Chapter 7: The Collector

Detective Peter Pux sat across from The Middleman in the prison visiting room, staring at the man intently. He had been questioning him for hours, trying to get to the bottom of the missing Mona Lisa case.

"Come on, you can tell me the truth," Peter said. "Who is the collector who hired you to steal the Mona Lisa?"

The Middleman sighed. "I'm telling you, I don't know his real name," he said. "He always communicated with me through a series of encrypted emails and phone calls. He called himself 'The Collector.'"

Peter's brow furrowed. This was going to be a tough case to crack if they couldn't even identify the main suspect.

"Do you have any way of getting in touch with him?" Peter asked.

The Middleman shook his head. "I'm sorry, I don't," he said. "I was just a middleman. I was never given any personal information about him."

Peter sighed. He was starting to lose hope. But just as he was about to give up, an idea struck him.

"What about the emails and phone calls?" he asked. "Can we trace them back to the collector?"

The Middleman nodded. "Maybe," he said. "But it won't be easy. The collector was very careful to cover his tracks. He used multiple aliases and proxy servers to hide his identity."

Peter's determination was renewed. "We'll do whatever it takes," he said. "I'm not giving up until we find the Mona Lisa and bring the thief to justice."

With that, Peter set off to work with Sarah, determined to track down the collector and solve the case.