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Authors: Ed James

Snared

BOOK: Snared
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OTHER TITLES BY ED JAMES

 

DC S
COTT
C
ULLEN
C
RIME
S
ERIES

 

Ghost in the Machine

Devil in the Detail

Fire in the Blood

Dyed in the Wool

Bottleneck

Windchill

 

S
UPERNATURE
S
ERIES

 

Shot Through the Heart

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

Text copyright © 2015 Ed James

All rights reserved.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Thomas & Mercer, Seattle

 

www.apub.com

 

Amazon, the Amazon logo, and Thomas & Mercer are trademarks of
Amazon.com
, Inc., or its affiliates.

 

ISBN-13: 978-1477828441

ISBN-10: 1477828443

 

Cover design by bürosüd
o
München,
www.buerosued.de

 

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014955026

For Allan

Contents

Wednesday — 26th March 2014

Chapter One

Thursday — 27th March 2014

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

Friday — 28th March 2014

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Saturday — 29th March 2014

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Sunday — 30th March 2014

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Tuesday — 1st April 2014

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Chapter Sixty

Chapter Sixty-One

Chapter Sixty-Two

Chapter Sixty-Three

Chapter Sixty-Four

Chapter Sixty-Five

Chapter Sixty-Six

Chapter Sixty-Seven

Chapter Sixty-Eight

Chapter Sixty-Nine

Chapter Seventy

Chapter Seventy-One

Chapter Seventy-Two

Chapter Seventy-Three

Chapter Seventy-Four

Chapter Seventy-Five

Chapter Seventy-Six

Chapter Seventy-Seven

Chapter Seventy-Eight

Chapter Seventy-Nine

Chapter Eighty

Chapter Eighty-One

Chapter Eighty-Two

Chapter Eighty-Three

Chapter Eighty-Four

Chapter Eighty-Five

Chapter Eighty-Six

Chapter Eighty-Seven

Chapter Eighty-Eight

Chapter Eighty-Nine

Chapter Ninety

Chapter Ninety-One

Chapter Ninety-Two

Chapter Ninety-Three

Chapter Ninety-Four

Chapter Ninety-Five

Chapter Ninety-Six

Chapter Ninety-Seven

Chapter Ninety-Eight

Chapter Ninety-Nine

Chapter One Hundred

Chapter One Hundred and One

Chapter One Hundred and Two

Chapter One Hundred and Three

Chapter One Hundred and Four

Chapter One Hundred and Five

Chapter One Hundred and Six

Chapter One Hundred and Seven

Chapter One Hundred and Eight

Chapter One Hundred and Nine

Chapter One Hundred and Ten

Chapter One Hundred and Eleven

Chapter One Hundred and Twelve

Chapter One Hundred and Thirteen

Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen

Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen

Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen

Chapter One Hundred and Seventeen

Chapter One Hundred and Eighteen

Chapter One Hundred and Nineteen

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-One

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Two

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Three

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Four

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Five

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Six

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Seven

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-Eight

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Wednesday

26th March 2014

Chapter One

T
here he goes. He’s just about ready.” The man tugged his balaclava tighter before patting his companion on her shoulder. “You’ll see why they call it doggy style.”

The woman shrugged his arm off, twisting her body away from the cage, staring into the black of the rest of the large room. A tap dripped somewhere in the distance. “Right.”

The man frowned at her. “What’s up?”

“Nothing.”

The man walked up to the cage and rattled it, the clank still echoing round the room once he stopped. “Go on, boy, get it up her.”

The male in the cage moved away from the female, head bowed, avoiding eye contact with either of them, eyes locked on the dirty floor instead, on the mounds of their own excrement.

The man pointed at the cage, eyes on her. “What’s he doing?”

The woman glanced back at the cage, then shook her head. “This is a bit too cruel.”

“They’re animals. There’s nothing cruel about this.” The man rattled the cage again, gloved hands gripping the steel.

The male’s pupils contracted.

He pointed the Taser at the cage before sparking it. “Don’t make me use this again.”

The male focused on the weapon. It knew. It looked back at the female before groaning as it settled on its haunches near the edge of the cage between the female and them, protecting her. Its chest heaved as its breathing increased.

“Christ’s sake. We’ll never get these two to breed at this rate.” He sparked the Taser again and jammed it through the bars, catching the male between the shoulder blades.

It jerked up then sprawled over the floor of the cage, its whole body shaking.

The female crawled into the far corner, pushing up against the bars, tucking herself into a foetal position.

The male’s brown eyes pleaded with them as it lay prone in a pool of its own urine.

The man held out the Taser again, not quite reaching the male. “Want to be a good boy for me?”

The male growled at them, some motor control returning.

The man let out a sigh and looked around. He tapped her on the shoulder. “Do you want to help me here?”

The woman turned to look at the cage, at the pathetic animals inside, staring at them for a few seconds. “You using that thing isn’t going to help, you know.”

He inspected the Taser before nodding. “You’re probably right.”

“Come on, let’s leave them to it. That might encourage them more than your battering-ram approach.”

“You could be right.”

The male sat up and started clawing at the bars at the front.

The man put his face up to the bars, eyeballing the male, before pointing the Taser at the cage, inches from its face, and sparking it again. “Don’t worry, you’ll be here for a while, Paul.”

Thursday

27th March 2014

Chapter Two

V
icky Dodds pulled off the roundabout onto the North
Marketgait
, the dual carriageway giving her a clear run for once. The trees lining the road obscured a block of new flats in brown and blue climbing over the car park to the right, already half full.

Her phone started ringing as she shot through the green lights, past the pink brick of the Wellgate Shopping Centre, the towering multi-storey flats ahead of her surrounding a turreted building in the brown stone of old Dundee. She slipped into the half darkness of the tunnel just as her mobile stopped ringing.

“Shit, shit, shit.” She hit the brakes. The road ahead was jammed solid, what passed for morning rush hour traffic in Dundee. Fumes leaked into the car. She flipped the air conditioning to recycle mode and picked up the phone from its cradle.

David Forrester. No voicemail. The clock on the dashboard showed 8.22. She wasn’t late, yet. What did he want?

The cars ahead started trundling forward, their brake lights more on than off. She set off and dialled Forrester, phone on speakerphone, ringing and ringing.

She pulled left, more traffic queuing outside the long row of ancient jute mills, now all redundant and repurposed, opposite the brown and mustard ridges of the three-storey police station.

“. . . please leave a message after the tone.” The phone beeped.

Vicky held up the phone. “Sir, it’s DS Dodds just returning your call. I’ll be in soon.” Eyes on the road, she fumbled for the red button before tossing the phone onto the passenger seat.

Setting off again, she passed the police station before hanging a left onto West Bell Street, the grand Sheriff Court with its flat doric columns almost outmuscled by the surrounding concrete buildings. She took another left, navigating the twisting back road into the car park at the front.

A blue BMW 1-Series sat in her parking bay, gleaming in the sunshine.

“Not again . . .” She parked in the nearest free space, teeth clamped together. She grabbed her bag and phone as she got out, zapping the lock on her black Fiesta as she stomped across the small car park. She entered the double doors, the Tayside Police lettering above still outlined by the weathering.

The desk sergeant glanced up at her approach, his thick beard patchy in places but covering most of his pink face.

“Morning, Tommy.”

“I prefer Sergeant Davies but you know that, don’t you?” He ran a hand over his bald head, shaved to the pockmarked skin. “But what a beautiful morning it is.”

“Don’t try to sweeten me up.” Vicky held his gaze as she rummaged in her handbag. “Someone’s taken my space again.”

Tommy looked away, fingers combing his beard. “Aye, sorry about that. New lad started in your area. DI Forrester said it was okay today.”

“Check with me first, Tommy, all right?”

“He said he’d called you. Didn’t think you’d mind, what with you being so even-tempered and everything.”

Vicky tugged her ID badge over her head before zipping her bag and slipping it over her shoulder. “I’ll let it pass today, but tomorrow will be a different matter.”

“No bother.”

“Cheers, Tommy.” Vicky stepped over to the door, using her security card to gain access to the guts of the station. She hurried down the corridor, already bustling with uniformed officers, before slowing to a halt halfway.

Forrester was heading straight for her, his long arms and legs eating up the distance. He stopped in front of her, arms crossed and fingers drumming on his white shirt. He ran a hand through his hair, the colour almost all gone. “Morning, Vicky.”

“Morning, sir.” Vicky moved aside to let the foot traffic past. “Tommy Davies let someone park in my space again.”

Forrester leaned against the wall and nodded. “Aye, sorry about that. I did try calling. I’ve got that new DS starting this morning. Got to take him through his induction. Pain in the arse how he’s starting on a Thursday, but there you go. Bloody holidays and moving up from Glasgow.”

“So what’s that got to do with me, sir?”

“Means we won’t be having the briefing this morning. Got a couple of disappearances passed over from Local Policing. There’s one out in Forfar as well but that looks like a waste of time. I need you to look at the one in Invergowrie, though — looks
suspicious
.”

“Some Major Investigation Team we are. A disappearance isn’t exactly a major incident.”

Forrester laughed as he handed her an incident report. “Can’t have murders every day. We can only do what’s put in front of us.”

“Right, fine.” Vicky got out her notebook, folding the sheet and tucking it in. “So, who do I get? Tell me it’s Karen Woods.”

Forrester tilted his head to the side. “Well, actually, I was thinking young DC Considine needs a bit of coaching.”

Vicky bit the inside of her cheek. “I’ll eat him alive, sir.”

“That’s what I’m counting on.” Forrester grinned, a row of perfect white teeth interrupted by a sliver of gold at the edge of a molar. “Cocky wee bugger needs brought down a peg or two. Thinks he’s God’s gift to policing after arresting that taxi driver last month.”

“Fine, I’ll see what I can do.”

Forrester put a hand to her shoulder. “It’s what being a sergeant’s all about. You’re my only leader on the pitch, Vicky, at least until I work out if this new boy’s up to scratch.”

BOOK: Snared
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