Nov. 14th, 2011

Holter sat down in the interrogation room opposite the middle-aged man. "You're the father of the deceased, and also his employer," he said. "I'm sorry for your loss. May I ask you a few questions?"

The man bowed his head. "Of course," he said. "Anything to bring my son's killer to justice."

Holter frowned. "You're of Middle Eastern descent," he said. It wasn't a question.

"Yes," said the man. "Syrian, originally. Why?"

"Never mind," said Holter. He shifted in his chair. "Your son was born without his left hand, is that correct?"

"That's right," said the father. "Fortunately he was right-handed."

"I notice you have two hands," observed Holter. "Was your wife an amputee?"

The man frowned. "No," he said. "My son's hand was just a genetic mutation."

Holter smiled sadly. "Ah, the dead-end pseudoscience of genetics," he said. "Of course, nowadays we've discarded Mendel in favor of Lysenkoism, and the notion that descendants take on the attributes of the parent. So either you're ignorant… or you're lying."

The father of the victim flushed. "I don’t see what this has to do with putting my son's murderer behind bars," he said hotly. Holter slammed a fist down on the table.

"Enough small talk," he said. "Show me the lines on your palm."

The man recoiled. "I don't have to show you anything," he said. Holter leaned forward.

"Listen, A-rab," he said intensely. "I'll get a warrant if I have to. But one way or another, I'm going to read your fortune."

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