(2002) Deception aka Sanctum

(2002) Deception aka Sanctum by Denise Mina Read Free Book Online

Book: (2002) Deception aka Sanctum by Denise Mina Read Free Book Online
Authors: Denise Mina
    “You see, he was being visited by a number of people with different religious convictions, and he joined anyone who came to see him. It may seem funny to you, but it actually reflects a very dangerous trait. He isn’t trying to please these people. He’s getting a hold over them. The Seventh Day Adventist was an extremely vulnerable man. His son had killed himself, and he wasn’t converted. To the man, that meant his son was going to hell, and Gow used that belief to torture him. He was prepared to make that sort of investment in controlling people for his own amusement.”
    The interviewer has stopped laughing. He sounds disappointed and offended, as if she has insulted his favorite comedian or something. He asks a question, and I realize that he’s goading her. This interview took place two months before Cape Wrath. It’s his first-ever interview, and he’s already guessed what eluded me for a year: that Susie has strong feelings about Andrew Gow. Now she’s talking quickly and defensively.
    “Not my skin. No, he didn’t. . . . That’s my job, giving nothing away. The purpose of what I do is objective assessment. . . . Well, it’s important for Donna’s safety. I’ve told her, but she won’t listen to me. He’ll hurt her, of course he will, that’s what he does. I don’t know if any appeals court could possibly refuse him now, after that poor student’s murder. That’s exactly why I’m giving this interview: I want people to know Donna isn’t safe. I want people to watch out for her when he gets out.”
    Even I know that this last bit is a piss-poor excuse for committing professional suicide. Donna wouldn’t read GLT, and I don’t suppose her friends would either. They didn’t print that comment. I expect the mag’s lawyers combed it out. It must have been sub judice at the time.
    “If Donna was a friend of yours, you’d be afraid for her, wouldn’t you? It’s not surprising she was attracted to him. Psychopaths are often compelling, as are celebrities, and Gow was both. . . . No, I’m not saying all celebrities are psychopaths. There are parallels, but I’m not saying it’s the same thing. Celebrities give us an instant connection because we have prior information about them, while psychopaths can anticipate things familiar to you and mimic them back so that they seem familiar. . . . They have little conception of other people as fully sentient beings, have a limited capacity to empathize. They think of other people as objects to be used and moved about.”
    Susie takes a drink while the interviewer asks something. I can hear him saying “Gow.”
    “No, look, I can’t talk about the murders or Gow’s history. You can get that information yourself, anyway. I have to be careful what I say, especially now that the appeal is coming up.
    “You shouldn’t make him out to be a hero, you know. Serial killers’re not heroes to the police or the families of their victims. They’re inadequates worshiped by inadequates. D’you know what he did to those women? I read once that the people who buy the records by American gangster rappers are generally middle-class white teenagers. Same thing. That luxury of distance.”
    The interviewer’s talking, coaxing Susie, and her voice gets closer. I think she’s looking at the Dictaphone. “No. No, I’m not afraid of Gow. He won’t come for me.” They made a lot of this phrase in the court case: whether Susie meant he won’t come for me, in other words, I’ll come for him, or whether she just meant he wouldn’t come. I’m glad they only had the printed interview to go on. From the intonation on the tape it definitely sounds like she’s hinting that she’ll get him.
    * * *
    There are books on her shelves up here, professional and sociology books and a couple specifically about women falling in love with prisoners and killers. The spines are broken and the top corners of the pages are dirty where Susie’s been doing that disgusting thing

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