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Chapter One



Bad news,” Hernandez said. “Your homicide suspect’s alibi just turned up.”

“No way.” Ryo grabbed a paper towel and dabbed at the fleck of mustard on his navy silk tie. He shot Hernandez a look in the mirror over the bank of sinks in the john. “You’re kidding me.”

Hernandez shook his head. He was not a kidder.

“No. Way.” Now Ryo was angry. Still watching Hernandez in the mirror, he scrubbed ferociously at his tie. “Torres is not walking away from this. He popped the Martinez woman and he’s going down for it. And no little chiquita—”

Hernandez’ sour grin stopped him. “The alibi is male.”

“Male?” Ryo stopped rubbing his tie. “You mean…?”

“I mean you might even know him.” This was not a dig. Hernandez had been Ryo’s partner for a couple of years back when they were both street cops, and he knew a thing or two about Ryo’s personal life that Ryo didn’t generally share. “Might be something you can use. I don’t think the Sotels are an equal opportunity employer, you know what I mean?”

Yeah, Ryo knew what he meant. As badly as he wanted Torres, he wasn’t sure he liked that idea. He’d prefer to break Torres’ alibi, which should be easy enough to do because Torres had murdered that old woman in cold blood. Nothing and nobody was going to convince Ryo otherwise. “You believe this punk’s credible?”

Hernandez shrugged. “Torres used his one phone call to get this guy over here. See what you think. He’s sitting at your desk biting his nails as we speak.”

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