Mystery Police procedural sexual assault computer crime

E.F.T. A NOIR THRILLER

By Matt Hughes
Jan 7, 2020 · 5,568 words · 21 minutes


From the author: It’s the late 20th century, the dawn of the computer age. A serial rapist is targeting senior women executives in Vancouver’s major banks and corporations. Oddball Detective Sergeant Harry Lukovitch and his female partner, DC Mackenzie Sinclair, are hunting the attacker. But Harry is falling heavily for Dory Novello, who may not be all she seems. And then it gets complicated.


Trigger warning:  E.F.T. deals with aberrant psychology and sexual assault.

Chapter 1 

It was the old something-at-first-sight again. Detective Sergeant Harry Lukovitch never knew what to call it -- love, infatuation, fascination, obsession. But, whatever it was, he knew it when he felt it, and he felt it the moment he saw Dory Novello. And he knew that once he felt it he would have to do something about it.

She hadn't been there when he met the other women seated on either side of him at the head table. She came in late, after everybody else was sitting down. She took a place at the far end of the long table, beyond a row of female hands lifting forks to female faces under well coiffed heads that nodded and bobbed in counterpoint to bright conversation.

So Harry didn't know she was there as he worked his way through the entree -- some kind of fish, with naked little potatoes and still-born carrots under a sprig of parsley -- then progressed to the soggy cake.

Between bites, he politely fielded the questions people like to ask police detectives who come to speak at club luncheons. Most of them were asked by the woman who would be introducing him. Katherine Tower was a compact forty-five-year-old with champagne-colored hair and a no-nonsense face that went with the information on her business card. It said she was a vice president and chief financial officer of Hamilton Lynch Inc., a billion-dollar forest products company.

"It's not like the stuff you see on tv," Harry said. "Maybe ninety per cent of cases that are cleared, it's because of information received."

Katherine paused a forkful on its way to her mouth. "Information received?"

"Somebody tells us who did it."

"Stool pigeons, squealers, is that what you mean?"

"Snitches, we call them."

"And the other ten per cent?" she asked.

"Occam's Razor takes care of most of it," said Harry.

Her eyebrows went up.

Harry chewed and swallowed, then launched into the explanation. "I learned it from my original partner, Zip Metcalfe. He was an old timer, would read anything he got his hands on. He said there was this guy way back in the middle ages, name of Occam -- or maybe that was his home town -- came up with a method for cutting through the fog to get to the reliable facts. That's why they called it his razor."

"And this has something to do with police work?"

"No, it has to do with figuring out any complicated situation. Occam's Razor says that the simpler the answer, the more likely it's the right one. Like for example, there's a murder, odds are the murderer is somebody close to the victim. Because they're the people most likely to have a motive. Money, sex, jealousy, or maybe it's just thirty years you've been hearing him say the same damn thing every time he comes in the door."

"I'm not married," she said.

"Still, what I'm saying," Harry continued, "the more complicated you make the explanation, the more pieces that have to fall into place before it will stand up. Or the way my partner used to put it, if ten different things have to happen just so or your theory doesn't make sense, that's a lot less likely than if only two things have to happen."

"Let me see if I get this," Katherine said. "We can forget Sherlock Holmes and deductive reasoning. Ninety per cent, somebody tells you, 'Joe Blow did it,' so you pick him up. Most of the rest of it is pretty much fill in the blanks, so you arrest the wife or the business partner."

"Or the neighbor."

"Okay, the neighbor. My question is: what are we paying you guys for?"

Harry smiled. He had a sad smile that some women warmed to. It went well with the quiet eyes and the rumpled face. "Mostly, you're paying for the paperwork," he said.

"I'm going to introduce you now," she said.

He didn't listen to the introduction. He straightened his little pile of blue index cards, the kind Letterman used for his top ten lists. He realized his mouth had suddenly gone fossil dry, and fumbled for a glass of water.

He gulped the liquid, looking out over the tumbler's rim at a room full of cloth-covered round tables, each of them with its circle of well dressed women. They were all looking at him. He badly wanted to reach under the table and check his fly, but he was sure everyone would know what he was doing.

He put the glass down, breathed in deeply through his mouth and expelled the air slowly through his nose. The department's public relations officer had recommended controlled breathing as a preparation for public speaking. It wasn't helping today.

Katherine Tower came to the end of her introduction. He heard "please welcome Detective Sergeant Harry Lukovitch," and a ripple of applause. He got to his feet and moved to the lectern at the center of the head table. He and Katherine worked their way around each other in the confined space between the head table and the wall.

He put the index cards on the lectern and gripped its sides with both hands. A microphone snaked out of one corner and he pulled it closer to his mouth, bending its segmented steel neck, and blew into it.

Don't blow into the mike, the PR officer had said.

"Ladies and..." he began, then stopped. The only men in the room were the waiters handing out carrot cake with cream cheese topping. Somebody snorted delicately.

Harry looked out across the room. Find one friendly face and talk directly to that person, was another of the PR guy's handy-dandy public speaking tips.

He looked for the woman who had snorted, and found her with her chair tipped back to lean against the wall behind the farthest table. She was short and wiry, with cropped mousy brown hair and green eyes set a few millimeters too close together. Her cheeks were high and her chin had a point. She wore a green blazer and slacks, and looked like Tinkerbell gone a little bad.

Both the face and the snort were familiar as well as friendly. She was Mack Sinclair, his partner on the sex crimes squad for more than two years. She bared her teeth at him and winked. She was enjoying this.

Harry knew a German word -- schadenfreude -- that roughly translated as the enjoyment of other people's discomfort. He knew a few other words that summed up his opinion of people who liked schadenfreude; he wouldn't be using any of them in today's speech to the West Coast Businesswomen's Alliance.

But he knew that Mack was entitled to a certain amount of enjoyment at his expense. In their two years together, she had done more for him than a partner was required to do -- like helping him to break up a continuing relationship with bourbon whiskey that had almost made Harry a naturalized citizen of the Nation of Alcoholism. He also had a pretty good suspicion she'd like to do a lot more with and for him, if he ever gave her the sign.

But, for all the time Mack had known him, the only signs Harry had given off said, Closed; Out of Order; Next Wicket Please; No Emotions Available for Public Use.

He hadn't always been a dry hole in the desert. A psychiatrist had once told him that -- perhaps because of his peculiar upbringing -- Harry was liable to great sweeps of emotion. Where other people got an easy ebb and flow of the tides of feeling, Harry would always be potentially in the path of a tsunami.

"You're essentially a nineteenth-century romantic. It's like they found Mary Shelley's Frankenstein frozen in the polar ice, thawed him out and dumped him into the 1990s," the man had said. "To use a nineteenth-century term, you are passionate. You ought to be writing tragic poems in heroic couplets or painting pictures of shipwrecks. All this irony and sarcasm you indulge in is the thinnest of veneers. One day, it will crack and out will pop Childe Harold, the melancholy romantic, ready for another romp through the landscape of sentiment."

Harry had stopped seeing the psychiatrist. He had denied any risk of emotional tidal waves, and worked instead on thickening the veneer into a pretty solid carapace. He and Mack had become good partners and almost good friends. Whatever more they might have been, they weren't.

But he liked her, liked the edgy tension that was always somewhere in the quips and banter that peppered their working-day conversations. Now he fixed his gaze on his partner's wry face and began again, reading from the cards, "Ladies, I am very pleased to have an opportunity to speak to you today."

The text was standard department issue, put together by the same PR officer who'd been so free and easy with tips on speaking technique, after Inspector Mason volunteered Harry for this assignment.

From time to time, look around the room, the flack had advised. So Harry did. Later, Mack would tell him it had put her in mind of a lighthouse, the way he started with the head table on his left side, then swept his eyes across the assembled members of the Alliance, panning continuously until he was looking down the head table to his right.

At Dory Novello -- and that's where it started.

The way she chewed, that was what he first noticed about her. That and the fact that, unlike every other woman in the room, she was not looking at him. She stared straight ahead, methodically chewing the anonymous seafood.

Later on, he would recall the scene and be reminded of a rough attempt at trick photography -- one of those gag photos where somebody's image is clipped and pasted into a crowd shot, somebody who wasn't anywhere near the scene when the original picture was snapped. Everyone who's legit is looking in this direction and being lit from that angle, while the interloper squints the wrong way from under the wrong set of shadows.

That was his later impression, when he knew the whole story. His first take on Dory was that she stood out from the rest of them. The way the muscles in her jaw bunched and rolled as she chewed. The way she stared straight ahead, as if she could see something much more compelling through the back wall of the room. He knew she would do everything with just such a focused intensity.

There was something there, something that broke right through Harry's outer shell and stirred up the soft, warm vulnerable quick he kept hidden. Even though he had seen no more of her than her profile, he was hooked.

She was tall, even sitting down, with a round head under a rough-cut thatch of blond hair, a sculpted jaw and a long, straight nose. He couldn't see her eyes, but he wanted to. He wanted them on him. But she did not turn his way.

Through the rest of his speech, she drew his gaze away from Mack, away from the audience. He worked his way through the blue cards, doling out the department's reassuringly good counsel, but he was constantly aware of the movements of her hand and head at the edge of his vision.

He turned over the last of the cards. "So the best advice the police department can offer is this: prudence and prevention. The rapist counts on you to give him the opportunity he's looking for. Don't oblige him. Thank you."

He looked to his right again. The other women at the head table were all looking up at him, politely applauding. The blonde still stared straight before her.

Katherine Tower was beside him at the lectern, saying something about taking questions. Harry pulled himself back together and said questions would be fine.

A woman at one of the front tables got up. "Mr. Lukovitch, prevention is great, and any one of us could give you chapter and verse. But what do you do when prevention fails?  How do you deal with a rapist?"

Harry put the blue cards back on the table beside the lectern. "Ma'am, I wish I had an easy answer for you. Look, I've specialized in sexual assault cases for almost five years, ever since... well, anyway, I've known victims who beat the crap out of their attackers, and I've known women who offered no resistance and still got slashed or..."

He shrugged. "I'm sorry, there just isn't a simple answer. If it happens to you, you've got to handle it the best you can. But the main thing is prevention. Don't let yourself be a victim."

There were a few more questions. What about personal alarms?  What about pepper spray?  What about self-defense classes?  Harry gave them the straight department line, while sneaking looks at the blonde woman on his far right. She paid no attention.

Finally, Katherine Tower called time. She thanked Harry, touching off another ripple of applause, then the room began to empty. Mack Sinclair pushed her way through the welter of chairs and tables toward her partner.

Harry gathered up the blue cards and shoved them into the inside pocket of his sports jacket. He'd worn the green one without the ripped cuff; it was his best. He watched the blonde woman move toward the door.

Katherine took his arm. "You didn't get to meet everybody, Sergeant."

She called to the blonde. "Dory!  Don't go just yet!  I want you to meet our guest speaker."

Dory Novello was almost at the door. She turned and came back into the room, threading among the flow of women headed for the exit.

It was Harry's first sight of her, full on. She wore a well tailored skirt and jacket over a high-necked silk blouse, with something made of gold wire and enamel where a soldier would have worn his medals, and a necklace of big creamy beads. Her eyes were gray under precisely plucked brows, but what struck Harry was the curious, iconic stillness of her face, as if she wore a mask made of her own flesh.

As she came toward him, he could actually hear the sound his blood made pulsing past his eardrums. He felt a breathless tightness in the center of his body, as if something was squeezing his diaphragm. A small part of him was cataloging these sensations with alarm; all the rest of him was locked onto the woman who was moving into touching distance.

She barely glanced at him as Katherine Tower made the introductions.

"Harry Lukovitch, Dory Novello. Dory's only been with the Alliance a couple of months, but she gets things done."

Dory held out her hand. Harry took it. It was cool and firm, with no hint of welcoming warmth. He felt a slight tremor, but didn't know whether it was his or hers.

"Nice to meet you," she said. Her voice was soft and low. "I'm sorry, but I have to go."

Harry held onto her hand. "You seem upset. I hope you weren't bothered by anything I said."

She looked directly at him then, a brief, cool brush of her eyes across his face. "Why would I be bothered?  It had nothing to do with me. Excuse me."

She turned and walked away.

Katherine's arm was still locked in Harry's. She looked from Dory's departing back to the detective's face. and said, "I don't know what I'd call it, Harry, but something just happened."

Harry said nothing. He watched the blonde woman disappear through the ballroom doors.

Katherine cocked her head and regarded him. "I don't know Dory too well. I don't know you at all. I'll probably never see you again, so let me be blunt. Is there a Mrs. Lukovitch?"

"Ex," Harry said. "I'm divorced."

"Well, far as I can tell, Dory Novello's as manless as Mother Teresa."  She squeezed his arm. "I think she needs somebody."

Now that she was out of his sight, Harry found he could gather together most of his usual composure. He gently removed his arm from Katherine's grip. "Ms. Tower," he began.

"Katherine."

"Katherine, I only came to give a speech."  He looked to Mack for support, but his partner was inspecting the ceiling tiles.

Katherine tilted toward him. "Listen, Harry, I've had two husbands and two divorces, and I've learned two things. When you want something, you don't wait for it to come to you. You go and get it."

"Okay. What's the second thing?"

She smiled. "It's fun to meddle in other people's lives."

Harry offered her his hand. She shook it.

"We've got to go," he said. "There's bad guys need catching. Thanks for the lunch."

"Thanks for the speech."

The hallway was empty. Harry set a brisk pace toward the escalators that went down to the lobby. Mack had to move fast to keep up with him.

Emotion always made Harry move. It didn't matter whether he was running toward something, or away from it. He just had to be in motion. Right now, if he stood still, he was going to have to think about what was going on inside him, and he wasn't ready for that. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

He stepped onto the moving stairs and started down, Mack right behind him. He crossed the lobby, gave the parking elevator a pass and took the service stairs two at a time. He pushed aside the door with P2 painted on it, and strode to the blue sedan that had "unmarked police car" written all over it in letters that were invisible only to straight citizens.

Mack stretched her legs to match him step for step, until he came up against the locked driver's door, where he fumbled in his pockets for the keys. The car had an electronic lock activated by remote control.

"I drove, remember?" said Mack, holding up the remote and shaking it like a hostess summoning the maid to clear away the dishes.

"Let's go," Harry said.

Mack made no move. "So what was that?" she asked.

"What?"

"Don't give me what," she said. "You're so busy staring at the blonde you read the same card twice. Then you gawp at her like Teddy Teenager and forget to let go of her hand."

"Open the car."

"So this is, like, love at first sight?"

"Open the car."

"I mean, I want to know. If somebody has got through to wake up the sleeping prince, the least he can do is tell the neighbors."

Harry drew his lips into a flat line and said nothing. Mack nudged him away from the driver's door and unlocked it. He still said nothing while she drove them back to police headquarters on Main Street off East Hastings.

She watched him from the corner of her eye. She had seen a number of different Harrys in the past two years. She hadn't seen this one before. Something had finally slipped under his hard surface and now it was bubbling in there. She didn't know whether to make a joke about it -- or pull over and put an arm around him.

"You okay?" she asked.

"I'm okay," he said.

 They parked in a multistory garage down Main Street from the ugly old building that housed most of the VPD's investigative divisions, although the brass had recently relocated to the new headquarters on Cambie Street. They went up to the squad room and caught up on paperwork until end of shift.

Katherine Tower lived alone. She had bought her one-bedroom condo in a new high-rise overlooking English Bay just before a tidal wave of Hong Kong money swept the price of Vancouver waterfront real estate out of reach. It was a good place to be. When the setting sun filled the small space with gold, she could look out past the bulk freighters and container ships, dark against the metallic sheen of English Bay, and see the lights of West Vancouver climbing the North Shore mountains. It was quiet up here, well above the street noise.

She ate a boil-in-the-bag dinner and put the single plate and cup in the dishwasher. She closed the living room and bedroom drapes, then went into the ensuite bathroom, started the bath water running and tossed in a handful of sweet-smelling salts. Her cotton robe was hanging on its hook behind the door; she removed her office clothes and put them into the dry cleaner's pick-up bag, then slipped into the robe's comfortable warmth.

She wiped away what was left of the day's make-up and regarded her face in the mirror over the sink. The mist from the hot bath soon clouded the glass and hid the crow's feet. Just as well, she thought.

She liked to drink a glass of chilled aperitif wine while she soaked. When the water had foamed up and filled the tub, she turned off the tap and went back to the kitchen for the wine.

The masked man was in the living room. She saw him as she stepped through the bedroom door. He was coming silently toward her across the deep red of the carpet. His shoes were highly polished. He wore a dark three-piece suit with a white carnation in one lapel, and he moved with the speed and strength of youth.

His head and face were completely covered by a rubber mask. It gave him the features of a young girl, burlesqued into a cartoon rendering -- gap-toothed grin, freckles, button nose, straw-colored hair in pigtails -- that was contradicted by wraparound skier's sunglasses taped to the rubber.

Katherine froze in the doorway. If he had made any noise, she might have reacted more quickly. But the silence made the man's presence seem dreamlike, and she delayed a second before she moved.

Then she slammed the bedroom door closed and reached for the lock. She was too late.

The knob turned in her hand, and his shoulder struck the wood. The impact pushed her off-balance and she stumbled back a half step.

It was all he needed. He put his foot between the door and the jamb, and pushed.

She threw herself against the panel. But he had weight and strength. He forced her back.

"No, you don't," she said. On top of a dresser was a fist-sized globe of clear plastic on a black marble base, an award from the Institute of Certified General Accountants. Still pushing against the door, she reached, closed her hand on it and swung it toward his head.

He was too fast. His right fist came up, a short pistoning blow to the left side of her jaw. It rocked her. She dropped the paperweight. Before it touched the floor, he hit her again, this time a calculated uppercut that lifted her onto her heels and sent her backpedaling across the small room to sprawl across the bed. She heard a rushing sound in her ears, then everything fell away.

When she regained consciousness, she knew she had only been out for a brief time. But it had been long enough for the man to tape her wrists and ankles to the short legs that supported her bed. She lifted her head and saw that she was naked.

The man sat on a kitchen chair at the foot of the bed. He had turned off the bathroom and bedroom lights. He was back-lit only by the spill of light through the open bedroom door. She could see only the outline of his head and shoulders; he still wore the mask.

Katherine pulled against her bonds. They did not yield. "You son-of-a-bitch, limp-dick bastard!" she growled. "I'll make you wish you'd..."

He got up, and she saw the knife. It was long and thin-bladed, and it caught the light from the doorway.

He walked along the side of the bed, drawing the flat of the blade along her inner thigh, across her belly and up between her breasts. The metal was cold against her skin.

He held it a handsbreadth from her face, angling the blade so that it reflected a bar of light across her eyes. She concentrated on it, on memorizing the details: it was a dagger, military, she thought, with curlicues engraved on the steel, maybe an ivory handle, with a silvery pommel that looked like an eagle's head poking out of the other end of the man's fist.

The knife went away. The mask bent over her, came closer. A gloved hand cupped her left breast.

"You bastard," she said.

The hand left her flesh and went to the little girl's lopsided grin, a finger to the rubber lips mimed shush. The knife came back, and this time its needle point rested on Katherine's cheek, just below her eye.

Katherine swallowed and nodded, then turned her head to the other side of the bed. "Goddamn you," she whispered.

He closed the bedroom door. Now the room was almost completely lightless. She heard the sound of a zipper, then felt the bed settle as he knelt between her legs. He lowered himself onto her.

Harry twisted the cap off a second bottle of Shaftebury Cream. It was an English-style dark mild beer made by a micro brewer in Victoria, and it cost him three-and-a-half bucks for a bottle that comfortably filled a pint glass he'd lifted one night from a designer beer joint near Kits Beach. He refilled the glass now, letting the head form naturally, leaned back on his couch and took a good mouthful. The beer was his last luxury. It was his last connection to the old Harry, the one with the big appetites, the one with so much curiosity about the world that he sucked in knowledge like a vacuum cleaner, the one that Mack had sometimes heard about but had never known.

Since his marriage broke up, three years back, he had rented a bare-bones studio apartment in a concrete high-rise whose plans might have originated in Stalinist Russia. The furniture was bought used from a rental place. The couch still gave off a hint of garlic when anyone sat on it; not that anyone but Harry -- and, once or twice, Mack -- ever had. His mismatched pots, pans and dishes were from Goodwill Enterprises's going-out-of-business sale. There were no pictures on the walls.

The orange drapes were closed, cutting off the view of parking lots and Brentwood Mall, a low-rise shopping center on this side of the Lougheed Highway, and the car dealerships and light industrial zone across the divided four-lane arterial. He kept the windows closed in an successful attempt to mute the unending growl of traffic. When he was home, the tv was always on -- the constant ebb and flow of sound and image sometimes kept him from thinking.

Right now, Nigel Kennedy was doing an amazing job of reinterpreting a Bach partita that Harry's mother used to play as a warm-up piece. He listened to the precise clarity of the successive notes, each individual element of Bach's invisible architecture appearing exactly where and when it had to. The bowing was amazing -- perfect -- no difference between the forestroke and the backstroke.

The segment was a filler on one of the new cable channels, a few minutes between longer programs. But while those few minutes lasted, Harry was up and away, moving through a simpler, clearer place. It was a place where there was no need for feelings, where all that was expected of him was an intellectual delight in the flawless ordering of the notes and phrases -- an expectation he could deliver on.

Kennedy finished and an art movie came on. Harry lay back on the couch and took another mouthful of the good beer while he tried to concentrate on the story. But his mind kept wandering back to the luncheon. To the blonde woman with the odd air of dissociation from her surroundings.

He didn't want to think about her, about the strange something that she had called up in him. His thoughts kept nibbling at the edges of it, but he pushed it down and away. He sensed that there was danger there, profound danger to the sparse and orderly universe he had established around himself and in himself.

If he kept nibbling, he would next take a bite. And if he took a bite, he would swallow it whole, and then he would be swallowed by it. He was sure of that. He had walked around a corner of his own being, and found something sleeping there. He dared not wake it up. If he did, it would take him in its jaws and run him pell-mell through the world.

There was a rustling sound from the discarded fast food wrappings and empty containers on the floor beside him. A dark shape was nosing after scraps in a cardboard french fry sleeve.

On the coffee table were the remains of a clubhouse sandwich. Harry dug through the drying bread and pulled out a fair sized hunk of lettuce. He held it gingerly by one corner and offered it to the scaly head that lifted out of the paper debris at his feet. A moment later, the leaf was tugged from his hand, and he heard the slow methodical crunching of reptilian jaws.

His partner had named it The Mystery Turtle. It had appeared in the apartment one morning, about six months after the divorce, when Harry was in what Mack called his Jack Daniel's period. He had probably bought the animal off some other drunk in a bar, or maybe he'd won it in a bet. For all he knew, he might have held up some pet store owner at gunpoint -- there were a lot of blanks in his calendar then -- except nobody ever came forward to complain.

He had been intending to take it to a zoo or somewhere appropriate, but he kept forgetting. It seemed to get along on a diet of potato chips, french fries and beer; the same was substantially true for Harry at the time. About once a week, it left a small pool of urine wherever it happened to be; otherwise, Mack said, it was a ideal companion for him.

After a week, Mack took him to the library, where they found a book that positively identified the animal as a Sulcata tortoise. It was supposed to live on high-fiber vegetables -- "beans and greens," Mack said -- and most of the time that's what it got, but it was always interested in any combination of potatoes and grease.

Harry found another piece of lettuce and handed it over. The phone on the coffee table rang.

"You wanna get that?" Harry asked, but the tortoise was busy chewing. He reached for the phone. It was Mack.

He listened for a few seconds, then said, "The words, 'off-duty,' they don't mean that much to you, do they?"  He was wrapping himself in his practiced persona -- cool and ironic -- like a naked man belting a raincoat over his exposed flesh. He knew he was going out again into one of life's cold places.

She told him she'd be there in ten minutes.

He waited inside, looking out through the glass doors of the apartment block at the beginnings of a Vancouver April rain, working on not thinking about the job ahead. Mack came right on time, pulling up in her efficient little red Geo. He squeezed into the passenger seat and snugged the seat belt over his incipient paunch.

"You got a mint?" he asked.

She looked him over.

"One pint of beer and two sips of a second," he said. "Not an inappropriate amount for an off-duty detective. But the breath needs help."

She reached back and fished around in her purse that was on the back floor of the car, came up with a roll of something minty and gave it to him. He popped one in his mouth. "Okay," he said, "tell me about it."

"Sexual assault, single perp. Had a knife, didn't use it."

"And this has what to do with me?"

"The ineffable Inspector Mason," Mack said. "He admires your work."

Harry sighed and sucked on the mint. "I don't think I would apply the word 'ineffable' to Inspector Mason. I think I would call him the most effable police inspector ever to fall to earth from the hands of God."

He rubbed his neck. "I take it the good inspector views this as no garden variety violation."

"He does not. It appears to have trimmings. That's why he wants you to catch the case."

A few drops of rain spattered on the windshield and she switched on the wipers. Every few seconds, the black blades brought clarity and order, but after each pass the droplets came randomly back, inexorably turning Harry's view into a distorted muddle of shapes and lights.

He was not comfortable in the Geo's artfully designed seat. He scrunched down and watched the landscape flow past, saw cars nosing down driveways onto wet asphalt, like crocodiles sliding into a dark jungle river.


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E.F.T. A Noir Thriller

It’s the late 20th century, the dawn of the computer age. A serial rapist is targeting senior women executives in Vancouver’s major banks and corporations. Oddball Detective Sergeant Harry Lukovitch and his female partner, Detective Constable Mack Sinclair, are hunting the attacker.Their search will lead them into the unknown territory of the emerging internet, where E.F.T. – the electronic transfer of funds – is dealt with at only the highest levels of the corporate and banking sectors.

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Matt Hughes

I'm an award-winning crime writer.