They sat side by side on the couch, Tom on the left and Anna on the right, like they had in the backseat of the car when they were kids. Tom was a lefty and liked the window, and Anna didn’t mind the middle. They sat closer now than they ever did then, and when Tom reached over and held her hand, she didn’t shriek, “Mommy, Tommy’s touching me!”
Gamache’s job was to collect the evidence, but also to collect the emotions. And the only way he knew to do that was to get to know the people. To watch and listen. To pay attention, and the best way to do that was in a deceptively casual way in a deceptively casual setting.
Like the bistro.
Satira would have been on a horse and halfway into the sunset by now if the lift from the laboratory hadn’t broken.
Steam from a broken pipe billowed up from beneath the lift’s cab, heating the metal walls until sweat slicked her skin and curled wild strands of her hair.
She loved the ocean air smashing into her face, the feel of the tires beneath as they struggled to cling to the asphalt, the hum of the machine surrounding her body, the knowledge that one twitch to the left or right at the wrong moment meant her brand-new car, along with her brand-new life, would end up at the bottom of a ravine, and maybe years later people would ask: Whatever happened to that cute actress who was in those funny romantic comedies a few year ago? Back then, she loved to drive Decker Canyon Road because it blasted all of the clutter out of her mind.
By the step leading up into the sleeping-car stood a young French lieutenant, resplendent in uniform, conversing with a small man muffled up to the ears, of whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an upward-curled moustache.
It was freezingly cold, and this job of seeing off a distinguished stranger was not one to be envied, but Lieutenant Dubose performed his part manfully.