Lou Boldt picked up bits and pieces of the assault over an
uncooperative cell phone. Paramedics were still on the scene
– a trailer park near Sea-Tac Airport – a promising
report because it suggested the victim remained at the scene as
well. If he reached the site in time, Boldt meant to ride to the
hospital in the back of the ambulance. He owed Danny Foreman that
The Crown Vic bumped through a pothole that would have knocked
dentures out. Boldt's eyes shifted focus briefly to catch his
reflection in the silver of the windshield. Boldt had crossed forty
a few years back, tinges of gray gave a hint of it. He was in the
best physical shape of his professional career thanks to Weight
Watchers, a renewed interest in tennis, and a regimen of sit-ups
and push-ups in front of CNN each morning. He scratched at his tie,
seeing that he was wearing some of his dinner, a familiar habit,
and hit a second pothole because of the distraction. His head came
up to catch a glimpse of a closed gas station. Plywood tombstones
where the pumps should have been, the signs torn down, the neon
beer ads gone from the windows.
He turned down a muddy lane, dodging the first of many emergency
vehicles. The air hung heavy with mist, Seattle working its way out
of a lazy fall and into the steady, cold drizzle of winter. Three
to five months of it depending on El Nino or La Nina – Boldt
couldn't keep straight which was which.
Beneath twin sliding glass windows on the butt end, the once white
house trailer carried a broken, chrome script that Boldt
reassembled in his head to read EverHome. It had come to rest in a
patch of weedy lawn that needed cutting and was accessed by a
poured cement path, broken and heaved like calving icebergs. The
emergency vehicles included a crime scene unit van, a King County
Sheriff patrol car, and an ambulance with its hood up. Technically
the scene was the Seattle Police Department's and therefore
Boldt's, but Danny Foreman's career had landed him first in the
Sheriff's Department, then SPD, and now BCI, Bureau of Criminal
Investigation, what some states called the investigative arm of the
state police. Boldt wasn't going to start pawing the dirt in a turf
war. Danny Foreman was well liked, both despite and because of his
unorthodox approach to law enforcement. To his detriment and to his
favor he played it solo whenever possible; it had won him accolades
and gotten him into trouble. The Job was as much politics as it was
raw talent, and Foreman lacked political skills, which to Boldt
explained their mutual respect.
Foreman lay on a stretcher inside a thicket of blackberry bushes
that grabbed at Boldt's pant legs. A balloon-like device had been
inserted into Danny's mouth. A woman squeezed the bag while
monitoring her sports watch. Foreman looked wiry and older than the
early fifties Boldt knew him to be. Tired and beaten down. His nap
was graying now and cut short, and a pattern of black moles spread
beneath both eyes, lending him the masklike look of a raccoon.
Could it possibly have been as long as all that?
Boldt was quickly caught up to date by a deputy sheriff and a
paramedic, both interrupting each other to finish the other's
sentence. The deputy sheriff knew the name Boldt and acted like a
teenager in front of a rock star, trying to impress while fawning
at the same time. Boldt had enough headlines to fill a scrapbook,
but wasn't inclined to keep one. He had the highest case clearance
per average in the history of the Seattle Police Department. He had
rumors to defeat and stories to live up to, and none of it mattered
a damn to him, which only served to provoke more of the same.
Foreman had apparently been hit by a projectile stun gun and
"subsequent to that" – these people all spoke the same way,
and though Boldt was probably supposed to as well, he'd never taken
up the language – "the subject was administered a dose of an
unknown drug with behavioral characteristics not dissimilar to
those of Rohypnol." The date rape drug of choice, alternately known
as roofies, ruffies, roche, R-2, rib, and rope, produced sedation,
muscle relaxation, and amnesia in the victim, more commonly a coed
found later with her panties down than a cop on a stakeout.
The ambulance on the scene was having engine trouble, and though a
second ambulance had been dispatched, efforts were being made to
get this one started. Boldt's chest tightened with anticipation as
he learned that the combination of the medication and the stun gun
had resulted in "respiratory depression." Foreman had nearly
stopped breathing. He'd been unconscious for almost fifteen
"Look what the dog drug in," a blinking Foreman said suddenly, his
voice slurred behind the drug.
His coming conscious sent the paramedic into high gear, shouting
out numbers like a sports announcer.
"You took a stun dart," Boldt said. "Then they roped you."
"Feel like Jell-O. No bones, discounting the one I got for Emma, my
"Keep it in your pants, Danny," the woman said, grinning, "or I'll
search my bag for the hemostats."
"Emma and I went to high school together."
"We went to the same high school," Emma corrected for Boldt's sake.
"Only Agent Foreman graduated twenty- eight years ahead of my
"Always technicalities with you," Foreman said.
"We met outside of work," Emma further explained. To Foreman she
said, "And here I am with my hand on your heart."
"Wish our situations were reversed."
"It's the medication loosening his tongue," Emma said. "Next thing
he'll be proposing. Good part is, he won't remember any of
"Seriously?" Boldt asked.
"Doubtful. He'll sleep soon, and when he wakes he'll have lost most
of the last few hours."
"Bullshit," Foreman said. "I'm as clear as day."
"Starting when?" Behind him Boldt heard the ambulance's engine rev
and a handful of half-assed cheers.
"I've got a vague recollection of thinking a dog had bit me, or a
bee stung me. That's about it."
"A stakeout?" Boldt inquired. "A solo stakeout?"
"Meaning you will, or will not share the identity of whoever it was
you were watching in that trailer?"
"I'll need a kiss before I can answer that." Foreman added, "From
her, not you."
"Fat chance," the medic said.
As they strapped Foreman into the stretcher, Boldt collected more
bits and pieces: Foreman had gone off-radio while on duty, which
had eventually caused his own people to go looking for him. BCI had
called King County Sheriff, asking for a BOL – Be On Lookout.
A patrol unit had found Foreman's car – a brand-new Cadillac
Escalade – which had eventually led to discovering Foreman
out cold in the bushes. Boldt was told the house trailer held "a
good deal of blood evidence."
While the EMTs loaded Foreman into the ambulance Boldt conducted a
quick examination of the trailer. A tube- frame lawn chair in the
center of the small living room looked to be the origin of most of
the blood. The scarlet stains radiated out like the spokes of a
wheel. Dirty dishes filled the sink and the television was on,
tuned to a rerun of Con Air.
The gloved forensics guy told Boldt the only thing they'd touched
was the mute button on the remote: "The volume was deafening."
Boldt filed this away as important information.
Several pizza boxes were stacked on the counter, the cardboard
oil-stained, indicating age. In the back bedroom, a room about
eight by ten feet, he took in the unmade bed and clothes on the
"We seem to be missing a body," Boldt said.
KCSO CSU was stenciled across the back of the man's white paper
coveralls, the crime scene unit of the King County Sheriff's
Boldt repeated, "Do we have a body?"
The man turned around. He wore plastic safety glasses over a
pinched face. "We're told we have an earlier ID made on the
possible victim by the surveillance team. The mobile home's rented
one to David Hayes. Male. Caucasian. Thirty-four. Our guy claims
Hayes was observed inside this structure earlier this evening."
Boldt experienced a small stab of anxiety; he knew the name, yet
couldn't place it. Another unpleasant reminder of his being on the
other side of forty.
"Your guy, or BCI's guy? Are you talking about Agent
"We are. We do BCI's forensics," the technician clarified. Boldt
had forgotten about the arrangement between BCI and the Sheriff's
Office. SPD had their own lab and field personnel.
The ambulance driver wouldn't let Boldt ride along, so he followed
in the Crown Vic. Once at the hospital, while they awaited
processing, Boldt found himself a sugar-and- cream tea and joined
Foreman in the emergency room. No one seemed in any great hurry to
"A pro job by the look of it," Boldt said.
"Sounds like it."
"Who's David Hayes? And why is his name so familiar to me?"
"It's a case we're working."
"We? Are you sure about that, Danny? Because I may have squirreled
things for you there, without meaning to. I called your lieu on the
way over here. He said they'd assigned CSU to your assault. He
didn't know anything about any stakeout, anything about a bloody
trailer. You put CSU into that trailer when they showed up, Danny,
didn't you? This is before you lost your breath and went
unconscious. Isn't that right?"
"Hayes was paroled from Geiger four days ago. Two years in medium,
two in minimum."
"And someone wanted him more than you did. Why's that?"
"Seventeen million reasons."
The light finally went off in Boldt's head. "He's the guy –
A wire fraud case involving Liz's bank, six or seven years earlier.
Seventeen million intercepted electronically. Not a penny
recovered. "A Christmas party," Boldt said.
"I met the guy, Hayes, at a Christmas party. For Liz's bank."
Sparks firing on top of sparks. "You were with us at the
"I was in my fifth year with Fraud. Yeah. Before Darlene's illness.
Before everything. Like eighteen-hour shifts for me."
"It was wire fraud, right?"
"Fucking black hole is what it was." Police used the term to define
an unsolvable case. "We collared Hayes – by luck, mostly. We
never recovered the software he used, and we never found the money.
More important, we never uncovered whose money it was. We knew it
was headed offshore, but it never got there. That means someone had
seventeen million bucks he was willing to lose rather than identify
himself. That's what interested us."
Boldt considered this and offered unsolicited advice. "A cop
pulling an unauthorized stakeout on a guy who helped steal
seventeen million dollars is going to get asked some questions,
Foreman said nothing.
More of the case came back to Boldt. It had been a bad time for him
and Liz. He remembered that especially. "So we put the bloodbath in
the trailer down to the rightful owners of the seventeen mil coming
after Hayes," Boldt speculated.
Foreman changed the subject.
"We couldn't prove the money ever left the bank. Bank figured it
got deposited into some brokerage account, papered over by Hayes.
Still inside the bank's system. There, but not there. A real whiz
kid, our David Hayes. A real wunderkind," he said, with the
animosity of a scorned investigator. Boldt knew the feeling. "He
was twenty-seven at the time, and the bank had basically given him
control over anything with a chip inside it. They even called him
that: `Chip.' His nickname."
"Did you write this up? The stakeout?" Boldt brought it back to the
here and now.
"No one in BCI gives a shit about a cold case like this. Ask
around. I guarantee you this isn't anywhere on SPD's radar
"Tell me you're not pulling a Lone Ranger, because you know that's
how this is going to play."
"Do I want the money? Yes. For me personally? Come on! This is
about closing a black hole, nothing more."
"And you think that's how it's going to play?" Boldt repeated.
"What the hell were you thinking?"
"We connect the dots on this, Lou, it's going to prove me
"You're investigating my assault, right? SPD is in on this
It almost sounded as if Foreman had planned it that way. Boldt
wouldn't put it past him. "You took a dive in order to get a
five-year-old embezzlement case reopened?"
"It's not like that."
Part of Boldt wanted to congratulate the man if this were the case.
Any cop taking a hit, even a Lone Ranger, was certain to awaken the
sleeping giant of the SPD bureaucracy. The other part of him didn't
want to give Foreman that kind of credit, didn't want to see a
friend misuse the system, didn't want to believe the assault had
been anything but a surprise to Danny Foreman. Most of all, he
didn't want to think that Danny had caused that bloodbath inside
the trailer and then done damage to himself in order to cover it
"Remember, Lou, this was Liz's bank. Still is, right? Tell me they
don't want their money back. Or maybe you don't remember. I promise
you Liz remembers."
Boldt felt stung by the comment, and he wasn't sure why. He
remembered plenty. Just seeing Foreman's face and hearing his voice
triggered any number of memories. The cancer ward at University.
Darlene Foreman's funeral. A wake for her, while Liz healed and
grew stronger. A growing distance between them as Foreman stopped
calling and stopped returning calls.
"What the hell happened to us?" Boldt asked.
"Liz lived," Foreman answered, as if he'd been waiting to say this
for years. And perhaps he had. "Resentment. Envy. Hang any name on
it you want--that's what happened. And I'm supposed to tell you I'm
sorry, but I'm not. I still can't bear the thought of being around
you two. Throws me right back into all my shit. Seeing you now,
it's a good thing, don't get me wrong. But not with her. Not the
two of you. Not together. I feel cheated, Lou, and my guess is
it'll never go away."
"You want me to pass this off to someone?" Boldt wanted nothing to
do with the case, nothing to do with old wounds like these.
"It isn't like that."
"I'd offer LaMoia but he's tied up in a seminar. Two weeks of
"Heaven help the enemy. Nah. My guys'll take care of this in-house.
I realize it falls within city limits, but cut us some slack and
we'll save you the paperwork."
"That doesn't sit right with me. You're saying you don't want me to
open this up?" Was Foreman playing him? Taking it away so that
Boldt would reach all the harder for it? And why was he suckering
"It's open now, isn't it? I know how you are. Leave it be, Lou. Be
a pal and pass it off to my guys."
It still felt like an attempt at reverse psychology. The paperwork
finally came through and Foreman was officially admitted. An X-ray
orderly arrived to escort Foreman to the "photo booth." Boldt
stayed seated in the uncomfortable chair, a three-week-old copy of
People magazine dog- eared in the Plexiglas rack, Stephen King
looking at him sideways.
Boldt called out, "I'll wait and see if you need a ride
Foreman trundled off, his walk giving away the lingering effect of
the drugs. Boldt felt a knot in his throat, still stunned that
friendship could go so far wrong, guilty for getting all the breaks
while Danny Foreman had gotten none.
He hunkered down for a long wait, thinking to call Liz so she
didn't wait up. Liz lived. Boldt heard the words echo around in his
head. Like it was some kind of crime.
Excerpted from THE BODY OF DAVID HAYES © Copyright 2004 by
Ridley Pearson. Reprinted with permission by Hyperion Press. All