There was no follow up piece in the newspaper on the death of Michael Gallager. It had been over a week since the accident and no follow-ups told John that as far as the local media was concerned the accident really was an accident - nothing more to see here folks. Or, the private eye thought warily, that was what the police were feeding their contact reporter. No one wants to read about a genuine accident over and over. They just want to know if the victim is recovering well or not. If there were an accident with the hint of foul play involved then usually five or six spin-off pieces would follow telling about the victim, suspects, and possible motives.

As John sipped his coffee he thought about Tammy. She was now a client and that was clear. It was hands off. He had to be serious. Her stunning face and flawless figure would have no impact on him. Handling her had no more importance than the mystery dog droppings Phillip King wanted investigated. The first place John wanted to start was with his new client's new manager.

John had the distinct pleasure of meeting the manager yesterday. They were in John's office and the manager quickly marked his property as being Tammy's best interest. He hastily informed the private eye that he represented clients in Nashville as well as New York and London. He impressed upon John that he wanted Tammy's transition into the global market to run as smoothly as possible. He made it abundantly clear he did not want his new meal ticket star-on-the-rise to be bogged down in legal disputes with the Virginia Beach Police, or much less, some half-wit private eye. Those exact words were not used, but John got the vibe. The manager obviously thought he was a big shot and should not have to be troubled with the working stiffs of the world. He had money to make and a singer to make famous. He instantly struck John wrong and there was no recovering.

But as history goes, John marked him up as a prime suspect. What about Michael Gallager? John thought he was working the deal in Nashville. Could this man have wanted Mr. Gallager out of the way?

The aroma of coffee filled the apartment. He went into the tiny kitchen set off from the dining room and poured a second cup. He then sat on the end of the sofa and mindlessly flipped through the channels on the TV using the remote with his left hand and sipped coffee with his right.

All along his mind was running over the case. Tammy's case. It was her mess after all. She was the one who wanted a clean slate.

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