The trail takes Jake - and the killer - to a small art gallery on the Big Sur coast.
"The fog turned to rain at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Water poured across the road and threatened to wash the car off the cliffs. I turned the windshield wipers to high and slowed to a crawl. The first few houses, a shack bonded onto a rock, another tucked away in the canyon, hunkered down against the rain, closed and hostile.
I drove another five miles up the highway to Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. The dining room was closed. The woman at the desk took pity on me and brought me a bowl of soup from the kitchen. A small loaf of bread came with it and a glass of dry white wine. I sat at a window by the fire and watched the rain sweep up Castro Canyon, blow across the road and over the already sodden snapdragons in the window box. A Mozart piano sonata was piped in from somewhere out of the walls.
No one came in or out of the hotel. The woman at the desk folded napkins as she eyed the rain and waited for a customer to straggle in. A car crept south on the highway. The windshield wipers struggled against the downpour. The driver's face was pressed to the window. The car pulled into the parking lot and stopped. Rain beat down on the hood. The blurred face behind the wheel gazed out at the historic collection of ramshackle hotel cottages that straggled up the canyon. The woman opened the door to the Inn and looked out. A gust of wind blew inside. The driver put the car in reverse and crept south again."
-DEATH IN A CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE
Elizabeth Ward is also the author of A NICE LITTLE BEACH TOWN.
|Publisher:||Dog Ear Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)|