight. I guess you learn a lot about human nature in your job.”

“The mind is always churning. A detective figures things out even before he gets any info on the case.”

“What’s your other question?”

“Changed my mind. I have many. I’ll wait until you tell me your tale. I am intrigued.”

“I’ll get into that. But I can see it in your eyes, you have one more initial query for me.”

“Yeah, sure. Since when did you start speaking such fancy words query instead of question. Not exactly the vocabulary level taught at P.S. 47. You know where that is, Hell’s Kitchen, not far by its number of streets, but way different in lifestyle, and in real estate from here. So, okay, Mr. Alexander Cort, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I knew you once named Allan McCourt. Was it 46th Street? Or 47th?”

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