TWO SIMON GRANT MYSTERIES
Hiding the Elephant – Chapter 8
Standing on the front steps of the Wellingborough Police Station, Ken Carlton, the Chief Detective Inspector, appeared short compared to Simon’s six foot two. He also looked trim and self contained in his decorated uniform in contrast to Simon’s half buttoned up tweeds and badly knotted tie.
‘…we have dedicated all our resources to this investigation. Our officers are all highly experienced and totally dedicated…‘Carlton’s moustache was moving upwards with each word, disclosing two long front teeth. The camera moved over to Simon. The light brown hair above the square, well outlined face needed cutting. The grey eyes waited impassively.
‘I have every confidence in my team of as I say, very dedicated and experienced men and women…’ The moustache playing hide-and-seek with the teeth was back in view.
‘Oh, women as well? Bravo.’ Emma lifted her glass of now tepid wine to the screen. ‘The general public can sleep soundly in their beds…’
‘My message to the members of the public is that they needn’t worry themselves, because, as I say…’ The moustache obliged closely enough for her to laugh.
Simon’s left pocket was bulging. He must have stuffed his latest little carving into it, the one he’d started last Friday.
‘What’s this one going to be?’ she had asked then, examining the tiny little blades arranged neatly along the windowsill next to him.
‘You are a romantic, Simon. Aren’t you going to spend the weekend with Pippa inLondon?’
Another close-up of Carlton.
‘We’ll leave no stone unturned…’ Emma mimicked in anticipation, sipping the wine.
‘We’ll leave no stone unturned,’ the teeth revealed reassuringly, and Emma hooted, throwing herself backwards into Simon’s armchair, her bare feet flapping in the air, ‘until the perpetrator or perpetrators of this particularly callous and cowardly crime against a young and defenceless woman are caught and brought to justice.’
She could not make out a question from an off-screen reporter, butCarlton, muttering indistinctly about “operational responsibility” passed the answer over to Simon. The grey eyes smiled into the camera. The case was bound to generate a huge female following.
‘It’s early days still but we’re making excellent progress.’ Nice and confident. ‘As Chief Inspector Carlton has said, we’re looking to you, the general public, to come forward with any information, however insignificant it may seem to you…’
‘I haven’t heardCarltonsay any such thing,’ Emma objected into her glass, steaming up the sides.
‘The residents of Hallbrook in particular can have some very useful information for us. I urge anyone who knows anything at all in connection with this crime to come forward as soon as possible.” The “possible” flagged a little and Simon’s eyes slid questioningly sideways to somebody behind the camera. The reporter took over.
‘Well done, Simon. Almost like a genuine article. Hardly a hint ofOxford. Who’d guess you’ve got a half finished unicorn in your coat pocket.’ Emma pressed the off button and took her empty glass to the kitchen. The light from the shed created bright oblong patches on the back lawn.
Lock Up Your Daughters – Chapter 8
‘No sightings of any strangers in Holdenby Wood, Boss,’ said Warner half an hour later. ‘People don’t go that way much. That bridle path is out of use. Mr. Evans and his assistant only happened to be there on Sunday night because they’re from the Forestry Commission and that’s their regular semi-annual round. Playing catch-up, they were. Their report to the ministry is due this week, so they had no choice but to work late at the weekend. Or else, the lady would still be laying there undiscovered.’
‘So our friendly neighbourhood rapist can feel free to attack anyone he pleases without worrying about being discovered,’ retorted Grant without thinking.
‘Don’t know about anyone he pleases, Boss, if he’s got to wait for days on end for someone suitable to come along.’
‘Don’t be such a bloody cleverdick, Bill. It’s lunchtime. Let’s go for a brew.’ Grant slapped the Constable on the back. ‘Are we getting anywhere with her clothes yet?’
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