A man suddenly appeared at the side of their table. He was short and beetle-faced, with gleaming black eyes. His black hair was slicked back with some kind of men’s hair gel that caught the overhead lights in a sheen of creeping silver filaments. His black bargain-basement suit was wrinkled and stank of cigarettes. His earlobes were strange, flipping outwards perpendicularly at their tips, giving the impression he had wormlike growths emerging from either side of his neck.
Before the man had even opened his mouth, Strait felt nauseated by his presence.
“Well, I’ll be a pecker! Are you James Strait?”
“I’m Callus Nardo. I’m the crime reporter for the Pine River Star.” He thrust out his hand. “You can call me Cal.”
Strait reluctantly extended his hand and felt with a shimmer of disgust at the clammy sweat on the man’s palm.
Nardo grinned at Edie. “This your girl?”