Choose to Kill by Emmy Ellis

Choose to Kill by Emmy Ellis

Author:Emmy Ellis [Ellis, Emmy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2020-01-14T22:00:00+00:00

Chapter Ten

The Past

The missing woman was found today. Dead. She’d spoken to Oliver the minute he’d gone near her death site. He’d expected that, but not the fact that she was so…insistent, so pushy in getting through. She was the closest any spirit had ever got to him—her presence was right there, right beside him, next to him, in him—and he had to take a moment to decide whether to ask her to back off or to just let her remain where she was. He chose the latter, thinking that if she got any closer, he’d put some distance between them.

He stood beside Langham on the edge of a boggy field, at the fringes of a forest that seemed to stretch ahead for miles, thousands of tree trunks, the light in between them vertical slits of brightness where the sun had managed to sneak through. It was odd, standing there on a glorious, if chilly day, when a body was sprawled at their feet. She was partially clothed—top half intact, light-blue blouse, navy suit jacket, her lower clothes missing, including her shoes. He knew from the CCTV image that she’d had on a beige pencil skirt, the hem just sitting at her knees, and a pair of low-heeled courts that had appeared black. She’d worked as a secretary, and her briefcase was beneath her head, a hard, obscene rendition of a pillow.

What he found hard to swallow was seeing a corpse in the flesh. He had to accept the information that she was there, a shell of what she’d previously been—someone’s wife, mother, sister, aunt…

He shut his emotions off and concentrated on what she wanted to say. It wouldn’t do the investigation any good if he allowed himself to get upset by the swamping feelings regarding the hole that now gaped in the lives of those she’d left behind. A hole she hadn’t dug or expected to be put in.

“He’s a bum,” she said. “A strange little bum I’d seen before but hadn’t really taken any notice of. I’d noticed him, yes, hanging around outside the offices where I work, but he hadn’t posed a threat. I thought he’d been waiting for a lift, because he was always there after work.”

Her words were followed by pictures, and Oliver saw the man as she had on her last day, all waistband hanging halfway down his arse, black baseball cap perched on a head of unruly dark curls. And he was a bum, or at least looked like one, someone who didn’t care for his appearance much, or didn’t have a lot of money to dress better. But Oliver sensed he had a job, some meaning to his life other than following the woman and grabbing her down an alleyway.

“He brought me here in his car,” she said. “He’d parked it at the end of the alley. A beat-up Ford Fiesta, red, the paintwork dull, rusty on the front grille and around the rear light casings. He put me in the boot, taped my mouth up, taped my wrists and ankles.


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