Manhattan Crime A novel

When a rich socialite Roberta Harrison is found dead in her Lower Manhattan apartment, Detective Frank Markham is on the case. As he investigates the crime, his own personal life gets in the way of solving it.

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1. The Beginning

~~~~

Roberta Harrison glanced at the Lower Manhattan apartment windows.

She sipped cool champagne, as she stared at Devin Kendall, her husband.

"I won't settle for a divorce", she said.

"You have to, Roberta. Judge Clements...". Roberta shook her head. She had long, black hair, brown eyes, and tall; she was wearing an expensive grey gown. Her long, slender legs was covered in black stockings around her shapely legs; her silver coloured shoes was comfortable, as her diamond wedding ring glowed on her right, middle, finger. At thirty, she was married three years to her web design husband, who was thirty-three. Devin had short, blonde hair, blue eyes, and tall. He wore a black suit, black trousers, a brown belt, blue socks, and black, polished shoes on his feet.

"Divorce is the only ​option, Roberta. You can't make me force you to...". Roberta looked at the red chair that was in the middle of the spacious apartment. She spoke icily.

"It's my life, Devin. I was making a career as a rich socialite who put on high society parties". And she looked at him with hatred.

She signed the divorce papers with a gold felt pen.

And, after everything was over, Devin smiled.

Then, by six-thirty PM, he opened the grey coloured front door, and vanished from her life forever.

~~~~

Roberta sipped the rest of her champagne.

She was about to read a book when the front door opened. She turned around. And, as she did so, she didn't see the killer wrap a chloroform rag across her face. Then, after she slumped to the hard, marble, ground...she was attacked in her apartment by someone she didn't know. Afterwards, the killer opened the door...then headed down the hallway. He placed the rag in the deep pockets of his black trousers. Then he smiled as the African-American doorman opened the double door, and let him outside.

~~~~

New York Detective Frank Markham was asleep in bed when his I-phone beeped. He frowned, as he grabbed it. "Markham", he said.

"Frank, this is Detective Tracey James. Roberta Harrison's dead".

"The New York socialite".

"Yes, apparently her soon-to-be ex-husband Devin Kendall left thirty minutes' ago". Frank nodded. He yawned then he spoke.

"I'll be outside in five minutes". 

~~~~

I was near Central Park. Several couples were walking their dogs by the glowing lamps. The expensive apartments were the highlight of Manhattan City. I saw Detective Tracy James smiling at me. She was sipping her warm coffee; she waved at me. "Tired", she said. I nodded. We were partners for a year. In that time there wasn't any kind of romantic attachment between us; there was just a professional attachment that worked. My previous partner, Detective Harvey Richardson died from a heart attack that was due to stress. He was thirty-seven. He left a wife, Margot, thirty-six, and three children: Mark, seven; Andrea, six; and Bob, five. In short, I knew what it meant to keep our personal lives away from the job. "So, what's the situation?", I asked her. She nodded. "Devin Kendall was in the apartment for three hours. He was finalizing a divorce from Roberta. Nothing untoward happened. She apparently signed the papers. The killer forced himself inside the apartment after ​Devin left. We have to check the CCTV cameras", she said.

"Okay, let's check the footage", I said.

~~~~

Devin Kendall smoked a cigarette.

He was hungry. He headed to Bert's Burgers​. He opened the door near Central Park. Inside, several teenagers were talking; several adults were ordering burgers. Once he paid for two burgers, and a coffee, he noticed Felicity Marks, the crime reporter. "I didn't know you were here, Felicity". She smiled at him. "I am looking into the case of Richard Lane, the Park Killer". She had her black coloured bag with her; she was eating a hamburger. "Roberta and I are officially divorced. It was inevitable that we'll never grow old and have children". Felicity, who had long, black hair, hazel eyes, and petite, nodded. "Roberta enjoyed parties, and nothing else". Devin sat down near her; Felicity shook her head. "I will be off-duty by seven o'clock PM". Devin nodded. She smiled at him. "Can I come to your place?", Devin asked her.

"Yes", Felicity answered him.

And she grinned.

~~~~

We saw a figure on the screen.

It was the killer.

"Do you know who he is?", I asked Detective James.

"No", she answered.

"How did he get inside? Did he have a key?".

"He must've forced himself into the house, then attacked Roberta". Detective James nodded. She sighed. I wanted to secure the crime site before the forensics team arrived.

~~~~

Devin finished his dinner.

Felicity smiled.

"I wasn't sure you'd see me".

"Roberta knew that I could see another woman. She was thinking that she would find another man in her life. She never did; she was alone. In short, everything was...hard on me", Devin said. Then the sound of wailing police sirens disturbed his thoughts, as the evening dragged onward.

~~~~

Richard Lane breathed slowly.

He gripped the knife in his right hand. He wore a black coat. He gazed at the apartment in Manhattan Island. Everyone was working in the cold weather. By December of 2017, Christmas would bring a freezing winter. It was nearly Halloween; it was almost October the 31st. He heard the sound of a woman shouting outside the window; he stared at the group of teenagers smoking cigarettes. By seven-forty-five PM, he ordered pizza by using the app on his I-phone; he ordered a Supreme Pizza, garlic bread, and a two litre bottle of Coke. Once he did so, he smiled at the glass window. Suddenly he glimpsed at the map of Manhattan that was on the brown table that was in the middle of the spacious room. He remembered Staci Chambers, the last girl he kidnapped three years' ago; he remembered the screams that came from Downtown Manhattan, where he forced her into his black 2003 van. He had attacked her with the knife until she stopped yelling. Once she had died, he buried her body in Manhattan Woods. He smiled at the time. It was a rush. A way to deal with the idea that death was the beginning of the crime; death was the timing in which you had to reach the ultimate goal: and that was the nightmare that came over the city as darkness arrived by eight o'clock PM.

~~~~

I didn't know who had killed Roberta Harrison.

And neither did Detective James.

"It looks like Richard Lane. He is got off thanks to Nathaniel Oliver, a fancy lawyer back in the summer of 2014. Oliver died in January of 2015 from old age. He was seventy-three", she said. I nodded. Richard Lane was as unpredictable as The Zodiac Killer from the nineteen sixties, and nineteen seventies; I was sure that the other killers like Charles Manson in the past would be dealt with by the law. Apparently Richard Lane was in Manhattan dreaming up other kidnappings. He was smart. Very smart. And for all of us, he was tricky. I looked at the map of New York on my I-phone; I saw Midtown. "He could be around here somewhere", Detective James said. I nodded, as she begun to buy two coffees for us, as the temperature dropped to 61 degrees overnight.

~~~~

Silvia Anderson Park was a jogger.

She enjoyed exercising at night time. She checked her timer on her right hand. She saw it was beeping. It read: 8:04 PM. She wore her favourite light blue jumper. Her black jeans kept her warm. She ran in her Nike jogging shoes; she gazed at several rich women who had their small dogs in their handbags; she smiled at them, as the dogs yapped at her, flashing their sharp, canine teeth. "It's okay, Jacky won't harm you", Tania Martinson said. Silvia nodded. "Thank you, I was concerned that he'll bite me". Tania nodded, then gripped the reigns of her leash with her right hand, and walked down the grey road towards her apartment. Silvia felt her heart beat faster. By 8:13 PM, Silvia saw a black 1996 van. It was parked near the park benches. She sensed someone was inside. Suddenly, and fatefully, the front door was open. And Thomas Beach grabbed her with his black gloved hands, and dragged her inside the car...and closed the passenger-side doors. Then he drove away towards Battery Park, where ferries were in the deep water was near the Statue of Liberty.

~~~~

Richard Lane heard the knocking on the apartment door.

By 8:15 PM, a delivery man smiled at him.

"Your pizza, garlic bread, and coke is here".

"Thank you. Have a good night".

"Same to you, Sir. Good night!".

And he closed the door...and had a late dinner in private.

~~~~

I was thinking that the strain was etched on my face. Detective James saw it. She glanced at the windows. Suddenly her I-phone rang.

"Detective James".

"It's Detective Harrison. There's been a kidnapping near Battery Park. The woman's name is Silvia Anderson Park, twenty-nine, newly married to Thorne Anson Park, the  fifty year old crime writer. He's like James Patterson, but hasn't sold any copies of his book Dead Weight​, which he wrote two years' ago".

"I haven't heard about him. Anyway, what was she doing at the park at night? Jogging, right?", Detective James asked him.

"Yeah, she disappeared after talking to Tania Martinson...and her dog", he answered her.

"The rich housewife in New York".

"Yes, my wife Edna watches her cable television show ​Rich Wives of Lower Manhattan​". Detective James nodded; I was listening to the interesting conversation. Kidnappings were busy business. It involved the police, and a lot of time and patience on everyone. ​And time wasn't on our side.

"So, what now?", I piped in.

"Now we get enough info on the kidnapper", Detective James said.

And I nodded...and knew that if she did die...our careers would be threatened by tomorrow morning.

~~~~

Thelma Richards was at ​Compton Café and Restaurant. ​She headed towards the huge Dining Room. By 9:00 PM, the night time diners were speaking about their work day. She sat down at table 47. A male waiter walked towards her. "What do you like, Miss?", he asked her.

"I'd like a pepper steak with mushroom sauce, and a coffee, please". He wrote down the order with a black pen on a white pad. Then he attended to other couples' orders. Thelma, who wore a red dress, shivered. She was concerned that crime in New York was increasing, despite the Zero Tolerance Order from Mayor Gregson back in 2002, fifteen years' ago that declared that New York was free of crime in the modern, high-tech, 21st century.

~~~~

Caitlyn Shrive Campbell shivered in the cold night by the ferry. She didn't want Jack Thorpe Jr., her ex-con husband to come back from Franklin High Security Goal. She thought about the time in which he threatened to take her daughter Amie with a .38 Smith & Wesson gun during a heated fight; she heard her six year old girl's crying, as she yelled: "​Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!​". Caitlyn grabbed her red coat. Orville H. Kendall, III, the New York Harbourmaster, blew a whistle...and the people on the shore were being evicted from the city that never sleeps, as she walked away from them, and decided to get her daughter before Eva, the seventeen year old babysitter, decided to seek more money as the night came to a close.

~~~~

It was late.

By 9:57 PM, Detective James yawned.

"I'll see you tomorrow".

"Seven o'clock AM", I said.

"Yes".

And I smiled...as we headed our own ways to our apartments...and were prepared to sleep alone.

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