Inspector Winter sat at his desk. His tweed jacket hung on a coat stand in the corner of the office. Yesterday had been an interesting day. He had a long standing interest in Roaming Royston but turning up at an antiques shop, which he suspected was an export point, with John Cooper QC was unexpected to say the least. He’d slept on the matter and was still puzzled. It just didn’t make sense. He wandered out into the main office. Response Plod had arrived and was busy at his computer terminal. “I need you to get some research going on this QC. I want to know who he is, where he works and lives, who his clients are and what his recent cases have been. I want to know everything about him.” Response Plod was fired up by the turn this case had taken. “Leave it with me Boss. I’m on it” he replied with enthusiasm. The office door opened and Spartancop strolled in. He wore blue jeans, timberland hand sewn boots and a black t-shirt underneath an unbuttoned check shirt. He was unshaven and looked rough. “Sparty” plonked his take-away coffee down on the desk. “What do you need me to do Boss?” Winter knew that looks were deceptive. Sparty was the master of disguise and had been on the unit for years. “I want you to pull all the Royston files. I need to know of any links he has with the legal fraternity, solicitors, barristers or QC’s. Plod is doing some other research into Cooper. Let’s meet back here at 1pm.” A that Winter reached back into his office, grabbed his jacket and snatched a bag of Haribo off his desk. “I’m off for coffee and a think. See you all at 1pm.”
Revdal stood looking over his reservations. There weren’t many but he hoped to increase this with some targeted marketing. Kneewax was going to assist with the setting up of some IT systems to make life a little easier but he had no idea what he was on about when he mentioned things such as “android” and “Linux”. The pub wasn’t open yet but his thoughts were interrupted by the door bell. He wandered down and opened the door. A slim lady in a white linen suit with a very confident look about her stood before him. She had an overnight bag which she handed to him and a large camera bag slung over her shoulder. She stepped through the door and past him saying “I’m Jane Hamilton and I have a reservation.”
Allie had driven solidly for the last 2 hours and decided that enough was enough. She moved the car across into lane one of the motorway and then filtered off into the services. She pondered the phrase “All roads lead to Rome” as she pulled into a parking space. “Seems to me all roads lead to Frankley services” she said to herself as she turned off the engine and checked her make-up in the rear view mirror. She was heading home after a short business trip that had been somewhat out of the ordinary. Her clients were normally up to their neck in trouble by the time she became involved. This client was different. She had been invited to meet with a man called Clive Chamberlain at the Bovey Castle Hotel. Over dinner he had explained that he represented a client who was very wealthy but needed to remain anonymous and that he had been instructed to retain her for taxation advice on a complicated inheritance case. “My client demands complete confidentiality and will pay you handsomely to ensure your discretion” he had told her. All her expenses would be met and files needing her attention would be delivered by private courier. “Allie. In order to secure your agreement I am authorised to offer you a hefty non-returnable retainer.” Allie had thought long and hard overnight and that morning she had agreed to take on the case. Within a couple of hours her bank was credited with £25k sterling from an unnumbered Swiss bank account. Clive, as he had insisted she called him said “My client is delighted. We will send you some documents in the next week or so”.
Deep within the forest at the end of a long rutted and muddy track was a saw mill. The sleek silver Range Rover handled the terrain with ease but the driver was now fed up with being jolted around. The trees began to part and the mill came into view. Tree trunks of various sizes were piled haphazardly on the edge of the clearing and a smell of sawn wood redolent of a woodwork classroom filtered into the car through the aircon. A small red Astra van was parked by the side of the main building and as the Range Rover pulled up behind it a heavy set figure got out of the drivers seat and waited for him. He climbed out of the Range Rover and squelched into mud. He hated being dirty so this was quite possibly the worst place to be. He looked over the man stood by the van. This man had been on his “unofficial” payroll for years. He was well paid to do the dirty work. “Show me” he said to him. Doug Beattie turned on his heels and headed down a narrow track between the trees. The conifers were tall and tight casting a gloom over the place that denied the day existed. If not for the faint glimpse of the sun coruscating on the lake between the trees it could have been dusk. Doug seemed almost as broad at the shoulders as he did tall. He was ex-forces, well built and very dangerous. Good money kept him onside and his tongue still. He continued along the path and then abruptly turned left into the undergrowth. After walking approximately 20m through ferns and brambles they came to a wood stack with a pile of ferns and conifer branches on the floor next to it. Doug pulled these out of the way to reveal a section of dirty blue tarpaulin which when he folded it back revealed a decaying skeleton. “This is her?” asked the smart man. “Yes Sir. I dug her out myself. There was nothing there but the body”. The visitor looked on for moment. “Very well. Lose the remains Doug.” At that he returned to his Range Rover and headed back to civilisation. He had mud spattered up his shoes and would need to get them cleaned. He hated being dirty.
DC Darling was at his desk. “Sarge. I’ve sat through all that CCTV. There is nothing immediately obvious. I’ve cross checked every VRM that is visible and they are all local vehicles.“ DS Bruce sighed..”That’s a dead end then. Nothing at all?” Phill scanned his notes. “The only untraceable vehicle is a red Astra van. There is no image of the reg’ plate and the only obvious feature is it is covered in mud along the side. It parks up on High Street for a short while and then disappears. “ DS Bruce leant forward onto his desk and put his head in his hands. “Thanks Phill. Get onto traffic will you. Let’s see if there are any ANPR hits on a red astra van during the night of the offence.
Most of the time Rob Harrison lived alone in the no-mans land that divorce creates and had access to his children once a week. He missed them greatly and in an attempt to ease the pain he threw himself into his work. He was a self confessed hi-tech computer geek and ran his own business in London. He lived in an apartment in the city but at the weekends he escaped to a thatched cottage on a quiet lane off the High Street in the village. As the place was regularly empty he had kitted it out with an array of technology gadgets including a state of the art IR CCTV system. He sat drinking coffee in front of dual computer screens. One displayed his Twitter feed and the other The Times website. There was an article by the crime editor Sean O’Neill about the graveyard incident in the village. It was clear the police had released little information and had even less to go on but a source had revealed to The Times that there was a link to the Scholes-Fogg dynasty. Rob punched a speed dial and his close friend and business partner Millymoo answered on the 10th ring. “Why are you ringing me at 9am you bastard. It’s Saturday!”. Rob smiled, “Morning. Have you seen this story about my village? It’s all very odd but The Times think the body is related to the Scholes-Fogg family.” There was a pause on the other end of the line. “What? As in Lord Scholes-Fogg? Bloody hell!” Millymoo used to be a practicing barrister and Rob knew it wouldn’t take much to get her interest going. They talked for a while and it was Milly who suggested he review his cctv footage. He had a few hours before the boys arrived so he accessed the system and watched at 8x speed from 6pm on the Thursday night.
The timer was showing around 1.30am when he hit the pause button. He had a cameras on the side of the house that looked down the lane in both directions. A dark coloured van could be seen coming down the lane from High Street past the cottage and parked up a little further down. Two males, one of which seemed to be very well built got out of the van, took shovels from the back and climbed over the gate into the paddock. He fast forwarded the footage and after a couple of hours they returned carrying a large package that was placed in the rear of the van. The van then turned around and drove back past the cottage towards High Street. The headlights burnt out a lot of the detail of the van but he could just make out GH51 at the beginning of the registration. Rob took a deep breath. There was no doubt what his cameras had caught. The paddock backed onto the churchyard. He fired up Safari and searched for the website of the local police and punched the non-emergency number into his phone.
To be continued…..
This post is fiction but the characters are people I follow on Twitter and by referencing to them I recommend (#FF) them to you. The story is just a different way of #FF’ing that gives me some pleasure. The personalities of my Twitter characters portrayed in this tale are hypothetical and in no way reflect their true professionalism and personal qualities.. it’s meant to be fun.