“Hey! Don’t get grumpy with me just because you haven’t figured out a way to shag YOUR medical examiner. Maybe if you did you would be a lot more pleasant.” Gail says as she challenges the Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli – who by no means is accustomed to someone giving her attitude like that or so blatantly accusing her of something everyone suspects. But, this is Officer Gail Peck from Toronto Police Department we are talking about here, and the only person who readily intimidates her is her mother.
For some reason, the cosmos thought it would be fun to bring the two hot-headed women together for a shared homicide investigation that began in Toronto and ended in Boston. Neither woman was particularly happy about the forced union, to say the least. In Gail’s eyes, the only good part about the whole arrangement was the fact that she had to bring her girlfriend, Dr. Holly Stewart, a forensic pathologist, along with her to Boston to help with the “science-y stuff”. Of course, that would also prove interesting once Holly squared off with another very formidable medical examiner, and best friend to Detective Jane Rizzoli, Dr. Maura Isles.
When a very wealthy Toronto businessman is believed to have killed his wife and fled, the whole investigation scene slows to the point of looking like it is chasing a White Ford Bronco. Everything must be meticulous and processed carefully. Before accusing one of the city’s most powerful men of murdering his wife, the police must be sure. So instead of issuing a statement listing Mr. Brian Wilson as a suspect in his wife’s murder, the police instead offered that they were “concerned for Mr. Wilson’s safety” since he was not found at home and encouraged him to come forward, if possible. Three days after his wife’s homicide, the body of Mr. Brian Wilson, grandson to Gregory Wilson who began Wilson Construction, was found floating Boston Harbor – a victim of an apparent wrongful death.
There are dozens of moments during the day that Gail laments being a Peck, and the day they found Brian Wilson in Boston was no exception. If there is one thing that Gail has that most of her other colleagues on the police force do not have, it’s the ability to blend in with the high end of society. It is certainly not her preference, she prefers beer and Cheese Puffs to caviar and champagne, but growing up with Elaine Peck, superstar/Superintendent of the Toronto Police Department, she simply had to learn. Gail can tell you countless stories about how her mother would have her and her brother Steve have “etiquette drills”. It was because of these particular skills, and the fact that the case was so important and Elaine knew she could control Gail, that Gail was chosen to go to Boston and help with the homicide investigation. If it turned out this thing was about money or business, a cop who knew how to play the money game might be important. It never hurt that Gail was fun to look at, either, which is also something Gail was aware she was used for.
“You have got to be kidding me, Captain. You know how much I just love to work with other cops. And someone from Canada? How do they stop a crime in progress? Hit someone over the head with a rose pedal? I can hear their commanding voices now, “Darn you, STOP!” Rizzoli huffs as she learns about the upcoming arrival of her partner for the Wilson homicide. She is used to other agencies, like the FBI, occasionally getting involved with her cases, but this situation annoys her because she feels like another country is watching over their work. “I don’t like it any more than you do, Rizzoli” her captain explains “but you are just going to have to suck it up. Officer Peck will be arriving this afternoon.” Rizzoli sighs. “Jane, it’s probably not going to be that bad. It is a high profile case and you can use all of the help you can get.” Dr. Isles offers in order to sooth her friend. “I am glad you feel that way, Dr. Isles” the captain states, “because they are sending their own forensic pathologist, Dr. Holly Stewart, to assist YOU.”
“What?” says Dr. Isles, obviously ruffled. “What’s wrong, Maura?” Rizzoli taunts “It’s probably not going to be that bad. It’s a high profile case and you can use all of the help you can get.” Jane offered, with the best smart-ass expression and tone she can muster. Determined not to let Rizzoli get the best of her, “Well at least I have heard of this person. Just another expert to confirm my irrefutable findings.”
Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles have a …..unique relationship, one could say. They are best friends. And over the years their friendship has admittedly become stronger. They know this. They have acknowledged to each other that they are probably closer than most “best friends”, but they chalk it up to their careers and the situations they are sometimes forced to tackle together. Let’s face it; most best friends will make it to their graves without having to save each other’s lives. Not so with Jane and Maura. If Jane is not rescuing Maura from Hoyt and his apprentice or some other crazy, Maura is helping Frost identify the building that Jane is being held captive in. Despite rumors about mega-feminine doctor and the tough-acting cop, they have always maintained a platonic relationship.
Dr. Holly Stewart is tentatively looking forward to her and Gail’s trip. For one thing, it’s Boston and Gail. She is also, sort of, looking forward to meeting Dr. Maura Isles, who is quite well known in their field of work. They have crossed paths at conferences, but never had the occasion to collaborate or even discuss things. Her only concern is Dr. Isles’ reputation for being a little arrogant and controlling about her lab and findings, just like she is. Still, Holly knows she can contribute to this case, having overseen the autopsy of Mr. Wilson’s wife, Elizabeth. If nothing else, a few nights out in a great city like Boston with Gail will make the trip worth it.
From what Dr. Isles has determined so far, Mr. Brian Wilson was the victim of a homicide by a single large-caliber gunshot wound to the back of the head. Information out of Canada indicates that his wife, Elizabeth Wilson, was also killed in the same way with the same weapon. If Dr. Isles was one to guess, it would appear that the couple was murdered by the same person, but Dr. Isles is not one to guess – much to the frustration of a certain Boston detective.
“Maura, come on. That cop and doctor are going to be here this afternoon. Is there really nothing else you have for me?” Jane whines as she sits in Maura’s office. “No I don’t, Jane. There are still sample results that have not come back yet and I still have some questions about the crime scene in Canada.” “Well, okay, Maura.” says Jane, pretending to be innocently thinking aloud, “I wonder if this Dr. Stewart has any theories or ideas? I did some research on her and it sounds like she is pretty good.” Maura narrows her eyes, “Jane, I know what you are doing and it is not going to work. I am not so competitive that I will compromise my good judgment and make guesses about a case. Maybe someone like this Dr. Holly Stewart would hypothesize that it appears there were several similarities and likely the same killer, but I would never do that.”
Jane smiles. “Well of course not, Maura. You know I admire your principles. I am sure that this Dr. Stewart has nothing on you. You’re brilliant. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to start looking at the similarities between these two homicides.”
“What similarities?” Maura replies.
“Hypothesized ones. See you later.” Jane says as she strolls out of the lab with Maura’s report.
“The City of Toronto and our police department wish to thank you for your hospitality and willingness to partner with us on this investigation.” Gail states, as part of the brief introduction that she was actually coached to give by none other than her Superintendent mother. In fact, the very last words the Superintendent said to Gail was, “Do NOT embarrass us.” That was right after the speech about stowing away her attitude and right before the conversation of “stay safe, my beloved daughter” never happened.
“I am Officer Gail Peck with Division 15 of the Toronto Police Department, and this is Dr. Holly Stewart, our forensic pathologist who completed the autopsy on Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson.”
“Detective Jane Rizzoli. I am the lead homicide investigator in this case. This is Dr. Maura Isles. She is our Chief Medical Examiner, and the person who completed Mr. Wilson’s autopsy.
“Great” says Gail. “Why don’t you and I talk about the case for a few minutes and let the nerds get acquainted?”