Body Language

Body Language

Book - 1998
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OneAlexandra began shooting at fifty yards. She worked slowly toward the four-story building, taking several wide-angle shots of the whole structure. A stucco apartment building with red tile roof and dark green stairways and landings, here and there a coral rock facade. In that part of Coconut Grove, two bedrooms started at eight hundred a month. Sporty compacts filled the parking lot, owned by the young lawyers and stockbrokers who populated these buildings, twenty-something singles with more expendable income than Alexandra had take-home pay. She got a wide-angle shot of the cars. You never knew when a perp might leave his vehicle behind. Car trouble, panic, even arrogance.A year earlier, after studying hundreds of photos of two different murder scenes, Alexandra had spotted the same car parked at both, a fact that broke the case. It took her four shots to get all the cars near the apartment.The Minolta 700 SI she was using was motor-driven, had an autofocus, auto everything.Nearly impossible to make a mistake. Alexandra Rafferty was an ID tech with the Miami PD, photographic specialist.Not being a sworn police officer meant, among other things, that she wasn't authorized to carry a gun.Which was fine by her.She'd had more than enough of guns.Her only weapon was the telescoping baton she carried on her belt.Her counterparts with Metro-Dade, the county ID techs, were sworn officers, and they were paid even more than the detectives.They carried the latest Glocks, ran the crime scene, bossed the homicide guys around.But not the City of Miami PD.Exactly the same job, only Alexandra and her colleagues were considered technicians, bottom of the totem. Night after night, she ghosted through rooms, took her shots, and when she was finished, she moved on to the next scene.Hardly noticed.Which was fine.She had no aspiration to run things.That wasn't her.She had her attitude, her opinion.Had no problem speaking up if one of the homicide guys missed something or asked for her view.But she didn't aspire to run the show or get involved with the daily dick measuring that went on all around her.She took her rolls of film, sent them to processing, got them back, arranged them, put together her files, and then moved on, and moved on again. Her B.A. was from the local state university, criminal justice, psychology minor, 3.8 average, her only Bs a couple of painting courses she'd attempted.Some of her college friends were horrified at her career choice.But she wouldn't be anywhere else.In a cheap blue shirt and matching trousers, a uniform shabbier than the ones the inmates got, working impossible hours at insultingly low pay.But none of that mattered.She liked her job.It made a difference in the world, a modest one perhaps, but essential.And the job kept her alert, focused, living close to the bone.And she liked using the camera, being a photographer who never had to tell her subjects to hold still, never got a complaint about unflattering angles. Alexandra was twenty-nine and had been doing this work for eight years.It still felt new.Every night, every scene, something different, something human and extreme.From eleven till seven, alert for eight hours.Wired.Just after dawn, she'd take her run on the beach, then go home, still pumped from the night before, and make breakfast for Stan and her father.She'd ride that high most of the morning.Just steal a few hours of sleep in the afternoon while Stan was at work and her dad was doing basket weaving at Harbor House, four or five hours at the most; then by eleven the next night, she was ready to go again. It was a little before midnight, Wednesday, October the seventh.No traffic on Tigertail Avenue.No human noises.Only the jittery fizz of the sulfurous streetlights.She lowered her camera, stepped over the yellow crime-scene tape, walked forward five paces, raised the Minolta again, and took half a dozen medium-distance flash shots of bloodstains on the asphalt parking lot.Several d
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
ISBN: 9780312192433
0312192436
Characteristics: 336 p. ;,24 cm.

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