My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

1st To Die notes; Chapters 60 to 67

cover for 1st To Die

Chapter 60

The next morning, a meeting is held to go over the security tapes and what Mr. Sharp’s team have found so far. The artist’s sketch has helped the team to produce some results, but it’s not what everyone was hoping for, clearly. Not nearly the kind of result anyone was expecting. I can almost see the disappointed looks on the detectives faces, and hear a few choice curse words whispered amongst them.

“He’s purposely avoiding looking at the camera,” I whispered to Raleigh. “He knows where they are.”

Of course he knows where they are, probably had the whole place mapped out and analysed. How else could he have carried out the previous murders, leaving only the clues he chose to leave and nothing else.

There is something that is starting to bother me too.
The F.B.I. has a vested interest in this case, Detective Boxer’s files and notes were handed over to them, much to Lindsay’s displeasure, so where in the heck are they?
Not once, since they stepped in, has the federal investigators made in appearance in the book. What, did they all get Cloaks Of Invisibility for Christmas? (And where was mine?!)
They just seem to be on the side-lines, mentioned but without any true substantial effect on the story.
I was sort of looking forward to some sort of confrontation between the “Feds” and Lindsay Boxer, sort of a verbal boxing match free-for-all with Chris Raleigh as Lindsay’s second.
Possibly even a female Federal Agent begrudgingly joining the ranks of their newly-formed Club.

At the close of the chapter, I find myself disagreeing with Lindsay.

“It’s him,” I said firmly. My eyes burned on the grainy screen. I was also sure we were looking at Kathy Voskuhl’s mysterious lover.

Why is she so sure that “Red Beard” is Kathy’s lover?
I’m not totally convinced. I think perhaps Phillip knew about the lover and Kathy’s murder is some form of punishment for her past and her present infidelity.
I’m reaching again aren’t I?

Chapter 61

So Lindsay is trying again with the sister. Hillary Kogut seems to be even more button-lipped than Merrill Shortley. It’s exasperating! Where did this “code of silence” come from?
I do think D.I. Boxer made a mistake though, she should have talked to Hillary in person rather than conversing by telephone.
The telephone makes it far too easy to just avoid this kind of questioning.

There was a heavy silence on the line. I knew what it meant. It was the struggle inside Hillary Bloom’s conscience.
I heard a click. She had hung up the phone.

Some things need to be done in person. Perhaps Lindsay will pay a visit to Hillary, catch her un-awares and away from the rest of the family and the other mourners. I reckon she’d have better results if it was just the two of them, alone and face to face.
There’s something that she knows, despite her protestations that Kathy didn’t confide in her, or that she wasn’t “her sister’s keeper”. I guess The Big Question is, is it Phillip Campbell?
I’m still not convinced.

Chapter 62

Lindsay and Chris are on their way home when she checks her voice messages.
I didn’t expect Merrill to voluntarily contact Lindsay, a bit of a surprise for the detective too. Though the information Merrill gives her, doesn’t seem to be any more informative than during their recent interview.
What seems to have changed is her attitude, perhaps now that she is at home, with some distance between her and Cleveland, Merrill feels more comfortable, secure in familiar, homely surroundings, enough to talk a little more freely about Kathy.

It might just be me, but isn’t it odd that she believes that the sister might know the identity of the lover, when Hillary reckons she didn’t know any details of Kathy’s activities.
Sounds like Lindsay’s impressions about both women may be pretty accurate.

There is more to Kathy’s story though. I’m not surprised in the slightest either.

She was in over her head, and like many people who feel trapped, she ran. She just couldn’t get far enough away.

Chapter 63

There were several ways I could go with this investigation. Hillary Bloom was the most direct, assuming, as Merrill had implied, that she was able to give us a name.

The investigation has to take priority, but it must be terribly frustrating for the people in charge of Lindsay’s medical care. An appointment to be rescheduled is one thing, but if the killer strikes again outside of California, meaning more trips, what of the Negli’s treatments?
She still hasn’t informed her commanding officer about her medical condition. To be honest, I would have thought it was required of her to inform her superiors, since her condition is regarded as serious.
As for the investigation itself, everything seems to rest on Hillary and what she may have to say.
Time to call a Club meeting.

Chapter 64

As expected, the Club start out *all business*. Catching the killer is the important topic, but it’s not the only thing talked about, Chris Raleigh is now subject of gossip. I’m actually very surprised that Lindsay is so forthcoming with the “juicy details”. Unusual for her to be so open.
One thing is clear, both Claire and Cindy can’t fathom why she didn’t grab that opportunity in Ohio to be with Chris.

Basically, it took every bit of self-control not to rip his clothes off right there on Lakefront Walk.” I laughed at how it must have sounded.
“Girl, why didn’t you?” Claire said, wide-eyed. “Might’ve done you some good.

Claire might have a point there.

Chapter 65

Dr. Medved walked in with a manila folder under his arm. His face was friendly but unconfiding.

Time for a medical update.
The prognosis is not very comforting and Lindsay is not progressing as Dr. Medved had hoped.
Which means more treatments for Lindsay.
The one thing she is unwilling to let go on, is the case. She has to work, she tells Medved, but it’s more than that.
Red Beard has really gotten under her skin, and it feels like, even though she knows there is a chance the treatments may not work, catching the killer is of the utmost importance. It’s something only she, and her Club, can do.
It’s not about promotion, or glory, credit. It’s about catching the evil lurking amongst us and making sure that person can do no more harm.

Chapter 66

Even the most strong-willed person needs a safety valve.
Pity that valve isn’t Chris. Yet.
Still, Lindsay at least has the good sense to talk to Claire. A chat, a vent, a wail at the world about the injustices of the world, all of these things are good for us. It helps if we have someone to vent to, another voice to take comfort in.
That’s really what this chapter is all about.

One moment I was battling to unravel this damned case, and the next I was fighting for my life.
I wanted a name. I wanted it now more than ever. And I wanted my life back.

Claire also has the presence of mind to make sure Lindsay knows that she’s there to help her, that she and Cindy will give her all the support she needs to catch the killer. She’s not alone and she’s not to do anything stupid, like doing everything by herself.
Wonder when Chris will be let in enough, to be a shoulder to cry on?

Chapter 67

All the prodding from McBride in Ohio has created something to work with. The other contacts in Seattle seem, to me, to be a long shot. Even the Seattle police contact, Jim Heekin, hasn’t found anything yet. I stress yet, because even a long shot can turn up when you least expect it.
The real news is from McBride, and that the Kogut family may be close to giving up Kathy’s secrets.
Lindsay, after a long conversation with Kathy’s mother, hits pay-dirt.
A name.
Finally, something to work with.

It was then that Mrs. Kogut told me.
My body went numb.
I knew the name. Recognized it. He was famous, Red Beard

How famous?
And, will that become a problem in bringing him to justice?
Is it Phillip Campbell though? and if so, why did the author introduce him that way?
When did I become so confused about the identity of the murderer, when the author has taken so much trouble to give me his point of view?

Why do I get the sinking feeling, that this case is about to become complicated, convoluted and horribly depressing for Lindsay and her team.

And why, did my mind just conjure up with this idea – that there may be more than one murderer?
Head – meet desk. *thud*

Author: raven

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