Blood Substitute

Blood Substitute by Margaret Duffy Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Blood Substitute by Margaret Duffy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Margaret Duffy
Sort of an oppo. Good. Can I have his number? … Yes, we’re on the job as of tomorrow morning …’ He waited. ‘Thanks. I’ll be in touch soon.’
    I had just come to the conclusion that Greenway knew perfectly well how far Lydtor and Portishead are from London.
    â€˜So, leaving aside the sadism bit for now, why carve your initials on someone?’ Patrick said when we had rearranged our time of arrival to the next day with Superintendent Reece. ‘And is it a coincidence or not? Robert Kennedy or someone completely different? Is that why Carrick wants us on the job and has persuaded his sort-of chum in Bristol to pull strings? Is he hoping that we’ll be able to handle any involvement of his father in this with more sensitivity that anyone else?’
    â€˜No to the last question,’ I said. ‘He’s hoping we’ll get the right results.’
    â€˜We have some fairly interesting stuff to tell him already.’
    I thought that, with bombs involved, this was an understatement.
    James Carrick lives quite close to Hinton Littlemoor, where, as previously mentioned, Patrick’s father is rector and where we were staying the night, so we arranged to meet him in the Ring o’ Bells which fronts on to the green in the village and is, as Patrick once put it, ‘only a short staggersworth from the rectory’. Carrick brought his wife Joanna with him.
    â€˜I told her everything that’s gone on,’ he explained. ‘I can’t be doing with sneaking out to meet people, especially when they’re her friends too.’
    â€˜Quite right too,’ said Joanna, a vivacious red-head, robustly. ‘I used to be your sergeant, after all.’
    â€˜Any joy at the farm?’ Carrick asked us.
    I related the full story while Patrick organized their drinks.
    â€˜But it’s bloody mind-blowing!’ James burst out when I had finished. ‘What did this character look like? The one who told you Archie was dead.’
    â€˜Around five feet ten and of stocky build,’ I told him. ‘Thick grey hair that was probably once fair, blue eyes, fresh complexion. He spoke with a Scottish accent.’
    â€˜Like mine?’
    â€˜Yes, similar.’
    â€˜From the description it could be Archie himself,’ Carrick muttered. ‘But as you said yourself, we won’t know until we hear back from the local authorities regarding who pays the council tax. He’s a distant cousin of my father’s on the Carrick side. I’ve never met the man but he could well have been on the boat when Robert went overboard.’
    Joanna said, ‘You could ask Ross, Lord Muirshire.’
    â€˜Aye, I will. But don’t forget, it happened a hell of a long time ago.’
    â€˜But the suitcase, James,’ she said. ‘What on earth was that for?’
    â€˜God knows.’
    â€˜Insurance,’ Patrick suggested. ‘In case “friends” of your father’s turned up looking for him.’
    â€˜Which rather puts Archie in a different bracket from someone just living quietly in retirement on Dartmoor,’ I commented.
    There was a reflective pause before Patrick said, ‘I gather it was you who put in a word about us with regard to the investigation into Cliff Morley’s death.’
    â€˜I did, but Paul’d already said he’d like SOCA on the job. I hope you didn’t mind.’
    â€˜Not at all. It sort of keeps it in the family.’
    â€˜I haven’t mentioned any possible connection with the initials and anyone in
family. Until evidence turns up that makes a connection, that is.’
    â€˜No, of course not; it might muddy the waters and waste a lot of time. Tell me, did the records give your father’s latest known address?’
    â€˜No, it said “of no fixed address”. I found that strange.’ Carrick then said bitterly, ‘But I’m being stupid as that’s the

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