Excerpts from Wearing
the Spider :
From the Prologue
....He opened a drawer, pulled
out a Redweld and extracted a bundle of papers clipped together.
“Yeah, just think of me as an alchemist turning dross
into gold.” He chuckled. “We can arrange for
the results to show a seventeen percent relative reduction.
Data’s inherently malleable.”
....He flipped a page and listened,
as he took another mouthful of coffee, swirled it over his
tongue and swallowed.
the beauty of it,” he paused. “I’m not
a gambler. I’m a creator of wealth. Value
at the close of the transaction, not dependent on any uncontrollable
....He smiled to himself. The
computer screen on his desk glowed with a webpage of statistics.
....“Two billion at least.
That’s worth a few dead people, right?” He laughed
into the receiver and then fell silent for a few minutes.
His email inbox had replaced the Internet browser window
on his computer screen and he typed electronic messages
as he listened to the voice in his ear.
.... “Oh, come on, Chuck.
Corporations make product line decisions every day based
on the cost of potential wrongful death suits as a debit
against profit. Whether or not a few side-effects show up
is really inconsequential to the bottom line. You’re
trying to play in the big leagues, my friend, but you guys
want to keep using an amateur’s playbook.”
....He fell silent again. “Yeah,
that’s right,” he said after a few seconds.
“That’s all it is. Just a cost of doing business.”
....He slurped the steaming
liquid. “Okay. Will do,” he paused. “Done.
We’ll talk next week.” He yanked off the headset,
pushed the blinking button on his phone and spoke openly
into the air of the room, “Mad Max! What can I do
....“I have a question,”
a male voice sang out of the telephone speaker.
....“When I ran into
you last week and you bought me a drink, did you slip me
a mickey or something? I had some crazy hallucinations that
night and the mother of all headaches the next day.”
me if you can’t hold your liquor,” the man said,
as he drained the last drops of dark liquid from the cup.
That whole conversation was off the record. You didn’t
have to drug me.”
amigo, you insult me. You really think I’d do something
....“Okay, right. Never
mind. Now, on the record. Gimme your reaction to
Newspan’s cover story. You know. The one that claims
the FDA lets scientists from the big drug companies serve
on advisory committees. The guys that dictate drug policy.”
....The man stayed silent as
he stood and stuffed some items into a leather portfolio.
They’re talking about Congressional hearings. Don’t
you have any comment?”
....“Why would I comment
....“You represent Finley
Regent, don’t you? And, other pharmaceutical companies?”
....“What about these
allegations of ‘conflict of interest?’
Some of these scientists are making big bucks from their
recommendations to the FDA. Any of Finley Regent’s
scientists under investigation?”
....“If you think I’m
going to answer that, you must still be under the influence
of whatever that was in your drink the other night,”
the man said as he disconnected the line.
From Chapter 1
....“Jen, what are you
doing here this early?” Evie spoke into the receiver.
Jenna said in a coffee-stained voice. “My third all-nighter
in a week. If this deal doesn’t close soon I may resort
to physical violence.”
....Jenna was an associate one
year senior to Evie who had already been up for partner the
previous year. Known to be smart and attentive to clients,
Jenna had nonetheless been passed over. The rumor was that
she tended to interject herself too directly into clients’
politics. Jenna believed she was overlooked because of her
gender, an opinion she had shared only with Evie, and unofficially
with a sex discrimination attorney who was a friend at another
....“Client or partner?”
....“I wish I could offer
some great advice, but—”
....“I know. You’ve
had your share.”
....“Reminds me of a dream
I had a few nights ago,” said Evie. “I’m
working under a tight deadline, researching case precedent
for a client memo. In my dream, all the resources I need are
located in this group of buildings…in one location…like
the Smithsonian. I’m trying to walk from building to
building gathering what I need. But there’s all this
scaffolding in front of the buildings I have to crawl through
and it’s all spider-webby and I get caught up in it.
And my legs. It’s as if I’m crawling through thick
mud. Something’s sucking my legs down. They get heavier
and heavier and it’s taking all my energy just to lift
them. So ironic. All I need to write my memo is right there,
I just can’t seem to get to it.”
....“Hmmm. An allegory
for this firm,” Jenna said as she smacked her lips.
From Chapter 28
“What did the note say?” she asked.
....He ignored her question.
“Do you have any idea why this woman would have your
name written on a piece of paper she was carrying in her pocket
when someone murdered her?”
....Evie stared at him wondering
how to avoid answering these questions without raising his
suspicions. The fact was, she didn’t have the answers.
....“Did you have a plan
to meet with a Latin woman yesterday?” he asked.
....How do I answer that?
I can’t lie to the FBI. “Yes, I did,”
she said finally. “This woman, with what sounded like
a Latin accent, called me at my office and asked me to meet
her, but she never showed up. And I…I don’t even
know her name.” Not a complete lie, she thought.
I don’t know her name with certainty.
....“What did she want
to meet with you about?”
....“I don’t know.”
....“So you’re saying
that you agreed to meet someone unknown to you, not knowing
what she wanted to discuss or why she wanted to meet with
Yes, that does sound unbelievable doesn’t it.
“Yes, that’s…I did know that she
wanted to talk to me about a matter that I was aware of. She
said she had information for me. She hung up before I could
ask her name or find out anything more.”
....“What matter was that?”
....“Did you know that
she was an employee of Romez Nuevo?”
....“Yes. She did tell
me that much.”
....“What else did she
tell you that may have slipped your mind?” There was
no mistaking his skepticism.
....“Nothing. She was very
brief. She said she didn’t want to go into it over the
telephone and told me where to meet her.”
....“Where was that?”
....“I was supposed to
meet her at Mangia on 57th Street.”
....“At what time?”
....“She said eleven thirty.”
....“And you waited for
....“Yes, but as I said,
she never showed up.”
....“Did she say anything
about why she wanted to talk to you…anything that’s
....Evie feigned the look of
someone trying to remember elusive details and remained silent.
How could she tell him that she thought the woman had information
about a trap being set for her?
From Chapter 35
....She could feel her face flushing
and her body heat rise again. A woman scowled at her as she
walked passed. Somewhere in her state of awareness, she knew
she must look a mess – sweaty, dirty face, messy hair,
rumpled, stained clothes and irregular movements. This
must be how homeless people feel, she thought.
....She kept walking, looking
for a police officer, or a friendly face who might help her
find one. There was no restaurant within view that would have
English-speaking staff and she did not have the stamina to
do much explaining. Her head was spinning again and her mouth
burned. She felt an overwhelming thirst and her stomach churned.
She forced herself to focus her mind and she collected all
her energy to make each step look as normal as possible. A
few more minutes of walking and the faces that passed started
merging into one another as if they were wet paint –
one in blues, the next like the veined red of stained mahogany.
....A man stopped and asked her
if she was okay. She tried to form words with her mouth, but
she couldn’t talk and she couldn’t swallow. Her
voice didn’t work and her motor control was dissipating.
She didn’t see the lamp post of the street light until
it collided with her head and she fell in a heap on the sidewalk,
right in front of the man. A few other curious New Yorkers
clustered around, one frantically dialing 911 on her cell