Split Second Chpters 52 & 53

Chapter 52

Did you know that Michelle only got halfway through the box that has Scott’s stuff in it? Now you and I can hear the narrator so we know this now but it’s Joan that’s now looking through it. So how the hell does Joan know how much of it Michelle looked over? Is that one of her incredible detective skills at work or is she using player knowledge?

When she opened the box and started sifting through its contents, she realized that Parks hadn’t been joking: it was a mess. However, she dutifully turned every page, reading each document until it became clear it was not the right Bob Scott. After a couple of hours she called room service for a snack and a pot of coffee. She was going to be here a while, and she had no idea when King and Maxwell would be returning. She started to phone King but then decided against it.

Joan the investigator realizes it’s not the right stuff of Bob Scott but keeps looking at it. I can see why she’s been put in charge of the case. Lucky for her the god behind the keyboard blessed her with a lead. Joan happens to find a warrant in the bottom of the box for Bob Scott.

Joan says that she always knew Bob liked firearms and the warrant appeared to be for a weapons charge. That’s good, Baldacci. Keep it vague and don’t delve too deep. The details of Scott’s warrant aren’t as important as what King ordered for diner with Michelle.

We are told that the Marshalls were set to serve the warrant on behalf of the ATF. Joan figures if Scott has ties to the case it was from the half involving Clyde. Then Joan fires up that tea kettle boiler of a brain and tries to figure out it all ties together.

Hmm, a weapons charge, a former agent and a found gun. How can those three things tie together? It’s a mystery for the ages, that one. Parks calls and Joan updates him on the warrant. He speculates that maybe Scott is behind the murder. He says that Scott would have been the perfect “trojan horse” to sneak in an assassin. Joan hangs up and says “trojan horse” to herself and this has apparently sparked her thoughts.

Suddenly there’s a knock on the door. There’s an attendant there who’s carrying a tray. She asks Joan if she wants her to pour the coffee for her and Joan says no. Then Joan turns around and is about to make a phone call when the world goes dark. Then the “attendant” Tasha gets to work.

Chapter 53

We rejoin King and Michelle who’re trying to find Jorst. They go back to the college and find his office locked. They get his address from an intern, because interns work all day everyday, and drive to his house. When they knock, no one answers. This is all very interesting Baldacci. Please spare me no detail of their boring detective work. You should probably put in a couple of chapters detailing their paperwork as well.

Michelle says that Jorst must have been at the hotel at the assassination because there’s no other way he would have known. They wonder if he’ll admit to being there if they ask. Michelle guesses not—speculation really sells the tension—and King asks if she’s armed. Michelle says she is and they decide to sneak into Jorst’s house.

Though they argue about it for a bit though because Baldacci wants to stun us with his wit. Sean goes in with a smile and, a page break later, he’s nosing around. Jorst’s home gets more description than the warrant. It’s full of books and it’s very simply decorated. There, I just saved everyone a bunch of brain cells and time. I’m practically a hero.

King goes into Jorst’s study, finds an appointment book which tells him nothing. Then he starts looking for the book Jorst said he was working on. Then Michelle yells at him that Jorst is there. They sneak around and out the back then circle to the front and knock on the door after Jorst is inside.

They start talking and it’s very dull. Jorst tries to redirect the conversation to tidbits about the South becoming progressive and containing a lot of immigrants and blah blah blah. Thankfully, King turns the topic back to the assassination, saying Jorst never mentioned that he was looking to marry Ramesy’s ex-wife. Jorst says it was none of his business—true—and King starts to pester him about Regina and how he jumped her right after Ramsey died.

Jorst starts defending himself, saying it wasn’t like that. He says that they’d been talking about marriage and Kate was okay with that. Then she died and when King asks if it was suicide, Jorst says that he wasn’t so sure. He doesn’t think the prospect of marrying him was enough to drive her to death.

King asks if Horst was sure that Ramsey acted alone. Jorst says yes, until he’s received evidence to the contrary. King then starts asking if Jorst was a Vietnam protestor and if he was ever arrested in California. Then he asks if Jorst drove separately or with Ramsey to the hotel.

Jorst admits he was there but says he did nothing wrong. He doesn’t want to explain why until King threatens to call the FBI. Jost then starts spilling his guts. He followed Ramsey because Ramsey was talking crazy and he was concerned. Ramsey didn’t know Jorst was going to be there.

Jorst says that he didn’t know Ramsey was armed until he pulled the gun. Then the shooting started, Jorst ran off and ran into a maid on the way out. He drove off as quickly as possible. King asks why he went and told Regina right away. Jorst said he had to, her husband had just killed someone. King says that makes sense if he was already in love with her then.

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