Home > Back Spin (Myron Bolitar #4)(14)

Back Spin (Myron Bolitar #4)(14)
Author: Harlan Coben

“Of course,” she said quickly. “This is his first major, and he’s in second place.”

Norm Zuckerman put a hand on her arm. “Save the spinning for those morons in the media. These two guys are family.”

Esme Fong shifted in her seat. She cleared her throat. “Linda Coldren won the U.S. Open a few weeks ago,” she said. “We’re running dual television, radio, and print ads—they’ll both be in every spot. It’s a new line, completely unknown to golf enthusiasts. Naturally, if we could introduce Zoom’s new line with two U.S. Open winners, it would be helpful.”

Norm pointed his thumb again. “Ain’t she something? Helpful. Nice word. Vague. Look, Myron, you read the sports section, am I right?”

“As rain.”

“How many articles did you see on Crispin before the tournament began?”

“A lot.”

“How much coverage has he gotten in the past two days?”

“Not much.”

“Try none. All anybody is talking about is Jack Coldren. In two days that poor son of a bitch is either going to be a miracle man of messianic proportions or the most pitiful loser in the history of the world. Think about it for a second. A man’s entire life—both his past and his future—will be shaped by a few swings of a stick. Nuts, when you think about it. And you know what the worst part is?”

Myron shook his head.

“I hope like hell he messes up! I feel like a major son of a bitch, but that’s the truth. My guy comes back and wins, you wait and see the way Esme spins it. The brilliant play of newcomer Tad Crispin forces a veteran to crack. The new kid stares down the pressure like Palmer and Nicklaus combined. You know what it’ll mean to the launch of the new line?” Zuckerman looked over at Win and pointed. “God, I wish I looked like you. Look at him, for crying out loud. He’s beautiful.”

Win, in spite of himself, laughed. Several ruddy-faced men turned and stared. Norman waved at them, friendly-like. “Next time I come,” Norm said to Win, “I’m wearing a yarmulke.”

Win laughed harder. Myron tried to remember the last time he’d seen his friend laugh so openly. It’d been a while. Norm had that effect on people.

Esme Fong glanced at her watch and rose. “I only stopped by to say hello,” she explained. “I really must be going.”

All three men stood. Norm bussed her cheek. “Take care, Esme, okay? I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

“Yes, Norm.” She gave Myron and Win demure smiles accompanied by a shy lowering of the head. “Nice meeting you, Myron. Win.”

She left. The three men sat. Win steepled his fingers. “How old is she?” Win asked.

“Twenty-five. Phi Beta Kappa from Yale.”

“Impressive.”

Norm said, “Don’t even think it, Win.”

Win shook his head. He wouldn’t. She was in the business. Harder to disentangle. When it came to the opposite sex, Win liked quick and absolute closure.

“I stole her from those sons of bitches at Nike,” Norm said. “She was a bigwig in their basketball department. Don’t get me wrong. She was making a ton of dough, but she smartened up. Hey, it’s like I told her: There’s more to life than money. You know what I’m saying?”

Myron refrained from rolling his eyes.

“Anyway, she works like a dog. Always checking and rechecking. In fact, she’s on her way to Linda Coldren’s right now. They’re going to have a late-night tea party or something girly-girl.”

Myron and Win exchanged a glance. “She’s going to Linda Coldren’s house?”

“Yeah, why?”

“When did she call her?”

“What do you mean?”

“Was this appointment made a long time ago?”

“What, now, I look like a receptionist?”

“Forget it.”

“Forgotten.”

“Excuse me a second,” Myron said. “Do you mind if I go make a call?”

“Am I your mother?” Zuckerman made a shooing motion. “Go already.”

Myron debated using his cellular phone but decided not to piss off the Merion gods. He found a phone booth in the men’s locker room foyer and dialed the Coldrens’ house. He used Chad’s line. Linda Coldren answered.

“Hello?”

“Just checking in,” Myron said. “Anything new?”

“No,” Linda said.

“Are you aware that Esme Fong is coming over?”

“I didn’t want to cancel,” Linda Coldren explained. “I didn’t want to do anything that would draw attention.”

“You’ll be okay then?”

“Yes,” she said.

Myron watched Tad Crispin walk by in the direction of Win’s table. “Were you able to reach the school?”

“No; nobody was there,” she said. “So what do we do next?”

“I don’t know,” Myron said. “I have the override Caller ID on your phone. If he calls again, we should be able to get the number.”

“What else?”

“I’ll try to speak to Matthew Squires. See what he can tell me.”

“I already spoke to Matthew,” Linda said impatiently. “He doesn’t know anything. What else?”

“I could get the police involved. Discreetly. There’s not much else I can do on my own.”

“No,” she said firmly. “No police. Jack and I are both adamant on that point.”

“I have friends in the FBI—”

“No.”

He thought about his conversation with Win. “When Jack lost at Merion, who was his caddie?”

She hesitated. “Why would you want to know that?”

“I understand Jack blamed his caddie for the loss.”

“In part, yes.”

“And that he fired him.”

“So?”

“So I asked about enemies. How did the caddie feel about what happened?”

“You’re talking about something that happened over twenty years ago,” Linda Coldren said. “Even if he did harbor a deep hatred for Jack, why would he wait so long?”

“This is the first time the Open has been at Merion since then. Maybe that’s reawakened dormant anger. I don’t know. Chances are there’s nothing to this, but it might be worth checking out.”

He could hear talking on the other end of the line. Jack’s voice. She asked Myron to hold on a moment.

 

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