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Authors: RC Bridgestock

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White Lilies

BOOK: White Lilies
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White Lilies
DI Jack Dylan [3]
RC Bridgestock
UK : (2013)
Two separate fatal road accidents killing three people are a cause
for concern. Then the body of an elderly lady is found in her home, with
a cause for suspicious death.
In
different locations, two girls are brutally attacked and it is thought
the events might be linked, but how is not clear. One or two local rogues
could be responsible and are prime suspects. Arrests are to be made
when a brutal attack on the occupants of the flat is discovered. One
person is dead with horrific injuries and another is fighting for life.
A young boy is stabbed and an elderly lady is taken hostage at knifepoint in a subway. Dylan is called to take charge.
Whilst Dylan is confronted by a madman, his partner Jen goes into labour alone and collapses unconscious. Both are life threatening situations that need a quick resolution, and once again Dylan is spinning numerous plates at once.

Caffeine Nights Publishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
White Lilies

 

RC Bridgestock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Caffeine Nights Publishing 2013

 

Copyright © RC Bridgestock 2013

 

RC Bridgestock has asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 to be identified as the author of this work

 

 

CONDITIONS OF SALE

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, scanning, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher

 

This book has been sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent 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.

 

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental

 

Published in Great Britain by Caffeine Nights Publishing

 

www. caffeine-nights com

 

 

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

 

ISBN: 978-1-907565-3
4-2

 

 

 

Cover design by

Mark (Wills) Williams

 

Everything else by

Default, Luck and Accident

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

Thank you to Emily & Maisy Murphy and to Kate Young & Matthew for your kind contributions to Jen's pregnancy story line and the subsequent birth storyline of Maisy Dylan
.
 

 

Also to our publisher Darren Laws and Literary Agent Monika Luukkonen for their continued hard work, dedication and their belief in the Dylan series. Not forgetting Mark (Wills) Williams for once again producing the most excellent art work for the 'White Lilies' cover.

 

And last but not least for the support of our family & friends, the Wight Fair Writers Circle, the other authors in the stable at Caffeine Nights Publishing and Betty Jordan (Carol's Mum) for the tea, cakes, Sunday dinners and doing the odd load of ironing – we couldn't have done it without you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

We dedicate this book to all our readers with our love, appreciation, and thanks for allowing us to be part of your lives. We hope that you will get to know a little more about one Senior Investigative Officer's real thoughts and feelings through reading the DI Dylan series of fictional tales.

 

And with love to our grandchildren Axel Maldini, Hermione Vegas Bridgestock and latest addition, Annabelle Rene Beckwith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The D.I. Dylan Books

 

 

Deadly Focus

Consequences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Lilies

 

Chapter 1

 

Today was one of mixed emotions for Grace Harvey as she sipped the Earl Grey from her china cup and admired the beautiful white lilies that sat on the corner of the dining table, where she’d left them after the florist's delivery a few moments earlier. Dancing above the floral arrangement was a helium balloon attached to a silver coloured ribbon
.
‘80 Today’, it read.

She wiped her hands upon her crisp linen napkin briskly before reaching for the small hand-written envelope nestling within the flowers. She opened it, placed the card on the table before her breakfast plate and put her glasses on the end of her nose to read the small writing thereon. ‘From Brian’,
it said
.

Staring beyond the card onto the front lawn, Grace  swallowed the lump in her throat and sighed. With tears in her eyes, she put the card back in its envelope and her glasses on the linen tablecloth beside the condiments. When was she going to learn? Why did she let herself carry on hoping that one day her only child would remember such an important milestone? He was out of the country the last time they’d spoken and as usual he’d asked her for money. In fact between them, Donald and Brian were going through her savings like a dose of salts, as Alfred, her late husband, would have said.

‘Well, I can’t take it with me now can I?’ she said out loud. ‘One day it’ll all be his anyway – and who knows, perhaps the money will make him happy for a while.’
Brian, her friend and financial advisor, regularly said so, when he advised her to
buy
or
top up her investment
funds.

‘Donald might ring later,’ she said to Winston, her King Charles spaniel, who placed his head on her knee, knowingly. She smiled down at him. The arthritis in her spine wouldn’t allow her to bend so easily to stroke his head, so she blew him a kiss. Seeing the acknowledgement of her action on his cute little face made her feel a bit brighter. The old dog cocked his head, looked at her lovingly, then closed his big brown eyes.

‘What would I do without you?’ she whispered.

Alfred had brought Winston home unexpectedly from his nightly constitutional, just before he died.

‘What was I supposed to do, leave him tied to the tree?’ she remembered him saying when she'd met him with a scowl. Alfred’s baby blue eyes, framed with grey brows that flew out like wings, had been close to tears as he handed her a note that confirmed the puppy had been abandoned. He adored animals. She had always been unsure about having a dog, but Grace shuddered at the thought of her life without Winston now. Winston moaned contentedly and settled comfortingly on her foot.

‘We miss them both don’t we?’ she said as she brushed away a tear that had fallen from the corner of her aged eye and onto her rosy weather-worn cheek.

Grace had lived in the same house in the quiet hamlet of Merton all her life. Yorkshire stone-built houses, just like hers, surrounded the village green, which was the centrepiece of this tranquil village community.

The Westminster clock that had been presented to Alfred on his retirement struck ten o’clock. She turned and read the inscription on the brass plaque that bore his name, pulled a hanky from her sleeve, leaned forward and gently dusted the metal until it shone brightly.

‘Time for our walk,’ she groaned, easing herself up from the chair. Winston instantly jumped at her words and, yapping persistently, he ran to the front door. She stood for a moment with her hand on the corner of the table until she felt a little steadier and put her hanky in her cardigan pocket.

Grace picked up her lipstick from the Welsh dresser in the hallway as she passed. Leaning forward on tiptoes to see her reflection in the mirror, she ran the pink gloss expertly around her lips. Smoothing her white wavy hair with the palm of her hand, she picked up her hat and popped it on her head. She collected her coat from behind the door, bent down for her smart black patent court shoes under the umbrella stand and picked up her gloves.

Winston’s lead and the bag of bread she’d prepared earlier for the ducks were hanging on the door handle. Although it was summer there was a cool breeze she had noticed this morning whilst she’d stepped out to take the eggs from the milkman.

‘Right little man, are we ready for off?’ she said to Winston with gusto as she reached for the catch on the door. He didn’t need asking twice as he darted ahead down the pathway, sat obediently at the wrought iron garden gate and waited patiently with a flurry of his wagging tail.

The locals had been known to say that you could set your watch by Grace and Winston’s constitutional. Theirs was a slow stroll around the green, incorporating the mandatory stop at the pond before calling at the village shop for the daily paper. Grace did so look forward to doing the crossword with her elevenses. For her birthday present, Brian had booked a table for them both at a restaurant in the nearby town of Harrowfield.

‘We’ll give the ducks a bit extra bread today Winston, since it’s a special day,’ Grace said, chuckling as she struggled to break the bread with her bent and swollen fingers. Winston wagged his tail as he looked on from the grass banking at the side of the pond trying his best to intercept the bread between his owner’s hand and the duck’s beak. She laughed at his antics. He’d never caught a piece yet, but still he tried, bless him.

‘Now,’ she said putting the bread wrapper in the bin, ‘it’s time to visit Mr and Mrs Taylor at the store. I think I’ll bake a cake,’ she said as they stopped at the roadside. Grace looked right then left. Winston sat at her feet and waited patiently for her command. Grace tugged at his lead.

‘Come on Winston,’ she demanded as she stepped onto the road but he refused. ‘What’s up little man?’ she asked. ‘Don’t be stubborn.’ Grace plucked him up from the kerb and tucked him safely under her arm with a little effort. ‘If you want some cake we’ll have to get the ingredients,’ she scolded, tapping  his nose as she crossed the road.

Suddenly she heard music. She froze. The speeding vehicle didn’t slow or swerve to avoid them. Grace and Winston were catapulted into the air and tossed into the gutter. The car disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. The noise that had spewed from it became inaudible in seconds.

Time seemed to stand still as Grace and Winston’s crumpled bodies lay motionless on the tarmac. An eerie silence swelled across the green like a creeping mist. Villagers slowly started to emerge from their dwellings to see what the commotion had been. On seeing the bodies, some people ran to Grace’s side. Others were too stunned, but there was nothing anyone could do. Mr Taylor shouted at his wife to bring blankets and call 999 as he bent over the bodies.

 

‘Road Closed,’ were the signs the young police constable and his mentor PC Tim Whitworth took from the boot of their marked police car.

PC Whitworth could see the villagers congregated in groups, watching. Some were being comforted by others. All had shock written across their faces.

‘How could the car driver not have seen them?’ he heard them say. ‘The road’s straight. There’re warning signs in the village to Reduce Speed – Twenty’s plenty.'

‘Scenes of Crime Officers are on their way,’ the younger officer said, hearing the whispers as he started the painstaking task of putting out traffic cones and the police incident tape to protect the scene.

But what could the witnesses tell the police? Very little; some heard music, others a thud. All of them heard the silence.

‘A fatal road accident. Driver failed to stop. Sadly an everyday occurrence,’ PC Whitworth told Mr Taylor, who brought the officer a hot, sweet drink.

‘You don’t happen to have a biscuit do you?’ PC Whitworth asked as he took the mug from Mr Taylor.

‘Err, I’m sure I can find one,’ he said.

‘Chocolate are my favourite,’ the officer called to the retreating shopkeeper, as he stood slurping his tea and perusing the scene. The officer had already decided how this fatal accident was to be written up on the accident report and subsequently for the inquest.

OLD LADY STEPS INTO ROAD IN FRONT OF ONCOMING VEHICLE. DRIVER UNABLE TO AVOID COLLISION.

In his experience of traffic accidents, he would expect the driver to contact the police after a press appeal.

PC Tim Whitworth walked over to a bench and sat down. Scanning the village green with an expert eye, he’d just started to write up the scene notes in his pocket book when he heard footsteps approaching him and looked up.

‘Ah, chocolate Hobnobs, my favourites,’ the officer said, as Mr Taylor opened the packet.

‘Would you care for one?’ Mr Taylor said, offering him a biscuit.

‘Too true,’ PC Whitworth said with a grin as he took the packet. He removed one from the top, stuck it in his mouth and placed the rest in his overcoat pocket. Mr Taylor stood with his mouth open.

‘Well, if I can be of any further assistance, I’ll be in the shop,’ he said huffily, and turned to leave the officer to his work.

‘Just a minute.’

‘Yes.’

‘Another brew wouldn’t go amiss,’ said PC Whitworth as he drained his mug.

Mr Taylor grabbed the drinking vessel from the Officer’s outstretched arm and, shaking his head, he walked at a pace back to the store. His old friend Grace and her dog Winston still lay in the road covered with nothing but a flimsy piece of plastic and PC Whitworth was acting as if he was on a picnic. What was the world coming to?

 

Detective Inspector Jack Dylan was sitting in his office unable to concentrate on his work. This was a rare occasion when Dylan pushed his work to the back of his mind as he thought about the future. He couldn’t believe that he, of all people, was to become a member of the exclusive club of parenthood, although it hadn’t been planned.

Dylan had promised Jen that her antenatal appointments were dates that work would definitely not interfere with. So far so good, but experience of life with Dylan told Jen not to hold her breath.
Jen had never known when she said goodbye to him in the morning if she would see him again that day or even that week.

There was no reason for her to believe that being pregnant would change Dylan’s attitude and dedication to the job he’d lived for, for the past twenty years. He’d spent long adrenalin-fuelled hours at incidents, some unforeseen, others pre-planned. Neither could he ascertain how long the enquiries to the incidents would take. Luckily for him, she understood that he was doing an important job, investigating serious crime and putting dangerous criminals behind bars. His job meant total commitment and she accepted that, because not only did she love him and it made him happy, but other people’s lives depended on him.

However, she still got angry and lonely sometimes. After all, she was only human. She worried how she would feel when the baby came along.

Jen worked in the admin department at the police station, which is where they’d met. Being in situ she would hear when a job came in and Dylan would call into the office with regular updates, but once junior was on the scene she would be at home, away from it all, and alone. She missed her mum, but Jen had to be practical. Her mum and dad would have been on the Isle of Wight, three hundred and sixty miles, away even if her mum hadn’t been killed last year.

She realised now that when you lost your mum, you joined a band of people that no one wants to belong to. Her mum would never see her grandchild and the baby would never know what it was like to have her granny's love. Jen ran her hand over her stomach and she felt a rhythmic twitch in her uterus. She giggled as tears pricked her eyes. Their baby had hiccupped.

Jen’s phone bleeped and it brought her out of her reverie but she took a moment to remember how happy her mum would have wanted her to be and it stopped her tears flowing.

Missing you x,
Dylan had texted.

Miss you more,
she texted back.

Jen smiled broadly at DS Vicky Hardacre who was sat opposite her at the duty clerk’s desk checking the CID rota. ‘You look like the cat that’s got the cream.’

‘About as pleased as you when you found out you’d got the overtime to get your implants done,’ she said with a chuckle.

Vicky grinned. ‘Good God, that happy?’ said the blonde haired detective who worked with Dylan.

‘I had to go to Mothercare on my way to work to get a larger size bra today,’ Jen whispered. ‘My boobs have grown a cup size already. Look at the size of this.’ Jen said throwing a plastic bag over the desk to Vicky.

‘Oh, wow.’ she said, pulling the nursing bra from within.

‘Look, I can fit me whole face in one of the cups.’

The pair laughed out loud.

‘Well, it’s official. I’m getting fat,’ Jen sighed.

‘At least maternity gear now isn’t frumpy. Middle-aged rags they used to be,’ said Vicky. ‘I’d even wear some of it. You gonna try hide your bump?’

‘Bit late for that isn’t it?’ Jen said, looking down at her prominent bulge.

The Divisional Administrator’s office door opened and Avril Summerfield-Preston stepped out.

Jen’s laughter faded as she grabbed the bra and the bag and stuffed it under her desk.

Avril Summerfield-Preston was nicknamed ‘Beaky’ because of the size of her nose. She was an extremely prickly and unpredictable character with an alarming reputation, a caustic manner and looks that could sometimes curdle milk. Her partner was the
Divisional Commander, Dylan's boss Hugo Watkins, which suited her perfectly. He was self-loving, vain and egotistic and the bane of Dylan’s life. Having but a few years in the job, he thought he should be Chief Constable.

BOOK: White Lilies
3.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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