Novel 3: Act I, Chapter 6, Scene 5d

TOC page here.

And now we’re back to square one; but we’re there in a way that enlivens the book and makes readers keep reading, because it’s characters and dialogue that readers are here for, not dry plot details. Here’s how we take another 30-second scene to say “we’re back to square one”. But it builds the characters up: Jenkins is going to have a meaningful part in this later, so it’s useful to bring him in here and let him breathe:

Captain Curtis Jenkins shrugged. “So it ain’t their van. Chief Purcell authorized OT on this, so you want to get some people working on tracking down all the vans like that in the city, use the brute force statistical approach, that’s all right with me.”

Mustapha said, “We hear anything worthwhile from the hotline?”

“I got Officer Akuye writing it down.” Before Diana could speak, “And writing it all down, just like you said, including the ones that don’t make any sense.”

“Are there psychics?” asked Mustapha. “Cos that’s my favorite part of detecting, listening to someone tell me about Mercury in retrograde or whatever.”

Diana said, “Stop disturbing my force: some people can recognize patterns even if they don’t know it.”

“That’s what you said last year, and then we spent all that time on the lives of saints.”

Jenkins said, “Y’all play nice. Especially in front of Purcell.”

This also brings Mustapha’s and Diana’s relationship back in focus: she’s the intuitive one, he’s the sensor. INTJ and ESFJ, if you use Myers-Briggs, which represents reality about as well as Mercury retrograde but is still fun. It also harks back again to the earlier Reaper case, still lurking in the background.


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  1. Novel 3: Act I, Chapter 6, Scene 5c | Julian Cage

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