We’re staying with Nicolette Mace today for more from her adventures, but this time from the Kevin Metis Saga, book 2 in the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series.
Kevin Metis Saga: an extract
It was a dark, dismal afternoon, like they all seem to be these days, when I got this call. I could hear the rain battering the windowpane of my office when the phone rang.
“Nicolette Mace, the Raven Siren.”
“He’s back and you’re marked.” The phone went dead in my hand. Anonymous calls were always trouble; laying traps for the unsuspecting Private Eye, but this time it was more confusing than anything else. It wasn’t hard to believe that someone had painted a bullseye on my back; the hard part was believing that someone was warning me.
Eight years in a business like this and you don’t make any friends, probably why most P.Is have cats. The only social life a P.I has is with the scum of the earth (their clients), who in this burg are no better than those they ask you to catch, and the local police; you can tell dinner parties are always a blast to have. Usually a shotgun blast.
I could have kept my head down and waited for the hit, it would have saved me an awful lot of trouble and a few fingers as well, but that’s the deal with retrospect.
Two minutes after the phone call I had my coat in hand, my guns in their holsters and no cat to wish me luck.
Times have changed in this business from the days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. The two of them didn’t have the modern world to contend with, the escalation of violent crime, the degeneration of society, in my mind those guys had it easy.
Some things though haven’t changed.
The first thing to do was to try and sniff out a lead, general snippets of news, new guys in town, old faces resurfacing, suspicious activities anywhere in the city.
There was only one guy to go to who’d know what was happening and who would actually talk, Alfie Dennis. Alfie Dennis, still in his early twenties, was the best snitch in the city. He took from both sides and consequently knew more about the city than either side was willing to admit.
He’s a pricey resource if you knew only one way to ask and after double-crossing both sides more than once, he knew how to disappear in the blink of an eye. Luckily enough for me though, he wasn’t immune to female charms.
Alfie wasn’t an easy man to locate and the rain made me irritable when I found him in a down-town pool hall. He wasn’t an attractive man, pug faced with a spot epidemic still clinging on from his teens, though he was never short of women, mainly hookers because even though his looks made any woman want to wretch, the depth of his pockets more than made up for it.
That night he wasn’t alone either, he had two girls hanging on his arms and another two throwing him glances from the bar. When I walked through the door, all eyes turned from their games to the door and back again. That wasn’t unusual, most people in there knew who I was and I knew who they were, if I left them alone, they’d leave me alone.
Simple arrangements like these tend to make life so much simpler, and by “simpler” I mean “longer.”
It wasn’t unlike any other night walking into that hall, but the moment I walked through that door I knew something was different, something about the pool hall was bothering me and the phone call was enough to get me on my guard.
I didn’t like it.
I felt cold like I’d been dropped in a snow bank in the middle of December. It struck me as odd that Alfie hadn’t looked up as I walked in. Normally he would have been watching the door intently, just waiting for business to walk through it. I’d seen him react to the police like a snivelling worm and to the underworld agents in the same way, but he always jumped and headed for the back door if it was me he saw. He hadn’t moved.
It was a set up; I could feel it as my flesh crawled. I thought as fast as I could, trying not to give anything away. First thing that came to mind was backing out the door I had just entered through, but it would be being watched.
I stepped away from the door and moved to the bar, the two hookers leaning against it turned and grinned maliciously at me. There was something familiar about them. I was over the counter, guns in hand, before the first shot left its chamber.
More about Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren
Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren is a book series by author C.S. Woolley. Written in the first person, this modern twist on the private detective pulp novel brings a refreshing take on the film noir world. Nicolette Mace is the private detective known as the Raven Siren and the eponymous heroine of the five books that come together to create the main narrative of the series. There is also a sub set of books within the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series that come under the title of Filling the Afterlife from the Underworld. These books are shorter tales that are written to fill in the gaps between the stories in the main five novels and round out the universe that C.S. Woolley has created. Some of the volumes follow cases that the Raven Siren has taken on whilst others are comprised of shorter thoughts and exploits from the day-to-day life of the female private investigator.