Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers by Patricia Hall Read Free Book Online

Book: Blood Brothers by Patricia Hall Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Hall
Tags: British Detectives
gross indecency, after-hours drinking, soliciting …’
    ‘Not enough, not soon enough, not great enough efforts, in fact, as far as I can see, completely ineffective,’ Amis came back hard. ‘You’ve still got detectives roaming the streets day and night running their own protection rackets, consorting with known criminals as they please. It’s getting the whole Metropolitan Police Force a bad name.’ Amis swivelled angrily in his chair and banged a file on to the desk in front of him while Jackson subsided back into his seat with what sounded more like a sob than a sigh.
    ‘It’s going to take time, sir,’ he said. ‘Soho is like a hundred year old cesspit that needs draining, but we have made a modest start. I’m concentrating on the homosexual pubs and clubs this month. I want them closed down …’
    ‘That’s a minor issue,’ Amis snarled. ‘The rest of it’s entrenched, isn’t it, run by men making a fortune out of vice and racketeering? You’ve had time enough to make an impact since the scandal a year ago and nothing’s happened. So as from now things are going to change. We have a target. It’s perfectly obvious that Barnard is still thick with the Robertson clan and Ray Robertson seems to be pushing the boat out with Reg Smith, who runs just about everything south of the river. We’ve got no intelligence on what they’re planning, although I’m sure Sergeant Barnard could give us chapter and verse if he chose. But he doesn’t choose. So I’m going to give you some extra help, with the specific brief of pinning Barnard to the floor. I want him out. If possible I want him in the dock with Ray Robertson. It’s where he should have been years ago. He’s a disgrace.’
    ‘But with Georgie about to go down …’ Jackson ventured. ‘That’s the worst of them out of the way. I’d begun to think we were making progress even in that area.’
    For a second Amis seemed to hesitate but then changed his mind. ‘Not with Smith involved,’ he said. ‘If he’s thinking of linking up with Ray Robertson they’ll have an army at their beck and call. Things can only get much worse. You’ll concentrate on Robertson and I’ll get our boys south of the river to put pressure on Smith.’
    ‘So this extra help?’ Jackson asked, his voice slightly strangled. ‘Who have you got in mind?’
    ‘DS Vic Copeland,’ Amis said. ‘He’s perfect for the task. He’s had army training. He’s on the square, so he can be trusted. He blotted his copybook, according to the City of London, but he’s very happy to transfer to the Met and start with a clean slate. He can start straight away. But I don’t want you getting him bogged down in trivial stuff. His brief is to watch Barnard, find out what’s going on with him and Robertson, and report back. I want a weekly report, at least.’
    ‘Copeland?’ Jackson looked even paler. ‘His reputation … He was lucky not to be charged with manslaughter after that case in Smithfield.’
    ‘He cuts corners, I wouldn’t deny that. But he cuts them in the right direction, not like the bloody vice squad. Copeland was trained in a hard school. But isn’t that what you need? Nothing else has worked in Soho. It’s time to come down hard. He’s the man for the job. He’ll report to you, of course, but he’ll report to me too. I want results this time. No more pussyfooting around. I want Barnard out and if possible alongside Ray Robertson, in the dock where he belongs, with his blasted brother.’
    ‘Sir,’ Jackson said faintly.
    ‘This discussion goes no further than these four walls of course,’ Amis said getting to his feet. ‘If you want a private word you can invite me to your lodge, away from prying eyes. We can even invite Copeland as a guest if we need a chat away from the job. Anything else of interest I should know about?’
    ‘A very odd murder,’ Jackson said, his voice slightly strangled. ‘Someone tried to dump a body on that huge building

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