No one recognizes me or stops me to say hello as I walk along the sidewalk on my way to talk with Officer Matthews about a certain sleazy, chain-smoking ex-detective. It’s a risk, but she’s my only source at the department—and what can happen in broad daylight in the police station? Ryan and I agreed it made the most sense as a next step.
Normally I wouldn’t even think about being recognized, but after the last episode of the podcast I feel visible at all times. Not that anyone necessarily knows what I look like, but still. I had to turn off notifications for my name and lock down all my personal accounts, just in case, because the news that the Order of St. Franklin faked Dick’s alibi basically broke the Internet. Or at least my murder-obsessed corner of it.
There’s still the question of why they needed to lie. Some people are certain Dick killed Peg or Dick and the Order did. For all we know he was out with his mistress. I believe he’s guilty, but the only things we can say for certain are that the Order agreed to cover for Dick and if they covered up for his dad, then his grandfather—and Len Brockman—must know the details of exactly what happened.
The photo of the dinner party guests showing up in the police files after I questioned Dick’s alibi in my podcast is now fishy as hell, and Brockman’s statements about the follow-up weren’t convincing. According to Ryan, it was his grandfather’s suggestion to keep Dick and Skyler away in Mexico for a few more days “until the attention blows over.”
We’re both in agreement that there’s no way Dick could mastermind a cover-up this complicated and long-running. Richard Carlisle is our man on that front. But we need to gather a little more information before we go traipsing in to see the family patriarch and demand our answers.
But if all goes to plan, that’s where we’re headed. While I’m at the police station, Ryan’s off on an assignment of his own, digging into the family business to see if his dad or grandfather have been paying Len Brockman, for what, and for how long. Ryan seems to be taking things well, though I can tell he’s hurting, but he insists he wants to see this through.
Meanwhile, my inbox overflows with gruesomely specific death threats, of course. I’m not sleeping so well. Despite increased media attention, the Eddyville police insist Brandon McDonal really did commit suicide. The Carlisle family attorney was finally forced to give a short, snippy quote to the local newspaper, saying that Dick Carlisle continues to grieve for his wife and any suggestion that he could be involved in her death is muckraking of the worst sort. In essence, they’re maintaining that it’s a closed case, so case closed.
You can imagine how that went over with Reddit. (FUKU: Bullshit! the husband did it!!!!!!)
Ryan wasn’t surprised to hear his grandfather had paid a visit to my mother, but he’s said nothing about me or the case to Ryan. Ryan’s just been cautioned to be careful who he associates with during this period of renewed attention. Funny, that. Given they don’t mind him hanging out with a secret society that keeps a book of secrets, aka mostly crimes, petty and otherwise.
Busting the alibi was enough for the podcast; I didn’t mention Brockman’s potential involvement. One, I don’t want him to know we’re onto him yet. And, two, to discuss the whole of why I find him so shady, I’d also have to discuss Delilah. She was sniffing around in the Order’s business, and it’s becoming pretty clear who’d have been on cleanup duty. But I’m not ready to air my growing suspicion about his connection to her death in public.
My mom has listened to every episode now, according to Dad, anyway—she’s still not quite talking to me. He threw in that my aunt has tuned in, too, which makes me feel like I must tread carefully where my cousin’s death is concerned. I know it’s a double standard to protect my family and no one else’s, but I have to. Mostly. Because if Len Brockman was involved in Delilah’s overdose, then what’s to keep him from coming after me?
I push open the glass door to enter the police station, a shockingly familiar action these days. Officer Matthews gets up as soon as she sees me. I called ahead to make sure she’d be around this morning.
“I reserved us a conference room,” she says. “Come on back.”
The lift of her eyebrows and the eagerness tells me she’s curious. I suspect she’s not going to appreciate my line of inquiry, however. The thin blue line they view as a barrier between order and chaos can form an impenetrable wall of protection for even the dirtiest of cops.
I’m giving Matthews the tiniest benefit of the doubt, but only because she’s the...