The Jigsaw Man

T H E JIGSAW

M A N

G O R D R O L L O

L E I S U R E B O O K S

1 =

N E W Y O R K C I T Y

This novel is dedicated to my father, James Rollo, who gave

me my love for reading and helped inspire my first steps to—

ward becoming a writer. While this book might not exactly be

his cup of tea, I think he'll get a kick out of it....

No book is ever truly written alone, so I'd be remiss if I didn't

acknowledge some of the people who have helped make this

happen: Gene O'Neill, MichaelLaimo, J. E Gonzalez, Da

vid Nordhaus, Brian Keene, Jimmy ZJohnston Shane Stal-

ey, and Don D 'Auria I also want to give a shout-out to my

brothers Tony, Brian, and Stuart, and a special thank-you to

my wife Debbie for putting up with me.

P R O L O G U E

The Reason

Drummond Brothers Rock and Bowl,

North Tonawanda, New York

Hell of a place, Drummond's, an old-fashioned, family-run

bowling alley suffering from an identity crisis of late. The

comfy wooden tables and chairs have been replaced with ugly

black plastic stools with shiny chrome legs; the soft overhead

fluorescent lighting with purple and red retina-destroying

spotlights; the soothing background music with bass-heavy,

blow-out-your-eardrums heavy alternative rock. People used

to come here with family and friends to bowl, have some good

clean fun, and the best damn cola floats in Western New

York. Now the rowdy young crowds come to get drunk, fight,

shot put the bowling balls at their buddy's head, and scream

out obscenities and pickup lines over the horrendously loud

musk.

If old Mr. Drummond were still around to see what his

sons had done to the family business, he'd have burned the

place to the ground, his good-for-nothing prodigies still

trapped inside. Still, the Rock and Bowl, with all its gaudi-

ness and utter contempt for its humbler beginnings, was

making money hand over fist—even the old man couldn't

have argued with that.

Thursday night. A big crowd.

Two guys sitting at the end of the bar, a bit older than the

usual early twenties crowd, three more friends standing at

their backs cheering wildly as the seated pair raise their frosty

mugs to their lips and start chugging.

The phone rings on the wall behind the bar, twice, three

times, hard to hear over the pulsing hypnotic beat of Rob

Zombies " L i v i n g D e a d G i r l " blaring on the overhead speak

ers. Finally, the overweight bartender waddles over, answers

it, cupping his free band around the earpiece to hear what the

caller wants. His face drains ofcolor as he slowly turns to look

at one of the beer drinkers.

He lays the phone down on the back counter, approaches

the group offve men joking and arguing over who won the

chug contest, and leans over the bar to interrupt them.

"It's the police," he tells the thin drunk sitting on the right.

"Lookinforyou. You'd better come take this"

The man looks worried but is still trying to play it cool in

front of his friends. He rises to his feet, almost trips over the

chair, and stumbles and weaves his way toward the far end of

the bar where it's open and he can walk around to grab the

phone. Fear has him by the short hairs but he isn't sure why.

For a moment, vertigo hits hard and the noisy room starts to

spin. He grabs the counter to steady himself, closing bis eyes

tightly until the nauseous sensation passes. Then, the phone—

"Hello?"

MichaelFox?"A cold voice. Irish accent.

"Ub-bub. Who's this?"

The inebriated man listens quietly for several minutes,

swaying on his feet, threatening to go down at any minute.

He remains upright, it's the phone that drops to the floor,

already forgotten as the man screams