Title: Double vision
By Author: Tracie Rae Griffith
Tag line: Jackson’s business partner saw things a little too clearly!
Police characters: Detective Kristine Johnson, Sgt. Bill Morgan
The gist: Jackson’s business partner, Ken, accused him of embezzling. He gave him seven days to return the money, but even then he was going to call the police and report the crime. Jackson asked if they could talk further about it in Ken’s home office the next day. They agreed to meet at noon. Jackson decided to deal with Ken permanently and had no intentions of returning any of the money. When he had a chance he slipped pills into Ken’s ever-present glass of bourbon in his office, he falsified documents to make it look like the company was losing money. And he wrote a fake suicide note for Ken. Then he waited and watched until Ken drank his liquor and slumped over the desk. Using gloves he placed the empty pill container in the waste basket next to the desk, placed the falsified documents and suicide note under Ken’s hand. He even took Ken’s reading glasses out of his pocket and placed them on the dead man’s face. He then called 911. He told police he thought it was a suicide. When the detectives arrived, Jackson told them that the business had been losing money, that Ken had poor health issues, (rattling off several health problems), a failed marriage, and that he drank too much. When asked who inherits Ken’s shares in the business, Jackson admitted he would, but added a failed business isn’t worth much.
A week later Jackson was shocked to find the two detectives at his door. They arrested him. Detective Johnson told him that his business partner saw things a little too clearly and that’s why Ken killed him.
Crime scene: The office of Jackson and Ken.
Clues: The reading glasses.
Suspects: Suicide or Jackson the business partner.
Red herrings: None.
Solution: At the time of his death Ken was wearing contacts. He would never have put reading glasses over his contacts. The police knew the scene had been set up.
My two cents: I thought the story read well, and was paced in a brisk manner. The characters were believable and there was ample motive. There were no problems with the police work, and I noticed this author kept it simple in that department; no time of death, no witnesses to sequester for questioning, no initial crime scene or patrol officers arriving. Simple is good. Not much chance to go wrong.
My only gripe is the contact thing. The reader is supposed to be able to figure out the perp by the body of the story (no pun intended). How would the reader know the guy wore contacts? And why would he have reading glasses in his pocket if he wore contacts? Ken and Jackson had been business partners for at least a year according to the story, yet Ken didn’t know his partner wore contacts? He knew plenty of other health details that he gave the police, even high cholesterol.
If I were going to commit suicide by pills, I’d down the pills and wait for death. I don’t think I’d be sure to put the RX container in the trash. It would be right there on my desk next to the glass. Yet, I’ve seen that done many times in these stories. Curious.
It’s too bad WW gave the whole thing away in the tag line. Even the title is a giveaway. Why do they do that?4 Stars…because the reader is not able to figure it out.