To Kate and Ben
for your love and constant support
An Excerpt from Darkness First
About the Author
Also by James Hayman
About the Publisher
Once again there are many people I want to thank for their help and insights in writing this book. They include:
Detective Sergeant Tom Joyce, who once held McCabe’s job as head of the Crimes Against People unit of the Portland Police Department and who now teaches Criminal Justice at Southern Maine Community College. Tom was always ready, willing, and able to answer my many questions, both big and small, about the Portland PD in particular and police procedure in general.
Lieutenant Tony Ward and Officer Cindy Taylor, also of the Portland Police Department.
Dr. Ted McCarthy, head of the Department of Psychiatry at Mercy Hospital in Portland, for offering his insights into schizophrenia, and to emergency physician Dr. George "Bud" Higgins of Maine Medical Center for his help with ER procedures. Dr. S. Erin Presnell, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of Medical and Forensic Autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina for her generosity in helping me in these areas.
Cynthia Thayer, Kate Sullivan, Brenda Buchanan, Jane Sloven, and Richard Bilodeau, who were all kind enough to read and reread the manuscript and offer suggestions that improved it enormously.
Charlie Spicer, Yaniv Soha, and Any Martin at Minotaur Books and my agent, Meg Ruley.
I’d also like to thank the authors of two remarkable memoirs that were invaluable in helping me understand, in a very personal way, the experience of schizophrenia. Both books should be required reading for anyone interested in learning about this terrible disease: The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett and The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R Saks.
Finally, thanks to my wife, Jeanne, and to our children, Ben and Kate, for their love and unstinting support from the very beginning.
Friday, December 23
Had Number Ten Monument Square been set among the skyscrapers of New York, or even Boston, no one would have noticed it. In a town like Portland it stood as one of the defining features of the skyline. Twelve stories of reddish brown granite with black windows set between vertical piers, Number Ten towered arrogantly over the east side of the square, a big player in a small town. At its top, large white letters proclaimed to anyone who cared to look that the building was the headquarters of Palmer Milliken, the city’s largest and most prestigious law firm. It was also, according to Palmer Milliken’s partners, one of the best anywhere in New England, including, they insisted, Boston. The firm’s 192 lawyers plus appropriate support staff occupied all but two of the building’s twelve floors.
At seven forty-two in the evening, on the Friday before the long Christmas weekend, a young woman stood at the window of her modest office on the seventh floor, gazing down at the activity in the square. Elaine Elizabeth Goff, Lainie to those who knew her well, was one of Palmer Milliken’s senior associate attorneys. She’d already finished her work reviewing terms of a pending merger agreement between two small Maine banks. She’d pored over the documents half a dozen times, made a few changes, and sent in her recommendations an hour ago. Now she was ready to begin her winter vacation, a two-week jaunt, away from the bone-numbing cold of Portland, to the small, elegant Bacuba Spa and Resort on the southwest side of Aruba. Only two last things remained. A FedEx envelope on her desk that needed to go out tonight, and a phone call that should have come twelve minutes ago. Its lateness was making her edgy.
Six years out of Cornell Law, Lainie was still in her twenties, though, as she recently and frequently began reminding herself, just barely. But even as the dreaded thirtieth approached, she took pride in her conviction that she, Lainie Goff, the scholarship kid from Rockland, Maine, was about to become one of the youngest partners in Palmer Milliken’s fifty-seven-year history. The offer, though not certain, was now so close she could almost taste it. She hoped word of the lucrative partnership would come tonight with the call she was waiting for. If only the damned phone would ring. She’d planned her life around that happening. Begun spending money she didn’t have. The $500 Jimmy Choo shoes that were a torture to wear. The gleaming $40,000 BMW 325i convertible waiting in the garage downstairs. Not the bright red she really wanted but the platinum bronze metallic she thought more lawyerly. And now the expensive vacation on Aruba. All that money ponied up in anticipation of greater rewards lying just around the corner.
It wasn’t that Lainie was such an exceptional lawyer. Her intellectual and legal skills, while formidable, ranked her no higher than half a dozen others among Palmer Milliken’s ambitious pack of associates. But in the race for the top, Lainie enjoyed a key advantage not shared by any of her eager competitors. She was not only an able lawyer, she was also an exceptionally beautiful woman with shoulder-length dark hair, a slim athletic figure, and penetrating blue eyes that most people, but men in particular, found impossible to forget. And she was sleeping with her boss.
Lainie glanced at the old-fashioned electric sign atop the Time & Temperature Building. Seven forty-six. Four minutes since the last time she looked. The temperature was fourteen degrees. Down five in the last hour. The cold that had gripped the city for the better part of the past four weeks was showing no signs of letting up. It was a good time to be taking off for the sunshine. A good time to celebrate. Or would be if only Hank would get off his ass and call. Henry C. ‘Hank’ Ogden, managing partner in charge of Palmer Milliken’s lucrative M&A practice. Her mentor. Her boss. Her lover. Elegant, rich, fifty-three years old, and very, very married.
Hank told her he’d call at seven thirty. She didn’t know why the call was late, but she didn’t like it. The Partnership Committee meeting should have been over hours ago. She strummed her long nails on the sill in front of her. Maybe Hank was just stuck in another meeting. He’d call as soon as he got out. Maybe. That was the charitable assumption. The best of three possibilities. The second was that he was keeping her waiting just for the hell of it. To provoke a little extra anxiety. One of the power games Hank liked playing. His way of letting her know who was in charge. Stupid and pointless, like a little boy poking a stick at a hamster in a cage. Well, she could handle his games, she told herself. She was tougher than that. The third possibility, the disaster scenario, was the one she wasn’t sure she could handle – that, in spite of Hank’s promised sponsorship and strong support, the partners, in their infinite wisdom, had decided not to extend an offer. If that was the case, then Hank wasn’t calling because he’d be nervous about her reaction. He hated scenes, public or private, and knew there’d be one. She took a deep breath. She’d give him ten more minutes. Then she’d call him.