Take one pretty accountant; five-four, blonde, likes dark jeans and white blouses.
Add one successful marketing exec; five-four, blonde, likes dark jeans and white blouses.
Stir in two kidnappers.
Pour into the same hotel in New York on the same day.
Place all in pressure cooker for three days.
Serve with one ex-husband, ex-vice cop, who now works for Jerry Marlowe, P.I.
Stand back. More
Jerry headed to the street. Her night wasn’t over yet. Crossing to the loft, using her pass card, she let herself into the building. Walking down the inner hall, she checked her mailbox with a glance. Clicking through the lower doors, thinking she was going to really be glad to shed the heels, she froze. Sensing a presence before looking up, she spotted Ben sitting on the mid-floor landing. He’d been leaning against the wall, dozing, and looked like he’d been there for a while. She frowned, wondering what this was all about, before smiling disarmingly, she hoped, though still quite puzzled. He was stretching, rousing himself to awareness. He’d had his eyes open when she’d looked up, having probably heard her heels on the cement floor. Caution dictating Ben’s actions, considering the hand to hand training he knew company agents did on a regular basis, “Uh. Hello,” he said tentatively. “I’m Ben Davison. I work here. In accounting. I was waiting for Jerry Marlowe,” he mumbled.
“Hmmm. Not sure she’ll be back tonight,” she replied brightly. “I’m a field agent. Undercover work. Sure I can’t help you?”
Frowning again, he looked her up and down quite openly. She could almost hear his mind working, saying something like, “This is an undercover agent? Whose covers has she been working under?”
“I don’t necessarily look or dress like this all the time, you know,” she laughed, continuing past him and up to the second floor. “Come on,” she grinned over her shoulder. “I’ll fix us some coffee. Don’t you worry your little head about it, Ben Davison from Accounting. I don’t bite.”
“I can go if you’re that tired,” he sighed at what he assumed was an effort to be cheerful. “Really! I was just concerned about something.”
“If you’re concerned enough to come up here with a strange woman at three in the morning, the least I can do is listen,” she said.
“My wife seems to have disappeared,” he said without preamble, noting her immediate frown.
Sometimes you just can’t catch a break. Just having finished putting a ‘date rape’ pair in the slam, Jerry Marlowe tiredly walked into her home at O-dark-thirty to find her firm’s new accountant camped on the stairs, and so it began, a tale, not only of kidnapping, but mistaken identity. The kidnapping was bad enough, but with little or no clues to go on, the Marlowe crew suddenly found themselves in the situation of having to find the victim before the kidnappers discovered they had seriously missed their mark.
They’d grabbed the wrong woman.
Follow Jerry Marlowe, Samantha Tanaka, Ivana Sergeyevna, and the accountant, Ben Davison, the ex-husband, also an ex-cop, vice, as they do what private cops do best, pound the pavement, digging up clues, and, this time, the clock was definitely ticking.
Liberty Shrugged, the latest in the annals of the Marlowe, Inc., cases by G. F. Kaye.