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Chapter 71

I CLIMBED INTO Emilys double-parked Crown Vic. She was wearing a new white silk blouse and sleek beige skirt suit. With the case dragging on, she must have done some shopping, I realized.

Was it me, or was the blouse showing some pretty nice cleavage? I wiped my eyes. What the hell was happening to me?

Feeling okay there, Mike?

Never better, I said, smiling. Whats up?

Emily handed me a folder.

We finally got the toxicology report back on the ashes found on the first victim, Jacob Dunning. Are you familiar with X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy?

Had one six months ago, I said, nodding. Doctor said Im as clean as a whistle.

Listen closely, wiseass, Emily said, ignoring my acerbic wit. Basically, individual elements reflect X-ray light in different patterns. They ran the ashes through the machine, and it turns out most of it is regular cigarette tobacco. The twist is that they found traces of some very interesting substances as well that came from the killers sweat.

Like what kind of substances? I said.

Emily lifted a clipboard.

Several amphetamines and a drug called Iressa. Its a chemotherapy drug for lung cancer.

I rubbed my face as I nodded.

Hey, good work, I said. Ill get Schultz to contact Sloan-Kettering and the other cancer centers and check out their patients. Its starting to make a little more sense now in terms of motive. If this guy is terminal, maybe he made out some psycho bucket list. Maybe this is his way of going out with a bang.

Funny you should say bang, Emily said, pointing to a name on the fax sheet. Because the drugs arent the worst of it. There was evidence of something called pentaerythritol. Its found in plastic explosives, Mike.


Chapter 70 | Worst Case | Chapter 72