Fool Me Twice – Moral Crusader

Lopez smiled. “Perhaps. We’ll look into it. But in the meantime, please don’t do anything to antagonize the guy. Men like that—you’ve gotta be careful. They can be dangerous.”


“What do you mean, men like that?”


My boss leaned over his desk, eyes narrowing. “Well, like, this morning, for example. One minute he’s quoting Bible verses, and the next minute he’s hitting on my secretary.”


My eyes widened. “Tamera?”

Crime Fiction Thriller - the Moral Crusader - Self-Righteous - Paddy's Parole Officer

He nodded. Then he told me something that was to stay with me over the coming months. “I’ve seen his type before,” he said. “Usually, they’re hiding something. When you see a moral crusader like that, a lot of times, underneath all that Bible-thumping exterior, you’ll find a rotten core. Sometimes, self-righteousness is just a smokescreen.”


“A smokescreen?”


“Yeah. You know, like to divert attention away from themselves. Like they’re hiding a defect or fault they don’t want you to see. What better way to hide it than to project it onto someone else.”


I nodded. “He could even be a serial killer, huh?”


Lopez chuckled. “I wouldn’t go that far. More than likely, he’s just your garden-variety hypocrite. The only time people like that are dangerous is when they’ve got a little authority.”


I winced. “Jeez, Mr Lopez, that’s not very comforting.”


I sat back and let his words sink in. Maybe he was right. Maybe it wasn’t personal after all between Beasley and I. Perhaps he was just projecting his own weaknesses onto me. Then again, who the fuck cared? Why even waste my time trying to psychoanalyze the guy? The important thing was to get out from underneath the thumb of this petty tyrant before it was too late.


Something told me my time was running out.