By Tania Carver

ISBN-10: 0748116419

ISBN-13: 9780748116416

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Pushed her hair behind her ears, arranged her neckline. Pulled her top away from her chest, allowed air to travel down there, stop it sticking. Eventually, with nothing more to occupy them, her hands came to rest in her lap like grounded birds. The signal that she was finally ready to talk. ‘So . ’ She glanced at him. His face was immobile. Waiting. ‘I’ll start. It’s been . . OK. Yeah,’ she said, as if convincing herself, ‘OK. Josephina’s doing well. I’ve left her with her . . with Eileen and Don.

She’ll either come back on her own, people said, or she won’t. No one knew what to do next, apart from hope Julie sent a postcard from somewhere hot and far away. ’ Phil turned at the voice. Detective Chief Inspector Ben Fenwick was walking up the gangplank, his blue suit, gloves, boots and hood somehow not obscuring his smugness. ‘I think so, sir,’ said Phil, knowing that ‘sir’ gave the pretence of deference Fenwick liked. ’ Fenwick nodded, his face a mask of professional concern. ‘Yes. Right,’ he said, standing beside Phil and looking down at the body, wincing.

But take him through it again. You never know, something might trigger a memory. ’ The officer nodded, turned her attention back to the seated man. Phil turned back to the boat. He couldn’t see the body for the lip of the boat’s side but he knew it was there. Mickey Philips came and stood alongside him, his eyes as focused as Phil’s, his hood pulled down. The departure of Phil’s previous DS had been traumatic, murdered in the course of work, an act which had devastated the whole team. He knew Mickey Philips was aware of that, knew his attempts at humour, however misplaced, his strained bonhomie, were just his way of trying to fit in.

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The Creeper by Tania Carver


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