“Me personally? Fuck all. Told Andrea it was heart failure.” Finn shrugged, ignoring the prickle of pain in his own chest. He thought he’d done the mourning part, well before the funeral, but every now and then he felt that prickle, a small, sharp reminder that grief wasn’t on a timetable. “Not surprising, not really. Mickey was a boozer. Chain-smoker, too.”
“Well, technically every death is ultimately caused by heart failure,” Hopper said in a way that made Finn think he thought he was telling a joke. “I’m not completely convinced Mickey’s was caused by booze and fags, though. I’ve got a friend in the coroner’s office. She noticed a clerical error in Mickey’s report. Nothing serious, spelling mistake or something. She took it to the coroner and he told her not to worry about it. Said it he’d take care of it himself.”
Finn’s gut tightened. “Sounds ominous.”
“It does rather, doesn’t it? When she went back to check it had been amended, there was a totally different report on file. Not different enough to raise suspicions…unless you already thought something strange was going on, of course.” Hopper tapped his fingers together, frowning. “The original report showed elevated levels of potassium in Mickey’s blood. Now, that’s not unexpected as such, because the body releases high levels of potassium into the bloodstream if muscle tissue is damaged, right? Like in a heart attack?”
“Right, if you say so,” Finn said, that twisting sensation in his gut growing sharper.
“The second report showed normal levels.” Hopper sat back, eyeing Finn expectantly.
Finn knew he was waiting for him to make some genius leap of logic, to cry aha or something, but he was blanking. “So…?”
“So you don’t think that’s strange?”
“Yeah, but I don’t know why. I don’t know anything about potassium levels or heart attacks. Did they mix his report up with someone else’s?” Finn shrugged. “You’re the detective, help me out here.”
“I’m a sergeant,” Hopper corrected. “And I don’t know why it’s strange yet. I just think it is. Someone changed the report. Who, and why? You’ve got to know, Finn, Mickey had a lot of enemies in the force. Plenty who’d look the other way if something suspicious happened to him. Plenty who’d see it as one less thug in London. Nobody to cry over.”
Finn’s blood chilled. “You think he was murdered? And someone on the force is helping cover it up?”
Hopper sighed, pushing his glasses up his nose. “I want to be wrong,” he said. “But my gut says something shady is going on here and it’s going to nag at me until I figure it out. I’m telling you because, if he was murdered, it had to be someone close to him.”
“Shit,” Finn said, feeling a sickness now that was nothing to do with his hangover. “Fuck.” A thought occurred. “You don’t think it was me, do you?”