FROM THE BOARDROOM WINDOWS, high atop the Pye Pinnacle, you could see almost nothing for a very long way. A white farmhouse, surrounded by a scattering of metal sheds, huddled in a fir-tree windbreak a half mile out and thirty degrees to the right. Another farmhouse, with a red barn, sat three-quarters of a mile away and thirty degrees to the left. Straight north it was corn, beans, and alfalfa, and after that, more corn, beans, and alfalfa.
Somebody once claimed to have spotted a cow, but that had never been confirmed. The top floor was so high that the board member rarely even saw birds, though every September, a couple of dozen turkey vultures, at the far northern limit of their range, would gather above Pye Plaza and circle through the thermals rising off the concrete and glass.
There were rumors that the vultures so pissed off Willard Pye that he would go up to the roof, hide in a blind disguised as an air conditioner vent, and try to blast them out of the sky with a twelve-gauge shotgun.
Angela “Jelly” Brown, Pye’s executive assistant, didn’t believe that rumor, though she admitted to her husband it sounded like something Pye would do. She knew he hated the buzzards and the saucer-sized buzzard droppings that spotted the emerald-green glass of the Pinnacle.
But that was in the autumn.
On a sunny Wednesday morning in the middle of May, Jelly Brown got to the boardroom early, pulled the drapes to let the light in, and opened four small vent windows for the fresh air. That done, she went around the board table and at each chair put out three yellow #2 pencils, all finely sharpened and equipped with unused rubber erasers; a yellow legal pad; and a water glass on a PyeMart coaster. She checked the circuit breakers at the end of the table to make sure that the laptop plug-ins were live.
As she did that, Sally Humboldt from food services brought in a tray covered with cookies, bagels, and jelly doughnuts; two tanks of hot coffee, one each of regular and decaf; and a pitcher of orange juice and one of cranberry juice.
THE FIRST BOARD MEMBERS began trickling in at eight forty-five. Instead of going to the boardroom, they stopped at the hospitality suite, where they could get something a little stronger than coffee and orange juice: V-8 Bloody Marys were a favorite, and screwdrivers—both excellent sources of vodka. The meeting itself would start around nine-thirty.
Jelly Brown had checked the consumables before the board members arrived. She’d put an extra bottle of Reyka in the hospitality suite, because the heavy drinkers from Texas and California were scheduled to show up.
Copyright © 2011 by John Sandford
Only top cop Virgil Flowers can stop a bomber who’s smart, skilled and totally crazy—unless he becomes the target....
Large Print Hardcover Book : 576 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group/Mbr of Penguin Putnam ( October 04, 2011 )
Item #: 13-462966
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.44inches
Product Weight: 19.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Please don't post the review I just submitted. I forgot to check it before sending. Thank you.
Reviewer: Joyce W
I've only recently begun a lot of murder mysteries. This one was hard for me to put down. This storyline is not something that happenes on a daily basis. I le the unusal but not something that scares me.
Reviewer: Joyce W