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Irene Delafield was dead, and Frank Bennett was glad.
It wasn’t the first time he’d been happy to hear of someone’s passing. When Ronald Beemis, serial child molester, had been shanked in the exercise yard of the Missouri state prison, Frank couldn’t help but feel that the world was a better place. And when Osvaldo Merguez and Tyrone “Teeko” Mills had taken each other down in a blaze of semiautomatic gunfire over contested drug turf in Kansas City, Frank had joined his fellow cops in a genial celebration at their local bar.
Irene Delafield didn’t have a rap sheet; she was the organist at the Presbyterian Church in Trout Run, New York. But what she did to the fine old melodies in the Presbyterian Hymnbook was positively criminal. Under Irene’s inept fingers, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” became a dirge. She was so flummoxed by the syncopations of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” that she lost the entire congregation before the first verse ended and left each person valiantly singing whatever he thought best.
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