A Mitch Tobin Mystery
Thirty-four years ago I introduced Tucker Coe, my other name, in Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death. For the first time since then, Tucker Coe and his troubled hero, Mitch Tobin, are back in print in hardcover. Five Star has now reissued the 5 books he/I wrote about Mitch Tobin, with a new introduction by me. Soon the books will also be available in paperback from International Polygonics. ~DEW (2000)
The past is the past. What I did to get myself kicked out of the New York Police Department has nothing to do with the story of Ernie Rembek and the “cop job” he wanted to hire me for, and it seems to me I would be well within my rights not to say a word about it. And yet I feel a compulsion to tell, to explain, even to justify. Or maybe just to confess. Or perhaps merely to play the masochist, and by bringing the story out again in words, to twist with my own hands the knife on which I’ve impaled myself.
I was a cop eighteen years, and in the course of the fourteenth year I had cause to make an arrest on a professional burglar named Daniel “Dink” Campbell. I made this arrest in Dink’s home, an unprepossessing three-room apartment on the West Side of Manhattan. Violence was not Dink’s style, so the arrest took place without incident, other than that in the process I first met Dink’s wife, Linda Campbell, a short, pleasant-looking, ash-blond woman of twenty-eight, who accompanied her husband and me to the–
But the story tips itself right there, doesn’t it? On first seeing Linda’s name in print you know that I am destined to go to bed with her, knowledge that did not come to me until over a year later, when Dink had already been tried and convicted and was in the process of serving a term that at its shortest must last fifteen years. But it is impossible for me to communicate the knowledge to you as it came to me, in slow revelations, in tiny sunbursts of awareness, in gradual dependence and increasing need and a feeling that developed so slowly it was there long before either of us was fully aware of it, a feeling of inevitability. None of that rationalizing mist which delightfully blinded me is available now to blind you; you must see it in a cold harsh light, a cheap and nasty bit of adultery with the most tasteless and degrading overtones. But that isn’t how it seemed! (And how many bemused dreamers down the ages have cried that silly cry on awakening.)