Harry Vee, a misanthropic, cigarillo-smoking, expensive scotch-drinking, hardboiled private investigator. Guns, trouble, hangovers, women, beatings, car crashes, UFOs, death and serious injury follow him like a bad smell. He doesn't have friends, and the people who call him an acquaintance don't like him.
He is available for children's parties.
She was tall in her heels, with long straight black hair. Her silk business suit was curt and expensive. Her accent was New York. The large, deep brown eyes now looking Harry up and down felt almost as cold as the air outside. Harry had a feeling she was good at getting what she wanted.
She took a large sip from her glass. Her eyes never left his. “Harry Vee. English. Went to Cambridge, twice. Never graduated.”
“But I certainly got an education out of it.”
“Private investigator. Lived in Paris for three years, Berlin for two. Then you came to Asia. Hong Kong.”
“Paris was fun, Berlin not so much.”
“Seven years in Hong Kong. You find industrial spies, you find missing people, you track down stolen artwork. You find a lot of things. Then you leave. One year later here we are in Seoul.”
Harry took a long drag on his cigarillo, and blew the smoke up over his head. “Here we are indeed,” he said. “But you seem to have me at a disadvantage, Miss…”
“Lee. Jessica Lee. I represent some very rich people in Hong Kong, people who are interested in the services you offer.”
“Except I’m not offering. I’m not interested.”
“These people would like to give you an awful lot of money, Harry.”
Harry said, “I have Nigerian bankers who want to do that. Still not interested.”
“I can be very persuasive, Harry. I know your usual rates. They’ll pay double, plus expenses of course. There’s a very important person they would like you to find.”
“You returned yesterday from Tokyo, where you have spent the last three weeks employed by Sumitomo Electronics.”
“Returned yesterday, retired this morning.”
“You’re being difficult. I was told this about you. Why are you so difficult, Harry?”
“Are you religious?”
“Then I guess we can’t blame god.”