Split Second Chapters 26 & 27

Chapter 26

So I haven’t quite understood why King is so angry with Joan at this point. I have to assume he’s mad at Joan as King keeps taking swipes at her. People don’t usually compare others to spiders unless they’ve had a bit of negative history. The most I can work out is that Joan stopped seeing him when King was fired from the USSS. I could understand that. Since Baldacci hasn’t shown us anything though, it just feels like a lot of unwarranted hostility on his part.

Michelle and King get to Loretta’s house which has nobody around but there is police tape. This is basically a sign saying “come on in amateur investigators”. Doubtless King and Michelle will be guided to a key piece of plot related evidence that the rest of the police overlooked because they’re stupid.

Or not, they drive around for a bit and notice a bunch of cop cars and a helicopter along with police checkpoints. They’re stopping everybody, claiming that they’re looking for a couple of escaped convicts. Then they get to the place where they were going to meet Loretta’s son, something I didn’t realize they were doing. Michelle points to the two cop cars outside and says that he thinks they’re being setup. King tells her to call the son then and tell him she had nothing to do with the murder and they can talk on the phone.

They drive to a secluded spot, because cell phones are harder to trace when you can’t be seen I guess, and call the son. Michelle tells him she had nothing to do with the murder and that she wants to know how Loretta died. He asks why he should tell her as she died right after Michelle visited. Michelle asks why she would have given her real number if she’d killed Loretta. Then Michelle asks him if there are cops around, he says no, and she says she’ll just assume he’s lying about that. Michelle says that it might have been because she talked to Loretta though and it may be tied to Clyde’s assassination. Then Michelle says she was a good woman, the son agrees and hangs up.

King says not to worry, the son will call back in a bit after he leaves the police. And thirty minutes later, he calls back. His name is Tony and he tells Michelle that Loretta was drowned and had money stuffed into her mouth. Thanks for recapping that, Baldacci, my short memory has been failing me lately. She thanks him and hangs up then King and Michelle begin the process of figuring out why she was killed.

The money was the hundred dollars that Michelle gave her for talking, the murder was gruesome and wanted to make a statement. Michelle asks what he means and King says that the money being left behind rules out burglary. Do ya think? He says maybe it was a statement that was fatal to them both but can’t elaborate because he’s thinking about it. King then suggests that they find a place to rest before they “hit it” in the morning.

Michelle whines about lawyers not answering questions directly and King says he thinks it’s time he paid a visit to the hotel, asking if that’s direct enough for her. Oh goody, we get to go back to the same dull hotel where there’s nothing happening, yet again.

Chapter 27

Forward to the hotel where there are two people dressed identically. Man, I hate that. There’s nothing like showing up at an abandoned building to do some urban exploration and someone else has the same outfit as you. One of them takes out a pistol and they approach the hotel. Being as they get neither description or names, I must assume they’re bad. And being as we still have a ways to go they’re probably henchmen.

Page break over to King and Michelle finding a parking space. Which I’m sure must have been hard, considering the place has been abandoned for awhile. They duck into the nearby woods, because they have those nearby, and avoid the helicopter searchlight. Michelle says it’s kind of exciting, like being on the other side of the badge for once. Glad to know Michelle has discovered her secret fetish for danger. Wait until she finds she can only orgasm after she’s been shot at.

“Yeah, it’s a thrill a minute. Just think, I could be at my house with a nice glass of Viognier in front of a blazing fire reading Proust instead of skipping merrily through the environs of Bowlington, North Carolina, while dodging police choppers.”

Why are they being chased by helicopters again? Look, I’m sure this county is very anti-murder but I doubt they have the money to send helicopters looking for every suspected murderer. Something about them existing in a tired, broken world where their hotels go out of business and there aren’t a lot of jobs.

Michelle then asks King if he really reads Proust and he says only if there’s nothing on ESPN. Because literacy is funny, I guess. Or maybe guys just won’t read if there’s sports on because they’re dumb. King also takes a swipe at Clyde, saying that he thought the hotel was beautiful. He must have been incredibly stupid to have liked a dump like that, har har.

They get over the fence and start debating about using a flashlight. Michelle says she saw a guard and King says she only saw him on her way out. So they go ahead and use the flashlight. Something that is all very exciting. They both decide they’re going to look at the closet that Loretta hid in. Can they please just find the clue they need and move on? I’m getting tired of this faux Sherlock Holmes investigation.

They find the closet and notice that there’s a small crevice in the back. They figure that, during the gunfire, someone small like Loretta would have crawled in deep as they could have to hide. King notices something he won’t share with the audience. Michelle asks him and he says “to the Stonewall Jackson Room”.

King goes inside and starts having flashbacks. He’s transported to the mid nineties once again, remembering everything there. He ruminates on how if only one of the other agents had been a bit late or early Clyde might still be alive. Then he realizes he did hear the elevator ding and looks over at it. Michelle snaps him out of it and asks him what he saw.

Blah blah blah, people who were there doing things we don’t care about, blah blah. One of them ended up in a mental institution even. Then they talk about the rope that was setup in the hall and who put it there. This is the kind of magical deductive reasoning that’s not only stupid but impossibly contrived. King snaps at her that he doesn’t care and they both insult each other for a bit. They decide to leave finally, bringing on a page break.

Michelle is huffing off and King is chasing after her. He’s about to tell her to wait up but then he sees a man with a gun. Before he can warn her, Michelle has already kicked the gun out of his hand. She knocks the other out and secures them with heavy zip ties, saying she’ll call the authorities anonymously once they’ve gone.

As soon as they get out though, a truck takes off and heads down the road. Michelle tells King to hop in quick, asking if he didn’t see that. Michelle did, using her bionic implants, Michelle zoomed in on the man’s face. She was able to tell, at night mind you, that it was the same man who was the security guard from the funeral home. She can tell because of the eye and those never lie. If the Eagles said it, it must be true. You can’t hide your lying eyes mister villain.

King and Michelle get ready to drive off in pursuit until someone asks Michelle to step out of the vehicle. It’s Deputy Parks, the man following King and trying to make his life hell. How ever will our heroes escape this predicament? Tune in next chapter for, predictable theater.

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