One of the first things homicide detective Nick Palance noticed about the luxurious home of Andre and Zoie Lavoie was books—rows of them, from the floor to the ceiling, lining every room. Books without pictures intimidated Palance under normal circumstances, but particularly today as he was on headache medication that reduced his brainwave activity to the equivalent of a stagnant pond. “Is this a home or a library?” Palance muttered. “It’s a crime scene,” his partner Marian Formsby said with the finality of a 22-year police veteran. She was a big-boned woman with some curves, but those did little to decrease her wind resistance. She ran her fingers along the metal bars that fortified the windows and door. “Not the most trusting types. When I see bars like that, I ask myself, ‘Who’s being restrained, the thief or the resident?’” Palance nodded...
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