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Authors: Margaret Duffy

Dark Side

BOOK: Dark Side
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Table of Contents

Cover

Previous Titles in this series by Margaret Duffy

Title Page

Copyright

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Previous Titles in this series by Margaret Duffy

A HANGING MATTER

DEAD TROUBLE

SO HORRIBLE A PLACE

TAINTED GROUND *

COBWEB *

BLOOD SUBSTITUTE *

SOUVENIRS OF MURDER *

CORPSE IN WAITING *

RAT POISON *

STEALTH *

DARK SIDE *

*
available from Severn House

DARK SIDE
 
Margaret Duffy
 
 

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which is was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicably copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

 
 
 

First published in Great Britain 2013 by

SEVERN HOUSE PUBLISHERS LTD of

9–15 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, England, SM1 1DF.

First published in the USA 2014 by

SEVERN HOUSE PUBLISHERS of

110 East 59
th
Street, New York, N.Y. 10022

eBook edition first published in 2014 by Severn House Digital
an imprint of Severn House Publishers Limited

Copyright © 2013 by Margaret Duffy.

The right of Margaret Duffy to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Duffy, Margaret

Dark side : a British police procedural. – (A Gillard and Langley mystery; 17)

1. Langley, Ingrid (Fictitious character) – Fiction.

2. Gillard, Patrick (Fictitious character) – Fiction.

3. Women novelists – Fiction. 4. Murder – Investigation –

Fiction. 5. Detective and mystery stories.

I. Title II. Series

823.9'14-dc23

ISBN-13: 978-0-7278-8340-7 (cased)

ISBN-13: 978-1-78010-481-2 (ePub)

Except where actual historical events and characters are being described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental.

This ebook produced by

Palimpsest Book Production Limited,

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

ONE

T
here were several loud bangs and the ornate partition that separated the café-style front of the establishment from the wine bar at the rear where I was sitting, and through which the sun had been shining so beguilingly, plunged down in a waterfall of thousands of glittering shards of glass. It seemed as if I stared at this, fascinated, for quite some time but actually it must have been only for a second or so. In the next moment I was thrown over sideways on to the floor, my head colliding heavily with the leg of another chair. Everything became very confused, women screaming, men shouting, the pounding feet of panicking people. Then, the weight that had knocked me over lifted off and I found myself looking into someone's eyes, green like mine, only a matter of inches away.

‘You OK, Ingrid?' he asked.

‘I think so,' I said.

Somewhere outside, a motorbike roared away.

‘Police!' another man's voice called, penetrating the hubbub. ‘Everyone please calm down. Is anyone badly hurt?'

My very near, and also prone, companion, Commander Michael Greenway, formerly of the Metropolitan Police and now Patrick's boss at the Serious Organised Crime Agency, got to his feet, extended a hand and yanked me briskly to mine. It immediately became apparent that several people had been cut by flying glass, which was everywhere as a side window appeared to have been smashed as well. I grabbed a waiter, who was rigid with shock – I already knew his command of English to be limited – and managed to convey to him that we needed a first aid kit. Slightly to my surprise the bar possessed one and Greenway and I got to work, leaving the third member of our party, my husband Patrick, to police the incident.

‘They got away – far too many people for me to risk a shot,' Patrick said a little later, speaking to me over the heads of several people we had seated while they recovered from the shock and had small cuts dealt with. One woman who had been sitting quite close to the window was bleeding heavily from a gash to her face and Greenway was with her, trying to stem the flow with a dressing. Miraculously, no one had actually been hit by the bullets fired seemingly at random into the premises.

Rapidly approaching sirens blared and very shortly afterwards professional medics arrived and took over, followed, five minutes later, by the Metropolitan Police. The detective sergeant in charge went pale when confronted by a furious Greenway, brandishing his Serious Organised Crime Agency ID and demanding to know, with lavish use of expletives, what had kept them.

Patrick had been questioning bystanders and now returned to report that the driver, a man, or perhaps woman, had been wearing a crash helmet, its tinted visor making identification impossible, as had the gunman, riding pillion on the bike, a black Kawasaki with no number plates.

Greenway introduced the pair of us to the DS as ‘Patrick Gillard and Ingrid Langley,' adding that we were ‘colleagues' and leaving it at that.

We made brief statements and then left. It was then that I noticed the commander had a small piece of glass sticking out of his neck, blood trickling down and soaking into the collar of his shirt. Patrick and I steered him, protesting, back inside to have it removed and the wound treated.

All this while we were on leave, too.

I am an author by trade for most of the time. My exlieutenant-colonel husband's job description is that of ‘adviser' to SOCA, soon to be merged into the National Crime Agency, and my own part-time role that of ‘consultant'. To him, that is. He sometimes jokingly refers to me as his ‘oracle'. Patrick's experience after serving in special forces, followed by a period working for D12, a department of MI5 – we both did – seemed to be the desirable assets when he was offered this job. Also in mind, no doubt, was his ability to have an immediate affinity with any weapon handed to him, a talent for adopting all kinds of personas, and being able to get right inside the criminal mind.

On reflection, he would have made a very good, and uncatchable, crime lord, there being a dark side to his character that even John, his father, has recognized in him. I sometimes wonder, had he not been offered this position, whether he would have stayed on the straight and narrow or turned himself into some kind of maverick law-enforcer.

This went through my mind now as we sat at a table outside a coffee bar some fifty yards from the scene of the incident, not involved in the investigation for once, waiting for Greenway. Flocks of London pigeons which had been put to flight by the shots were still wheeling around the tops, and reflected in the many glass windows of the buildings. Patrick was seated at my side, his gaze ostensibly on the police personnel who were cordoning off the area with incident tape and shepherding away gawpers. Scenes of crime people were arriving. But in reality I knew he was in a world of his own. A serious face – grim now after what had just occurred, but transformed when he smiles into the boy I fell in love with at school – is a little careworn now, the thick black wavy hair greying. No, not a maverick – not now.

As if sensing that I was looking at him he turned, seeming to try to read my thoughts.

‘You wouldn't though, would you?' I said, speaking them aloud.

‘Wouldn't what?'

‘Ever work independently to the police to, say, bring mobsters to court that the conventional forces don't seem to be able to touch.'

A smile twitched at the corners of his mouth. ‘Life gets quite stimulating enough working as I am, thank you. Besides, I've done all that.'

I was aware that while a serving soldier in Northern Ireland he had been sent after wanted terrorists, bombers and murderers. And, sometimes, been under orders to ‘remove' them.

I said, ‘But if you were asked to?'

‘It could happen.'

I didn't feel that he had quite answered the question. Perhaps I shouldn't have asked. ‘Do you have any theories about this shooting – other than the obvious ones?'

‘Yes, I do, actually.'

He got to his feet and walked off, back in the direction of the café bar. I watched as he showed his ID and ducked under the incident tape, then stood in the road opposite the entrance and walked up and down a few times, having to go around a couple of ambulances, three police cars and a paramedic's motorbike, his gaze fixed on the inside of the building, perhaps working out the exact line of fire. Back on the pavement he crouched quickly, arms extended as if holding a weapon and aiming it. After standing still for a few seconds he went back inside the café bar, again showing his warrant card. They weren't taking any chances. When he reappeared a minute or so later he was with the commander.

‘Considering that you're on leave and this was supposed to be just a bit of socializing on our part, it was quite exciting,' Greenway said. There was an adhesive dressing larger than one might have thought necessary on his neck, which he now touched.

‘Coffee?' Patrick asked.

‘Why not? We can sit here in the sun and criticize what they're doing.'

‘I suggest the place in the arcade over the road. They do very good tea as well.'

Greenway looked a bit surprised but then shrugged and said, ‘Whatever you fancy.'

It was actually an Indian tea house, cool and peaceful after the summer heat, noise and traffic fumes outside. Patrick led the way, glanced around and made for a somewhat dim corner. We placed our order.

‘How often do you use that café bar?' Patrick asked his boss.

‘Quite frequently. As you're well aware, it's near the office and they also serve coffee in the rear bar where it's a bit quieter. I sometimes meet Erin here if she's up in town shopping as she likes the ambience of the place. But I'm careful not to stick to any kind of routine, if that's what you're asking.'

Erin, a one-time DS with the Met, is his wife.

‘You've already said you didn't see the gunman.'

‘No, I must have been looking the other way.'

‘Logic tells us that there are two or perhaps three possible reasons for the shooting. The first one is the most obvious, that it was a gangland attack against, say, a rival drug dealer who was in the building. I don't actually go for that as surely they'd have gone in looking for him, not just shot through the open doorway. The gunman had got off the bike, by the way. Or, second, that the proprietors hadn't paid protection money. The third is that you were the intended target.'

‘So that's why you wanted to come in here away from the street. It's far more likely that
you
were the target.' This was a reasonable comment given that the pair of us are known to be on several terrorists' hit lists and it is why Patrick is permitted to carry, at all times, a Glock 17 in a shoulder holster. Needless to say, it never makes an appearance while we are at home but is rarely far away from him.

BOOK: Dark Side
2.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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