To give you a taste of my book The Unseen, here is an extract from the beginning of Chapter 3.
Traffic jostled for position both sides of the motorway, never allowing Sean to test the five-year-old Mercedes allocated from the motor pool. Cars were constantly swapped between team members so no outside observer knew which vehicle belonged to whom. The front hubcaps were missing, one wing was re-sprayed, but the engine purred to perfection. He allowed an hour from his home in St Albans to the team’s covert operations office in Cricklewood. An hour of thought and contemplation, mostly on his work, but frequently on his ex-marriage and access to his daughters. Camilla claimed her infidelity had resulted from his neglect and constant absence at work. His crime, she insisted, and counter-accused with accusations of his own infidelity. Though innocent, he knew such accusations from an operational view point would be hard to disprove. In the balance lay unrestricted access to his daughters. For certain Camilla stayed determined to play the offended bitch and kept a constant presents by her insistence on Danielle to innocently intimidate and frustrate with French charm, beauty and sensual presence, a temptation from which he stood forbidden; plus her insistence on private education to cripple his finances. The rewards were no legal recriminations, no open court battles to twist his daughters’ love, instead he had them most weekends, had their happiness and the chance to see them grow.
Such thoughts drifted between car noise and the constant ring of his mobile, mostly from his office in Cricklewood, but this time from Cobbart, his boss.
“Sean, have something for you, urgent.”
Sean drove straight to the Serious Organised Crime Agency headquarters in Pimlico. The message had been urgent.
His chief’s office lay in its usual shambles of organised chaos. Files were piled high, the desk littered with notes and computer printouts ready for shredding.
Chief Superintendent John Cobbart sat in an untidy bundle of pinstriped suit, dandruff and half-rimmed glasses, his manner gentlemanly, his expression inscrutable. Sean gave respect to the man, he even liked him, but the divide of seniority always remained.
“How are those girls of yours?” Cobbart asked, waving him to a seat.
“Growing fast.” Sean sat. “One already thinks she’s a woman.”
“Ah, for days of long ago,” he paused. “You remember Superintendent Sammy Sinclair?”
“He had a bad end.” Sean visualised the man, balding, red-faced with a gut bulging from an enlarged liver. He had once lectured when Sean was a cadet at Hendon Police College. The man had shown a sharp-witted brain; drink only kills so much of a person.
His boss pushed the papers on his desk and looked uneasy. “He was a good copper, one of the Old Boys. And that particular club are unhappy with the way he was treated.”
This is Masonic, Sean thought uneasily and said, “Suicide is a lonely, desperate act. The man drank himself to hell.”
“He had his reasons, though I question whether he made his own exit.”
“The coroner said he did.”
Cobbart’s expression changed and for the first time he looked human enough for Sean to realize the man suffered emotions.
“Sammy had a daughter, Lizzie, from a marriage long in pieces,” Cobbart said. “Lovely child.” He shifted in his chair, eyes downcast. “She was my goddaughter. A year ago Lizzie was murdered. I want you to investigate it along with another unsolved murder. At the same time, I want the true circumstances surrounding Sinclair’s death. I’m certain they’re linked.”
“SOCA doesn’t do murders.”
“Not officially, not unless they’re involved with organised crime.” Cobbart cleared his throat. “If you solve the tragedy of the Sinclair family I can guarantee the Old Boys will be forever grateful. Don’t under-estimate that gratitude or their power.”
“I’m a new boy on the block, John. I’m not a Mason, not part of the Old Boys’ network and I never will be. Besides that, I’ve Operation Back Door in progress.”
Cobbart’s big white teeth appeared in the troll smile from which he earned his nickname, a cynical smile edged with devious interpretations. “Operation Back Door is looking at the trafficking of assassins for use by organised crime, correct?”
Sean nodded. The guy knew it was correct.
“Perhaps one of those assassins has been used in these murders.”
“But possible. Therefore I’m letting Operation Poor Girl run in tandem with Operation Back Door. I’ve even managed to get limited funding.”
Sean sighed. He had no doubt of the power and influences that Cobbart and the Old Boys represented. He also had no doubt he was being thrown into crossfire between the politically correct paper fillers and the Old Boys’ Club. From either side he was on dangerous ground. At the same time, Cobbart would not have placed this on him without absolute trust in Sean’s loyalty. Shit.
“What of the other murder?” Sean asked by way of acceptance.
Cobbart’s expression showed brief satisfaction, then darkened. “Like Lizzie, the other woman was attractive and successful. When Sinclair retired on medical grounds, he investigated his daughter’s death and linked both. Each killing was extremely brutal; both women were computer buffs. Both the killings were in London and both are on the shelf. That is totally unacceptable.”
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