Dead Man Lying
A Lei Crime Kindle World Mystery
With lush rain forests, black sand beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle, Maui offers the perfect retirement location for once-famous country singer Steven Sangster … until he ends up dead.
As the killer, or killers, strike again and again, Detective Lei Texeira and FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm must untangle the lies spun by the singer’s associates, friends, family — and the singer himself before the music dies.
Dead Man Lying
Vanessa speed-dialled Waxman’s mobile, hoping he would be in his office this early. It was still only a little past nine a.m.
He answered on the second ring. The hollow quality to his voice and some background noise brought Vanessa a vision of the pale, dapper Waxman driving his car, talking through the hands-free feature in his car. She quickly brought him up to speed on Isabel West’s murder and what she had done so far.
“Good move on keeping the wife isolated. But try to talk to all the others before they start sharing stories with each other.” She pressed the button to increase the volume because it was hard to hear him against the noise of the rain.
“We’re on that.”
“I know I promised you some more resources, but Ken Yamada won’t be able to get to your location today,” Waxman said. “With this weather, there’s not a plane nor a boat that’s going to make the trip from Oahu to Maui, especially not that tiny port in Hana. As soon as it breaks, he’ll take a chopper. In the meantime, be careful. Do everything strictly by the book. I don’t have to tell you how high-profile this is.”
“I’m surprised we’re not already swarmed by media,” said Vanessa.
“I guess you can thank the weather for that, at least. Check in frequently, Special Agent Storm.” Lightning flashed close and the phone line crackled, then went dead.
Lana came into the living room. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Where’s Kefir?” Vanessa asked.
Lana swallowed before she said “I don’t know.”
“What? He left? When? How?”
“I said, I don’t know.” Lana flopped onto one of the overstuffed chairs. “I can’t find him anywhere in the house. Unless he went to the studio or to Kaholo’s house. But he wouldn’t do that.”
Officer Righetti came into the room then, speaking into the police radio microphone pinned to his shoulder. “Yes, sir.” At the same moment, yet another police SUV pulled up in front of the house, parking on the access road that led to the Hana Highway, blocking the vehicles already at the house. An officer in a hat and slicker came up to the house as lightning flashed again, followed by thunder a few seconds later.
Rain followed the policeman into the house. When he took off his slicker, Vanessa recognized the Lieutenant insignia on his uniform. “I’m Lieutenant Matthews, in charge of the Hana Station,” he said, his voice low and gravelly. He was short for a cop, burly, with crew-cut blond hair that made his head look flat.
Vanessa shook his hand. “Special Agent Storm, FBI,” she said. “Pleased to meet you.” She turned as the lieutenant’s eyes focused behind her shoulder. Lei Texeira came from the kitchen, Van hurrying behind her with a mop and bucket.
The three cops moved into the living room. Lieutenant Matthews held his belt in both hands in front of his ample belly as he got straight to the point. “Detective Texeira, this investigation is taking up a lot of my resources,” he said. “The Hana station is short-staffed as it is, and you’ve got three officers here that are needed in the community.”
Righetti came down the hall, pulling on his slicker and putting on a hat. “We’ve got an accident on the Hana Highway by Kawakoe Gulch and another call at Hana Bay. I’m going to have to pull some officers off this detail.”
“What about the guard on Simon Sangster and his family?” Lei asked.
Matthews shook his head. “Sorry. I just don’t have the manpower. I can leave you with Officer O’Flynn to help with this investigation. But I need everyone else for our normal operations.”
“Well, that definitely does not help,” said Lei after they had left.
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