I arrived at the office about twenty minutes after leaving the house. It would have taken fifteen, but I stopped for gas about half-way there. Once I got to the office, my boss called me into the briefing room.
I sat down at my usual place, which was on the left wall and towards the back. I wanted to be in a position where I could easily leave the room without bringing any attention to myself. Not that I was planning on leaving early, but I tended to take the proper precautions.
"Okay, let's make this quick, I'm already late for the DA," my boss said, throwing some files down on the desk. Behind him was a chalk board which was full to the brim with suspect listings, pictures that were taken at the crime scene, and phone numbers.
Everyone exchanged quick glances, then gave their full attention to the boss (who looked quite stressed). "The victim's name is Ezra Himmelstein. He's a respected man in this community, but not necessarily famous. His neighbors say he keeps to himself, but is friendly when approached. He sounds like a swell guy, but we need to dig deep. We need to know all of his secrets. And the key to all of this is his niece, Rebekah Himmelstein."
Herman and I looked at each other.
The boss wiped some sweat off of his forehead. "She's lived with the guy for quite a while. About twelve years. She probably knows plenty of his secrets. She wasn't in the area at the time of the murder and had no contact with anybody here during that time. Now here's what I want you guys to do. I want you to be poking into the dead guy's past. I want rumors, stories, sex scandals, everything."
There was a pause.
"Get to work," he yelled, snatching the folders off the desk.
Everyone obeyed. Almost everyone in the room dashed out. The boss sighed. He shifted his gaze to Herman and me, then proceeded to walk around the desk and towards us.
"I want you guys to go see Rebekah," he said, stopping in front of us.
Herman frowned. "Sir, we've already spoken with---"
"I said that I want you to dig up everything you can on this guy. No one's perfect, so why did this guy seem to be? I want you to find out."
With that, he turned and left the room.
I glanced at Herman. "What are we supposed to ask her?"
Herman smiled. "Sounds like he expects her to just come out and tell us. It's not going to be that easy, you know. We're going to have to be specific."
I nodded. "Yeah, I agree."
"The real question is, what are the specifics?"
"Why are we going over there? We just saw her this morning. We have to have a reason for going over there so soon. Or at least act like we do."
"So like, pretend we have a lead?"
I smiled. "Herman, you're a little too sly for your own good."
Herman nodded. "Let's go."