No Place to Run(8)

By: Marion Faith Laird


“On my way.”

Matt switched on the lights and siren and was at the scene in less than three minutes. Setting up orange traffic cones and diverting cars to an alternate route helped to get his mind off the librarian. He managed not to think of her for at least ten minutes, until the paramedic van took off for Lucius Dainger Memorial Hospital in nearby West Bluff.

As he put the stacked cones back into the trunk, another memory of Lorie Narramore drifted up from his memory. She’d been in the Diamondback Marching Band, playing the glockenspiel on the edge of the gridiron, when a tackle had tumbled him into the band. He’d ended up knocking her over and helping her up. Her glasses had rendered her light brown eyes enormous. Hmm. She wasn’t wearing glasses these days, but her eyes were still amazing.

What was it about Lorie Narramore? He wasn’t the kind of bachelor who was drawn to every attractive female in sight. Especially one who by her own admission had shot and killed a man. It wasn’t damsel-in-distress syndrome, either. He had the impression she could handle herself in a tricky situation. So why exactly was he having trouble concentrating on work?

Maybe it was because someone had threatened the librarian. Once he ran the prints, maybe he could match them up with someone in AFIS and this case would be over.

Unfortunately, when he got back to the station, the prints from the office were not in AFIS. Lorie’s prints, however, brought up a large file.

Her mug shot looked strained rather than fearful or defiant. Huge purple shadows bordered her eyes. Her mouth was drawn.

The case had been through the San Diego County courts last year and had made quite a splash. Matt was surprised that it hadn’t made the local news, but if it had, he’d missed it.

Grayson Carl, the man Lorie had shot, was a suspected drug lord, with ties to a network in Colombia and Panama. If she’d been sent to prison, the Orgulloso cartel would have had her assassinated before the year was out. Could they have been the ones behind the harassment in San Diego—and today’s note?

Threatening notes and phone calls seemed a bit mild for them. Drive-by shootings were more their style.

The file was too long to absorb in one sitting. Matt sent it to the printer, including the court transcripts, to read at home.

“Working late, Mac?”

Matt looked up from his computer to see the sheriff’s broad frame filling the doorway.

“A little. Getting some homework on that case your wife sent me on this morning.” The laser printer spat out pages at breakneck speed. “What do you know about Lorie Narramore at the county library?”

Frank’s sandy eyebrows rose. “I looked over your report. On the surface, the note doesn’t sound like much, but, given her background, I don’t like it. I was hoping she’d left her troubles in San Diego.”

“Do you really see an international cartel coming after someone in our little county, Frank?”

“I wish I could say no and mean it.” The sheriff ambled into Matt’s tiny office and plunked down in the blue upholstered visitor’s chair. “The way things have been going lately on the illegal-drug front, I’m not so sure.”

Matt leaned on his desk. “I’m not going to find anything in here about Ms. Narramore that I won’t like, will I?”

“Depends on what you don’t like.”

Matt wasn’t happy with the answer, but knew Frank wouldn’t say any more until Matt had had a chance to read through the file and come to his own conclusions. But what would he find? True, she’d been acquitted, but the nagging question remained.

If she’d truly been innocent, why had she ever been tried for murder?





THREE

Just as Lorie was about to depart for the day, her desk phone jangled.

“Leave it, why don’t you?” Jen slung her purse over her shoulder and held out Lorie’s. “You know it’s past closing time.”

“It might be Mom. Her church is getting ready for Vacation Bible School, and she has some idea I can help.”

“Why wouldn’t she call your cell phone?”

Lorie shrugged. “I’d better get it.” She lifted the receiver. “Dainger County Library, Lorie Narramore speaking.” Mom’s cheery voice would pipe up any second.

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