Daniel Jacobus, reclusive blind concert master and amateur sleuth, returns to solve a most despicable crime and to clear an innocent man Just after his Carnegie Hall swansong and before his imminent departure for retirement in France, beloved violinist and humanitarian Rene Allard is brutally murdered with a mysterious weapon. His young African American rival, crossover artist BTower, is spotted at the scene of the crime hovering over the contorted body of Allard with blood on his hands. In short order the aloof and arrogant BTower is convicted and sentenced to death, in part the result of the testimony of blind and curmudgeonly violin pedagogue Daniel Jacobus, like millions of others, an ardent admirer of Allard. Justice has been served...or has it? Jacobus is dragged back into the case kicking and screaming, and reluctantly follows a trail of broken violins and broken lives as it leads inexorably to the truth, and to his own mortal peril.
"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.
A graduate of Yale, GERALD ELIAS has been a Boston Symphony violinist, Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony since 1988, Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Utah, first violinist of the Abramyan String Quartet, and Music Director of the Vivaldi Candlelight concert series.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
“Can’t you get this thing to go at one speed?” Malachi asked. “It’s bad enough I have to inspect a corpse at this time of night.”
“I’m doin’ the best I can, Detective,” said Fuente. “Ziggy’s the full-time elevator boy. I gave him the night off after he found the body. He was all shook up.”
The vintage, manually controlled 1904 Otis elevator needed skill to manipulate, and Fuente didn’t possess it. Under his untrained hand, the antique jolted upward in fits and starts, and even at its quaint seventy-five feet per minute, Malachi’s stomach lurched downward.
“If you don’t smooth it out, I’m going to be all shook up all over the floor.”
Mercifully, they arrived at the fourth floor, but before the elevator came to a halt, Fuente cautioned Malachi, “Careful you don’t trip over him.”
The door swung open on silent, oiled runners. Malachi took a deep breath and entered the crime scene. He wasn’t the first cop there. In the eerily funereal hallway, dimly lit by low-watt wall sconces, with its dark green flocked wallpaper, aging and faded, and maroon wall-to-wall runner, Flannery was already in action snapping one photo after another for purposes of analysis and protection for the NYPD in anticipation of the inevitable complaints. Otherwise the hallway was quiet, undisturbed by nervous whispering behind closed doors.
Allard had taken only a step or two from the elevator before he had been cut down. Dressed in his immaculate concert dress of white tie and tails under a black cashmere overcoat, his body was frozen in a strange position on the carpet, like a statue of an obsequious beggar kowtowing to a rich overlord with his shoulders on the ground and his legs pulled underneath him. Malachi couldn’t see Allard’s head from where he stood directly behind the body, so he slowly began a counterclockwise circumnavigation, continuing to breathe deeply, trying to ward off something distinctly disagreeable he felt creeping uninvited into his gut.
Allard’s right arm was under his torso, as was his violin case, which he was still clutching with his right hand. It appeared to have been unmoved since Allard collapsed upon it, which would tend to rule out theft as a motive, unless the killer had been spotted and made his escape before he could wrest the priceless instrument from his victim.
The position of Allard’s left arm gave Malachi the impression of a beggar. The arm was partially extended with only the elbow touching the ground; the fingers of the raised open hand were in a clawlike formation like an arthritic awaiting alms. Presumably, rigor mortis had begun to set in.
As Flannery, now kneeling for close-ups, continued to shoot, Malachi resumed his slow inspection. He stepped in front of the body, where Allard’s head should have been. Disconcertingly, it seemed to be missing. Malachi knelt down and, as he peered under Allard’s chest, saw that it was the head as well as the violin case that had propped up the torso from underneath.
Malachi quickly rose and took three frantic strides to get behind the photographer, and made it to the standing ashtray by the elevator before throwing up. Flannery wheeled around and took a photo of him retching. “The boys at the precinct will have a ball with that one!” Flannery said. Malachi, doubled over, could respond only with an upraised middle finger.
Holding a handkerchief at the ready, Detective Malachi returned to his examination, forcing himself to kneel down and peer once more at the Picasso-reorganized head. The neck had not been cut in the strict sense but was attached to the body by only a frail thread of dreadfully bruised and twisted tissue that had been bent forward so that the head was facing directly upward into the chest and rotated so that the chin was where the forehead should be. Then with the weight of the body on it, the head had been turned another ninety degrees so that it faced the left hand. The neck must have been crushed with great and sudden force, like whacking a salami with a sledgehammer, as a multihued variety of fluids extruded from every orifice in the head—eyes, ears, nose, and mouth—gluing strands of Allard’s famous mane of white hair to his face. The eyes and tongue themselves had shot out from the face. There were also superficial—certainly not lethal—lacerations in the area of Allard’s temples, but overall the head was such a gooey mess that there was little to read into that.
“So, Detective, what kinda weapon you suppose did that kind of damage?
“Between you and me,” Malachi said, “offhand I would say I don’t have a clue.”
“You and me both,” Flannery replied. “You and me both.”
Malachi pushed himself unsteadily to his feet, wiping his mouth with the handkerchief. He made sure Flannery got all the shots he needed—of the corpse, not him—and instructed him to wait there until forensics arrived, to protect the crime scene and make sure no one came back to steal the violin.
He buzzed for the elevator and when it finally arrived said to Fuente, “You say Ms. Henrique is in 4B?”
“Well, that’s where she lives, but she’s not there right now.”
“Where is she, then?”
“Mount Sinai. She went into shock. The ambulance took her there before you got here.”
“What about the elevator guy?” Malachi consulted the scrawls on his note pad. “Sigmund Gottfried.”
“Ziggy? Like I said, I sent him home. He was almost as bad off as Hennie.”
“Downstairs. Basement Two. Want me to take you there?”
“Can you do it slow and smooth?”
The entire back wall of the elevator was a mirror—a single sheet of beveled, leaded glass, so Malachi had an unobstructed view of himself with the contorted corpse of René Allard behind him as he reentered. At that moment it was a toss-up who was paler and, in his worn gray wool jacket and coffee-stained plaid tie, Malachi was not nearly as well dressed as the body behind him. As the elevator descended, he had time to take more than a perfunctory glance at the rest of the interior. The side walls were oil-finished mahogany, as was the ceiling, which also had an elegantly paneled emergency trapdoor and detailed molding suitable for Versailles. The black rotary phone next to the door, a later addition no doubt, had not a single visible fingerprint, nor did the cherrywood stool have a scratch. The glossily polished parquet floor had an Escher-like border framing an intricately inlaid lyre in alternating colored hardwoods. The latticed safety door and the antique levers used to operate the elevator were gleaming brass.
“They don’t make them like this anymore,” he said.
“You’re not kidding,” said Fuente. “Last year one of the gears wore out and we had to shut down for three months to have Otis make a new one from scratch. Forty-seven hundred bucks for one little piece of lead.”
“Where are the buttons for the floors?” Malachi asked.
“Prebutton era. Just a buzzer to tell which floor to go to. As you said, they don’t make ’em like this no more.”
The buzzer went off.
“Main floor,” said Fuente. “Mind if we stop?”
The buzzer sounded again from the main floor. Then again. Then one constant, irritating nonstop buzz.
“Who the hell’s so impatient?” asked Fuente.
“Forensics, maybe,” said Malachi, going over his notes one more time. “Get there before the crime scene’s disturbed. Or the medics. Maybe a Halloween reveler.”
“With a lead finger,” said Fuente.
The elevator bounced several times like a Ping-Pong ball before coming to a stop. Fuente swung the door open. Malachi glanced up from his notebook.
“Jacobus!” he said.
Excerpted from Danse Macabre by Gerald Elias.
Copyright © 2010 by Gerald Elias.
Published in September 2010 by Minotaur Books.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.
Descripción Minotaur Books, 2010. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0312541899
Descripción Minotaur Books, 2010. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0312541899
Descripción Minotaur Books, 2010. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110312541899
Descripción Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0312541899 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0091080
Descripción Minotaur Books, 2010. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. newWe Ship Every Day! Free Tracking Number Included! International Buyers Are Welcome! Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Nº de ref. de la librería 9999917507N