There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
You've a pretty good nerve," said Ratchett. "Will twenty thousand dollars tempt you?" It will not." If you're holding out for more, you won't get it. I know what a thing's worth to me." I, also M. Ratchett." What's wrong with my proposition?" Poirot rose. "If you will forgive me for being personal - I do not like your face, M. Ratchett," he said.
It often seems to me that's all detective work is, wiping out your false starts and beginning again." "Yes, it is very true, that. And it is just what some people will not do. They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant.
You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that, oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now. Far more a part of it than Rusty Regan was.
I stole a bit of a chopped vegetable and was about to put it in my mouth when Jae’s long fingers closed over my wrist. What? You can’t eat this raw? It’s bitter melon. You won’t like it. He went into the fridge and came out with something that looked halfway familiar. Here, leftover bao. There’s char siu inside. The red pork stuff? Yeah, I like that. I thought it was Chinese. It is. We also eat hamburgers and spaghetti.
Bina, thank you. Bina, listen, this guy. His name wasn't Lasker. This guy-' She puts a hand to his mouth. She has not touched him in three years. It probably would be too much to say that he feels the darkness lift at the touch of her fingertips against his lips. But it shivers, and light bleeds in among the cracks.
Being a homicide detective can be the loneliest job in the world. The friends of the victim are upset and in despair, but sooner or later - after weeks or months - they go back to their everyday lives. For the closest family it takes longer, but for the most part, to some degree, they too get over the grieving and despair. Life has to go on; it does go on. But the unsolved murders keep gnawing away and in the end there's only one person left who thinks night and day about the victim: it's the office who is left with the investigation.
Of course it's very hampering being a detective, when you don't know anything about detecting, and when nobody knows that you're doing detection, and you can't have people up to cross-examine them, and you have neither the energy nor the means to make proper inquiries; and, in short, when you're doing the whole thing in a thoroughly amateur, haphazard way.
It's very good of you--" "No, no, not at all. It's my hobby. Not proposing to people, I don't mean, but investigating things. Well, cheer-frightfully-ho and all that. And I'll call again, if I may." "I will give the footman orders to admit you," said the prisoner, gravely, "you will always find me at home.
It was always the same for her when she arrived to meet the body. After she unbuckled her seat belt, after she pulled a stick pen from the rubber band on the sun visor, after her long fingers brushed her hip to feel the comfort of her service piece, what she always did was pause. Not long. Just the length of a slow deep breath. That's all it took for her to remember the one thing she will never forget. Another body waited. She drew the breath. And when she could feel the raw edges of the hole that had been blown in her life, Detective Nikki Heat was ready. She opened the car door and went to work . . . Heat could have made it easier on herself by parking closer, but this was another of her rituals: the walk up. Every crime scene was a flavor of chaos, and these two hundred feet afforded the detective her only chance to fill the clean slate with her own impressions.
Come to the jacaranda tree at seven o'clock and you will hear something to your advantage. Destroy this note.' No signature, no clue to the identity. Just what sort of heroine do you think I am? Phryne asked the air. Only a Gothic novel protagonist would receive that and say, 'Goodness, let me just slip into a low-cut white nightie and put on the highest heeled shoes I can find,' and, pausing only to burn the note, slip out of the hotel by a back exit and go forth to meet her doom in the den of the monster - to be rescued in the nick of time by the strong-jawed hero (he of the Byronic profile and the muscles rippling beneath the torn shirt). 'Oh, my dear,' Phryne spoke aloud as if to the letter-writer. 'You don't know a lot about me, do you?
I'm very glad you asked me that, Mrs Rawlinson. The term `holistic' refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs Rawlinson. "Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs Rawlinson? No, neither do I, Mrs Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs Rawlinson. Goodbye.
I actually do have a motto, said Heat. It’s ‘Never forget who you work for.'" And as she voiced the words, Nikki felt a creeping unease. It wasn’t exactly shame, but it was close. For the first time it sounded hollow. Fake. Why? She examined herself, trying to see what was different. The stress, that was new. And when she looked at that, she recognized that the hardest part of her day lately was working to avoid confrontation with Captain Montrose. That’s when it came to her. In that moment, sitting nearly naked in Rook’s living room, playing some silly nineteenth-century parlor game, she came to an unexpected insight. In that moment Nikki woke up and saw with great clarity who she had become - and who she had stopped being. Without noticing it, Heat had begun seeing herself as working for her captain and had lost sight of her guiding principle, that she worked for the victim.
It's a tough job being somebody's personal assistant. You have to anwser their phone, manage their correspondence, run their errands, pay their bills, arrange their schedule, and basically do whatever tasks, menial to major, they are too busy or self absorbed or distranted or pampered or disinterested to do themselves.
...Our friend Nunheim was filled full of .32s just about an hour after he copped the sneak on us - deader'n hell. The pills look like they come from the same gun that cut down the Wolf dame. The experts are matching 'em up now. I guess he wishes he'd stayed and talked to us.
Nora was eating a piece of cold duck with one hand and working on a jig-saw puzzle with the other when I got home. "I thought you'd gone to live with her," she said. "You used to be a detective: find me a brownish piece shaped something like a snail with a long neck." "Piece of duck or puzzle?...
Good and evil, Nick said. Yin and yang. Male and female. Life and death. The dualities that make us human. As though our lives play out on an immense balance scale—move one way, the scale tips to the left, but move the other, and it swings around to the right.
Al... You ever kill anybody? In the United States? Because I know you mean it and everything, but I know these guys better than I know you. They're soldiers, that's all. No questions, no time to ask, no talk. Cops are worse, and less predictable. When you pull a gun, you've gotta be ready to kill somebody, and I'm telling you it's better to run.
He began as a minor imitator of Fitzgerald, wrote a novel in the late twenties which won a prize, became dissatisfied with his work, stopped writing for a period of years. When he came back it was to BLACK MASK and the other detective magazines with a curious and terrible fiction which had never been seen before in the genre markets; Hart Crane and certainly Hemingway were writing of people on the edge of their emotions and their possibility but the genre mystery markets were filled with characters whose pain was circumstantial, whose resolution was through action; Woolrich's gallery was of those so damaged that their lives could only be seen as vast anticlimax to central and terrible events which had occurred long before the incidents of the story. Hammett and his great disciple, Chandler, had verged toward this more than a little, there is no minimizing the depth of their contribution to the mystery and to literature but Hammett and Chandler were still working within the devices of their category: detectives confronted problems and solved (or more commonly failed to solve) them, evil was generalized but had at least specific manifestations: Woolrich went far out on the edge. His characters killed, were killed, witnessed murder, attempted to solve it but the events were peripheral to the central circumstances. What I am trying to say, perhaps, is that Hammett and Chandler wrote of death but the novels and short stories of Woolrich *were* death. In all of its delicacy and grace, its fragile beauty as well as its finality. Most of his plots made no objective sense. Woolrich was writing at the cutting edge of his time. Twenty years later his vision would attract a Truffaut whose own influences had been the philosophy of Sartre, the French nouvelle vague, the central conception that nothing really mattered. At all. But the suffering. Ah, that mattered; that mattered quite a bit.
Good, evil, these are human concepts, ways people have for understanding what it means to be alive, Nick said. Before people came along, this planet was teeming with life, fighting to survive, to live long enough to reproduce, completing the circle of life. I’m with you so far, Elphaba said. The circle of life is an essential Wiccan principle, in spite of The Lion King . Nick ignored Elphaba’s bit of humor as his mood became more serious. Precisely so. And in this circle of life, you have predators and prey. The predators must kill to eat. If they don’t, they starve. Are the predators evil? No, of course not. They’re simply acting on their nature. What is human nature, then? Are we a species that builds societies of trust and cooperation, or are we a species that seeks power over our fellow man, even if that means fighting wars or otherwise killing him? Elphaba frowned, carefully considering her answer. I’d like to think we are a species of trust and cooperation. Our entire history is a story of war, of murder and mayhem, of blood running in the streets, Nick said quietly. Yes, yes it is. Elphaba leaned back, grimacing. We are both, Nick said. A species of cooperation, and a species of strife. We fight wars, and we also establish the rule of law to mete out justice to the criminals in our midst. Humans are both good and evil.
Why did so many teenagers fall for Stanley Horowitz’s tricks? These were impressionable teenagers, Nick explained. Many of them were devoted fans of romantic Vampyre stories. They over-romanticized what it means to be a Vampyre, and that gave Stanley a way to manipulate them. I’ve read Twilight , Tamara said. My daughter is a huge fan. Is she in any danger? The danger arises from wanting to belong to the in crowd so badly, you lose sight of what’s real and what’s fantasy. Surely today’s teenagers know that vampires are fantasy, Tamara said. Possibly. But remember, Vampyres are not romantic. Vampyres are dead . They are walking reminders of tragedy. Loving one is necrophilia. And wanting to be one is the first step on the road to catastrophe.