Tag Archives: crime writing

Missing

As the heating clicked on and the house began to warm Suzanne went upstairs to have a shower and dress. Lucy put bacon under the grill and thawed out a couple of barm cakes and put the kettle on.

She shouted up the stairs when the bathroom door opened and she heard the clink of jars on the dressing table. “What time are the police coming round?”

“I don’t know. That detective Tripp didn’t say. She left me her number so we can ring after we’ve had our butties.”

Jane Tripp answered her mobile after a couple of rings. “I’ll try and find out for you and ring you back. Has anything else happened since I saw you last?”

“Oh, yeah. That’s another reason I rang.” It wasn’t but Suzanne realised that not mentioning the latest occurrence would seem odd.

“Right. What’s that?” Tripp wanted to know.

“My mate. You know, Lucy. Well, she’s turned up. She’s here now, she’s fine.” It didn’t seem the best idea to explain that she’d turned up in the middle of the night and scared the living daylights out of her so Suzanne fudged it a bit. “She’d had a barny with her bloke and took herself off for a bit. But, we’re just having a bit of breakfast. Oh yes, it was her that ate the chilli. She came round and helped herself. We’ve had a bit of a laugh over it. At least that’s one part of the puzzle solved.”

“Great news. I’ll make a note of that. Does she not know anything about the shower curtain?”

“No, nothing.”

“And nothing about the shower curtain?”

“God no, that wasn’t her.”

“Okay, I’ve just had an email from the crime scene team and they’ve got you pencilled in for mid-morning unless anything more urgent comes up.”

“How long will they be here?”

“Hard to say but now the puzzle about the food is solved we just need to get some swabs and prints from the bathroom. I have to say that’s an odd thing. I’m going to get one of the junior officers to trawl the computer and see if there’s been anything else like that. I have to tell you that in all honesty, it’s not going to be the highest priority, Mrs Lythgoe. The whole thing has whittled down now to just a bit of criminal damage.”

“What about Ginny, though?”

“Well yes, but that’s a different thing altogether. That’s a missing person. If you don’t have any word from her by tonight let me know and I’ll pass it on to the missing person department and they’ll have a think and see if it’s time to put out an alert and something on the websites and whatnot. Tell you what in the meantime why don’t you look out a recent picture of her in case we decide to go that way? Something full face, clear as possible.”

Suzanne turned off her phone and heaved a huge sigh. “How do you get them interested? Honestly, it feels as though they just want to do the minimum. I hate to say it and I know they’ve got a tough job and they’re short of staff and money and all of that but I’m worried sick about Ginny.”

Lucy leaned across the table to take her hand. “Listen, if they won’t do anything we will. We’ll find her.”

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Missing

Suzanne gave them their due. The detectives were attentive and kind. It was very late when they arrived, past ten o’clock and they apologised. The younger one, a man – though she couldn’t help thinking of him as a boy, was good-looking. He had dark blond hair, cut close to his scalp and she thought that was probably because it was curly. She could see how blond curls might not convey just the image he wanted, but she imagined his mum was sad about it.

The woman was older. She was what Suzanne thought of as no-nonsense. She had worked with ward sisters with the same attitude. They were not really, hard, or unkind but life and the daily dramas had worn away all the sentiment. Her hair was on the way to being grey and it was pulled back into what they used to call a French roll. It was ageing but probably very practical. They were dressed in suits, both grey, both a bit worn-looking.

Suzanne offered them tea – the woman – DI Jane Tripp, apparently, refused on behalf of them both though the boy, the detective constable, looked as though he’d have liked one.

‘Is it okay if DC Myers has a look at your bathroom?” Tripp asked.

“Yes, of course. The other policeman, the one who came before, did see it. He told me not to touch anything. I have to say though, I’d already flushed the loo. It was instinct, sorry.”

“It’s all right. I understand that for sure,” Tripp said. She turned to the boy “Get on that will you Billy? Just have a quick gander.”

Once he had gone, she turned back to Suzanne. “Okay, I want you to start from the beginning and once I’m up to date we’ll decide on the next move. It could be we need the crime scene techs to come in. Is there anywhere you can go to stay if we decide to do that?”

“I suppose I could find somewhere. I don’t know what to do I’m scared to stay here but I don’t want to be driven out. What if one of the girls comes round? My friend Lucy. I think she might have just gone off in a huff. Maybe – although the longer it goes on the less likely that sounds. Oh, I just don’t know. She was near to tears again. She bit them back. Listen…” Suzanne leaned forward in her chair. “All this…” She swept her hand towards the ceiling. “This is horrible, I won’t pretend otherwise, it’s thrown me for a six it has, but to be honest, I’m more worried about my mates.”

Jane Tripp closed her notebook. “From my side, it all feels a bit confusing. We don’t know, do we? Whether or not what is happening with your friends, Lucy and erm…” She flipped back a few pages in her book.

“Ginny. Virginia.” Suzanne said.

“Oh yes. We don’t even know if the two things are connected. Your friends haven’t been in touch, and I get that you’re worried about them, but I am at a loss right now to see how that could connect with someone breaking in and trashing your bathroom.”

Put starkly, Suzanne could see the woman’s point but surely there was a connection. There had to be. Her life was in turmoil, and it didn’t seem possible that all of this – all of this chaos, could be unconnected.

She took a deep breath and went back to the beginning and the DI listened quietly, nodding now and then. For Suzanne verbalising it somehow made the happenings of the last few days sound far less worrying and far less scary than they were.

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Interview with Tall Tales.

This was a fun interview with Sara from Tall Tales talking all about Crime Writing. You can find more of the interviews on thei Tall Tales website and on You tube. And if you fancy a Murder Mystery Party – and who wouldn’t – well they’re the people.

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