Book Beginnings – 6th August 2021

Book beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and it is a chance to share the first sentence or so of a book you’ve reading, about to read or recently read.

The book I’d like to share this week is ‘The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer’ by Joel Dicker. I am currently reading it and REALLY enjoying it so far!!

PART ONE In the Depths -7 The Disappearance of a Reporter MONDAY, JUNE 23 – TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014 JESSE ROSENBERG Monday, June 23, 2014 Thirty-three days to opening night of the 21st Orphea Theater Festival.

The first and only time I saw Stephanie Mailer was when she gatecrashed the small reception organized in honor of my retirement from the New York State Police. A host of police officers from all the squads had gathered in the noonday sun in front of the wooden platform erected for special occasions in the parking lot of troop headquarters. I was on that platform, next to my commander, Major McKenna. He had been my chief throughout my career and was now paying me a glowing tribute. “Jesse Rosenberg is only a young captain, but he’s clearly in a great hurry to leave,” the major said to laughter from those present. “I would never have imagined he’d leave before me. Life really is a bummer. You’d all like me to leave, but I’m still here. You’d all like to keep Jesse, and Jesse’s going.” I was forty-five years old and I felt good about leaving the force. After twenty-three years on the job, I had decided to take the pension to which I was by now entitled in order to realize a project that had been close to my heart for a long time. I still had a week to go before my leaving date of June 30. After that, a new chapter in my life would be starting. “I still remember Jesse’s first big case,” the major was saying. “A horrible case, a quadruple murder, which he solved brilliantly, even though nobody in the squad thought he could. He was still a very young officer. From that moment on, we all realized what kind of man Jesse was. Anyone who’s worked with him knows what an exceptional detective he is. I think I can safely say he was always the best among us. We call him Captain 100 Percent, because he’s solved all the cases he’s been involved in, and that makes him unique as a detective. An officer admired by his colleagues, an expert everyone consults, and an instructor at the Academy for many years. Let me say this to you, Jesse: for twenty years, we’ve all been jealous of you!” Another burst of laughter. “We haven’t quite figured out what this new project is that you’re getting into, but we wish you good luck anyway. We’re going to miss you, the police force is going to miss you, but it’s our wives who are going to miss you the most, because they spent every police dance ogling you.” Thunderous applause. The major gave me a friendly hug, and then I got down off the stage so that I could say something to all those who had done me the kindness of being present before they rushed to the buffet. Finding myself alone for a moment, I was approached by a very attractive woman, maybe in her thirties. I did not recall having seen her before. “So you are the famous Captain 100 Percent?” she said in a seductive tone. “Apparently,” I said with a smile. “Do we know each other?” “No. My name’s Stephanie Mailer. I’m a reporter for the Orphea Chronicle.” We shook hands. “Do you mind if I call you Captain 99 Percent?” I frowned. “Is there a case I didn’t solve?” By way of reply, she took from her bag a photocopy of a press cutting from the Orphea Chronicle of August 1, 1994, and handed it to me.

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