First, he's working for the secretive Armstrong Organization—a group dedicated to hunting terrorists, drug smugglers, and the nastiest criminals since Blackbeard.
Second, his partner is DJ Martin, a one-legged Airborne vet who has the temperament of a croc with a toothache. DJ has never met a nose he couldn't break, and he's tested plenty of them.
When a body washes ashore at an island resort in Culebra, a family desperate for help turns to Jerry and DJ. Sailing the Caribbean looking for answers, their course proves deadlier than either man bargained for. And when Jerry's past dealings appear on the horizon, the two men have to find common ground to overcome a cunning, powerful enemy with a desire more dangerous than murder.
Release date: April 5, 2021
Publisher: Down Island Press
Print pages: 420
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Wayward Sons: A Jerry Snyder Novel
A man is most dangerous when he’s desperate. As a cop, I’d learned that lesson through blood and bruises and dead co-workers. I kept it in mind as we marched into Robert Beck’s office.
When I was a kid, I thought I knew what desperation was—from hearing my dad’s stories about businessmen and bankers coming to him with moths in their pockets, begging him to keep their doors open, or to snap up a property dragging down their books.
I didn’t know a thing.
My early years were spent growing up in SoCal with the proverbial silver spoon in my mouth. My grandfather had gotten into real estate when the counties around L.A. were cheap, and Dad carried the business forward. I was next up, but by the time I hit high school, I wanted nothing more than to get away from private schools, travel soccer teams, and month-long chalet rentals in Aspen.
I enlisted in the Air Force, thinking that might clue Mom and Dad in to how I really felt. When I finished my service overseas, Dad asked me when I was going to take over Snyder & Burkhart Holdings. I gave him his answer when I became a cop.
Now, I’m married, in my mid-thirties, and out of law enforcement—officially, at least. This new life that lay ahead of me took me to a place I’d never expected—somewhere far away from my family’s hometown, Newport Beach.
I’d moved to St. Thomas and started work as an investigator for the Armstrong organization, which brought me to where I was now: facing down a desperate, dangerous man.
My partner, DJ, and I might have had Robert Beck penned into his big, leather chair, behind an even bigger walnut desk, and he might’ve worn a disarmingly bewildered smile, but above those charming fangs, the slick bastard had the venomous eyes of a cornered rattlesnake.
A lot of people had Beck pegged as an okay guy, but DJ and I knew better. It was our job to know better.
Beck was the director of The Cruz Bay Villages—a retirement community that came close to having more yachts than residents. He treated white-haired ladies to steak and Maine lobster dinners—not cheap in the Virgin Islands. How many grams of meth bought a filet mignon on St. John? Because Beck’s salary as director wasn’t paying for it. He made his real money slinging dope. DJ and I had figured out his small part in one of the biggest meth-smuggling operations I’d ever heard of.
My partner and I came at things from different angles, but we’d both known Beck was dirty. DJ was a former Army Ranger and approached obstacles with a “strike fast and hit hard” attitude, no easy task for a man missing a leg. Being a pararescueman and former police detective, I preferred to use methodical, legal means to an end.
Nobody could say that DJ Martin and Jerry Snyder didn’t get things done. This was our second assignment together and pretty soon we’d have a 2-0 record.
“Wipe that smile off your face, Beck,” I said. “You thought you’d never see our happy asses again.”
Beck blinked at me, then looked over at DJ. “Mr. Snyder, Mr. Martin—good morning to the both of you. What brings you back to my office?”
“You already know. And you could at least do DJ and me the courtesy of not pretending we’re busting up Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood.”
The man’s eyes hardened, his focus sharpening. The gee-golly-shucks-church-bingo smile didn’t leave his face, but it did little to dull his eyes.
“All your talk of being a family at Cruz Bay, of caring about your residents, telling their kids how good their folks have it here. That was the biggest pile of bull I ever witnessed,” I said. “But stepping on old ladies to make your money? That is truly something else—and I’ve seen a lot.”
“Yeah,” DJ added, “Jerry was a cop, so he knows a thing or two about stepping on the little guy.”
I cut DJ an unamused look. No verbal snipes. Not now.
“Gentlemen,” Beck began. “I’m not sure what to make of all this. Are you suggesting I’m involved in something… unscrupulous?”
“Just tell us who’s supplying the meth,” I said.
“Mr. Snyder—” Beck twisted his chair, as if he meant to stand up. I stepped to the left of the desk, and clapped my hand to his shoulder, keeping him planted. He got the message.
“I haven’t the faintest clue what you’re talking about,” he said. “If you think I’m some kind of drug kingpin, I can assure you I’m quite busy keeping all of my residents active—it’s a full-time job and then some, as either of my assistants will tell you. If I had extra time, I assure you it would be used toward leisure, not wasted on running some kind of drug empire.”
“At least we agree in part.” I bent down; my face was level with Beck’s. I wanted to see that hardened edge in his eyes shatter—I wanted to take that moment in and commit it to memory. “You’re not the top dog in your outfit—he wouldn’t have made the mistake you did.”
I looked him up and down; nice suit, gold pinky ring with seven inlaid diamonds, creased trousers, and leather loafers. I grinned. “You tried to buy yourself into the position, though. But we both know you’re not all that important.”
A tinge of indignation dragged the corners of Beck’s lips downward, but his eyes kept their cutting gaze. “Maybe not in your estimation,” he said. “But I am an important man to the people here. And I don’t appreciate having my time wasted by you gentlemen.”
I stood up straight, looking down my nose at him. I wanted Beck to feel small—even smaller than he was. “Maybe you are, Mr. Beck—we couldn’t care less about how popular your shuffleboard nights are. But you’re only a couple of kilos above a street dealer in the dope game. That’s my read, anyway—because in the busts I’ve seen and the gangs I’ve staked out, the guys that have all those fancy cars and gold jewelry and caviar dinners aren’t the guys at the top.” I winked at DJ. “No, I think Mister-Mercedes-and-Italian-Loafers here”—I kicked the bottom of his shoe “—he knows he isn’t important. That’s why he’s gotta try so damned hard to make others think he is.”
I stepped back and looked him over again. Summing up my thoughts, I concluded with an air of finality, “You handle logistics. You’re a delivery man—UPS for meth wholesalers in Haiti, Cuba, the BVI—all across the Northern Caribbean. Your link in the chain moves the drugs in small amounts from here to your distribution partners over in San Juan, and you charge bottom dollar to do it.”
“Kinda sad when you put it that way,” DJ chimed in, smirking.
“You aren’t wrong there, partner,” I said. “Taking down this maggot was barely worth getting out of bed.”
“I haven’t done any of the things you’re accusing me of,” Beck said, but the flop sweat on his forehead and his fluttering eyelids seemed to say otherwise.
DJ laughed and Beck’s eyes sliced in his direction for a moment, then back to me.
“Let’s see how long you hold out when the police arrive. With lies sounding that flimsy, Beck’s gonna have dinner at the jail on St. Croix,” I said to DJ.
“This is getting sadder, man,” DJ responded, shaking his head.
Beck didn’t flinch. I didn’t imagine he would. Not yet, anyway. Even the worst of them clutched their lies tight as a rosary while they pleaded silently for God to bring his mighty finger down and smush the law like gnats.
When he realized that wasn’t going to happen, he’d crack—whether it was here, inside a jail cell, or in an interrogation room with the macho DEA guys going chest-to-chest with him. Most of the people I’d apprehended over the years didn’t admit to anything until they had their freedom taken from them, even if it was just a temporary holding cell. Especially men like Beck, who couldn’t handle confinement, even for just a few days. They rolled over and cut a deal to save their own asses.
“You don’t want the police thinking you’ve lied to them. That’ll only piss them off. The best way to have this out is to tell me and DJ everything you’ve ever done.”
Beck bristled at the idea. He was too proud to take the lifeline I threw.
“You’re sure you don’t want to talk to us?” I asked.
“What is there to talk about? I haven’t done a thing.”
“Hey, Dep?” DJ jerked his head to his left. His long goatee, stiff with sea-salt, moved with his head. He wanted a chat with me, and I already knew what about.
On the boat ride over, DJ had voiced some dissent about my arrest strategy. I waved him off, assuring him everything would go smoothly, so long as we appeared united. I hoped he’d listen to me, and forget whatever idea percolated in his head.
Now wasn’t a great time for a debate.
My partner had no law-enforcement experience, and it showed. You didn’t hash things out when you were the only two guys in the room with a dope smuggler. You detained the perp first and talked out a change in strategy after.
DJ cleared his throat again. He wouldn’t let it go. He never let anything go. If I brushed him off now, I’d pay for it later.
I pointed at Beck. “You can stay still for me, can’t you Mr. Beck?”
He didn’t move, just glared. He was as petulant as a third grader.
“There you go,” I said with a big smile. “Just like that.”
I stepped three paces sideways, away from his desk. Close enough that if he were armed, my long legs could eliminate the gap and get the gun away from him before he fired. Far enough that he couldn’t hear me and DJ whispering.
DJ came around the desk. Below his cargo shorts, his titanium right leg gleamed in the sunlight coming through the window overlooking Cruz Bay. When he got within whispering distance, I smelled the beer seeping from his pores. I hadn’t noticed it this morning when he’d picked me up on his boat, Reel Fun.
I was becoming accustomed to the smell.
“I know you’re not used to the way I do things yet,” I whispered to DJ, “but you have to roll with me on this. Now isn’t a great time to discuss the finer points of our strategy with Beck.”
“Now’s the only time we’ve got,” DJ said, a little too loudly.
I grabbed him by the arm and led him another step away from Beck’s desk. He rolled his eyes at me.
“We talked about this,” I hissed. “The DEA can get the information we need out of him. When they find out we caught Beck dead-to-rights with his hand in the cookie jar, they’re going to lean on him hard. You just show them those pictures you snapped, and they’ll want to find out who his supplier is. They’ll throw everything they can at him, and since he’s trafficking from one U.S. island territory to another, this whole thing is federal. As soon as Uncle Sam looks him in the eye, he’ll blink. Guys like him always do.”
“Man, you’re believing your own bullshit,” DJ said. “Look, I know I agreed to do this your way, but I just had another think about the way we’re going here. Beck’s loaded, Jerry. And he’s connected to somebody—we both know that. He’ll have lawyers crawling up every orifice Uncle Sam has.”
I pinched my lips together. I could’ve done without that imagery.
“And even if he ends up in prison,” DJ continued, “it’ll be a Hilton. Guys like him don’t do time the way some crack-dealing bum off the street does. That ain’t the way the world works.”
DJ’s cynicism grated on me. Ever since the day we’d started working together, I could see that his attitude didn’t jibe with mine. I clenched my jaw and looked away from Beck for a second. When my eyes set back onto him, he smirked. The rift between DJ and me was too obvious to hide.
“This wannabe Scarface was sewing meth packets into old ladies’ day bags,” I said. “And you want to what—kick his teeth in before you ask him to sing? No way, DJ. That’s not happening. The cops are taking him.”
“You know that’s how it has to be, Dep?” DJ’s whispering became strained. “But you know what? You do what you want. Tell him about jail time and the feds and whatever other Boy Scout crap is pulling the wool over your eyes. See if he talks about who’s paying him. I’m gonna stick to reality.”
He turned and went back to the other side of Beck’s desk. I didn’t care to stop him—I didn’t need to get the last word in, because I was right.
And we were doing this my way.
“Hey, Beck,” DJ barked. “There a bathroom behind that door?”
He pointed at a partially open door in the wall behind and to the right of Beck’s desk.
“Uh, yes, there is,” Beck answered.
“Good. I’m gonna take a leak.” DJ said, as he walked to the door. With his back to me, he thumbed in my direction. “Deputy Snyder over there, is gonna take you in for questioning.”
Beck looked from DJ to me, furrowing his brow, and holding back a chuckle.
I could’ve skinned DJ alive.
Instead, I approached Beck’s desk. Before we hopped off DJ’s boat, I’d shoved a pair of handcuffs in the back pocket of my jeans. I ripped them out and dangled them right at Beck’s eye level.
“Are you actually a deputy?” Beck asked.
“No,” I snapped back at him. “But if you don’t tell us who your supplier is, these handcuffs are going on your wrists, and you’re gonna meet a couple of DEA agents. Once they see what DJ and I have on you, you’re going to jail for a long, long time.”
Beck laughed, threw his head back, and wrapped his arms around his pot belly. Then he looked me in the eye and smiled. “You’re serious?”
I held his eye contact.
“Well, Mr. Snyder, you’re welcome to call the police on me, but in the long run, I think you’ll be extremely disappointed. I’ll admit, right here, right now—you and Mr. Martin have done a fine job of getting to the bottom of this whole thing. I am exactly what you suspect—though I’m more important to our operation than you believe.
“To be frank, I’m surprised you managed to figure it out. I assumed the two of you were nothing more than an air-head surfer-boy and a beer-soaked conch looking to squeeze a few dollars out of someone by pretending to be investigators.” He smiled and interlaced his fingers, resting his hands on his stomach. “But I’m afraid this investigation goes no further. I won’t give anyone up. I’m not a rat. I’ll happily sit in whichever federal penitentiary I’m confined to. And I’ll keep my mouth shut the entire time.”
Dammit. DJ’d guessed right.
“We’ll see.” I stepped around the corner of his desk and slapped one of the cuffs on his right wrist. “Guys like you talk a big talk, but—”
The bathroom door suddenly swept violently inward, like it was being sucked out of an airplane at altitude. DJ leapt out on his good leg, holding his prosthetic high over his head like a sledgehammer. In one quick motion he swung it down toward Beck, who moved to shield himself with his arms.
I jerked on the handcuffs, trying to yank Beck away. But DJ was deceptively quick. All I managed to do was pull Beck’s right arm out of the way of the crashing blow.
DJ’s fake leg smashed into Beck’s left forearm, making a popping noise—like the muffled sound of a tree branch snapping in a hurricane.
The force behind DJ’s swing propelled his fake leg downward, past Beck’s broken arm. The leg stopped only when it bashed into Beck’s lap, sending him spilling from the chair, and ripping the other end of the handcuffs from my grip.
Beck hit the floor, face down, howling in pain.
But that wasn’t good enough for DJ. He hopped closer to Beck and brought the leg up again, eager to smash him to a pulp.
I bounded over Beck, wrapping one arm around DJ as my other hand flew upward, catching his wrist and stopping him from making a bigger mess than he already had.
“Jesus, DJ!” I screamed at him. “What the hell are the police going to say?”
“Screw the damned cops!” he yelled back at me. DJ twisted around, trying to get free of me—and he almost did. But I let myself sink backward until I leaned against the door frame, which took his one leg out from under him. Without a base to stand on, he couldn’t fight me.
“You’re a fool, Dep!” Anger coiled up behind his face. “Laws don’t work on guys like him, and you’re kidding yourself if you think they do!”
I began to say something back when I saw Beck’s reflection in the bathroom mirror over DJ’s shoulder. He was writhing on the floor and reaching upward, trying to grab something under his desk.
With one quick motion, I shoved DJ aside, and dove on Beck. He howled like a wounded mountain cat, then bit his tongue as a snub-nosed .38 Special spilled from his right hand and thumped across the floor.
I scrambled to my feet and snatched up the revolver, then turned to face the both of them.
DJ used Beck’s desk to pull himself to his foot. I stared long and hard at him. On the trip over, we’d discussed the importance of handling Beck with cool heads. We were coming into his office, and he was likely armed, which meant we were at a deadly disadvantage, and any escalation could be a bigger problem for us than it would be for Beck.
“What the hell was that?” I screamed at DJ. “Were you going to knock the poor bastard’s brains out, then ask his corpse questions? You swore to me you wouldn’t pull any cowboy junk!”
The man only had one leg; surely, he knew he’d get smoked in a straight-up fight. And I didn’t want to call our handler to explain how DJ got hurt on my watch.
“You can take the cowboy out of Texas—” DJ started to say.
“You’re not even from Texas,” I spat back, exasperated.
He shrugged. Then, with one hand on the desk to steady himself, he hopped toward Beck and stood over him. He wielded the prosthetic like a sword, holding it by the titanium shaft above the ankle and pointing the cup down at Beck’s throat.
“Mr. Beck, I think you might wanna tell us who you’re smuggling that glass for.”
“Go to hell,” Beck hissed. “I’m not a rat! I won’t give up anybody! You want to ask me a question? You have to ask my lawyer first!”
DJ chuckled. Using his prosthetic, he prodded Beck’s broken arm. He only touched him lightly—barely a nudge, and on the upper arm, nowhere near where the bones had snapped. Still, Beck let out another tomcat howl.
“I don’t see your lawyer in this room right now. You don’t wanna give me lip, man.” DJ grinned at him, his teeth looking white as fresh milk against his coffee-colored goatee. “I ain’t no cop. Just a busted-up door kicker. You should see how the mujahideen interrogate—they gave a man like me a lot of interesting ideas.”
When Beck didn’t immediately answer, DJ crooked his elbow, pulling the leg back for a second jab.
“Bonaire!” Beck shouted.
DJ froze. He looked at me and his smile widened.
I took a deep breath through my nose, fighting back the urge to sock him. DJ and I had only worked together for a month and change, though I’d known him for a couple of years. But he already got under my skin in a way nobody else in my life ever had.
“Be specific,” I said to Beck. “Name somebody.”
“I don’t have any names,” Beck said. “I swear! But you’ll find them just outside Rincón. They have a lab in the national park. It’s underground.”
“Now, that,” DJ said, the grin still plastered across his face, “is very specific.”
The cops picked Beck up without much trouble. The arresting officer asked about his arm and DJ told him that Beck had fallen. I stayed quiet. The officer didn’t ask a second time.
It wasn’t necessarily how I would’ve reacted, had two private investigators—if that’s what DJ and I could actually call ourselves—turned over a suspect with a broken arm. As far as anyone on the outside of Armstrong was concerned, we worked for an oceanographic research company.
As I sat on the back of Reel Fun, DJ’s Viking 48C charter fishing boat, I looked up at the bone-white condos stacked on the hills around Cruz Bay. Was this the right spot for me? Had I run from Newport Beach into the arms of even more trouble?
DJ strutted through the door from the salon, a can of Medalla Light in each hand. “For a surfer boy out on the water, you look pissed, Dep.”
He stepped down into the cockpit, tastefully decked in teak, and dropped one of the beers into a cupholder in the console to my left, which divided the white vinyl couch I was seated on into two halves. I sat on the port half, and, after brushing away a crumpled pink thong, DJ plopped down on the starboard half. Or was it the other way around? I’d never been much of a boater.
While he cracked his beer open, I didn’t touch the one he’d offered me. Of course, that didn’t escape DJ’s notice. He picked it up, opened it for me and held it out.
I kept one hand in my lap, and the other balled up against my cheek. Just as I’d been when he came out.
DJ tapped the cans into each other.
“Helluva job, DJ,” he muttered to himself. He sipped from one can, looking at me with one last invitation to take the beer. When I didn’t accept, he sipped from it, too.
We sat next to each other for a time, watching the other craft drift past—low, long sailboats rocking with the winds, cabin cruisers bullying through the small waves, and fishing trawlers converted into lumbering retirement rafts.
If somebody didn’t say something, this whole boat was gonna sink under the weight of what we were keeping from each other.
“I respect you, DJ,” I finally said. “And I want to keep working with you, but we’ve gotta be more careful with the way we do things. If we keep taking wild chances, someone is going to get seriously hurt.” I turned to him, trying to get a feel for his reaction.
The beer can seemed frozen to his lips. He didn’t move, except for what he had to do to get a sip. Somewhere past his tangled mane, I saw a pair of hooded eyes.
“Seriously hurt,” he repeated, after he swallowed.
“That’s right,” I said. “I’ve seen it. Guys who think they’re invincible, they bleed like everybody else.”
“Seen it too.” DJ rested his beer can on top of his knee. “Held my buddy, done up like a pincushion from 7.62 rounds, while he bled out in the mountains.” He visibly shuddered and turned to face me.
I didn’t need a lecture on the everlasting horrors of other men bleeding out in my arms. Whatever DJ had seen, I’m sure I’d been there ten times over.
“But you can’t play fair with some of the people out there. South Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean—they’re wilder and crazier than any bunch of bored housewives you had back in Orange County, flipping coke for fun.”
I scoffed. Newport Beach wasn’t Compton, but it had danger all the same. As a detective, most of my investigations involved spillover gang violence and drug activity from Southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach. I’d gone toe-to-toe with hardened criminals and violent gangbangers.
“A guy sewing meth into grandma’s day bag ain’t nothing, Dep. Not compared to some of the things I’ve seen people do to their fellow man. Murder and mayhem in paradise. Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to kick the crap out of somebody. But you should know that already, Jerry. You remember that cult, right? The one McDermitt dealt with?”
“They tried to kill me and my wife.” I clenched my fist, then relaxed it. “And I know the atmosphere in these islands is different. But my point stands; we can’t go around breaking the arms of everybody we suspected did something wrong—”
“Suspected?” DJ spat back. “Look, man. You gotta get past this notion of only the courts deciding when someone broke the law. In the real world, you can know something’s true. We knew Beck was dirty.”
“If you make a habit out of that,” I countered, “you’ll have both your feet standing in deeper shit than you can wade out of. Or worse, you’ll end up hurting somebody who didn’t do anything at all.”
DJ laughed, which pissed me off more than I’d like to admit.
“Right,” he said. “It’s rich that you’re lecturing me about that. Like a cop never beat up or shot anybody who didn’t deserve it.”
I knew there were dirty cops out there, even stupid ones, but I was neither. I prided myself on being patient, on being part of a community and abiding by the rules. To have anybody question that—even somebody who knew as little about me as DJ Martin did—really put the hooks under my skin.
Instead of taking the bait, I snatched my beer—DJ’s second beer—out of the cup holder and swigged it down. And when I’d finished that drink and still felt like chewing him out, I took another drink. And another. Until I had cooled off enough not to bite onto what he held out in front of me.
It was fair to say DJ and I didn’t agree very often, and a handful of times I’d let him get the better of me, which only got in the way of doing our job together.
Sometimes I wondered if anything short of one of us leaving Armstrong or getting reassigned would fix the problem between DJ and me.
Almost certainly, I was the guy who’d leave first. DJ relished the chance to be the authority. A little too much for my tastes. On days like today, when he was exceptionally reckless, he was no better than a vigilante. And, by association, so was I.
Taking that a step further, Armstrong Research would be painted with whatever bloody brush its operatives used—and what gave us the right to conduct ourselves that way? What would keep us from turning into a street gang dishing out punishment for anyone who we thought did wrong on our own turf?
Sure, Armstrong busted up drug smuggling rings, shut down people spewing toxic waste into the environment, and even tracked and killed terrorists, all while maintaining the outward appearance of a legitimate oceanographic research company. But how long before somebody made a bad call? How long until Jack Armstrong, himself, steered all of us in a bad direction?
The sat phone in my pocket rang.
“Tell Alicia I said hey,” DJ quipped, without taking his gaze off the water.
I ignored him. It wasn’t Alicia, anyway. It was Travis Stockwell, head of security aboard Armstrong’s main research vessel, Ambrosia. He’d taken on the role of “handler” for me and DJ, as well as a couple other operators, giving assignments and checking up on our progress.
Stockwell was a retired Army Airborne colonel, which gave him an instant bond with DJ, but as time went on, the Colonel and I came to respect each other. I appreciated his no-nonsense approach to business and the precision with which he operated—both professionally, and personally.
“This is Snyder,” I said as I answered the phone.
“What happened with Beck?” Stockwell had a voice like an old diesel engine. Low, rumbling, and with a growl reminding you that you disrespected him at your own peril.
“Well, Colonel,” I said, “Robert Beck is in police custody now. By this time tomorrow, they’ll likely hand him off to the DEA.”
“I know that, Snyder,” he said. “What I don’t know is, did you get the lead? Are we going higher up the food chain or not?”
My eyes cut to DJ. He must’ve seen me turning a shade lighter. He tipped his head at me and hoisted his beer.
“We got it,” I said. “He’s buying meth from an operation on Bonaire. He said there’s an underground lab outside Rincón, in the national park thereabouts. But he said he didn’t know any names.”
“Did you believe him?”
I glared at DJ. “My partner had just broken his arm and was about to inflict more bodily harm, but I think his information was credible. It tracks with what we found out prior.”
Stockwell grunted—he’d received the message.
“DJ whacked the guy with his leg, against my recommendation.”
“DJ’s creative.” I thought I heard a smile behind Stockwell’s voice. My brain tried to picture his tanned, weathered face, the creases deepening around his mouth. But his eyes would stay hard as steel beneath his close-cut silver hair.
“Yeah, he sure is,” I said.
“Is that regret I’m hearing?” Stockwell said.
“It’s just not how I would’ve done things, sir.”
“You got the job done, didn’t you?” Stockwell said. “You put away the bad guy and got a lead on his supplier.”
“That’s what everybody tells me.” I took another deep drink from my beer. I wasn’t going to fall ass-backwards into an argument with Stockwell. God only knew how badly that might turn out.
“Then everybody’s right,” Stockwell declared. “You need to get past whatever bad blood you and DJ have between you, Snyder. Jack Armstrong put the two of you together to solve problems, not bicker like stepbrothers. Armstrong doesn’t make mistakes.”
“Of course not, sir,” I said. “It wasn’t my intent to imply he had.”
“Good. Because I’ve got a new assignment for you two.”
“A new assignment, sir?” I asked. “What about following up on the information we got out of Beck?”
“We’ve got someone down in the Leeward Antilles who’s going to handle it,” he said. “This new problem is right there in your backyard.”
“All right,” I said.
“You’re going to talk to Detective Antoine Collat with the Puerto Rican Police Bureau—La Uniformada. A body turned up in Culebra this morning. Scared the daylights out of a couple pleasure seekers at one of those sex resorts.”
“Sounds… interesting, sir,” I said. “When does he want to meet? Tomorrow morning?”
“Now,” Stockwell answered. “I’ll send coordinates to your phone. Get a move on.”
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