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The pair of detectives, nicknamed Roach, a mashup of their names, led Heat past the empty Formica tables that would have been filled for lunch in a few hours if it hadnt been for the murder. When they got to the kitchen, Raley said, You ready for a first? He put his gloved hand on the topmost door of the pizza oven and drew it down to reveal the victim. Or what remained of him.

Heit looked like a hehad been shoved in there on his side, bent to fit, and baked. Nikki looked at Raley then Ochoa then back to the corpse. The oven still gave off a hint of warmth, and the body in it resembled a mummy. He had been clothed when he went in. Remnants of scorched fabric dangled off his arms and legs, and shrouded patches of the torso like a disintegrated quilt.

Raleys look of dark amusement faded and he stepped to her. Ochoa joined him, studying her. You gonna be sick? No, Im fine. She busied herself gloving up with a pair of blue disposables, then added, I just forgot something. Nikki said it dismissively, like it was no big deal. But to her, it was. What she had forgotten was her ritual. The small personal ceremony she went through on arrival at every homicide scene.

To pause silently a few seconds before going in, to honor the life of the victim she was about to meet. It was a ritual born of empathy. A rite as common as grace before a meal.

And today, for the first time everNikki Heat had forgotten to do it. The slip bothered her, yet maybe it was inevitable. Lately, working routine homicides had become a distraction that kept her from focusing fully on her bigger case. Of course she couldnt share that with anyone on her squad, but she did complain to Rook how hard it was to try to close a chapter when people kept opening others. He reminded her of the words of John Lennon: Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.

My problem, shed said, is that death happens. Kitchen crew found him, when they opened for lunch prep, began Raley. Ochoa picked right up. They thought it was hinky that the oven felt warm. They popped the oven door and found our crispy critter.

Roach exchanged self-satisfied grins. You do know that just because Rook isnt here, you dont have to guest-host. She held her palms to the oven.

It felt warm but not hot. Did they turn it off? Negative, said Raley. Cook said it was off when they came in. Any idea who our vic is? The heat damage would make him hard to recognize. Ochoa flipped to his notes. We assume the victim to be one Roy Conklin.

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The medical examiner, Lauren Parry, rose up from her lab kit. But thats a guess until we can run dental records and DNA. An educated guess, said Ochoa. Heat read the gentle tease of Dr. Parry, his not-so-secret girlfriend. We did find a wallet. He indicated the stainless steel prep table and the evidence bag on it holding the disfigured leather block and a buckled New York State license.

And the weird gets weirder, said Raley, taking a Mini Maglite from his vest pocket and focusing it on the corpse. Heat moved closer, and Raley said, Weird enough? Nikki nodded.

Ochoa moved beside her. We already put in a call to DHMH.

Ready for this? The body in that oven is a restaurant health inspector. Thats definitely a violation. All heads turned toward the familiar voice. And the wisecrack. Jameson Rook strolled in, a vision to Nikki in his perfectly cut navy Boss suit and a purple and white spread-collared shirtplus the charcoal and purple tie shed chosen for him. This joint will have a Grade-B in the window by tonight, you watch.

Heat came up beside him. Not that I dont appreciate your help, but what happened? Dont tell me you got bored by your big red-carpet event. Not at all. I was going to stay for the after-crowd handshakes, but then Raley texted me about this. And thank God he did. Why hang around for another gripand-grin when youve got a chance to see He peered in the oven. Hot damn. An alien from Area Roach appreciated the gallows humor.

Lauren Parry, not so much. Whats that on your shoulder, glitter? Out, before you contaminate my area. Rook grinned. If I had a nickel for every time Ive heard that.

But he stepped out to the dining room and left his coat on the back of a chair. He returned just as a pair of techs from OCME were removing the body from the oven. Ochoa handed him a pair of blue nitrile gloves to put on. Check out this badge, said Raley. Heat got on one knee beside him for a closer look. Conklins ID badge and its lanyard showed absolutely no signs of scorching or melting.

Rook knelt with them. This means whoever killed him must have waited for the oven to cool down or come back later and put this around his neck. Nikki turned and gave him a look. Hey, not fair. Thats your wild conjecture face. Dont tell me youre also going to bust my balls for a timely summary of facts.

Ochoa, who was standing at the oven, said, Detective? Heat stood and followed the beam of his flashlight. In the back corner of the oven, where it had been blocked from view by the body, sat a folded coat.

Just like the badge and lanyard, it showed no signs of scorching.

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Detective Ochoa used a long-handled pizza paddle to shovel it up. When he slid it forward to them, nobody spoke. They just stared at the coat and what was on top of it: a neat coil of red string and a dead rat. Detective Feller had completed his interviews with the cook and the busboy by the time Heat, Rook, Raley, and Ochoa emerged from the kitchen.

Their stories square up, he reported. They served their last pies at midnight, tore down, closed up at one A. He flipped through pages of notes. No unusual activity in the days prior, no sign of burglary or forced entry. They do have a closed-circuit camera system, but it died last week.

No beefs with customers or vendors. As for the health inspector, Conklins name or photo didnt ring a bell with either one. I held back the info about where you found the ID, of course, but when I asked, generally, if they touched or tampered with the body, it was a double no.

Meanwhile, go ahead and kick them loose. Determining exact time and cause of death would be tricky, since a baked corpse corrupted cellular structures and body temps. So while Heat left her BFF the medical examiner to take the body to 30th Street for its postmortem, she plotted the immediate moves for her crew. Ochoa would deploy a team of uniformed officers to canvass the neighborhood with cell-capture copies of Conklins ID photo. Once the unis got launched, Ochoa would go to Conklins home to notify family and see what could be learned there.

Raley would do his usual spot check for area security cameras that might have caught something. Heat put Detective Feller on a trip to the Health Department to get the victims employment records and to interview his supervisor about his case work and office relationships. As for Rook, he offered to be an extra brain at the squad briefing, and Nikki couldnt resist saying, You flatter yourself, but sure. When the two of them stepped out of Domingos Famous, Rook wagged his head in disdain at the gathering of onlookers behind the yellow tape.

You know, Nikki, I cant get over the lookyloos who hang out for whatever macabre thrill they get out of watching a body bag loaded into a van. More like lookyloozahs. A voice called out from the crowd. Jameson Rook? They stopped. Here, over here! The waving arm belonged to a big-haired young woman in black leather pants and what could charitably be described as fuckme heels. She pushed to the front of the rubberneckers and pressed the fullness of her leopard-print vest against the yellow tape.

Could I get a picture with you? Heat waited in the undercover car while Rook posed with not just the one fan, but each of three additional babes who materialized from the crowd. At least he wasnt signing their breasts this time. She made a quick e-mail check. Yesss, she said aloud to the empty car when she saw one from a private investigator shed been waiting to hear back from. You about done?

The photo was just the beginning. She wanted me to Tweet the picture myself and add hashtagruggedlyhandsome. He put his head back on the headrest and said, Apparently, Im trending as we speak. Nikki started the car.

Remember Joe Flynn? Rook sat upright. That PI. The one who has the hots for you? Well, that PI did me a favor and dug through his archives and found some old surveillance photos of my mom. He wants to have lunch. I thought you called a squad meeting in an hour about Krusty the Corpse.

And then he added solemnly, May he rest in peace. Heat drummed her fingertips on the steering wheel, once again feeling the conflict of the daily homicide grind.

She did some quick calculations. Well tell him it has to be a quick bite. OK, said Rook with a side glance at the crime scene. But no pizza. Just sayin. Since Heat and Rook didnt have time to be trapped in a restaurant for two hours of small talk and dessert-tray recitations, Joe Flynn had arranged for a deli buffet in the conference room of Quantum Recovery, his elite investigation service headquartered atop the exclusive Sole Building.

He had brought in a charcuterie platter from Citarella stacked with Parma ham, roast beef, Jarlsberg, Muenster, as well as rustic mustards and herbed mayo. They declined the microbrews poking out of tubs of shaved ice and opted for the Saratoga springwater, which their host poured for them. Youve come a long way from your roots, Joe, said Rook, who munched a cornichon, standing at the huge window looking out over Midtown Manhattan.

You mean from staking out adulterers at hot sheet motels for a threehundred-dollar per diem?

He joined Rook and admired the spring day with him. Id say fine art recovery has made life a little easier. Plus I dont feel like I need a shower after I cash the check.

Before Joe Flynn climbed to elite ranks and the express elevators that came with them, Nikkis mom had been the subject of one of his adultery investigationscommissioned by Nikkis dad.


Worried about Cynthia Heats increasingly secretive life, her husband hired Flynn in because he suspected his wife was having an affair. Flynn never found evidence of infidelity, but he did have stakeout photographs of Nikkis mom which could be useful now in her search for Tyler Wynn. Just as Nikki sidled up beside them, unable to resist the view of the Empire State Building and, in the distance, between skyscrapers, a sliver of Staten Island, Rook got a cell phone call and excused himself to take it.

As soon as the door closed, Joe Flynn said, Lucky man. Nikki turned to find him staring at her like a beaming hopeful on Antiques Roadshow awaiting the appraisers verdict. Nikki wished her phone would ring, too. Instead she switched topics. I appreciate you digging for those photos. Oh, right. Flynn produced a thumb drive from his pocket and rolled it on the fingers of one hand, not teasing but not yet giving it to her, either.

I looked for the man and woman whose pics you texted me last week, he said, referring to the images shed sent of Wynn and his accomplice, Salena Kaye. Didnt see them in here. And then he grinned at her again, adding, Your mother was a beautiful woman. She was. Just like her daughter. Thank you, she said as neutrally as possible. He finally read the signs and handed over the memory key. May I ask who they are?

The pair youre looking for? Sorry, Id like to, but its a confidential police matter. Cant blame me for asking. Curiosity comes with the job description, right? Cant switch it off. Oh, did Nikki hear that. Heat hoped to find more in those photos than something to spark leads on Tyler Wynn and Salena Kaye. She also sought a clue to solve her big secret. A few weeks ago, Nikki had stumbled upon a series of strange pencil notations her mother had left embedded in her sheet music.

She believed it was a coded message. The dots, lines, and squiggles followed no pattern she recognized. Nikki had Googled Morse code, Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Mayan alphabet, even urban street graffiti, all to no avail. To satisfy her police objectivity, shed even researched to determine if the symbols were simply shorthand for how to play the music. All she found was another dead end. She needed help to crack it, but, acutely mindful of its sensitivitythis code could be why Tyler Wynn had her mother killedHeat knew she had to keep it secret.

Absolutely secret. She weighed the notion of telling Rook about it, knowing Mr. Conspiracy would throw his body, soul, and hyperactive imagination into breaking that code.

But Nikki decided to hold on to it herself, for now. This wasnt just a secret. This secret was deadly. After their meeting at Quantum Recovery, Heat signed her and Rook out at the lobby security desk. She took a step toward the Avenue of the Americas exit but sensed Rook lagging.

Change of plan, he said. That call?

Jeanne Callow, you know, my agent? Gym rat, too much makeup, Jeanne the Machine, that Jeanne Callow? He smiled at her snarkiness and continued, The same. Anyway, Im going to hoof it to her office on Fifth so we can plan publicity for the new article.

A familiar claw dug into Nikkis diaphragm, but she smiled and said, No problem. Catch up with you at your place tonight? We can go over these pictures?

Um, yuh. We can do that. Heat drove back to the precinct alone, reaffirming her instinct to withhold the code from Rook. Nikki shot a tense look from her desk across the bull pen and once again felt torn between her big case and another homicide.

The team of detectives shed called in on the Conklin murder sat cooling their heels because she was late for her own meeting. Desperately trying to get a lead on Tyler Wynn, Heat had thought she could squeeze in this call before the squad briefing but found herself stalled by a gatekeeper.

This is my fourth attempt to reach Mr. Kuzbari, she said, trying not to let her anger seep through. Is he aware this is an official inquiry from the New York Police Department? Fariq Kuzbari, security attach to the Syrian Mission to the UN, had been one of her moms piano tutoring clients. Heat had tried to interview him weeks ago, but he and his armed goons rebuffed her.

She wasnt about to give up. A man the likes of Fariq Kuzbari could well shed some light on a spook colleague the likes of Tyler Wynn. Kuzbari is out of the country for an indefinite period. Would you like to leave another message? What Nikki would have liked to do was throttle her desktop with the phone and shout something very undiplomatic. She counted a silent three and said, Yes, please.

Heat hung up and caught a few antsy glances from her squad. On her way to the front of the room, she started wording her apology for keeping them waiting, but by the time she reached the whiteboard and turned to face them, the homicide squad leader had decided her call and the delay were police business. Screw John Lennon, she thought. Then Detective Heat dove right in. OK, so were looking at Roy Conklin, male, age forty-two Heat began, running down the basics from the crime scene.

After placing on the board blowups of the victims ID photo and a color head shot cropped from the Health Department Web site, she continued. Now, there are a few wrinkles in this death, to say the least. Beginning with the condition and placement of the body. A pizza oven is not involved in your everyday homicide.

Detective Rhymer raised a hand. Do we know yet whether he was killed in the oven, or if it was used just to dispose of the body?

Good question, said Heat. OCME is still testing to determine both cause and time of death. Detective Ochoa said, We did get word from the ME that traces of chloroform were found on the front of the victims jacket. Heat whipped her head his direction. She hadnt known that. Her mind shot back to a missed call from Lauren Parry while she was in the thick of it with the Syrian Mission.

The medical examiners boyfriend gave Nikki a small nod. Ochoa had her back. So Nikki picked up her rundown quickly, its possible Mr. Conklin was either chemically subdued at the crime scene, or else beforehand, and transported. Until we know COD, we wont know if he went in the oven alive or dead. If he was alive, we can only pray he was totally unconscious from the chloroform. The room stilled as the cops contemplated Roy Conklins last moments.

She resumed. The other wrinkles are the unburned items on and near the body. She recited each as she posted Forensic photos on the board: The lanyard and ID around his neck; his folded jacket; and the coil of red string with the deadunbakedrat beside it. At the very least, this bizarre MO suggests kinkiness, revenge, or a message killing. Lets not forget, he was a restaurant health inspector, not only killed in a restaurantpotentially by one of its pieces of equipment.

The placement of the rat plus the preservation of his DHMH badge mean something. Exactly what, we need to find out. Ochoa reported that the unis had come up zero on neighborhood eyewits. And his visit to Conklins apartment revealed no signs of struggle, burglary, or anything. The building super said Conklins wife was away on a business trip, and the super gave him a cell number.

Raley had found a half dozen surveillance cams in the area and was poised to begin his video surfing. Feller, back from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, had spoken to Conklins supervisor, who characterized him as a model employee, using terms like motivated and dedicated and calling him one of those rare types who lived the job and never went off the clock.

Nonetheless, we have to see what else he was about, said Heat. She assigned Rhymer to run his bank records to look for irregularities, with an eye toward bribes, big vacations, or living beyond his means. She put Feller on digging deeper with his coworkers and to see if there were any complaints about him from the places he inspected. Rales, along with your surveillance screening, you and Miguel pair up and hit the restaurants and bars on Conklins roster.

Listen to what they say about habits, vices, enemiesyou know the drill. Ill put in a call to the wife and try to meet her in the morning. Afterward, at her desk, Nikki studied the slip of paper with the name Olivia Conklin on it and the number under it. She put her hand on the phone, but before she lifted it off the cradle, she paused. Just ten seconds.

To honor the body. Ten seconds, thats all. When she came into her apartment, she found Rook twisting the wire cage off the bottle of Louis Roederer that First Press had sent him to commemorate his role in launching their Web site. The amazing day Ive had, Nik, what I really want to do, is saber this thing off. Ive always wanted to try that. You wouldnt, by chance, have a saber, would you? As he filled their flutes, Nikki said, You never told me about your ceremony.

I only saw the glitter on your shoulder. I confess it was fun. Of course, I pretended it was a pain in the ass, but truly? It was so cool. We were all behind this rope line on the sidewalk right there on Broadway, across from GMA. Me, the mayor, Green Day, the magazine suits Wait a minute.

Green Day was there? Well, not all of them. Only Billie Joe Armstrong. American Idiot opens this week at the St. James, and he had his PR haftas to hafta do, also. Anyway, the moment comes, the editor in chief, Elisabeth Dyssegaard, gives me my intro. Like for dropping the New Years Eve ball?

Mm More like the That Was Easy button. But the whole deal was about me making the first press of the button that posted the first article on FirstPress. He raised his glass. Heres to Bringing Heat. The title of the article brought her a sudden gut twist. But she smiled, rang her glass on his, and sipped the Cristal. While they ate takeout from SushiSamba, Rook went on about the huge number of hits his article had already gotten on the Web site.

He asked her about the pizza murder, and Nikki gave him the bullet points but quickly moved off that topic to vent her frustration at trying to reach Fariq Kuzbari.

Wanna bet that he actually is out of the country? Rook said. My correspondent pals in Egypt and Tunisia tell me things are restless. Kuzbaris probably been called back to Syria because a security pit bull like him has a big to-do list.

So many tortures, so little time. She put down her chopsticks and napkinned her mouth. Forget Kuzbari. That still leaves two other persons of interest my mother spied on that I havent been able to follow up with. One has been out of state competing with his show dogs and the other has stonewalled me through his attorney. God, talk about pit bulls. Want to hear a win-win idea? Send that lawyer off to trade places with Kuzbari. While she kicks ass in Syria, youll have two of your POIs available.

Glad you think this is funny, Rook. Heat shoved her plate away. I am merely trying to catch the man who ordered my mothers execution, OK? He dropped his grin and began to speak, but she rolled over him.

And clearly, since Tyler Wynn also tried to have me killed in that subway tunnel, that old fucker is either still hiding something damaging from the past, or something bad is going on right now. So if you want to treat this like its all some sort of fodder to amuse you after Ive opened my life for your precious article, keep it to yourself. She left him looking pale at the dining room table and hoped the slam of her bedroom door gave him a coronary.

When he came to her ten minutes later, he didnt switch on the light and she didnt bring her face from her pillow. He sat beside her on the bed and spoke softly in the darkness. Nikki, if I believed for one second that Tyler Wynn was a threat to you, I would drop everything and move heaven and earth to protect you. And find him. But the fact is, Tyler Wynn got everything he wanted in that subway Ghost Station when he got his hands on that pouch you found.

Trust me, Wynns big concern is to disappear and become a ghost himself. Surfacing to do you harm would only expose him to risk.

Let them carry the weight, theyre the experts. But I apologize for shooting my mouth off. I dont think this is a joke at all, and I never, ever want to hurt you. A silent moment passed. She sat up, and in the dim light spilling from the living room, she could see a glistening under one eye. Nikki gently thumbed his tear away and held him. They embraced each other long enough that time evaporated.

At last, when the silence had done its healing, he spoke. You said fucker. You did. You called Tyler Wynn an old fucker. I was upset. You never swear. Well, hardly ever. I know. Except when we She let it trail off and felt the heat come to her face. Then the speed of his pulse rose and thrummed against her ear where it rested against the soft of his neck. They turned to face each other without a sign, just the knowing, and kissed. It was a tender one, at first.

He tasted her vulnerability, and she his gentle care. But soon, as they shared breath and space, passion filled her. She pushed hard against him. Rook arched toward her, and she clasped both hands on his backside and pulled him closer. Then she traced her fingertips to his lap and felt her palm fill with him.

His hand found her and she moaned, then fell back under his body to let his weight find all of her there for him. Later, after theyd dozed in each others arms, he left the room, giving her a choice view of his magnificent ass.

He returned with two flutes of Cristal, which they sat up and sipped. The bubbles were still tight and the wine rolled clean on her tongue.

They nestled against each other, and Rook said, Ive been thinking what hell all this has been for you for ten years. Ten-plus, she said.

Know what I cant wait for? Im longing for the day when this whole Tyler Wynn case is closed and I can take you away someplace where just the two of us can sit and veg. You know, sleep, make love, sleep, make love Get my theme?

Its a good theme, Rook. The best. Only to be interrupted by kicking back on tropical sand with a rum drink in one hand and a nice Janet Evanovich in the other. Lets get back to the make love part. Oh, count on that. I mean right now, she said. And placed their champagne glasses on the nightstand. Distant thunder awoke Nikki. She made a curtain check and saw by the city lights that the streets and rooftops in Gramercy Park were dry.

The low cloud ceiling pinked up with a flash, probably from a bolt way out east over the Island. On the couch, cross-legged in her robe, with her laptop cradled on her thighs, Nikki clicked on FirstPress. The shot was a candid, taken by a photojournalist when she emerged from the precinct after her ordeal in the subway the night she arrested Petar. Her face showed all the fatigue and hardness and gravity shed borne.

Heat never loved pictures of herself, but this was, at least, easier to look at than the posed magazine cover shot they had forced her to take for Rooks first article. She scanned the piece, not to read it she had already done that days before but to absorb the fact of its reality. Some genies come from rubbing lamps, others from uncorking complimentary Cristal.

This was out there now, and she only hoped it wouldnt kill her case. Nikki Heat braced herself for the next round of notoriety. And the mild irritation that Rook had published some little bits of her investigative jargon, like looking for the odd sock and visiting a crime scene with beginners eyes. If that was the worst that came from it, she could deal.

The next morning, nursing a brain that had spun its wheels all night, Nikki stopped at her neighborhood Starbucks on her walk to the subway. She never used to bother with movie ticketpriced drinks.

Blame Rook. Hed gotten her in the habit. To the point that when he donated an espresso machine to the squad room, she taught herself how to pull a perfect twenty-five-second shot. When she ordered her usual, she got that unexplainable pleasure from hearing Grande skim latte, two pumps, sugarfree vanilla for Nikki called out and then echoed back over the jet whoosh of the milk steamer.

Its the tiny rituals that let you know Gods in his heaven and all is right with the world. She made a scan of the room and caught a twentysomething guy in a sincere suit staring at her. His gaze darted back to his iPad then back to her. Then he smiled and hoisted his macchiato in a toast. And so it begins, she thought. The barista called out, Grande skim latte for Nikki, but when she moved down the counter to get it, Sincere Suit blocked her, holding up his iPad with her face filling it.

Detective Heat, you are awesome. He smiled and his cheeks dimpled. Ah, well, thank you. She took a half step, but the beaming fanboy backed up, staying with her. I cant believe its you. I read this article twice last night Holy shit, would you sign my cup? Inexperienced at this, she agreed, just to move it along. He held out a ballpoint he probably got for his graduation, but before she could take it, a wooden chair tipped over, followed by a chorus of gasps.

Across the room, near the drink pickup, a homeless man writhed and bucked on the floor, his legs kicking wildly against the toppled chair. Stunned customers fled their tables and backed away. Call , Heat said to the barista and raced to the mans side. Just as she knelt, he stopped convulsing and someone behind her screamed.

Blood had begun to flow from his mouth and nose. It mixed with the vomit and spilled coffee pooling on the floor beside him. His eyes stilled in a death stare, and a telltale stench arose as his bowels released.

Heat pressed his neck and got no pulse. When she withdrew her fingers, his head rolled to the side, and Nikki saw something she had seen only once before in her life, the night Petar had been poisoned in the holding cell.

The dead mans tongue lolled out of his mouth, and it was black. She looked at the spilled drink on the floor beside him. A grande cup with Nikki grease-penciled on the side. She stood to study the crowd. Thats when she saw a familiar face on the way out the door. Salena Kaye made eye contact with Heat and bolted.

TWO Nikki dashed to the exit, shouting, Police officer, everyone outside. Few patrons seemed eager to get closer to the corpse, but Heat worried about the poison and wanted to preserve the crime scene for clues. She yanked open the door and called to the barista holding the phone, Tell , officer in pursuit of homicide suspect.

Heat flattened against the wall of the vestibule then goosenecked a peek up the sidewalk to make sure she didnt hustle out into an ambush. A flash of Salena Kaye, weaving away through pedestrians. She took off after her. Kaye never looked back, just kept sprinting with purpose. And speed. Nikki made a quick scope of 23rd, hoping for a blue-and-white. In that split second, she collided with two teenagers backing out of a bodega, laughing at their Twizzler fangs. They all kept their footing, but when Heat cleared the boys, she spotted Salena popping the back door of a taxi.

The cab was too far away to read its plate or medallion number. Heat memorized its missing-a-chunk bumper and the gentlemens club ad on the roof, hoping to find it again in the sea of rush hour taxis about to swallow it. She stepped out into the middle of the street, holding her shield out to drivers and signaling them to stop. An off-duty cab blasted its horn and accelerated off.

A green Camry screeched to a stop just past her. Nikki rushed up and opened the drivers door. The startled old man looked at her from behind the thick glasses of another decade.

Police emergency. I need your car. Now, please. Without a word, the slack-jawed senior climbed out.

Deadly Heat

Heat thanked him, got in, saw the tiny old woman looking at her from the passenger seat, and floored it. Hold on, said Nikki, taking a sharp left onto First. Shed briefly spotted the XXX from the strip clubs rooftop ad and scanned the avenue of cabs ahead of her to find it again. Her passenger said nothing, just clawed the dash with arthritically distorted hands while her seat belt clunked into lock mode.

Up ahead, partially blocked from view by an ambulette, Heat picked out the taxis scarred bumper and then Salena Kayes face peering out the back window. Nikki punched it through the red light at 24th, offering calm reassurance. You dont have to worry, Ive done this before. The elderly woman just stared at her, saucer-eyed. But she nodded.

The old gal was game. You have a cell phone? Its a Jitterbug, she said, and held up her bright red phone. Shall I call ? Yes, please. Heat tried to sound casual even as she lurched the wheel and mashed the brake. A gnarled forefinger tapped the large, senior-friendly keypad.

Say Officer needs assistance. While Heat threaded through the uptown rush, keeping pace with the cab, her passenger repeated Nikkis parceled-out messages to the emergency operator, asking her to radio for patrol cars to get ahead of them so they could wedge the suspect in a vise.

You did great. As the woman snapped her Jitterbug closed, Heat threw a protective arm out across her. Hang on, hang on. Just beyond Bellevue Hospital, Salena Kaye bailed from her taxi and ran into the ambulance driveway. Heat checked her mirrors, pulled a hard right to the curb, and stopped. You OK? The old lady nodded. Hot dog. Detective Heat flew out of the car, sprinting after her suspect. Nikki eyeballed the row of FDNY ambulances parked at the trauma entrance, looking inside and between them all as she ran, but she couldnt spot Kaye.

She jogged deeper into the passageway, slowing to check behind some laundry bins. Then she caught it. A figure going over the wall at the dead end of the lot. Keywords This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Photomed Laser Surg 30 7 — Langmuir 25 5 — J Pathog —5. Photodiagn Photodyn Ther — Arch Immunol Ther Exp 64 3 — Adv Drug Deliv Rev — Acta Pharm Sin B 6 6 — Int J Mol Sci 19 6 Clin Microbiol Infect 22 5 — J Infect Public Health 10 4 — Antimicrob Agents Chemother 54 1 — Photochem Photobiol Sci 10 4 — Curr Opin Microbiol — Photochem Photobiol Sci 3 5 Nat Rev Microbiol 10 4 — Antibiotics 3 3 — Weinstein RA, ed.

Clin Infect Dis 63 1 — J Pharm Sci 99 8 — Adv Nat Sci Nanosci Nanotechnol 9 2 Microb Pathog —OK, so were looking at Roy Conklin, male, age forty-two Heat began, running down the basics from the crime scene. Raley, get on the blower to the MTA. Heat checked her mirrors, pulled a hard right to the curb, and stopped.

Opie hit the deck bucking and snorting. Banks escorted them along a back wall to a situation room where DHS special agent in charge Bart Callan came around from the head of the empty conference table to meet them at the door. He wants to have lunch.