Letters in Blood: and other Tom Larkin mysteries

Letters in Blood: and other Tom Larkin mysteries

by Gerald Arthur Winter
     
 

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Tom Larkin paid fifty grand for his brilliant red casket months before they planned a sailor’s funeral for him that night. His coffin cruised at 120 mph with its dash lit like a jet’s cockpit, where the most-important reading to Larkin glowed on his Porsche’s digital clock--4:00 AM. Perhaps it was his darkest moment before dawn, but he had

Overview

Tom Larkin paid fifty grand for his brilliant red casket months before they planned a sailor’s funeral for him that night. His coffin cruised at 120 mph with its dash lit like a jet’s cockpit, where the most-important reading to Larkin glowed on his Porsche’s digital clock--4:00 AM. Perhaps it was his darkest moment before dawn, but he had other plans. He drove recklessly, hydroplaning northbound on Manhattan’s flooded FDR Drive through sheets of pouring rain.

The drive home took an hour, but, with minimal visibility in a torrential downpour, the flooded Harlem River Drive leading to the George Washington Bridge concealed potholes rattling the fine suspension of his German-made wet dream. Larkin’s greater problem—DWI—was a given they had counted on. Still, they drugged his last sour mash at Rao’s, just to up the prelude’s tempo to an evening dirge. With the bad weather, his inebri- ation, and hallucinations from a subtle drug taking hold of his senses, the distance between Larkin and home lengthened as time became his enemy. Vera, his wife, told him she’d kill him the next time he stumbled in after daybreak. It was no idle threat. He knew she could kill in a crime of

passion, especially him. Death lurked at the start and finish of his race homeward, but, with two strikes against him, only he could fathom the third --his bent to self destruction.

If all went as planned, Harbor Police would find Tom Larkin dead behind the wheel after hitting the muddy bottom of the East River, or any other river. They just wanted him gone, stateside or overseas, no matter what.

Larkin still felt sharp an hour after downing his third double Jack Daniels. In his mind, past, present, and future were clear. Remembering his hat size, Social Security number, and the measurements of a dozen bimbos was no problem. He could read his driver’s license number from three paces, backward, upside down, with either eye or both—without glasses.

He’d been sharp for two hours before he started driving, but an hour after his last belt, the one first kicked in with the drugs and compounded his usual buzz. Seeing Vera as more dangerous than the road, he sped recklessly despite the hazardous conditions. He had no idea anyone wanted to kill him for anything other than his flagrant infidelities.

To his right, the black depths of the East River was a fatal attraction. He could be a loser on two counts, but there was a third alternative, the loser’s hat trick--call strike-three without a swat to stay alive. His own worst enemy, he knew they might find him dead before dawn on all three counts.

“Bastards,” he grumbled, cursing his so called buddies who let him get behind the wheel after he had been pumping drinks for hours. Their names escaped him. So much for clarity. Sharp as a rose thorn? he wondered. My ass.

Where were those faceless nonentities? They were friends enough to buy his fourth drink in a dingy saloon, yet, they had turned their backs when he squinted to read the address on his parking stub. Had they callously watched him stumbling to his Porsche trying to get the himself home?

So much for twenty-twenty fucking vision, he thought. Vera will kill me if I’m not out of here. What time you got, Pal? I can’t read my damn watch.”

His mind and car sped out of control at a mile a minute. The East River beckoned. Who could ever see clearly in a dim twilight between happy hour and an untimely death?

He shrugged and imagined seeing his own hands clutching the steering wheel but saw no flesh, only bone. In the rearview mirror, he caught the malicious grins of three Mexican capungos, bandits who’d kill as soon as spit.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781456805845
Publisher:
Xlibris US
Publication date:
10/02/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
199
File size:
333 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

WEB EXCERPT - Letters in Blood - # 40739

Tom Larkin paid fifty grand for his brilliant red casket months

before they planned a sailor's funeral for him that night. His coffin cruised

at 120 mph with its dash lit like a jet's cockpit, where the most-important

reading to Larkin glowed on his Porsche's digital clock--4:00 AM. Perhaps

it was his darkest moment before dawn, but he had other plans. He

drove recklessly, hydroplaning northbound on Manhattan's flooded FDR

Drive through sheets of pouring rain.

The drive home took an hour, but, with minimal visibility in a torrent-

ial downpour, the flooded Harlem River Drive leading to the George

Washington Bridge concealed potholes rattling the fine suspension of his

German-made wet dream. Larkin's greater problem-DWI-was a given

they had counted on. Still, they drugged his last sour mash at Rao's, just to

up the prelude's tempo to an evening dirge. With the bad weather, his inebri-

ation, and hallucinations from a subtle drug taking hold of his senses, the

distance between Larkin and home lengthened as time became his enemy.

Vera, his wife, told him she'd kill him the next time he stumbled in

after daybreak. It was no idle threat. He knew she could kill in a crime of

passion, especially him. Death lurked at the start and finish of his race

homeward, but, with two strikes against him, only he could fathom the third

--his bent to self destruction.

If all went as planned, Harbor Police would find Tom Larkin dead

behind the wheel after hitting the muddy bottom of the East River, or any

other river. They just wanted him gone, stateside or overseas, no matter

what.

Larkin still felt sharp an hour after downing his third double Jack

Daniels. In his mind, past, present, and future were clear. Remembering

his hat size, Social Security number, and the measurements of a dozen

bimbos was no problem. He could read his driver's license number from

three paces, backward, upside down, with either eye or both-without

glasses.

He'd been sharp for two hours before he started driving, but an

hour after his last belt, the one first kicked in with the drugs and

compounded his usual buzz. Seeing Vera as more dangerous than the road,

he sped recklessly despite the hazardous conditions. He had no idea anyone

wanted to kill him for anything other than his flagrant infidelities.

To his right, the black depths of the East River was a fatal attraction.

He could be a loser on two counts, but there was a third alternative, the

loser's hat trick--call strike-three without a swat to stay alive. His own

worst enemy, he knew they might find him dead before dawn on all three

counts.

"Bastards," he grumbled, cursing his so called buddies who let

him get behind the wheel after he had been pumping drinks for hours. Their

names escaped him. So much for clarity. Sharp as a rose thorn? he

wondered. My ass.

Where were those faceless nonentities? They were friends enough to

buy his fourth drink in a dingy saloon, yet, they had turned their backs when

he squinted to read the address on his parking stub. Had they callously

watched him stumbling to his Porsche trying to get the himself home?

So much for twenty-twenty fucking vision, he thought. Vera will kill

me if I'm not out of here. What time you got, Pal? I can't read my damn

watch."

His mind and car sped out of control at a mile a minute. The East

River beckoned. Who could ever see clearly in a dim twilight between

happy hour and an untimely death?

He shrugged and imagined seeing his own hands clutching the

steering wheel but saw no flesh, only bone. In the rearview mirror, he caught

the malicious grins of three Mexican capungos, bandits

who'd kill as soon as spit.

"Fuck off!" he shouted, shaking their image from his mind. Adjusting

the mirror to be sure they were gone, he saw his own reflection as a skeleton

and swerved toward the rive

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