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Authors: James Hayman

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The Chill of Night

BOOK: The Chill of Night
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JAMES HAYMAN

The Chill of Night

PENGUIN BOOKS

Contents

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight
Chapter Twenty-Nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-One
Chapter Thirty-Two
Chapter Thirty-Three
Chapter Thirty-Four
Chapter Thirty-Five
Chapter Thirty-Six
Chapter Thirty-Seven
Chapter Thirty-Eight
Chapter Thirty-Nine
Chapter Forty
Acknowledgments

PENGUIN BOOKS

THE CHILL OF NIGHT

James Hayman spent more than twenty years as a senior creative director at one of New York’s largest advertising agencies. He and his wife now live in Portland, Maine.
The Chill of Night
is his second Michael McCabe thriller, which follows
The Cutting
.

To Kate and Ben
for your love and constant support

Also by James Hayman

The Cutting

One

Portland, Maine

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.

She pushed fears about the Partnership Committee from her mind and decided to think, instead, about her upcoming vacation. Far more pleasant to think about that. Two weeks of being pampered in the sunshine. Two weeks to either celebrate her triumph or salve her pride. Massages. Facials. Mud baths. Hanging out on the beach by herself with a bunch of trashy paperbacks. Well, to be honest, not
all
by herself. She’d find someone to play with. Someone with no connection to Maine or to Palmer Milliken. Someone European might be fun. Maybe she’d have a chance to practice her French. Patti LaBelle’s rendition of ‘Lady Marmalade’ riffed through her brain.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

If the news was good, she supposed, Hank would want a ‘performance review.’ He’d probably want one anyway. He found the term amusing.
Ms Goff, could you stop by, oh, at five thirty or so? We need to do a performance review. Thank you
very much. We’ll see you then.
Not an elaborate review either. Just forty minutes of snatch-and-grope on the red leather couch in his office. That was really all there was to this so-called affair. That and the occasional ‘nooner’ back at her apartment or a rare business trip to some out-of-the-way hotel. Lainie wanted more. She wanted a real relationship. If it was with Hank, fine. If not, that was fine, too. There were others she found interesting. One in particular she occasionally spent time with. Either way, she wasn’t sure how much longer she could keep this bullshit going.

It started a year ago as a one-night stand after a few drinks on an overnight trip to East Millinocket to do due diligence on the sale of a paper mill, but it had long since become a regular thing. For him, she knew, it was totally casual. For her, things were more complicated. Sleeping with Hank as a means to an end was fine. She’d always been attracted to older men, powerful men, and, when they had enough time, Hank could be a skilled and attentive lover. Intelligent. Charming. Attractive. She knew he liked her. She toyed with the idea that she could somehow close the deal. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? Lainie Goff as the second Mrs Henry Ogden. Elaine Elizabeth Goff Ogden. The trophy wife. It was a role she could play to a fare-thee-well and one she would thoroughly enjoy.

BOOK: The Chill of Night
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