Sergeant Anders sighed through the phone, “We got another one on River Drive.”
Mara Wingate flipped the turn signal and pulled a u-ey. The uniform riding along with her looked over with a question in his puppy-dog eyes. Six-foot-something and a wall of muscle, Henry was a former college linebacker with a heart full of wide-eyed justice.
Mara gripped the wheel hard, swinging into the outside lane to turn right onto River Drive, a shady, congested parkway that followed Elliot River and the public green space that flanked it from downtown out to the ‘burbs. “Another flipped SUV by the Sesquicentennial Bandstand.”
As they passed Sacre Coeur Hospital, Officer Henry squinted out the window of the unmarked cruiser at the long lines for the new Coffee Bucks drive-thru in the parking lot. “Am I the only one who thinks it’s creepy that franchise only opens near hospitals?”
“Never gave it any thought,” Mara muttered, pulling the car up onto the sidewalk about fifty yards south of Sacre Coeur. The emergency responders were already getting ready to leave. She sighed at the sheet-draped body being loaded into the stretcher.
“Henry, do me a favor and pump the other uniforms for info? I’m going to take a look at the vehicle.”
Henry nodded and headed for the cluster of police cars.
It was the same as the six previous incidents. The flipped SUV, the M.D. plates. The higher-ups didn’t agree with her theory; Mara didn’t believe in coincidence. Nothing in forensics or toxicology supported her so far. She’d bet her badge everything would come up clean on this one, too.
She frowned at the mangled Cadillac, willing it to give up its secrets.
Henry joined her. “Nothing good.” He knelt, squinting again. This time he focused a cup in the upside-down interior of the Escalade. “Is everybody drinking that stuff? Seriously. It’s morbid.”
Mara’s intuition pinged. “What?”
“Every single one of these, the dead doc’s been drinking that coffee.”
I gave Tara Roberts this prompt: Mourning the loss of someone who hasn’t died.