TWO SIMON GRANT MYSTERIES
Hiding the Elephant – Chapter 23
His stomach was hurting and his own little feet, even smaller than Adam’s, could have used some rest. And now he could see the lions across the street, glimpses of them for lots of people were already there. Rudi was going to have a job finding that cosy place where they could lick ice cream quickly before it melted down their hands and into their sleeves and talk of rugby. He wished Eve would hurry up and cross to the other side, over to the Nelson’s Column, but she stopped at the curb and was looking up and down the street as if watching for the oncoming traffic. There were no cars, none at all, only the police moving people along in one direction or another.
‘What’s the message to the world today, Mrs. Hamilton Grant?’
The man with two cameras around his neck and one in his hand was friendly, Simon thought. Eve ignored him, still looking anxiously down the street.
‘You’ll give us the transcript of Adam’s speech, won’t you?’ The man crossed to the other side of her, hoping for more attention.
‘Hang about, Rick. Hang about. Hamilton Grants are always good value. All of them.’ That was when she smiled brightly down on Simon. It went right through him, that smile. He had to catch it and hold it, not let it slip away this time as it had always done before. The trouble was, he never knew when it was coming, couldn’t get ready for it. He smiled back and squeezed the hand that held his. The smile lingered there, pouring out all over him, making him wriggle and stretch out onto his toes to get closer to it. Then a harsh light flared nearby and killed it off. The smile and the flash died together.
The man Eve called Rick didn’t seem friendly any longer. He was replacing the lid onto the mouth of one of his cameras, unconcerned about the murder he’d just committed.
Lock Up Your Daughters – Chapter 23
She rewarded him with another smile. Ruefully. Then she left her seat and headed for the door. ‘Dr. Pinder didn’t think it was necessarily a rape.’
‘I know, Debs.’ Grant rubbed his face with the heels of his palms. ‘But I can’t risk another body cropping up. My first duty is to prevent another murder.’ Now that he had a name and some glimpse of the person, serial killing seemed more remote. It wasn’t just opportunistic robbery and violence. Someone had gone to great lengths to hide her identity. And she co-operated. Must have done. Why else would she have given a false name at the hotel?
And yet, who or what could Lucille La Chasse and Nicola Finsbury have had in common but an itinerant serial rapist and killer?
‘I’ve re-read all of Dee’s files,’ he continued. ‘I’m fairly convinced that he wasn’t responsible for Julie Craven. I’ve checked out the dates with the Met Office. The witnesses who said they saw him near the crime scene also talked of rain, cold and poor visibility. But, on the day or rather early evening when she was killed, it was dry and reasonably warm for the time of the year…’
‘Clever old you.’ She didn’t seem really interested. Over six feet tall and normally hefty, muscular rather than fat, and with an abundance of tightly curled, long, naturally ginger hair, Debbie was attractive in an overtly sexy way when her lights were on and all her life juices kept oozing.
Grant suddenly became aware of just how much weight she’d lost recently. And all of her flair. An inch or so of the hem of her skirt had come undone and was hanging down her right leg, with a length of curly thread dangling off it.
Grant pointed his finger at the offending part of her usually immaculate uniform. ‘Your sergeant will have you guts for garters for this.’
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