Day 58, Chapter 58
I am officially calling today the halfway point in the 117 Days of James Patterson. Patterson is remarkably efficient with his pagination as well – the start of today’s chapter on the 178th page, is almost exactly at the halfway point of the physical book as well. He is nothing if not predictable, I suppose.
On that note… So, if you recall, (although I don’t know why you would) the Lipstick Killer sent a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, demanding $2 million to stop killing people. The Chronicle ran the killer’s letter, followed by a reply of compliance 48 hours later.
The reply to the Lipstick Killer’s “ransom note” ran in the Chronicle, and within hours, the planet slammed on the brakes and all eyes became fixed on San Francisco.
Really? The entire planet came to a screeching halt because some nutjob in California started killing people and the authorities want to pay him to stop? I’m sure Nancy Grace would talk about it, but c’mon.
Every man, woman, and child with an opinion and a computer fired off letters to the editor.
Literally? That’s amazing, actually. Lindsay and Conklin, along with the help of new character, Inspector Cappy McNeil (are you fucking kidding me?) are screening calls and mail to the Chronicle, waiting for the real response from the killer. At 2:15 that afternoon, Dave Hopkins, the Chronicle’s “mailroom kid”, delivers a package for Henry Tyler, the editor. Lindsay becomes suspicious. I’m suspicious because Patterson gave the “mailroom kid” a name. What’s he really up to?
I called out to Conklin, who exited the cube across the hall and followed me to Tyler’s doorway.
I said, “Henry, this could be it. Or it could be a letter bomb.”
Tyler asked, “Do you want me to drop it in a toilet or open it?”
I looked at Conklin.
“I feel lucky,” he said.
So…drop it in the toilet? What does he feel lucky about? Does this have something to do with Conklin screwing Cindy? Because I really don’t want to hear about that again. Also, did JPatt mean “cubical” where he wrote “cube”? Or is there a sci-fi element to this that I’m missing? Actually, that would be awesome.
What is it that’s making Lindsay so suspicious? How does she know that this “could be it”? Oh wait, the envelope has a return address that reads “WCF” in red letters. No, seriously, that piece of information was obscured when the letter first arrived. JPatt, you son of a bitch, always keeping me on the dangle.
Now, in between Chapters 36 and 37, the police decided to dub the murderer the “Lipstick Killer”. If you recall Day 37, I was a little disappointed in their decision, especially since there is already a real serial killer with that name, but also because WCF had such a nice ring to it. Well, it turns out that the killer refers to himself as “WCF”, so once again, the cops got it wrong. Tyler opens the package and removes the items. JPatt is quite precise in illustrating this information:
Item one was a phone. It was a prepaid model, the size of a bar of hand soap, complete with neck straps, a headset with earbuds, a chin mic, and a built-in camera.
Hold up – how big is a cellphone? There’s no briefcase with a cord attached? It’s not the size of a home phone, with a big, metal antenna protruding? Is this the future? Do I have to wear the neck strap?
Item two was a standard envelope, white, addressed to “H. Tyler.” I opened it and shook out the folded sheet of white paper inside. The message was typed and printed out with an ink-jet. The note read: “Tyler. Use this phone to call me.”
There was a number and the signature: “WCF.”
Commercial break. Up next, Nancy Grace interviews Cappy McNeil.
Go to Day 59.