Frank stood. "Come on in, buddy. I'm just giving you a hard time this Monday morning. You know me."

John kept the broad smile on his face.

"I guess you want to talk about all the times you've been shot at."

This took John by surprise. He hadn't told Lt. Grimm about the tunnel incident.

Frank looked at John. "We know everything. The state police have the tape from the tunnel cameras, but they won't release them. I tried to find out something for you."

"That's all right," John said. "I just can't figure out who wants me dead. This never happened even when I was giving out tickets."

"I won't press the issue until you tell me to, you know that. I'll keep the lines open with the state boys until they tell me something I can use."

Frank's phone rang and he held up his index finger to John as he picked up the receiver. John looked around the office while he waited. It was unusually neat for someone in the police profession. There was no clutter on the desk, no jumbled up message board on the wall, and no stacked boxes of unsolved cases. There wasn't eve one of those yellow sticky back notes on his computer screen. Everything was in order. The gray filing cabinets in the corner were neatly labeled according to the alphabet, his desk was spotless, and the street map of Virginia Beach hanging adjacent to the door was a framed work of art.

Frank slammed the receiver down and shook his head. "Complaints," he told John. "I get calls from other departments now. Don't ask me who's routing them."

At that instant, John did not think he would volunteer the information about the cut brake line on the Corvette. He would hold that ace and see what Frank had first.


"I remember it all too well," John remarked.

"Don't see a problem like that being self employed. If you don't feel like talking to somebody you tell them to kiss off, right?"

John shrugged. "I'll admit it's happened."

Frank leaned back in his creaky office chair and clasped his thin fingers behind his head. "Anyway, you didn't come here to see splendor you gave up. Let's talk about what you did come for."

John leaned forward and put both elbows on both knees. "Tell me about the suspects."

"To be honest with you, the case is pretty well closed."

John's brow creased. "It's what?"

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