I wasn’t sure how to handle the pandemic since my novel will take place in the present. I thought about dating prior to the pandemic (the easy way out) of after (in the future). I finally decided to embrace it and rewrite everything to include the pandemic.
CHAPTER 4 (The rest of Chapter 4) Back at Jen’s Office
After a quick lunch, the women got ready to receive their next appointment. “What do we know about our next client?” Jen asked.
“Keira Shader. Well, her address, driver’s license, and the other standard stuff checked out. She’s a nurse at the same hospital where Doc works. They probably know each other. Maybe that’s why she thought of us. She seems more legal than our clients from this morning.”
“She wouldn’t tell me over the telephone why she wanted to hire us,” replied Jen. “But I recognized that name, so I checked it out. She’s the sister-in-law of Ken Rice. Her sister is Sandra Rice. Does that name ring a bell?”
“Yeah, it does. It was in the papers recently. Isn’t he the guy who stabbed his wife?”
“Yes, that’s the guy,” answered Jen. “In fact, Johan worked on that case. I don’t remember if he had the lead, but he definitely worked the case. Ken Rice is awaiting trial now. He also worked at the hospital where Doc works. He was the facility manager. Keira probably knew him, or at least, met him.”
“The papers said when the police showed up, they found him in the house covered in blood,” Molly said. “His wife was in the kitchen stabbed to death.”
“Johan said it was a slam duck case,” said Jen. “He didn’t confess but had no alibi. He had recently taken out a million-dollar life insurance police on his wife. Where did the vic work?”
“Not at the hospital. She worked for the city.”
“So why a million-dollar policy? Seems like over kill.”
Molly moaned at Jen’s attempt at dark humor. She heard an alarm from the security system and then the doorbell rang. “We’ll see what this is all about. Our client is at the front door.”
Jen let Keira Rice in and escorted her to the back office. After introductions and sharing some initial information and coffee, the three sat down to business. “So, how can we be of service?” Jen asked.
Keira shifted I n her chair. “I want y’all to find out who killed my sister.”
Jen sat back. “We don’t usually take murder cases.”
Molly gasped. “What? I thought your brother-in-law killed your sister.”
“No, he did not. I don’t know who did. I want y’all to find out for me.”
“I’m confused,” said Jen. “The police charged Ken Shader with the murder of your sister. What makes you think someone else murdered her?”
Keira sighed. “I know Ken. He loved Sandra. He’ never have killed her. I know it. The police didn’t investigate anyone else. They just focused on the husband and that was it. Case closed. it. The husband always guilty, right? They did a shitty investigation. He’s innocent.”
“I don’t know,” said Jen.
“Please,” replied Keira. “I’ll pay you. If you discover that he really did kill her, then fine. But I don’t think he did. I just need you to find out one way or another.”
Jen nodded and glanced at Molly who also nodded. “Okay, we’ll take the case.”
“Bless your little hearts. In that case, I must tell you that Ken and I had a brief affair,” Keira added.
“It might could come out during your investigation. We ended it six months ago. Sandra didn’t know about it.”
“Why did you end the affair?” Molly asked.
“Ken felt guilty about cheating on Sandra, plain and simple.”
“Start be telling us a little about Ken and Sandra,” suggested Jen. “it may help us.”
Keira sighed and sat back in her chair. She took a sip of her coffee and speaking slowly said, “Sandra was my only sister. We grew up here in Atlanta. She became a nurse, and that’s where she met Ken. He was in charge of maintenance at the hospital. Sandra worked in ICU. Somehow, they met and fell in love. It was one of those love at first sight stories.”
“The marriage had problems,” Molly pointed out. “You said you had an affair with Ken, right?”
Keira sighed again. “They were going through a rough patch at the time. It was a stupid affair. I was fixin to jist have a one-night stand, then it ended up in a full-blown affair. After a few months we both regretted it, and we ended it.”
“Who do think killed Sandra?” Jen asked.
Keira thought for a moment. “I really don’t have as clue but consider this, Ken may have other affairs before ours or even after we broke up. He could talk a cat out of a tree. Also, he may have had enemies at work, or maybe… and I hate to even suggest it… Sandra was havin an affair.”
“Any other?” Molly asked.
“He did tell me he was havin issues with one of his employees at the hospital. He was the Director for Environmental Services, so he directed the maintenance department, housekeepin, security, and grounds. The employee was in maintenance, I think.”
After a discussion about fees and other details, Keira left. Molly turned to Jen. “Do you think she knows that Johan was on that case.
Jen nodded. “I’m sure of it. That’s why she came to us. That’s okay. She knows we’ll do a better job than anyone else. Listen, let’s split up these two cases. Take your pick.”
Molly thought for a moment. “If you don’t mind, I think I’d like to take Keira’s case. It sounds like it could be juicy.”
“Fine. I’ll take Charlize’s case. I think it will take longer.”