‘Good news’, she said.
I had one of the three holding cells to myself, with Smokin’ Joe’s alongside. We passed the time talking about his big fights. He did most of the talking, I listened. Janet’s visit broke up my day; gave me a chance to exercise my legs on the walk to one of the interview rooms and back.
It was good to see her, and I smiled back. ‘Someone’s confessed?’
She laughed. ‘I like your humor, Shayne.’
I plunked my cuffed hands on the table so she could see that it was a serious joke.
‘Let’s hear it, then.’
She delved into her bag and brought out two piles of documents. ‘Copies of Bank of Hawaii bank statements,’ she said, passing them across.
The last time I’d seen a statement was when the Bank of America closed down my account, several thousand bucks in the red. I tipped a folder full of threatening letters over my bank manager’s desk, and told him to go fuck himself. Next day, I hitched a ride out of town.
‘I’ll pass,’ I said.
She stared at me. ‘Do you really want to get out of here?’
I was being an asshole. Strange how banks had that effect on me. ‘Look, it’s just that...’
She cut in. ‘I’ve made it easy for you.’
The first was for Linda Adams. I flipped the pages and looked down the list of transactions. Some were circled; fifty thousand bucks a month, regular income. I switched to the second pile. Robert Van Grossman. Similar transactions were circled; fifty big ones, regular outgoings.
I looked up at Janet. ‘Robert Van Grossman ... the fat one ... my ex-employer, Van?’
‘How did you get hold of these?’
‘Legally,’ she said, with a grin on her face. ‘Court subpoena ... reasonable suspicion of criminal activities.’
She sighed. ‘Work it out. Linda Adams has been receiving fifty grand a month from Van Grossman for the last two years.’
I stared at the cold, white walls while I worked it out.
One point two million bucks!
The fog lifted. ‘Linda had some sort of hold over Van Grossman?’
Janet gave me a thumbs-up. ‘I’d go as far to say she was blackmailing him.’
I sat up straight. More questions were forming. ‘Why?’
‘Robert Van Grossman is a famous Movie Producer cum Director ... in the same league as Tarantino. His adoring public think that the late Miss Adams is his partner.’ She shook her head. ‘Not so. Linda was a cover for Patrick Stern.’
A motive, however tenuous. I had another thought. ‘Hold on,’ I said. ‘You didn’t know there were any criminal activities before you got hold of these bank statements.’
She waved a hand at an imaginary benefactor. ‘Jameson knows people,’ she said. ‘Called in a few favors.’
I nodded. Results were priority with the Taylor clan. ‘And Stern? How does he fit into all this?’
Janet swayed in her seat, smiled sweetly. ‘That’s where it gets interesting. He’s an entrepreneur who has made millions backing box-office hits … most of that invested in the Kona Beach resort on the sea-front. He could have been jealous ... maybe he wants to come out ... maybe he wants a slice of the action ... who knows?’
She sat back, crossed her arms; waited. I picked up my cup and swallowed some water; scanned this room; less claustrophobic.
Clock on the wall, second hand ticking.
Fluorescent light above my head, tube flickering
I tried to assemble the facts, make a picture, but a piece of the jigsaw didn’t fit.
I breathed in, and then exhaled. ‘I don’t buy it. What was in it for Linda?’
Janet was ready - cutting edge, reading my mind. She delved back into her bag and produced another two bank statements, dated a few days ago; passed them over. Linda Adams had received a hundred thousand bucks. The other was Patrick Stern’s statement with the same amount going out of his account.
It didn’t make sense.
‘I don’t get it,’ I said.
Janet nodded. ‘Me neither ... yet. That’s why I’ve put a tap on Stern’s cell phone calls.’
Her words struck a chord. Something lurked at the back of my mind, but I couldn’t grasp it. She was talking...
‘...Rupert is flying out tomorrow. Okay with you?’
I nodded, deep in thought.
Bring it on.