Read Kennedy 04 - The Broken Circle Online
Authors: Shirley Wells
Tags: #police, #UK
|The Broken Circle|
|Jill Kennedy & DCI Max Trentham |
|police, UK (2010)|
Forensic psychologist Jill Kennedy and DCI Max Trentham investigate a crime in the quiet Lancashire village where Kennedy has made her home. A man with a dark past has been murdered after moving there from London.
While local residents are always wary of newcomers, one in particular seems especially determined to hinder the investigation.
From the Hardcover edition.
Also by Shirley Wells
Into the Shadows
A Darker Side
Where Petals Fall
Constable & Robinson Ltd
3 The Lanchesters
162 Fulham Palace Road
London W6 9ER
First published in the UK by Constable,
an imprint of Constable & Robinson, 2010
First US edition published by SohoConstable,
an imprint of Soho Press, 2010
Soho Press, Inc.
New York, NY 10003
Copyright © Shirley Wells 2010
The right of Shirley Wells to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication
Data is available from the British Library
UK ISBN: 978-1-84901-123-5
US ISBN: 978-1-56947-638-3
US Library of Congress number: 2009049927
Printed and bound in the EU
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
To my big sister, Linda,
HMP Styal doesn’t look like Holloway’s poor northern relation, but that’s exactly what it is. Half the prisoners are housed in red-brick villas left over from Victorian times when the site was used as an orphanage. Waite Wing, where Jill was due in exactly twenty-eight minutes, is home to the most violent offenders.
Naming the wing after Terry Waite seemed like an act of madness to Jill, given that the man had spent years in solitary confinement, often blindfolded and chained to a radiator. But better that than Purgatory Wing, she supposed.
It was only the second time Jill had been to Styal and, as on her first visit, the sight of the place took her by surprise. It was deceptively peaceful so that few residents of the affluent, leafy Cheshire suburb even knew the prison existed.
Her drive down from Lancashire had been relatively traffic- and incident-free, and those precious minutes before she had to be inside the building would give her enough time to study the runners and riders. She reached over to the back seat for her briefcase, grabbed her newspaper, opened it at the racing page, spread it across the steering wheel and ran her finger down the card. She paused on Manor Boy …
As she’d driven through her village to come here, she’d seen a police car parked outside Kelton Manor. She’d wondered if perhaps Bradley Johnson had complained about youths throwing litter into his landscaped garden.
A couple of weeks ago, Jill had been walking past the manor when Bradley had been clearing up.
‘A bloody condom now,’ he’d snapped, holding the offending article high enough for her to see …
The Johnsons had been in the village a little less than a year. Americans, they’d lived in London for seven years then bought the manor at auction, an auction Jill had wanted to win, sixteen months ago. Renovation work had begun immediately and the family—husband, wife and two sons—had moved in six months later.
Jill couldn’t claim to know any of them well, but she hadn’t taken to Bradley on their first meeting. He’d been all over her like a rash, touching her arm on every sentence and gazing at her breasts and legs.
‘Ah, the forensic psychologist,’ he’d said, impressed. ‘Gosh, honey, brains as well as beauty. Someone mentioned you and your work, can’t think who, and I automatically pictured a flat-chested lady with thick ankles.’ He’d touched her arm again. ‘Not a flat chest or a thick ankle to be seen. What a delightful surprise!’
‘The wonders of silicone,’ she’d responded, smiling sweetly.
He hadn’t known if she was joking or not, and had merely stared harder at her breasts in an attempt to satisfy his curiosity.
‘And you write books as well, I hear,’ he’d said. ‘Self-help books, aren’t they? Relaxation techniques and stuff like that? I must seek them out.’
‘Do you need help to relax?’ she’d asked.
‘No. No, of course not,’ he’d replied irritably.
He must have labelled her the mad forensic psychologist because any future meetings had been brief and a little wary on his part.
His wife, Phoebe, on the other hand, seemed a genuine, friendly woman, one who, when she first arrived in the village, had wanted to become part of the community. That had lasted about a month. These days, it seemed to Jill that she rarely left the solid stone walls of the manor.
The sons, Keiran and Tyler, were both studying at university and, although they’d be home soon for the Christmas holidays, they spent little time in Kelton Bridge …
Manor Boy. Jill had backed the horse a month ago and he’d been going well until he ran out of steam a few lengths from the finishing post. Perhaps he was worth a tenner. He was a good price so perhaps she’d risk twenty pounds on him. Or maybe even thirty.
Her phone rang and she glanced at the display. It was her mother, and it would have to wait.
Seconds later, a message notification came through and she hit the button to play that.
‘Now where are you?’ her mother’s plaintive voice demanded. ‘Never mind. Give me a call as soon as you get this, OK? I’ve had another thought about the party and I need to tell you all about it. I’ve decided it’s no good having a poky little hole-in-the-wall affair. Not when I’ve put up with the mad bugger for forty years.’ Her mother laughed at that. ‘Phone me the minute you can, love. Bye for now.’
Jill dreaded to think what ‘thought’ her mother had had about the party. In January, her parents would be celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary and her mother, totally ignoring her husband’s views on the matter, was determined to have the party to top all parties.
Forty years. As well as making Jill feel old, it was a reminder that her parents were no longer as young as she liked to think …
Pushing the thought aside, she phoned the bookie and placed her bets for the day. Then it was time to leave the sanctuary of her car and head for the building.
She should have prepared for this meeting, she really should. But how the hell did one prepare for a meeting with a woman who had murdered her own daughter?
Inside Waite Wing, the air was heavy with despair. It was also very noisy. Jill thought it had to be one of the most depressing places in the country. She wasn’t surprised there were so many issues concerning suicide and selfharm. She knew the gloomy statistics. Around eighty-five per cent of the inmates had serious drug problems; many had been stealing hundreds of pounds a day to feed their addiction. Forty per cent of the women had mental health problems and, even worse, almost sixty per cent had suffered physical or sexual abuse.
Jill was shown to a small room that held a square table and half a dozen plastic chairs. She sat at the table to wait.
When Claire Lawrence was finally ushered to the room, Jill realized, and it came as a jolt, that she felt sorry for her. Sorry for every woman confined in this godforsaken place. She must remember the crime this woman had committed and remind herself that sympathy was misplaced.
Claire was thirty, but looked much older. Pale skin sat loosely on her thin body. Her hair, ginger in the photographs Jill had seen, was almost completely grey, and her eyes were a dull, lack-lustre green.
She was wearing a navy blue jogging suit that dwarfed her small frame.
‘Hello, Claire.’ Jill got to her feet and offered her hand. ‘I’m Jill Kennedy. I believe you wanted to talk to me?’
Perhaps ‘wanted’ was too strong a word. Over the last eighteen months, various professionals had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Claire to tell them what she had done with her daughter’s body. A month ago, during one of those interviews, Claire had said that she would talk to Jill.
Claire ignored the proffered hand and sat down. Jill sat opposite. And waited.
On her left hand, Claire sported a tiny tattoo showing a dove carrying the name Daisy in its mouth. A butterfly was just visible on her right wrist.
‘Did you want to talk to me?’ Jill prompted.
‘Why not? I’ve talked to everyone else.’ Her voice was a thin rasp from years of smoking heroin off aluminium foil. ‘No celebrities like you, mind.’