The call wakes me up from the bottom of a bottle and bottle slumber, a coma induced by cocktail, equal parts Nyquil and Jack Daniel’s. I grumble into the phone, creating coherent words an unspeakable chore. A voice I don’t recognize spits an urgent stream in my ear. I only make out the important details. A body. Gashed. Potato Town. I want to say I’ll be right there. I hang up and get dressed instead.
I arrive on the scene. Uniforms have already scattered the crowd, holding back a few key witnesses. Apparently there’s some kid, Peewee, may have seen the whole thing. I need to examine the body. Figure out who the poor bastard was. Get a grip on what I’m dealing with. A yellow brick road of police tape leads the way.
Shit. It’s a Russet. My job just got a lot harder. The Russets are the elite and powerful of Potato Town, bigwigs with big wallets, the charitable ball type, fundraising the easy way, just tell me when to stop writing zeros. I need to solve this case fast. It’s going to be all over the news. That means my ass if I don’t find a perp to pin this on soon. What was the dumb bastard doing down here? Doesn’t make sense that a Russet would be in this part of town, mixing it up with the bargain bin spuds.
The body’s in a bad way, chunks of skin cut straight from the face, a pool of blood coagulating around a gaping wound, serrated knife still lodged in deep. At least I’ve got the murder weapon. That’s something. Whatever sick fucker did this enjoyed himself. Took his time. This was deliberate. And brazen. Don’t normally see this type of hack job in the middle of the street. It’s more of the closed door type of affair.
I cover the body and head for the witnesses. I need to talk to the kid…