Voices in the Dark
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Police chief James Morgan confronts the seemingly unrelated deaths of two children after a vagrant confesses his job of murdering for parents, in a story that exposes the degradation of values and dark secrets in an idyllic Massachusetts community. Reprint. NYT. PW.
the cell, where cleaning supplies were stored, but into his office, where he activated a ceiling fan. Then he seated Dudley on a hard chair and himself behind his desk, atop which papers were fluttering. He anchored them with a coffee mug and a pencil holder. “All right, what brought you to Bensington?” “Breezes,” said Dudley. “Give me a straight answer.” Dudley pressed his lips in rigid concentration, then said, “I must’ve been on a toot.” “Where’d you get those clothes you had on?” “Stole
his head. “I’m not all that hungry.” “Then why’d you come home?” “I was worried about him being here.” “The book’s still in the gazebo, but I don’t think he’s coming back for it. I don’t think he’s coming back, period.“ Stepping away from the sink, she sighed. “I wonder if I’ll ever see him again. I bet not.” “Why would you want to?” “When I figure that out I’ll tell you. Or maybe I won’t.” She ripped off a paper towel, the last sheet on the cylinder, and dried her hands. Her face was pulled
no judge. She could have been much older or much younger. With a frown he read his watch. “I’m waiting for my father.” A shape advanced, but was not familiar. It passed, followed by sauntering youths with legs muscled into jeans, baseball caps worn askew. Pigeons racketed around the man who had finished feeding them, some pied, some shedding fluff, a few nursing hurts. Several, beating their wings, seemed set to fly up at the man. Bigger birds might have done it. Mary’s whisper heated his ear.
it didn’t belong to her. There was little else to remove. She kept on her watch and the gold chain around her neck. “Okay, you can look.” On the bed she appeared as a prize, unwrapped, the swells of her thighs exaggerated, the push of her belly diminished. She was bounty for any man’s eyes and more than enough for Fred’s. He gawked at her. “Jeez, May, what did you do?” For a moment embarrassment garnished her face. “Don’t you like it?” “I do.” With nail scissors and razor she had made her
“He wasn’t a gentleman.” “I’m sorry, Phoebe.” “Not your fault,” she said, her smile turning mysterious, as if there existed no situation from which she could not disengage herself, if not physically, then mentally. Her feet were back on the ottoman, her ankles crossed. A restful silence grew until Beverly broke it. “I’ve come to a decision, Phoebe.” “Have you? I’m glad.” “I’ve decided to change my life, and I feel quite good about it.” “Are you leaving Paul?” “He’s leaving me.” “Then make