|Carruthers' Demise, Chapters forty two & forty three (standard:drama, 1440 words) [23/24] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Sep 18 2013||Views/Reads: 2961/634||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|It seems to all and sundry that the kidnap and murder case has been solved. Now Inspector Manners realises he is wrong. But is he too late?|
Chapter Forty Two Inspector Jack Manners was hitting the pedal as if his life depended on it – at any rate his career certainly did. He'd been slow, too slow to assess the situation in its entirety. He'd missed some vital pointers; probably because he'd allowed his dislike of Carruthers and the parties involved to cloud his reasoning. Unprofessional, possibly, but unavoidable? Maybe. But then he disliked the literary world in general – particularly the fictional side of things, and the fancy, arty-farty types who resided in it. Higginbotham had thought the case done and dusted, that they'd found the killer of both Goldhawk and Foulkes, but as Manners realised now, that with Frampton Williams' death the case had only been partially solved. Stapleton's Demise had provided the final, large element of the puzzle. He'd done some delving into an old case, read up on it and then rummaging through Casey Jennings' home in her absence, had found an incomplete manuscript in her desk. He'd forced himself to read what he hated most, namely fiction – albeit fleetingly, but the parallel had been there, staring out at him, confirmation of his rising suspicions. It had been a tale written with accentuated bitterness – and with a pounding head he'd drawn the final conclusion. He'd heard from Higginbotham when he'd been less than twenty miles from the area – and with the country bumpkin sergeant so cocksure he'd solved the case had had to stop him right there. He hadn't leveled with him on what he knew for sure – that there was a vicious murderess on the loose and that she was about to strike again. To have done so would have endangered any recognition he might receive for solving the case – and that in turn would have meant a closing of the door to any chance he had of that elusive promotion. No, he'd instructed him to await his arrival in Lyndhurst, gambling that he had sufficient proximity to prevent another fatality – thus enabling him to claim the credit. Manners exited the motorway, almost shunting a slow moving three wheeler out of the way in his haste. Less than ten minutes he estimated would see him in Lyndhurst. Manners couldn't wait...   Chapter Forty Three ‘I can understand if you don't want to talk about it ...' Carruthers swung the Range Rover into the lane and gave a sideways glance. Chelsey, hunched alongside him, her golden hair lank, gave a long exhalation. ‘We'll get to it in a bit,' and then with a gradual head movement, ‘thanks for coming after me, but I would have preferred it to have been without Casey's help.' ‘What was I supposed to have done?' Carruthers' voice carried more intensity than he would have wished and he applied more acceleration than he'd intended, needing to break sharply at the bend. ‘I couldn't leave her at Adrian's mercy – or lack of it, this business has had an effect on her too, you know Chelsey. Damn it, what happened to turn him from a moron into a monster?' ‘I said later ...' Chelsey clamped a hand to her forehead. ‘Let me get back to the hotel, get washed and brushed up – maybe sleep a while and then get my thoughts into gear – and then I'll try to explain what I think caused it. And as for Casey Jennings I don't want to hear one more damned thing about her.' Carruthers allowed his eyes to leave the road for a second. ‘Perhaps now this is all over we could manage a proper holiday – give you a chance to clear your head before you do any more scribbling.' ‘Huh – guess I won't be doing much of that for a while ...' Chelsey's hand tightened on her brow, her nails etching tiny indents, then she turned to him sharply – ‘I need time on my own, Martin ...' Click here to read the rest of this story (93 more lines)
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