Title: Catch me if you can
By Author: John M. Floyd
Tag line: Angela Potts wanted to know the whole story about Lizzie Martin’s kidnapping!
Police characters: Sheriff Jones
The gist: Sheriff Jones’s niece is engaged to a criminal with a past record who is now linked to a kidnapping. Lizzie, the victim, went jogging Wednesday night and never came back. Security cameras at her building confirm she did not return home, nor did anyone else enter her apartment. Lizzie made the ransom call herself to her parents saying that her abductor had her at gunpoint and demanded two hundred thousand dollars to be left in a bag at midnight on Friday at Highway 8 and Cypress Road where there is nothing but swamp and woods, a hard area to stake out.
Lizzie’s shoe was found in her parents’ mailbox. It was a shoe that only Lizzie could have had since her parents ran a boutique and had just gotten them in exclusively in their store and Lizzie had taken a pair for herself before they were even put out for sale. The she had a note that read, “Just to prove it’s her.” The note was signed COD, which made Sheriff Jones, whiz cop that he is, to think it was from Clayton Owen Darrow, his niece’s fiancé. Clayton had dated Lizzie for almost a year and according to Lizzie’s mother Clayton was pretty distraught when Lizzie dumped him. But a few months later he began dating Jones’s niece.
When the police tried to find Clayton to speak to him they learned he was conveniently up in the hills fishing, a spot with no cell reception. Jones’s niece said Clayton was innocent and that he dumped Lizzie, not the other way around.
Mrs. Potts believed Lizzie faked her own kidnapping in order to get money from her rich parents so she could run away from them, and at the same time get to blame the guy who jilted her.
What does Ms. Potts see that Sheriff Jones doesn’t?
Crime scene: Unknown. Kidnapping on a street.
Clues: The shoe in the mailbox.
Suspects: Clayton or Lizzie.
Red herrings: None.
Solution: If Liz had been abducted while jogging she wouldn’t have been wearing an expensive heel. Her apartment didn’t record anyone coming to her apartment so the ‘kidnapper’ couldn’t have gone in to acquire the shoe after the fact.
My two cents: I’m not going to bore you with a long rant on police work and the fact that Sheriff Jones blabs about his cases to a civilian, he’s an idiot who never does a decent or proper investigation, yada-yada-yada. Waste of my breath. (Minus 1 star for police work.)
Sheriff Jones is still quite unlikable with his whining and long faces and dejected manner. I’d like to just slap him. Hard. (Minus 1 star for character development. There was none.)
The clue was hinky. Nowhere in the story did it say the shoe in the mailbox was a fancy high heel. It said it came from her parents’ boutique, that it was expensive and exclusive, and that Lizzie had grabbed herself a pair before they even went on sale. They could have been pricy running shoes. (Minus 1 star for bad or misleading clue.) I’m not even sure why the ‘kidnapper’ had to ‘prove it was her’ with the shoe in the first place. Didn’t Lizzie call her parents and tell them she had been kidnapped? Duh.
This story actually read well and the pacing was good, and there was a believable motive earning this story 2 stars.
Angela Potts is being mentioned in the tag line now. I guess she’s the draw for these stories. Go figure. At least she wasn't mean to him. In fact, she was rather tame in this story.