It was Vanessa; Vanessa pointing a gun at him.
She eased off the safety.
He focused busily on the myriad of detail. The flutter of her perfect hair in the breeze, the perfect, single pearl dangling low into her cleavage.
How she had gotten a gun, an old, snub nosed Webley 26?
Vanessa looked at him in her usual, perfectly calm, business-like way.
“Vanessa,” he said, “you don’t want to do that. There's no need. Kill a cop for a white-collar crime? I'm not here to put you away. You've got a chance to explain. Lay it on the accountant.”
“He’ll drag me in,” she said bitterly. “What chance do I have? You've seen me, that other inspector, with this white gold on my finger. I've only just realized it had to be hers, of course. He's tied me to the killing, on purpose.” She motioned with the gun.
Strauss and stepped toward the end of the pier. “We can talk about this Van,” he said, “This is a mistake. There isn't any need.”
She raised one eyebrow. “Go up for theft, fraud, and who knows what more? I don't think so.”
“It was that painting wasn’t it?” he asked. “The Kiss.”
“Do you have any idea how much that thing is worth? I live an expensive life, love, and I don’t intend to change. Now be a good fellow, and step right back to the end of the dock.”
Strauss took one slow step backward, and thought, one more step and I can jump into the sea. He glanced back, to see where the edge was behind him.