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It seemed very odd that the crime scene technicians were dressed in protective suits and shoe covers. When Suzanne told the sergeant that she’d had a shower he heaved a huge sigh and closed his eyes. “Oh great. Didn’t they tell you not to do that?”

“Well, no.” As she answered, Suzanne, blushed to the roots of her hair. “They had told her, hadn’t they?” Beng so tired and confused by everything happening around her she simply wanted a shower and so she had one. She had been thoroughly stupid. She’d cleaned the bath and the wash basin and taken the shower curtain down. Sitting in the tub holding the shower head in her hand she’d managed but of course, she had now effectively destroyed any evidence that there might have been.

One of the technicians trudged upstairs with a small hard case but the rest of them turned and went back to their van where she could hear them grumbling. “We’ll dust for prints and swab around but it’s a waste of time,” the sergeant said. It should have been made clear that you were to stay out of there.”

“It’s my fault. I am so sorry,” Suzanne said. “It’s been a really stressful time and honestly I just didn’t think it through.”

“I’ll submit the stuff to the lab but I reckon the best thing for you to do is to try and put this down to experience, Mrs Lythgoe. It’s going nowhere.”

When he’d gone, she sat at the kitchen table and lowered her head onto her crossed arms. “What a total moron, I am. What a brain dead idiot. What was I thinking?”

Lucy sat beside her eyes lowered, chewing at her lower lip. “I should have said something. We were both idiots. Did they take the shower curtain away?”

“Yeah, they did. The look on that sergeant’s face spoke volumes. I think I will have to try and get over this. It’s not as bad as I thought. At least now I know it was you in the kitchen. It’s even odder in some ways though. I mean who would come and just wreck the bathroom?”

“You don’t think it could just have rotted or something? You know plastic sometimes becomes a bit brittle even though it doesn’t decay totally.”!

“But that would only happen when I pulled it on, surely?”

“Hmm, I guess so. Maybe it did and you didn’t notice.”

“Possible. Oh look, let’s go to Ginny’s. We can call in B&Q on the way and I’ll find a new one and we’ll just put it down as a puzzle. I bleached everywhere, even down the drains and in the toilet. They weren’t amused. Oh, shit what a pillock I am.”

It was inevitable that Jane Tripp would ring. “What were you thinking?”

“I know, I’m so sorry. Sorry for the waste of time and for the loss of evidence and everything.”

“Well, it’s too late to do anything about it. They’ve sent the swabs through from the drains and round and about but I understand you used bleach?”

“Yep. Thorough, that’s what I am.”

“Keep me informed if anything else happens and I’ll still have a word about your friend if she hasn’t turned up by tonight. Did you find a picture?”

“I did. I sent it through. It was from Lucy’s phone.”

“I’ll keep an eye out for that. Look, I know you’re probably feeling awkward and embarrassed now but don’t. The chances of them finding anything of any help was minimal anyway and you’ve been having quite a time of it. Just try and get yourself back together.”

As she turned off her phone Suzanne told Lucy that she could detect a note of pity in the DI’s voice. “She thinks I’m a daft old bat, doesn’t she? In fairness that’s how I’ve behaved as well.”

“I know you’re not and when we find Ginny she’ll change her tune.”

“Yeah. Right.”

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