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Blomfeldt, who would die across the bay in a Duluth hospice at the age of eighty-two, first had the dream in 1966, when he was still a detective with the Superior Police Department. The dream skipped back through the years like a needle in the groove at the end of an LP—the tone arm failing to automatically lift, the thup-thup sound—and he was back in the head of Patrick Severson, the fourteen-year-old paperboy . . .
Chris rattled his cigarette pack and placed it on the bar next to his Droid. He considered the cost of another cold beer and the cost of a fresh pack of smokes. He remembered pulling loosies out of a candy jar for a quarter each. Now it was hard to find loosies anywhere, and a pack of smokes in Brooklyn cost thirteen bucks. Even happy hour drinks at this old-school joint were expensive . . .
I heard footsteps on the stairs and looked up. It wasn’t the librarian . . .
It was a Friday night when it all began. I was sitting in my living room enjoying a tall Bud Light and listening to music playing on my laptop. I’d only been in IB—Imperial Beach for the nonnatives—for three weeks, but Cali was a taste of freedom I never wanted to let go of. I had moved into a house only fifty feet from the beach and found a job in Coronado that people would envy me for. It felt too damn good to be true. Turns out it was . . .
Darryl was already gone when I opened my eyes in the bright bitterness of morning . . .
Parker had stolen half a million dollars from the men Mulligan and Harriman worked for . . .
The blood’s flowing so loud through my temples I’m worried they can hear it on the other side of the door . . .