Sue Janich is one person who travels through the The Radio Murders with different speed, level of danger and what I will call Survivablity. Here she has an exchange with a detective from her home town named Greg Flowers. The detective and his family have quite a story and are criutical to the opening volume. Though they didn't make the cut in The Radio Murders: The Collectors, Greg and his wife and son are only invisible for a short time.
Greg Flowers drove silently until his dark red Jeep Wrangler crossed the city limits. Sue Janich sat looking out of the window at the industrial malls and outlet strips that lined the wide road leading away from the suburban villages. She had her seat belt on, but wrapped her arms around a knee raised nearly to her chest, one bare foot wedged beneath her thigh and the cloth seat of the detective's private vehicle. Light red hair moved with the morning breeze.
They drove past the deep Riverdale Quarry. It was one of the largest in the Midwest, and its steep limestone and shale walls seemed to form a rock waterfall. Flowers tried to conceal a smile as he remembered one man who had become trapped in the loose pebbles of the industrial moonscape. Only the heavy winch, a critical accessory on the front of the detective’s Jeep, stopped the man from sinking into oblivion. The waiting officers could barely stop laughing as they transported him, ghost white with dust, to one of the municipal lock ups.
"What?" Sue Janich caught the smile on the detective's face.
"Nothing. I was just thinking about some of the Einsteins who tried to hide from the police in the quarry there." Sue leaned forward to look over Flowers for a better view of the gigantic crater. She gave him a weak smile and resumed her worried body language.
After twenty seconds of more silence, the teenager spoke. "Do you think my dad's alright?" Sue Janich barely moved.
"I don't know, Sue. I sure hope he's okay."
"I mean, mom will be okay, right?"
"Docs don’t seem too worried."
"That could mean anything," Sue sat up and bounced her head off the high back headrest. "I don’t trust doctors."
Flowers instinctively knew this was the right time. "Can I ask you something?" He put on his best high school quarterback sincerity. It helped that he actually had been the high school quarterback. Sue threw her head forward and toward Flowers enough to fling her hair in the wind. "Does your uncle get along with your dad?" Flowers let his gaze linger on Sue for two seconds before looking back at the road. He saw the discomfort with which she received the question.
"Sure! I mean, they don’t hang together if that’s what you mean." She stopped and looked back at the scenery. Flowers thought she wanted to say more, so he decided to flip over a card.
"The reason I ask is because he didn't mention your dad when I spoke to him. I mean, he didn't ask why you had to take your brother and sister to a sitter."
Sue looked at Flowers and started to say something. Her mouth hung opened for three seconds then she planted herself back in the seat. "He probably thought dad was already at the hospital."
"Yeah, probably. That’s what I would think if I got a call like that. Listen, are you okay?" Flowers wanted to reel Sue Janich back in. He knew he had taken a chance, but he had gotten enough. She found Bill Kradich's lack of concern for her father equally disturbing. Greg Flowers was sure of it.
"No! I'm not okay, all right?"
Flowers dropped his head slightly, realizing the absurdity of the question.
"I'm scared, okay?" Sue made the statement through the beginnings of a cry and a defiant face forward. This time the tears did not appear.