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Murder in the Marais (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #1) by Cara Black Read Online (FREE)

Murder in the Marais

Read Murder in the Marais (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #1) by Cara Black full novel online for free here.

PARIS

 

NOVEMBER 1993

WEDNESDAY

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Morning

 

 

AIMÉE LEDUC FELT HIS presence before she saw him. As if ghosts floated in his wake in the once elegant hall. She paused, pulling her black leather jacket closer against the Parisian winter morning slicing through her building, and reached for her keys. The man emerged from the shadows by her frosted paned office door. A baby’s cry wafted up from the floor below, then the concierge’s door slammed.

“Mademoiselle, I need your help,” he said. Leathery, freckled skin stretched over his skull and his ears pointed out at right angles. He wore a crumpled navy blue suit and leaned crookedly on a malacca cane.

“No missing persons, Monsieur,” she said. As winter settled, the days gray and the memories vivid, old survivors revived hopes of lost ones. She slid her tongue across her teeth to check for anything stuck, smoothed her short brown hair and smiled. She stuffed the chocolate croissant back in the bag. “I don’t find lost relatives. My field is corporate security.” Thirty-four years old, Aimee, at five feet eight inches, loomed above him. “Je suis desolee, Monsieur, but computer forensics are my speciality.”

“That’s what I want.” He straightened his posture slowly, his large eyes fearful. “My name is Soli Hecht. I must talk with you.”

Behind his fear she saw sadness tinged by keen perception. She tried to be polite. Walk-in clients were rare. Most came through corporate connections or by word of mouth. “It’s not that I don’t want your business, but we’re carrying a full caseload. I can refer you to someone very good.”

“I knew your father, an honorable man. He told me to come to you if I needed help.”

Startled, she dropped her keys and looked away. “But my father was killed five years ago.”

“As always, he is in my prayers.” Hecht bowed his head. When he looked up, his eyes bored into hers. “Your father and I met when he was in Le Commissariat.”

She knew she had to hear him out. Still she hesitated. The cold seeped from the floorboards but it wasn’t the only thing making her shiver.

“Please come inside.”

She unlocked the door that read LEDUC DETECTIVE that led to the office she’d taken over after her father’s death, flipped on the lights, and draped her jacket over her armchair. Nineteenth-century sepia prints of Egyptian excavations hung on the walls above digitally enhanced Parisian sewer maps.

Hecht moved his cadaverous frame across the parquet floor. Something about him struck her as familiar. As he lifted his arm onto her desk, she saw faint blue numbers tattooed on his forearm peeking out from his jacket sleeve. Did he want her to find Nazi loot in numbered Swiss bank accounts? She scooped ground coffee into the filter, poured water, and switched on the espresso machine, which grumbled to life.