|Carruthers' Demise, Chapters Twenty Two & Twenty Three (standard:drama, 2634 words) [13/24] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Mar 09 2012||Views/Reads: 1070/745||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Another murder has been committed, and if Chelsey Carruthers is main suspect, then her husband Martin is being regarded as an accessory.|
Chapter Twenty Two Carruthers felt belittled and betrayed. As Casey's agent, he'd no idea of any direct association between her and Goldhawk. When she'd first approached him as a wannabe writer, with what he thought was a promising manuscript, he'd taken her into his ‘stable' and negotiated a contract with Goddard and Co. Two of her subsequent novels had proved best sellers and he'd assumed that editor-in-chief, Goldhawk, had accepted her work on literary and commercial merit. To have that belief challenged by Jacqueline's denouncement of her and the implication that she'd gone behind his back left a foul taste. He'd taken Chelsey's derogatory comments about her writing as sour grapes at her rising success, but was there more to it than that? Jacqueline obviously thought there was. Yes, Casey was a hit with the public in her genre and Carruthers had thought it was a reflection on his own ability to spot talent, but she'd also been afforded an unusual amount of advance publicity, it wasn't common practice at all. And what was he to make of Jacqueline's referral to a ‘lesbian scorned?' It had immediately followed her accusations against Casey but when he'd questioned her on her utterance she'd remained tight lipped. It might have been more of a blow to his self-esteem had Chelsey's disappearance not held sway. Because as determined as he was to confront Casey over her behaviour, he needed to return to the New Forest, to find Foulkes and to track down Noades. Both could hold the key to locating Chelsey, and much as he shuddered at the prospect, only when the mystery was solved could he begin to tackle normality. He was acutely aware of the need to advise Manners of his actions, and no matter what the Inspector might make of them, he wasn't a prisoner; at least as yet. Carruthers sat in his car outside Jacqueline's gates and called Manners on his direct line. ‘I know you're not going to like this,' he began, fingers tapping the wheel, ‘but I've got my own life to live while this is going on, and as I'm not prime suspect I'm returning to the New Forest for a day or two – I thought you should be told.' ‘On the contrary,' came Manners' smooth reply. ‘I find that quite acceptable.' There was a pause and then a sneeze. ‘Are you on your way now?' ‘As a matter of fact, yes,' Carruthers said firing the engine. ‘Why do you ask?' ‘So that I know when to expect you. Shall we say Lyndhurst police headquarters then, around two pm?' Carruthers clutched his forehead. ‘What's going on?' ‘There's been a development.' ‘Which of course you're not going to tell me about,' Carruthers said caustically. ‘Correction; which I will tell you about upon your arrival. I wouldn't want to encourage you to use your mobile phone when driving.' ‘Thanks a bunch.' Carruthers terminated the call, his head beginning to throb. Surely any new development must include Chelsey. Had the man no compassion that he couldn't understand how his obsession with secrecy played on people's emotions? He arrived back in Lyndhurst two hours later, the journey having done nothing for his spirits – outbreaks of rain had prevailed throughout his drive, and now, stepping out of his air-conditioned vehicle he was aware of an increasing humidity. He'd over an hour to wait until his appointment with Manners, and after showering in his hotel room Carruthers took a brisk walk to the newsagent along the high street where the bold headline on the placard Click here to read the rest of this story (270 more lines)
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