In the Running (Dee Lloyd) – Prologue

Although the words and numbers were beginning to swim in front of Maura’s eyes [doplhin style?], her building anger kept her plugging on. That much seafood and produce had never arrived in her kitchen!

Huh? These are actually the first two sentences of the novel and they don’t really make sense, do they? But when we read on, we find out that Maura obviously just discovered some embezzlement in her kitchen.
She digs through the drawers of the office some more to see if there’s been anything else going on and finds some photos and some negatives. About to put them back because she doesn’t want to see any porn, she realises that it’s her fiancé Jon Casen having sex with four different women.

The first photo was an unflattering view of Jon’s fairly broad posterior. The handsome champion of the environment, everyone’s knight on a white charger [Not again a knight in shining armour! Who wants knights anyway?], was mounting Danny’s cousin [who’s Danny?], Lucy Spadafore. In the next shot, he was with a blonde who’d been working at the Lodge [I assume it’s the restaurant connected to Maura’s kitchen. But I have no way to be sure.} less than two weeks. The miserable cheat! Maura didn’t know the other two women. The fifth photo hardly registered. It showed Jon, actually with his clothes on, in earnest conversation with two men. One was Sal Gerardo, a local crime boss [With that name surely Mafia]. The sanctimonious phony! No wonder he’d been so patient about her reluctance to go to bed with him. [Of course she is reluctant to go to bed with him. Because she is a good girl. Good girls don’t sleep with their fiancés. Period.]

She puts the photos back in the envelope she got them from and she puts the envelope in her bag.

She couldn’t wait to see Gran’s face when she saw the photos of her Golden Boy when Maura got to Lansing later tonight. [You’ve got to be kidding me – she wants to involve her grandma or, I guess, her grandma-in-law? Who does something like that? If my boyfriend cheats on me, I talk to him about it but not to his granny…]  On second thought – she yanked out one of the nude pictures at random – Maura decided to confront Jon with one first. [Thank you.]

Maura goes to Danny’s office, whoever Danny is, probably the owner of the Lodge, if the Lodge is the restaurant Maura’s kitchen is connected to, where she hopes to find Jon (whyever Jon would be there. He probably works at the restaurant himself or something).  She wants to give him the engagement ring and (quote) a blistering message.

As she approaches the office, she notices that the door is ajar and she hears voices. She can only see the back of Jon’s head and her boss [Danny?]. Danny tells Jon that he has enough of Jon’s stealing of him and that, if he doesn’t pay him back until the next day, he will show Sal and the old lady [Gran?] the pictures.
Then Danny asks Wilson [who the fuck is Wilson?] to throw Jon out. Instead Jon lunges at Danny and knocks him down.

“Hold him, Wilson.” Jon’s usually cultured voice was so rough she hardly recognized it.
Wilson? Wilson Foster was the assistant manager of the lodge. He worked for Danny – not Jon. What was going on?
  [Now you’re asking? You’re quick to pick things up, aren’t you? Your fiancé just hit your boss, and that’s after you found out that he’s cheating and stealing. And you’re wondering what’s going on because the assistant manager is involved?]

Wilson and Jon beat up Danny, asking for the negatives.
“F— off!” Danny’s words were blurred. [And at quite the right moment, I’d say… Imagine he would have said “Fuck o–!”]

Instead of running or calling the police or doing anything sensible, Maura opens the door a little bit more to see what’s going on.

Danny was bent over, trying to protect his stomach from Wilson’s fists. Wilson grabbed him by the scruff of the neck with one hand and gave him a hard punch to the jaw. Danny went flying across the room. [That must have been quite a punch…] As he landed, his head hit the corner of the desk.

And because it’s quite a thing, hitting your head after just flying through a room, it seems like Danny dies.

Danny certainly looked dead. Blood trickled from his mouth and nose. His grey hair was dark with it. Jon’s right hand man, Walt Ames, appeared from somewhere and dropped to his knees on the other side of Danny. Jon, his back still to the door, leaned over to check for himself.

And then the catastophe happens – can you guess what it is? Yes, Maura gets discovered. And now she runs, finally.

She was pulling out onto the highway before she realized she’d dropped the photograph.
Jon knew she’d found the envelope.

Which is the actual catastrophe. Not that she just witnessed a murder and that the killer knows she witnessed it. But that her fiancé knows that she knows that he’s cheating. [Jon doesn’t know whether or not she has the negatives or what she plans to do with the pictures. But it’s definitely worse for her that he’s a cheat than the fact that he’s a murderer.]

I’m compelled to say OH… MY… GOD!, although I’m an atheist. This book does that to me.

Does anybody else feel reminded of Sister Act, by the way?

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