Chapter One

Day One

Wednesday April 19

Detective Robert Goren leaves his Brooklyn home a little before 8 am. He stops off at one of his favorite coffee shops. He always remembers to get one for Alex. George and Margie are behind the counter. The couple has owned this store for over thirty years. They remember him as a teenager, when he and his friends would come in after school.

She inquires as to how he is doing, "Not bad, how are you this morning?" He asks cheerfully.

"I'm doing alright."

"So when are you and George going to take a vacation, I can't remember the last time this store was closed."

"That's what our children are always asking."

"Well," he winks at her.

"Someday," He smiles as she hands him the coffees. "Thanks Margie."

"You be careful out there."

"I will, see tomorrow."

Within minutes of leaving the store, three men approach him and he is surrounded. A gray haired man says demandingly, "Get in the car."

"Why would I want to do that?"

The smallest of the men walks very close to him, Bobby can see the gun in his hand, "Is this a good enough reason." Bobby looks around and two of the men have weapons. He nods his head in agreement.

The youngest of the trio points to the smallest man, "Mickey you sit in the front." The young man opens the back door and motions for Bobby to get in, as he bends down the young man uses the butt of his gun on the back of his head. Bobby falls into the seat.

Stan, the gray haired man talks between his teeth, "You asshole, what the hell did you do that for?"

Josh says, "I always wanted to take out a cop, man did that feel good."

Mickey says, "Alright, alright it's over can we get going."

Stan starts the car, "Ok, Ok." He pulls the car into traffic and speaks to Josh in the back seat. "You better give him that shot now."

Josh pulls Bobby's right sleeve jacket off and rolls up his shirtsleeve and injects him. "I wonder what this stuff is."

"It's just something to make him sleep; you can't get high with it."

The traffic out of Brooklyn is slow and they have a four-hour ride ahead of them. It is after one when they reach their destination, a small house, set far back in a wooded area.

The Search Begins

Alex arrives at the station a little before 8:30 AM and she is a little surprised that a cup of coffee is not on her desk, her partners not here. She looks around thinking that maybe he is off in one of the side rooms. She does not see him. She shrugs her shoulders and makes her way to the coffee pot.

I hope that Sanders made the coffee this morning.

She starts going through some paperwork. Before she realizes an hour has passed. In the past if he stops off somewhere, he calls her. She rings his cell, no answer, it's not on, she calls his home phone after five rings the machine picks up, instead of leaving a message she hangs up.

This is getting weird.

She is deep in thought and does not notice the Captain standing next to her, he speaks and she is startled. "Sorry. Where's your partner?"

"I'm not sure, Captain. I have called his cell and his house, no answer."

"Could he have stopped off somewhere?"

"He usually calls and tells me when he does that."

"Call the lab, the ME's and research and ask if they have seen him this morning."

She calls. No one has seen him. Alex makes a few more phone calls, friends who may have seen him last night. No one has seen him since the weekend. It is almost 10:30 am and the captain returns, "Anything?"

"No, I'm going to his house."

"Take Logan and Barek with you."

"I don't need them, I can handle this."

"That wasn't a suggestion." Deakins calls for Logan and Barek and the three detectives leave the squad room. Alex walks ahead of them. "I'll drive."

"Is this a secret meeting or are you going to tell us what's going on."

Alex looks up at Mike, "I don't know why the captain wanted the two of you to come with me but I haven't heard from Bobby all morning, no one has seen him and he's not answering his cell or home phone, we're going to check out his place."

Alex drives to his house in Brooklyn. "Nice neighborhood." Carolyn says as she looks out the window.

"He grew up here, moved back about five years ago."

"How was he able to do that?"

"His mother gave him the house over 25 years ago, and when he went into the army he started renting it out. When he was discharged he wanted to live in the city, but he never sold the house he kept leasing it, when he joined major case he moved back."

"The only thing I got from my mom was an old box full of photos." The two women look at each other and shake their heads.

Alex pulls into the driveway, his car is not there. Mike looks in the garage window, "No car."

They walk up the front steps and Alex takes a key from her pocket. "How come I don't have a key to your place?" Logan asks. Carolyn gives him a look. "Oh please."

The three enter the home. Mike walks into the living room and sits down in a lazy-boy chair; big chair for the owner and Mike feels very comfortable. He puts his hand down the side of the chair and finds the remote, wrong remote the stereo goes on; he gets embarrassed. The women give him a look. As Carolyn walks across the room he finds another remote and the big screen TV goes on, she grabs the remote and clicks off the TV. "Will you focus?"

"Ok, ok." He gets up from the chair. "I have to get one of those."

During this time Alex has been through the kitchen, some glasses and cups in the sink, the bedroom, unmade bed, the bathroom, towels hanging on the door are wet. "He was here this morning," Alex pauses. "There's a basement."

Mike says. "I'll look. Where is it?" Alex points. "Through there."

Within a few minutes, he's back, "Nothing. Does he make usual stops in the morning?"

"The coffee shop," Alex says.

The three get back into the SUV and Alex drives to the coffee shop. Margie recognizes Alex and greets her. She looks at the two people who have entered the store with her. She has never seen them before.

"Good morning Alex."

"Morning Margie, have you seen Bobby this morning?"


"Do you remember what time?"

"Maybe 8:15 or so, why? Is something wrong?"

"We're not sure. However, we haven't been able to get in contact with him. Did he seem different this morning? Did he act as if something was wrong, or bothering him?"

"No, he was friendly and polite like always."

"I hope he's alright."

"I do too, thank you, Margie."

The trio exits the store. Alex looks up, "His car." She points. "There." His car is parked in front of an arts and crafts store. They interview employees in each store between the deli and his car then they check both sides of the street. Most of the employees know him but they had not seen him that morning.