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Authors: Michael Joseph

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Private Investigators, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Murder, #Thrillers, #Pulp

Death in July (21 page)

BOOK: Death in July
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Chapter 39

 

'Sign here, here, and here...'

Sam and Benjamin took the pens offered to them and scrawled their signatures in the relevant places. The thin, humourless man on the other side of the desk collected up the pieces of paper, studied them and grunted reluctant approval. He peered over his glasses at the two men.

'You do understand what this means, don't you? You are never to talk about this incident to anyone.'

'We get it,' replied Sam, 'but why the big deal about an accident?'

The man looked at Sam impatiently.

'Put simply, it looks bad. Shooting an unarmed man, accident or otherwise, doesn't reflect very well on the army...no matter how long ago it happened.'

The man rose from his chair.

'So, gentlemen, I think we've completed our business.'

Sam didn't move.

'Not just yet,' he said. 'There's one thing I still want to know.'

The man gave him a stern look.

'Mr Carlisle, you are in no position to-'

'Do you want the press finding out that your organisation kidnapped a law-abiding citizen and held him against his will, blindfolded and bound another-'

The man sighed and sat back down.

'Make it quick, Mr Carlisle.'

'Karl Schenker, how did he find out the names of those men? Geoffrey Compton didn't name them in his letter. He didn't even give his own name.'

The man narrowed his eyes at Sam.

'The Germans heard rumours about the incident in the years following the war. They investigated for themselves, came across a copy of the photo of the soldiers on the tank, had it confirmed they were the men involved, and traced their names. Before it could get any further, we got wind of it and persuaded them to drop the matter in the name of diplomatic relations. Apparently, they never threw out their file, and when Karl Schenker started snooping around, a sympathetic clerk dug out the information for him.'

The photo.

Sam had his final answer, the remaining piece of the puzzle. In Geoffrey's letter, he had stated six men were involved in the incident. Schenker had only tracked down five, all from the photo, hence the question mark. He didn't know the final name because that person had been behind the camera, taking the photograph.

It was that fact that had saved Joe Sale's life.

 

***

 

Jackson was waiting for them when they came out.

'Everything okay?' he asked.

Both men nodded.

'How is Joe Sale?' asked Sam.

'He's good,' replied Jackson cheerfully. 'He's out of hospital and back home. His grandson asked me to pass on his thanks.'

'And Karl Schenker?'

Jackson turned a little more sombre.

'He'll live, but he'll be spending a long time inside. We can't get him for the death of Benjamin's father...'

Sam glanced at Benjamin. He had been quiet since they left the hospital last night.

'...but we can for the assault of the policeman in the hospital and the attempted murder of Joe Sale. We're also building up the evidence on him for the other deaths.'

The three men walked down the steps of the Government building into warm, glorious sunshine, the storm of the previous night just a distant memory.

'Thanks for getting my gun back off that lot, Detective,' said Sam, cocking his head back up the steps. 'I think we might have been in trouble without it.'

'I forgot you had it,' replied Jackson. 'I was running out of ideas when you opened up. One question, though. Why did you take so long to shoot? It was obvious Schenker wasn't going to back down.'

Sam thought about it. He had wanted to give Schenker every chance to change his mind, even when he had the syringe pressed to Joe Sale's arm. So, what had been the final straw?

'The moment he started telling Joe about Erica. Joe was prepared to die for his mistake, but knowing Erica had also died because of him would have been too much to take.'

Sam had done it to prevent another pointless death, to give Benjamin some form of justice, to save Joe Jr from heartache.

Yet Erica Wright had been the one true innocent in all this.

She had paid the ultimate price.

Most of all, he had pulled the trigger for her.

 

***

 

Jackson headed back to the police station, leaving Sam and Benjamin to walk along the beachfront by themselves. They strolled in silence, feeling the fresh sea spray on their faces, listening to the coarse sound of gulls crying overhead.

'What are you thinking, Benjamin?'

Sam had to ask. The man was troubled.

'It's just hitting me, Sam,' sighed Benjamin. 'The way one solitary action can impact on so many lives. All the people involved at the time...those who followed afterwards...even us in the present day. So many people affected by a single mistake. All of us trying to rectify it in our own small way.'

Sam nodded. He knew what Benjamin meant, but what was there left to say?

They were approaching the Barton Arms. Sam stopped, unsure if Benjamin would go along with his suggestion.

'Benjamin, why don't we toast your father?'

Sam watched him study the pub carefully. He turned back to Sam and smiled.

'Let's have a drink to all of us.'

 

THE END

 

###

 
Also by Michael Joseph
A NEW DAWN RISING
 

The prequel to DEATH IN JULY introduces the reader to former undercover cop Sam Carlisle. Haunted by the tragic loss of his wife and young daughter, Sam's only companion is the ever-present bottle of whisky he uses to numb the constant pain and terrifying nightmares. However, his anguish shows no sign of relenting, and his money is beginning to run out...

 

His fortune appears to change when he intervenes in a mugging and an impressed onlooker makes him an unusual proposition. Wealthy businessman Carl Renshaw has been receiving sinister threats and is looking for protection. After witnessing Sam in action, Carl offers him a job as his personal bodyguard. Despite his reservations, Sam accepts, swayed by the lure of distraction and a regular income. An opportunity to move on and make a fresh start.

 

However, when Carl is murdered shortly afterwards, the police suspect Sam is responsible, forcing him to hunt down the real culprit himself. His journey takes him deep into the local criminal underworld, where he discovers Carl's life was a tangled web of shady deals and dangerous enemies. As Sam delves deeper, his own life comes under threat from someone determined to silence him before he can reveal the truth. In a frantic finale, Sam faces a race against time to solve the mystery and prove his innocence.

 

A NEW DAWN RISING is available on
Amazon Kindle
.

 
 
SEARCHING FOR HOPE
 

On a bitter January night, private detective Sam Carlisle steps out of a nightclub and stumbles across a severely wounded man prostrate on the freezing ground. Despite Sam's efforts to save him, the stranger dies in his arms, uttering three words before taking his final breath.

 

Help. Me. Find.

 

In the days that follow, the tragic encounter plays increasingly on Sam's mind. Who was the victim? What was he trying to find? With the police investigation drawing a total blank, Sam searches for the truth himself, determined to carry out the dead man's cryptic final request. However, following in the footsteps of a murdered man brings plenty of danger of its own.

 

Searching For Hope is the third mystery thriller featuring former undercover cop Sam Carlisle, one in which he finds himself drawn into a perilous world of unscrupulous characters, dark secrets and a family torn apart by tragedy and betrayal.

 

SEARCHING FOR HOPE is available now on
Amazon Kindle

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