There's got to be a good reason

But those doubts won’t go away...

That’s what Herbert thought. But right from the start I wasn’t so sure. I mean, five hundred dollars is five hundred dollars, and when you’re throwing that sort of money around, there’s got to be a good reason. And I remembered the dwarf’s face when the car backfired.

Our final detective story trope uses ingredients from all of the ones mentioned: The hard boiled narrator can’t take a job at face value. Their cynical, investigative nature won’t let things slide. They look at the client, the job, weigh up the clues, mix it with some experience and gut feeling, and decide that none of it adds up.

It's also a good time to summarise the evidence that's been provided up until now. Can you see this pattern in these examples?

I wasn’t so sure. Jane said she had proof but, if we hadn’t have been so desperate to reveal alien existence to the world, I would have advised Fliss not to take on the case. All we had was someone’s word that, last week, she didn’t look like a 90-year-old, and a USB drive that looked like it could give you a virus, in more ways than one.

Even as I was saying it, I was wondering. D’Angelo was built like a steamroller, he could have flattened me without even looking up from his phone. But I saw his eyes when he thought somebody had caught him talking to me. I saw the fear.

Write your own variation.