Chapter 4: Meeting the charlatan

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Max flicked over a page and centered his eyes in on the police report. He leaned back into his chair and shifted his feet onto the desk. The words filtered in, letting his brain search through all the crucial evidence.

He had asked a few questions at the scene, but he now had both teenager's reports in his hands. The paper felt like it was burning in his palms. Could this new hot evidence be his ticket to revenge?

His concentration was thwarted by his assistant Grant, walking into the room.

"I hear that you got the evidence brief, does it tell us anything?" he asked.

Max kept his vision with the paper while he responded to the question.

"It's pretty much as the victims told us at the scene. Three men barged into the house and threatened the family over money. They killed the mother and then tortured the father, before he finally gave in."

His colleague responded with a hypothetical question.

"Do you think the dad owed some money?"

"I've looked into this further," Max answered, "the victim was an accountant. If we put everything we know together – Red's involvement? The money? His job? – I think we can assume the victim may have stolen it from some high-profile people. They would only have sent Red if they had wanted to make a point."

Grant nodded his head.

"So, it was a revenge attack," he proposed, "they were making an example of him."

"Exactly," Max replied, "I'll guarantee you as well if Red was there then the order came from one of my three targets – either the Mayor, the Assistant Commissioner or Chief Judge. We need to get Jamie to look into the victim's business dealings to see who he was involved with."

There was confidence in Grant's next words. He never looked at situations as obstacles, but rather opportunities.

"We also need to find this Red character. He may lead us to them."

This statement sunk in, causing indecision from his boss.

"That might be hard," Max responded, "we have no idea what he looks like, but I've heard his voice. It's forever stained on my memory."

A lady appeared at the door, cutting off their conversation.

"Sorry to bother you, boss," his secretary apologized, "but there's a witness here who wants to speak to you."

"Who is it?" both men asked collectively, slightly befuddled.

"A female witness to the murders that you're investigating," she answered.

A smile cut into Max's lips, expressing excitement.

"That's great. It must be the daughter. I have some more questions that I need to ask her."

Michelle's forehead creased with surprise.

"I don't think so boss," she revealed, "it's an older lady. She seems kind of weird too."

A wave of confusion floated through the air, swallowing both men whole.

"Who could it be?" Grant queried.

Max raised his hands in the air, revealing his own indecision.

"Should I bring her in?" his secretary asked.

Her boss nodded while looking to his colleague with skepticism. The seconds passed slowly, waiting in haste to lay eyes on this anonymous woman. Were they about to meet a godsend or another crack pot?

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