Following his meeting with Superintendent Costello, Inspector Liam Malone wandered the halls of the Phoenix Park Garda Headquarters. Unwilling to go to the basement holding cells to release his prisoner, he stood on the roof and looked out on the Dublin Zoon and stewed about his orders. His mind conflicted with his loyalty to Costello and the Irish people, and anger towards the corruption of the Gardaí management who wanted to him to look the other direction and allow criminals to thrive.
When Liam joined the force, he knew two choices lay out before him: go with the flow and go on the take or be an honest Garda at the bottom of the barrel. He envisioned the decision of which direction to go would be more dramatic. In reality, the situation was different. The good guys in white hats would not be there to encourage him to ignore the corrupt bureaucrats and arrest the bad guys in black.
The vein in his neck pulsed as the stress headache moved to his temples. He needed no mirror to know his face glowed a bright red. His feelings resembled a mass tangle of wires, uncertain which connection belonged to which wire. He could not trust his instincts, unsure of whom to trust. Liam knew Costello supported him and respected the detective work that went into his vocation, but now felt a sense of disappointment as his boss appeared too willing to throw in the towel to the corrupt bureaucrats. He knew Costello the shrewd politician would not stick his own neck out too far. Despite Costello’s reputation as a good resourceful Garda despite limitations of his superiors, Liam doubted his boss’ motivations.
Liam worked out in the weight room. He pushed his body, and knew his muscles would scream at him the next morning. Each exercise station decreased his anger. He showered in the damp dungeon that passed for a locker room, deserted this time of day, which allowed him to spend time under the hot water stream. The hard water hit his head and soothed his nerves. Rational thoughts probed the veil of anger that covered his brain. Liam would trust Costello; he did not have much choice unless he wanted to pursue another line of work.
Liam dressed and shuffled down the wide stairs to the basement holding cells, which also resembled a medieval dungeon. He calmed his nerves to start the release of his incarcerated prisoner. The name of the loan shark boss was John McMillan. For the last month, Liam tracked street level operations up to him. When Liam arrested McMillan earlier, he found the brazen thug as he shook down a single mother of five in the light of day on Parnell Street at the busiest time of day. Even after he identified himself as an officer, the smug McMillan ignored Liam and continued to beat on the woman. Liam found he enjoyed it when he applied a bit too much force. The arrest surprised McMillan, and he howled in the back of Liam’s car on the way to Phoenix Park. The thug threw around the name of Kieran O’Dowd and how this would be the end of Liam’s Garda career. If Liam were unaware previously of the connection to O’Dowd, he knew now.
Following Liam’s meeting with Costello, Liam understood McMillan’s reaction.
The main problem Liam had with McMillan was the bugger just made him nutty. The smug look on his face along with the pathetic pencil thin mustache above those narrow lips infuriated Liam. He could take this loser apart in an alley fight in no time. He looked like someone picked on in the schoolyard, not a criminal boss. McMillan was a tall drink of water and his clothes ill fitted him and hung on him as if they were on a wire hanger. Liam wondered how McMillan came to power. He was not tough enough to intimidate anyone, and fit no profile for a crime boss. However, once Liam put the pieces together with Kieran O’Dowd’s support, the picture cleared.
As Liam came around the corner to the booking desk, he saw McMillan at the counter.
McMillan turned his head towards Liam and started to laugh. “Come to let me out, have you now, fella? Well someone got ‘ere first.” McMillan said as he walked towards Liam. “I didn’t want to bolt without letting you know that all yisser ‘ard work was fer nothin’.”
McMillan brushed against Liam’s shoulder as he started up the stairs. A rush of adrenaline rushed up Liam’s body and his body boiled. Liam grabbed the back of McMillan’s collar and slammed his face into the stone block wall of the stairwell. “You think you won now, but I’ll be watching for you,” Liam shouted into McMillan’s ear, feeling his words stutter with the anger that coursed through his body. Each syllable punctuated with a new thrust of McMillian’s face into the wall with a dull thud.
Liam let go of the crime boss and stepped away. McMillan turned around, his body shaking and his hands touched his face and came away with blood. His nose and front teeth covered with blood, dripped down to McMillan’s shirt.
McMillan looked at his hands in shock, then up at Liam. His mouth moved, but no words came out of his mouth. His eyes would not meet the eyes of Detective Liam Malone. Uniformed Garda officers rushed to McMillan’s side and dabbed his bloody face with paper towels. Two detectives grabbed Liam by the arms and pulled him away.
With Liam restrained, McMillan’s confidence returned and he walked up to Liam.
“Bought yourself a bleedin’ suspension dere, fella,” McMillan said to him. “You better watch it or you’ll git worse.”
Liam lunged at McMillan, but with his arms restrained, he was not able to hit McMillan. Even so, McMillan flinched away from the detective.
McMillan turned and ran up the stairs from Liam, now in hand cuffs.
Go back to Chapter 5b
Table of Contents
Go back to Chapter 5b
Table of Contents
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