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Excerpt of Missing Persons by Clare O'Donohue

Purchase


Kate Conway #1
Plume
June 2011
On Sale: May 31, 2011
Featuring: Kate Conway
288 pages
ISBN: 0452297060
EAN: 9780452297067
Trade Size
Add to Wish List

Mystery

Also by Clare O'Donohue:

Breaking the Dance, May 2019
Paperback / e-Book
Beyond the Pale, May 2018
Paperback / e-Book
Life Without Parole, April 2012
Paperback / e-Book
The Devil's Puzzle, October 2011
Paperback / e-Book
Missing Persons, June 2011
Trade Size
The Double Cross, October 2010
Paperback
A Drunkard's Path, October 2009
Paperback
The Lover's Knot, October 2008
Paperback

Excerpt of Missing Persons by Clare O'Donohue

One

"I want you to tell me about the day your husband was murdered."

The woman glanced toward the camera before returning her eyes to me. Then, in a quiet tone, she launched into the story. It was one she must have told a hundred times in the last three years—to police, family, friends, prosecutors, and now, to me.

Her husband had managed one of those excessively cheerful chain restaurants in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He’d recently started putting in a lot of hours because the couple was saving for their first home and planning a family. He’d wanted, as the woman now told me, to give them a secure future. But it wasn’t to be. One night, after he’d closed the restaurant and let the rest of the employees go home, he stayed to send some e-mails to the corporate office. While he worked, two men broke into the restaurant, one of them an ex-employee. Fearing identification, the men shot the husband in the face. His last words, apparently, were, "Tell my wife I love her." The killers were caught six hours later, having stolen only forty dollars. The rest of the day’s take had already been deposited at the bank by the assistant manager.

"Forty dollars," the woman repeated, still struggling to believe that her husband had been murdered, and her future shattered, for so paltry a sum.

She told the story beautifully, and with remarkable composure. But as I listened, nodding my head empathetically, my eyes glistening as if on the verge of tears, all I could think was—this would be so much better if she cried.

When she finished, she leaned back and looked, as they all do, for my approval. I gave it. I was her friend, after all. Though we’d only spoken once before today and I’d met her only two hours ago, I was now her best friend. That was what I needed her to feel so that she would trust me, tell me things in confidence, forget that a cameraman and audio guy were just a few feet away, recording everything she said for the cable television show I worked for. Caught! was one of dozens of true-crime shows littering up television and yet we never ran out of new murders to profile.

I leaned forward in my chair. We were sitting with our knees only inches apart but I needed to get even closer to block out everything but me.

"You did a great job with that," I said. "It was really hard, I know, but you did better than anyone I’ve interviewed."

I could hear the sincerity in my voice. I could imitate sincerity so well that even I believed it. I glanced toward the photo of her husband, strategically placed behind her left shoulder.

"Doug was a very special man."

As they all do, she turned to see what I was looking at and saw the photo of her husband on their wedding day. She kept her eyes there, reluctant to turn her back on him.

"He had such wonderful dreams for you both," I continued. "I can imagine it was something you talked about a lot."

"It was." Her voice cracked.

"He must have wanted to give you everything."

"He did."

"I guess that’s why he was working so late."

That was it. Tears came down her face. She began to shake. I reached over and placed my hand on hers. She turned her eyes back to me. She was so vulnerable, in so much pain. It would look great on camera.

I leaned back and spoke gently. "I want to go over the last question one more time. I know this is difficult, but tell me again about the day your husband was murdered."

She barely got through the story.

Excerpt from Missing Persons by Clare O'Donohue
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