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First pages

Chapter 1: Introduction to a Broken Heart

Alana Reinar came to an A.A. meeting hoping to talk the speaker about her up-coming divorce and a provision in the prenuptial agreement. Ms. Reinar was a little overdressed for the occasion wearing a low-cut Michael Kors canary-yellow silk dress that flowed down her frame slightly past her knees. Though only 5’1,” her legs appeared to be long and shapely because she always wore heels of at least two inches, usually three. This morning, she wore two-inch yellow pumps. She also wore a genuine pearl necklace and a Rolex Lady-Datejust watch. She wore both everywhere. She was stunning but not conceited; she was still kind and thoughtful.

Ms. Reinar walked into the 6 a.m. Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at 6:18; this time all eyes were on her. The room was a medium-sized room at a church, usually used for Bible Studies and Sunday School. There were metal folding chairs arranged neatly into rows and an aisle down the center of the floor leading to the podium. Most of the seats were occupied. The speaker was well-dressed in a steel gray cashmere suit and had a somewhat deep voice, but attentive. When he spoke, it was like he was speaking straight to you. Not at you, but to you. He had already covered what his life was like while drinking and was talking about what had happened that pushed him into the position to seek treatment. Ms. Reinar took a seat in the last row and listened attentively to the rest of his talk.

“…I was almost kicked off the police force. I was told, in no uncertain terms, I had to attend rehab or get fired. I also had the option to file for retirement. I chose rehab. That was the bottom for me, even though I had only been drinking a few months. It was a horrible few months. I know you may wonder if it was such misery why didn’t I get help sooner. Well, I can only say that it was misery, but it was the misery I know.” Several of the group nodded their heads. They knew what it meant. “I was on desk duty for six months after I got out of the addiction treatment center.

“When I was released from desk duty; I worked a case that made me famous for a while. I didn't like it. I prefer to do my job and leave the accolades to others. At any rate, I retired from the Los Angeles Police Department after thirty years of service. Fortunately, most of the officers I worked with had nothing but good things to say about me. It seemed as though the alcohol problems had never occurred. I guess they saw what they called a stellar career. I suppose I was a good cop and wanted to end my career being the best cop I could be.

"After retirement, I started a private investigation firm with my two partners from the LAPD. So far things are going well, but it is quiet most of the time. The work has been a few divorce cases and the like. It still beats retiring and doing nothing and the divorce cases are keeping our doors open.

“On the bright side, we are getting really good at surveillance. We get a chance to use some of the fancy equipment I purchased with part of my retirement fund.” Some members of the group giggled. “Well, that’s all I have to say, except things may not be going the way I’d like right now. I always remember that my worst day sober is better than my best day drunk. Thank you for letting me share.” The group applauded as the speaker left the podium.

At the end of the meeting, Ms. Reinar went up to the 6’2” two-hundred plus pound speaker to ask a question.

"I liked what you had to say. At least the part of it I heard.” She said in a nervous, shaky voice. “I was late getting to the meeting.”

“That’s okay,” said the speaker, “We all run a little late sometimes.”

“I didn’t just come up to you to talk about your speech.” Ms. Reinar said, “I want to hire you. You know, as a private detective.” Tears welled in Ms. Reynar’s eyes, but she held them back and tried to be professional about the situation.

The speaker asked, “What is it you need help with?”

“I would like to know if my husband, or rather my soon to be ex-husband, was having an affair before we separated. He has taken up with this woman that works for him. I think he’s been seeing her for a while now, but he claims he only started seeing her after we separated.

“I’m not asking you to do this because I’m jealous.” Ms. Reinar said, “There is a provision in our prenuptial agreement that if he cheats on me, I get half of the estate. If he doesn’t, I only receive four million dollars. That may seem like a lot of money, but he’s worth billions. I supported him through his MBA program. I worked with him to start the real estate firm, and I took care of everything at the house on top of my regular job. I think I deserve my fair share. He would still be working in the mail room without my support.”

“That sounds pretty straight forward. We’ll just need to find out if Mr. Reinar met with her somewhere before you and your husband became estranged. All we’ll have to do is make a couple of phone calls, visit some hotels, and check out Ms. Hastings’ apartment. Do you have a picture of your hus­band?”

“Yes, I have one,” Ms. Reinar said as she reached in her Gucci handbag. “Here it is.”

“I don’t suppose you have a picture of the other woman?”

“No, I don’t have one with me, but I think I have one in my photo album from the Christmas party held at my ex’s office.”

From the moment she said those two words, Christmas party, her demeanor changed. She sounded mean and vindictive. Or she may just be heartbroken.

“This other woman was drunk and hanging on to my husband and he didn’t say a thing about it. They hung all over each other right in front of me. I want to see both of them dead! You know, I know they were already seeing each other before the Christmas Party. Now that I think about it, it was appropriate for her to be at the Christmas Party because she was being a ho, ho, ho. The bitch!” Ms. Reinar wiped her forehead and said, “Okay, let me let go of that anger. It’s really not doing me any good. I need to focus on the task at hand.” She said in her normal soft tone.

Ms. Reinar composed herself. “Sorry for the outburst. I guess I’m going through a tough time in my life and I just needed to get that out. The photos are on my computer in the recycling bin. I threw out the ones I had in print. I can bring a photo to your office.”

“That’ll be fine. Here’s my card.” Ms. Reinar looked at the card noting the address, “By the way, I’m Elgie Reynolds.”

“I’m Alana Reinar. On second thought, please call me by my maiden name, Alana Justice. I want to stop using Reinar.”

"What time will you be coming to the office, Ms. Justice?"

“I can be there in about twenty minutes.”

“Great.” Elgie looked at his watch. “It’s 6:32 now; would 7:00 work for you?”

“Yes, I think I can make it by then, but if I can’t make it, I’ll call.”

“That’ll work. See you at 7:00. Our receptionist isn’t at her desk until 9 a.m., so don’t come directly to the office. Go to my home instead. My office is connected to my house. You can go in through the back entrance to the office. I’ll let my wife know you’re coming. Oh, her name is Vanessa.”

Elgie walked Ms. Justice to her Mercedes-Benz S600 Sedan, then went to his Toyota Prius. Before driving off, Elgie got out his cell phone to call his partners; Dr. Lucas Connors and Quinn Kim to ask them to come into the office early. Quinn said she was already up and dressed and would be there in about ten minutes. Lucas said he would be in as quickly as possible. Once he got home, Elgie told Vanessa to expect Ms. Justice. He went to the office to wait for Lucas and Quinn. While Elgie was waiting, he decided to begin the paperwork that was necessary to enroll a new client.

♦♦♦

Ms. Justice arrived at the Reynolds’ front door at 6:56.

Vanessa answered the door.

“Hello, I’m Alana Justice. I have an appointment to see Mr. Reynolds.”

“Yes, my husband mentioned you would be coming by. Come on in.”

Alana Justice was surprised to see a pool table on her right as she entered the Reynold’s household. When she looked to her left, she saw some furnishings that looked like they belonged in a living room. There was a brown leather sofa that looked to be about ten feet long and a matching sofa on the other side of a glass coffee table. There were two end tables with lamps that didn't match. Next to the far end table was a computer desk with a computer on it. Next to that was the door to Elgie's office. Alana’s eyes seemed to travel on their own taking in the sights in the house. She looked at the hardwood floor that was in the hallway. Oddly enough, this was the only hardwood floor in the house. She thought that was a little strange too. The hardwood floor started at the bottom of the living room and extended all the way to the back door. Ms. Justice had to mention the hallway before Vanessa escorted her into the office.

“Mrs. Reynolds, I love your hallway. Is that wood pine or oak?”

“Neither. It’s bamboo.”

“Oh, sustainable materials. Very good. What about the lacquer and the wax job? I guess it must be slippery.”

“Not really, but if you got a running start and hit the floor, you could probably slide all the way to the end of the hall.”

“Hmm, sounds like fun. I think I’ll try it sometime.” Both women laughed as Vanessa escorted Ms. Justice to Elgie’s office.

“Elgie, Ms. Justice is here.”

“Thanks, Vanessa.”

Alana stepped into the office and looked around. On her right was a large conference table that spanned the entire length of the office. Above the table was a large window and a whiteboard on the wall that faced the back door of the office. On her left were two medium-sized desks stood facing each other with an average sized window above them. There was a large desk that faced the front with two plush leather chairs in front of the desk. The front of the office had large double doors. Each desk had a computer, and all the wood looked like mahogany.

Elgie got up from behind the big desk. “Hello, Ms. Justice, come on in.” Alana closed the door behind her and put out her hand to shake Elgie’s.

"My partners don't usually come into the office until eight or nine o’clock. I just called them after I spoke with you. They’re on their way. In the meantime, we can start the intake paperwork.”

“Okay, what do you need from me?”

“First, I would like you to sit down. Then, just complete this one-page client intake form.” Elgie took a quick look out of the window. “Here’s one of my partners now. I’ll meet her at the door. Excuse me a minute, please.”

“Sure, go ahead and get your partner.” Ms. Justice said.

“Good morning Quinn, sorry to get you in so early.”

"That's okay.” Quinn said, “When we were in homicide, you would call me as early as three o’clock in the morning. Seven is no problem.”

“Quinn, this is Ms. Alana Justice, and this is Quinn Kim.”

“Oh,” Alana said, “Are you Korean?”

“Yes, I am.” Quinn said.

“Are you from Korea?”

“In a way, I was born here in the U.S., but I was raised in Korea from the age of twelve.”

“Was it difficult adjusting to Korean culture?”

“Yeah, it was at first, but I adjusted. The one thing I really liked about Korea was that I was considered average height at 5’4”; here I’m considered short.” Quinn looked out of the window. “I see Lucas parking his car.”

“Great; we can get started as soon as he gets in the office.”

Lucas ran up the walkway, through the reception area, past the double doors, and into the main office.

“Sorry I’m a little late, Elgie.”

“No problem, you’re not late. If anything, you’re early.” Elgie continued, “This is our client, Alana Justice. Ms. Justice this is Dr. Lucas Connors.”

“Alana Justice? Are you the Alana Justice that is divorcing Alex Reinar?” Asked Lucas.

“No, he beat me to the punch and filed for the divorce first. That’s why I’m here.”

“Shall we have a seat at the conference table?” Elgie said. As they sat down, Elgie asked Ms. Justice if she would like some coffee, tea, or water. She passed. Ms. Justice wanted to get down to the business at hand.

Lucas asked, “Would you be so kind as to tell us what brings you here, Ms. Justice?”

“Call me Alana.”

“Alright, Alana. What can we do for you?"

“As I was telling Mr. Reynolds, I would like to know if my estranged husband was seeing the woman he’s seeing now while we were together. I want to be sure I am treated better in our divorce than I was treated during the last year of our marriage.”

“How long have you and your husband been separated?”

Alana replied. “About a month, maybe a month and a half.”

“Does the other woman have anything to do with your divorce?”

“Yes, in a way; as I told Mr. Reynolds my husband and I have a prenuptial agreement that has a clause stating that I get half of the estate if he cheats on me. I only get four million dollars if he doesn’t cheat. I know four million dollars seems like a lot of money, but he’s worth billions. He needed me to help him lay the foundation for that business. Now he wants to dump me and keep the billions I helped him make. He didn’t have anything when we met in high school. Later I worked and supported us while he went to a master’s degree program in business.

“I continued to support us after he graduated with an MBA. He got a real estate broker’s license, started a brokerage firm. And got it off the ground. Once the business was prospering, we got married. But before the wedding, he bought up the idea of a prenuptial agreement. I helped him to build that business when he had no one else. Now he wants a prenup. I was willing to sign the agreement, but I didn’t want it to be a one-sided thing. So, I insisted on the clause about him cheating. Actually, under California law I am entitled to half the estate since this is a community property state. The prenup interrupts that, but I am going to use the cheating clause to get what I am entitled to anyway.

“When we first spoke, Mr. Reynolds, I didn’t mention that I believe my husband is stashing money away in off-shore accounts. I want part of his entire estate, business and all. He deserves it after the way he’s treated me. He’s the one who insisted on the prenup. Now he gets to pay for all that he’s put me through. He just tossed me aside like I was garbage and then traded me in for a newer model.”

“I see,” Quinn said. “How long do you believe he has been cheating on you?”

“I think he was cheating before this one. All total, I think he’s been cheating on me for at least a year and a half.”

“How long do you think he’s been seeing this current woman?”

“Probably around six months.”

“Do you want us to find out if he has been cheating before his current girlfriend?” Elgie asked.

“Yes…I mean no. I just want to know about this one for now. If you can’t find anything about this current woman, then I would like evidence of any others. I know he has been cheating for a long time. I just didn’t let it bother me. It was just sex; there weren’t any emotional ties. This one is different. I was told that he stopped seeing the other women when he got with her.”

Quinn continued the interview. “Is this just a financial matter for you?”

“No, I still love my husband, but our marriage is over. Whether I want it to be or not. I can’t take him back after he’s been with that woman.” When Alana said the word woman, she frowned like it left a bitter taste in her mouth.

“Speaking of the other woman,” Elgie asked, “Did you bring a photo of her?”

"Yes, I have it right here in my purse." Ms. Justice reached into her purse and retrieved the photo. “Here you are.”

“Thanks.” Elgie looked at the photo, passed it to his partners, and asked, “What’s her name?”

“Debra Hastings.”

“Alright. Do you have an address for Ms. Hastings?”

“Yes. It’s 43 East Hawcum Avenue, Apartment 415. I got the address from her personnel file.”

“Alright, if neither of you has an objection, I think we should take the case. No objections? Good.” Elgie said. Ms. Justice reached into her purse again and pulled out twenty one-hundred dollar bills.

“I hope two thousand dollars will be enough to get you started.”

“Yes, that will cover us for a start, but please keep in mind that we charge five-hundred dollars a day plus expenses.” Elgie said, “I’ll give you an itemized list of the expenses we incur, Ms. Justice.”

“Please call me Alana.”

“Okay, Alana. Are you finished with the intake form?”

“Yes, here it is. What’s this on the back of the form?”

“That’s the list of fees for people who cannot afford our regular rate. We charge on a sliding scale based on income and the number of people in the family.”

“That is a very good idea, and I’m sure they will appreciate it.”

“Yes, I believe they would if we had any coming in. Most of the people who need the most help are the indigent, or the working poor, or those who are just making it from paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to come in because they believe they can’t afford it. We have to get the word out that we will help no matter the income level.”

“That’s a great thing to do.”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you, Mr. Reynolds. Are you finished with me or do you have other questions?”

“No, I think we’re good with the information we have.” Elgie said, “If there is anything else, we will call you.”

“Okay, I’ll talk to you later.”

“I’ll call you with an update by the end of business today.”

“Thank you, Mr. Reynolds.”

“You can just call me Elgie.”

“Okay, thank you Elgie.”

After they said their goodbyes to Ms. Justice, Elgie asked Lucas and Quinn to stay put for a minute.

“What do you guys think about our client?”

"I think she is heartbroken and wants revenge,” Lucas said.

“Taking him for half his money and the business would, in effect, make her partner in his business.” Quinn said, “That is until he buys her out.”

“That’s a good point, Quinn,” Elgie said, “But that’s really not our concern. We’ve been hired to investigate the relationship Mr. Reinar is having with Debra Hastings, so that’s what we should do. What do we need to do first, since we have decided to take the case?”

"Why don't we call his office and talk to his receptionist or office assistant.” Quinn said, “Maybe she or he can tell us about any out of town meetings, conventions, or conferences that Mr. Reinar and Ms. Hastings went to together.”

Elgie responded. “That sounds like a good idea. Quinn, could you make the calls? Lucas and I will go check out her apartment. We’ll take copies of the photos with us. You can fax the photos to the hotels they went to when they were out of town. Hopefully, someone will recognize them.” Elgie and Lucas headed to Elgie’s car.

“After the apartment, if we need to, we’ll check out the hotels and motels in the area.” Elgie said, “See if any of them know our client’s husband.”

“Sounds good. Except why would they go to a hotel when they could easily go to her apartment?”

“That’s why we are going to the apartment first.”

♦♦♦

Elgie and Lucas were greeted by a security guard upon their arrival at Ms. Hastings’ apartment. Elgie showed him the photos of Mr. Reinar and Ms. Hastings.

“Oh yeah, I know them. They’re Mr. and Mrs. Reinar. I don’t think they’re married though.”

“What makes you think that?” Elgie inquired.

“He’s the only one with a wedding ring, but he hasn’t been wearing it lately.”

“How long have they been staying here?”

“I guess around nine months.”

“Would you be willing to testify about the Reinar couple in civil court?”

“I don’t mind, and the owner wouldn’t care. She doesn’t like them anyway. Still, there is a better way you can prove he’s been here; the surveillance recordings and the receipts. All the checks have Alex Reinar’s name on them.”

“I appreciate the information about the checks. I can also use the recordings of Debra Hastings with Alex Reinar. Do you think the apartment’s management would have kept tapes for over nine months?”

“It’s not on tape. It’s on a hard drive that has a lot of storage. The maintenance man said you can store a couple of years’ worth of video on that machine. Nine months is not a problem.”

“Thanks. Do you have contact information for the management?”

“Sure, I’ll write it down for you.”

“Thanks. You’ve been a major help.” Elgie said, “Here is my card. In case you think of anything you may have forgotten to tell us, please give us a call.” After Elgie and Lucas left, the security guard called and told Ms. Hastings that there were private investigators asking about her. Although he didn’t care for Mr. Reinar, he thought Ms. Hastings was a classy lady and he wanted to give her a heads-up about this investigation into her affairs.

Elgie and Lucas were driving back to the office. Elgie took the passenger seat so he could make some calls on the way.

“I’d better call Alana Justice and tell her the good news. At least I hope it’s good news.” Elgie quickly dialed Ms. Justice.

“Hello, Alana?”

“Yes, this is Alana.”

“This is Elgie. I have good news for you. We found out that your husband was paying for an apartment that he shares with Ms. Hastings. We know for sure because he pays the rent with checks in his own name. There are also surveillance recordings showing him and Ms. Hastings leaving and entering the building. There is also a security officer who is willing to testify.”

“That is good news. Now I’m finally going to get Alex out of my life for good.”

“Are you sure that’s what you want?”

“Of course, I’m happy about this. Alex started cheating on me once he started making big money; at least I think so. He would go out and not come home for days at a time. He came in one day and took about five of his suits, claiming he was taking them to the cleaners. I never saw those suits again. My marriage was becoming an albatross around my neck. I couldn’t get away, but now I can start living for me. I’ll finally get what I deserve; half of everything including the business. One other thing, as I mentioned earlier, he has been hiding money. Do you know a good forensic accountant?”

“Yes, I do. I can give her a call this evening and give her your number. I’m sure she’ll be able to help you.”

“Alright, I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Hold on a minute; you forgot your refund. This only took us less than an hour to find out where Mr. Reinar had been with Ms. Hastings.”

“That’s okay. Just keep the money.”

“Alright. I’ll put it in a fund we have for homeless families.”

“That’s a really worthwhile endeavor. I need to find something like that or maybe develop a program of my own. Would you help me with that, Elgie?”

“Yes, I’d be honored to help.”

“Well then, I’ll be seeing you soon.”

“I look forward to it.”

♦♦♦

Once Alana was finished talking with Elgie, she left her hotel room and took a drive to clear her head. She began to get angry as she drove aimlessly. Alana found herself heading toward the house she once shared with her husband.

“The funny thing is,” she thought, “He wants to keep the house after the divorce. That’s just so insane for him to want to do that. He wanted to go out chasing other women when it was with me in that house. Now he comes to the house and refuses to leave. He just wants the house because the Whore Hastings wants it. What is her name again? Oh, that’s right, Debra Hastings. She’s not going to have my house. I had that house built. I decorated it alone. I planted those flower beds in front. It’s my home, and I’m going to get him out of there, one way or another.” She thought, “There’s more than one way to end a marriage.”

Alana began wondering what it was she didn’t do, or maybe it was something she did do. “Either way, I know it’s my fault.” she thought. “Maybe I’m the reason he cheated. I tried to be everything he wanted. Everything he needed. I know I tried. God knows I’ve tried. He denied that it happened every time he cheated on me, trying to get me to believe I was crazy or imagining things. “

♦♦♦

At 8:12 a.m., there came a knock on Alex Reinar’s door. He came downstairs in a white bathrobe and opened the door wide. With a lackluster tone Alex said, “Oh, it’s you. Come on in if you want.”

The visitor stepped inside then closed and locked the door. Mr. Reinar walked up the stairs keeping his back to the visitor. Suddenly, the visitor was directly behind him. Mr. Reinar felt something sharp strike his lower back. Then, the visitor withdrew what Mr. Reinar now thought was a kitchen knife. He could feel the serrated edge of the blade as the visitor withdrew it. The visitor stabbed Mr. Reinar again in his lower back. Reinar had a metallic taste in his mouth and was getting weak. He fell forward on the stairs and managed to turn over where he was facing his attacker. The visitor continued the attack as Mr. Reinar tried to defend himself. To protect himself, Mr. Reinar covered his face with his hands moved his arms inward until his elbows touched in an effort to protect his face and chest. Mr. Reinar managed to grab the knife’s blade once he got the chance. The visitor twisted the knife to where the serrated edge was facing Mr. Reinar’s palm. The visitor yanked the blade through Mr. Reinar’s hand, slicing his palm straight across. The visitor then started stabbing Mr. Reinar’s arms. The blood from his hand got into his eyes. He removed his hands from his face. Mr. Reinar tried talking to the visitor.

“Stop! Please stop!” Mr. Reinar cried out. “You’re going to kill me.”

“That’s the whole point, you stupid fool. I’m going to show you what happens when people cross me.”

“I didn’t cross you, I swear I never did!”

Mr. Reinar lay on the stairs in his own deep red and thick blood. The visitor bent down and pulled a .38 caliber revolver from its lower-leg holster. The assailant looked Mr. Reinar directly in his tearing eyes, placed the barrel of the gun in his mouth…and pulled the trigger.

Chapter 2: Bust One

After Elgie had spoken to Alana Justice, he called to inform Quinn of the developments and to find out what she was able to learn from her inquiries.

“Elgie Reynolds and Associates, may I help you?”

“Hi Michelle,” Elgie said to the firm’s receptionist.

“Oh, hello Elgie. Quinn told me you were out on a case for Ms. Justice. How did everything go?”

"It went pretty well.” Elgie said, “We were able to find proof that Alex Reinar was cheating on his wife with Ms. Hastings before Alana and her husband were separated."

Michelle said, “I hope that was good news for her.”

“I hope so too, but I’m not sure. I think Alana was hoping she was wrong.”

“Yeah, I guess finding out your husband has been cheating takes a little piece of your soul.” Michelle said, “It also takes a big bite of our ability to trust others.”

“I think you just put your finger on it.” Elgie said, “That’s how she probably feels.” Elgie continued, “Hey, why are you in so early, Michelle?”

“I called, and Quinn told me that you were out on a case, so I figured someone should be here covering the phones.”

“Quinn was there.”

"Yeah, but she's busy with those calls related to your case. She shouldn’t have to take calls. That's my job."

“I certainly admire your loyalty. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, always.” Michelle continued. “I’ll put you through to Quinn.”

“Hello, this is Quinn Kim.”

“Hi, Quinn, this is Elgie. How did things go with your calls?”

“I first spoke to Mr. Reinar’s office assistant, and she provided me with the names of the hotels the company booked for out of the area conventions.”

“Hold on a second, I’m going to put you on speaker so Lucas can hear you as well… Okay. Go ahead.”

“I called San Francisco first. I spoke to the manager at one of the luxury hotels. He told me he didn’t have any record of a Debra Hastings, but he had reservations for Mr. and Mrs. Reinar. I faxed him the photo of Debra Hastings, and he confirmed that the fake Mrs. Reinar was Debra Hastings. The hotel in San Francisco was the location they went to on business most often. I also called Chicago and New York, just to be thorough. They both confirmed they had reservations for Mr. and Mrs. Reinar as well and identified Debra Hastings as the Mrs. Reinar impostor.”

“Good work. Lucas and I also found our Mrs. Reinar imposture at the address for Debra Hastings. They’ve had the apartment for around nine months. I already called Ms. Justice and told her about our findings. I think I’ll wait to inform her about your findings. She seemed upset when I told her about the apartment. She tried to act as if she was happy about the development. I think she was just trying to put on a brave face. I don’t know if she was trying to fool me or herself.”

“Under those circumstances, we probably should wait,” Quinn said.

“Something has been bothering me.” Elgie said, “I think Alana Justice may be planning to do something to her husband.”

“What do you mean?” Quinn asked, “Do you think she might try to physically harm him?”

“Yes, I was considering that. If you would have heard her on the phone, you’d wonder too.” Elgie continued. “She was obviously upset, but she wouldn’t acknow-ledge it.”

Lucas asked, “Should we do something about it?”

Elgie responded. “What can we do?”

“Why not call Alana back and see if she wants to come in and talk about her feelings of abandonment?” Lucas continued. “If she doesn’t want to come in, maybe we can talk to her over the phone. Maybe that will stop her from doing anything without thinking it through. Also, if she comes to the office, we can give her the other news in a controlled environment.”

“That sounds like a good idea, Lucas.” Quinn said, “It’s good to have a psychologist on hand.”

“I’ll go ahead and give her a call. Stay on the line, Quinn.” Elgie dialed Ms. Justice. on phone. There was no answer.

“The phone just keeps ringing and ringing. The voicemail isn’t picking up either. I think we should take a ride over to the Reinar’s house.”

“Why not her hotel?” asked Quinn.

Elgie answered, “If there’s been trouble, it will probably have happened at the house. If she’s in her suite, we can find that out later. The important thing right now is to make sure she isn’t getting herself into any trouble. Quinn, I’ll pick you up on the way to the house. Also, would you tell Michelle to forward any calls from Alana to my cell phone? Thanks.”


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

I am a trained Marriage and Family Therapist and hold a Master's Degree in psychology from California State University, L.A., The reason I mention that is because my work with patients has taught me a lot that I use in my writing. I write mysteries and thrillers and I plan to write a horror novel soon. I have worked with severely mentally ill patients and their hallucinations and obsessions make for good background for some of my characters.

Q. This book is part of a series, tell us about your series.
A.
This is the second book in the series "Elgie Reynolds and Associates, Private Investigators". In the first book Elgie, Quinn Kim, and Dr. Lucas Connors have just been assigned to work together in the Los Angeles Police Department..trying to bring a serial killer to justice...
Q. When did you decide to become a writer?
A.
I have been wanting to write since I was in high school, so I wrote poems and short stories. Then I found out it was difficult to get paid for poems and short stories. I knew that a novel was the way to go. So now I've finally completed two novels. It doesn't seem like work to me,.I really enjoy it.
Q. Which writers inspire you?
A.
I am influenced by Agatha Christy and Edgar Allen Poe. Contemporary writers that inspire me are Lee Child, James Paterson, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sandra Brown.

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Magic tattoos, monsters, and a promise
The Genesee Letters
A story lost in the letters of days gone by.