By Thomas Perry
A cautious, methodical younger information analyst for a California assurance corporation, John Walker is aware while humans will marry, at what age they're going to probably have young children, and once they will die. All indicators element to a protracted winning career?until Max Stillman, a gruff safeguard advisor, looks unexpectedly on the place of work. it sort of feels a colleague with whom Walker as soon as had an affair has disappeared after paying a really huge demise profit to an impostor. Stillman desires to locate and convict her; Walker is confident the lady is blameless. Now Walker groups up with Stillman on an pressing north-by-northeast race? relentlessly resulting in a pay-off that simply may perhaps surprise the lifestyles out of him. . . .
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He watched the route Stillman took, from Telegraph Hill to Lombard, down Stockton across to Sacramento, but then he somehow made it to Sutter and Grant above the mess at Market Street and below the place where Grant became one-way in the opposite direction. The car stopped in front of a hotel where loud reggae music blared from the lobby, and Stillman got out of the car to make room for a parking attendant to get in and take it away in a flash of metal and squealing tires. Walker looked toward the hotel, but Stillman was walking up the incline between the two stone lions that guarded the entrance to Chinatown.
The analysts all made jokes about the job, but it was intoxicating. Examining the figures was like being a cabalist searching for messages about the future encoded in the Talmud. Some of the messages were reassuring. At certain ages people had children and bought term life. By consulting actuarial tables, he knew how many of the policies sold this year would come back for payoff at what future dates, and how many premiums the company would receive in the meantime. He could consult the company’s tables on historical profit on invested premiums to produce an estimate of total return.
The driver twisted in his seat to look out the rear window. The light had changed, and there was a truck behind him. Reluctantly, he glared in Ellen’s direction, then accelerated ahead to get out of the way and disappeared behind the building on the corner. ” “It’s nothing like that,” she said. “I need to get to the airport, and he was taking me out of the way to pick up another person. ” He got in and started the engine. “Don’t worry. ” He carefully set his coffee into the drink holder beside him, and stuffed the rest of his doughnut into his mouth.
Death Benefits by Thomas Perry