If their sense of direction and Finley’s little diagram had served them right, the door directly in front of them should open to the alleyway that ran behind the guesthouse. If this door wasn’t locked, it might be the way that the killers had gotten into the hotel. There had to have been more than one to get Ross, who was not a small man, over the railing and onto the chandelier. Whitt paused a moment before pushing the door open.
The noise of the city at night rose around them—almost deafening after the muted sounds of the passageways. As soon as they exited the hotel passage, the door clicked behind them. Finley turned quickly to check the handle. It was locked. “There goes that theory,” she quipped.
“Not completely,” Whitt whispered as they walked toward the street. “Someone could have opened it for them, or they could have slipped in when someone came out.”
Finley was still silent, thinking up possible scenarios that offered even a modicum of plausibility. She was coming up empty, but Whitt was determined to get Finley to air her thoughts so that they could discuss and refine them. They were so engrossed in conversation that they didn’t see the large man looming in front of them until they had almost bumped into him.
“Bonsoir, ladies.” Inspector Evans said, looking back along the darkened alley. “Out for a late-night stroll?” He was in another linen jacket, this time a dark gray, with jeans. He had wrapped one of the local black-and-white-checkered scarves around his neck.
Finley looked at the dust in Whitt’s hair and imagined the grime on her face and simply smiled. She wasn’t going to try to lie her way out of this one.
“If you have been snooping around the hotel, I would advise against it.” His voice was deeply resonant, almost echoing in Finley’s chest. She could see his gray eyes reflecting the light from the guesthouse such that that they looked almost translucent. “It is not safe to get involved in this. One man has been killed. I would hate for one of you to be the next victim.”
Before either of them could respond, he nodded slightly and was gone.
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