The Last Thing I Saw
Donald Strachey Mystery #13
I said to Timmy, "I think I'm in something over my head. I'm just this one-man schlemiel of a private eye. What's really needed here is the FBI or the entire Justice Department or the Army of the Potomac or the Mossad or some combination of all of the above. It's possible something very big is very wrong here, but I have no clue as to what it might be, and I can imagine myself flailing ridiculously for days or weeks or even months at Susan Wenske's expense."
"Where are you? In Boston?"
"I was until this morning." I recapped my New York visit and said I had set up a dinner meeting with Marva Beers and New York Times editor Eddie Wenske had pitched his gay-media story to. "I'll be back in Boston late tonight, and tomorrow I'll see the narc who knows Wenske's story---his pot reporting and his disappearance. This whole thing has so many angles to it, I almost wish I hadn't blown off trigonometry."
"Almost but not quite."
"There's the Weed Wars situation, and there's the gay-media research into a company that's a combination of Pee-wee's Playhouse, No Exit and the Soviet Politburo under Leonid Brezhnev. Then there's this so-called dark side stuff that Wenske was supposedly into, though I can find no trace of that, and his best friend at the Boston Globe simply doesn't believe it. I know basically nothing at this point except that Eddie Wenske is as missing as ever and Bryan Kim was stabbed to death in his home not long before he was to have had dinner with me on Saturday. That is, with me and with another person who has yet to be identified. Oh. One other thing. The third diner may well have been a guy from Hey Look Media named Boo Miller who lives in New York and went to Boston on Saturday, and now he's disappeared too."
"His name is Boo?"
"Real name Buris. B-U-R-I-S. He'd been blabbing to Wenske HLM's dirty secrets, and there are a lot of those. It's mostly repugnant personality stuff about how obnoxious the owners are. There are rumors of illegality, but one HLM wage slave says the owners don't need to be crooks since being cheap and mean and cynical is good enough for them. But Kim supposedly had some new brainstorm, or maybe actual information, about Wenske's disappearance, and some connection it had to HLM, and Miller had flown up to Boston to talk to Kim about it. To Kim, and maybe to me."
"Donald, it sounds as if you know a lot more than you think you know. And that, like you said, you're...I don't want to say in over your head. But up to your waist in something that's actually quite dangerous. I mean, dangerous for you. It sounds as if people are being killed or made to disappear on account of knowledge they have or had. If you acquire knowledge, then you'll be...well...you know."
"I know. I've thought about that."