Carlotta Carlyle, the six-foot-tall redhead private investigator, thought that working undercover searching out fraud on Boston's Big Dig would be a challenging assignment. After all, the Big Dig, the creation of a central artery highway through downtown Boston, is a 14 billion dollar boondoggle, the largest urban construction project in modern history. But playing a mild-mannered secretary working out of a construction trailer is not quite the thrill ride she had in mind, so Carlotta starts moonlighting, taking on a missing persons case.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 17, 2003
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Big Dig by Linda Barnes
I used to work with Happy Eddie Conklin when I was a cop. He had a gruff voice, a blunt, dogged manner, and while he was "freakin' old enough to be my father," as he reminded me often enough, he never treated me like a child. When he asked me to meet him at Ocean Wealth in Chinatown, I accepted for two reasons: they serve pungent, spicy squid to die for, and I knew he'd cover the lunch as a business expense.
After a minor heart attack, cushioned by eighty-percent disability, he'd moved on to join a national security firm. I'd bailed at the same time, sans pension, and driven a cab nights while I got the Carlyle Detective Agency off the ground. My name is Carlyle -- Carlotta Carlyle -- and I've been an independent operator for more years than I hung on as a cop. I run a solo shop, pilot a cab between cases, and don't stress my first name because it's seldom seen as a plus in the business.
Eddie, now head of Foundation Security's Boston office, was early, wearing a gray suit that did its best to make him look ten pounds lighter, seated at a table barely big enough to handle two plates and a teapot. He rose, clasping my hand in both of his, yanking me into an embrace.
"Business, I tell ya, fantastic. Boomin' don't come close. Lack of trust in this town, geez, it's amazin'. Due diligence alone, bodyguardin' alone -- I could run my own freakin' police department, ya know? Ya like this place? Ya want something to start?"
He relayed my order of hot and sour soup to the hovering waiter and demanded "egg rolls, spring rolls, whatever ya call 'em," as well. "Bring that sweet sauce, ya know? The duck kind."
I poured steaming tea into small white cups.
Eddie looked prosperous, from his blue silk tie to his tasseled slipons. His gray hair was short, his jaw freshly shaven. He glanced around to discourage eavesdroppers at neighboring tables, lowered his voice half a notch. "So how's your boy, Mooney?"
Some rumors have a longer half-life than nuclear waste. Lieutenant Detective Joseph Mooney, head of Boston Homicide, is another former colleague. We're friends, no more, never so much as a misguided one-night stand, but the grapevine says otherwise. If Eddie was planning to use me to cozy up to Moon, all I'd get out of lunch would be calories.
"Think it's gonna snow later?" I asked.
Eddie gave me a look. "Ya got yourself shot up, I hear." "I'm fine."
"Good. Glad to hear it."
He was studying my face like he'd never seen green eyes, a pointy chin, or flaming hair before. Made me wonder whether I looked drawn or pale. I widened my smile, hoped the extra wattage would substitute for blusher.
I wasn't fine, to tell the truth. I had raised red scars on my left thigh from a through-and-through bullet wound. I couldn't play my usual three-days-a-week game of killer volleyball, and the exercises the physical therapist demanded ranged from painful to torturous. Yesterday the jerk had mentioned that my leg might always ache in bad weather. Considering I live in one of the slush and muck capitals of the planet, his words hit like a death sentence.