Cold in Hand

Cold in Hand by John Harvey Read Free Book Online

Book: Cold in Hand by John Harvey Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Harvey
Tags: Mystery
train down that morning. Didn't get back here till ... till after it happened."
    "You won't mind if we have a word? Just to check?"
    For a moment, it looked as if she were about to protest, but then she slumped back against her chair. "Suit yourself. Upstairs, back."
    Marcus Brent's room was small and dark, the curtains closed. It smelt of tobacco and dope and unwashed clothes. Posters of rap stars, nude women, and Premiership footballers filled the walls. A stereo, a bunch of CDs, PS3 and a small TV. Jeans across the foot of the bed, T-shirts on the floor. Several pairs of trainers, Adidas, Nike. A crumpled can of Coke.
    Marcus stirred when Resnick entered the room and pulled the covers farther over his head.
    "Marcus," Resnick said.
    A grunt and nothing more.
    With a quick movement, Resnick pulled the covers away. "Rise and shine."
    "What the fuck?"
    "Lovely day. Time you were up and about. Besides, haven't you any classes, lectures?"
    Marcus pushed himself up onto one elbow. "What you gonna do? Arrest me? Skippin' off?"
    Resnick smiled. "You know who I am, then?"
    "Smelt you when you come through the door."
    The smile disappeared. "The day your sister was killed, where were you?"
    Wearily, Marcus told him: exactly as his mother had said.
    "If I get in touch with the college, someone will confirm that?"
    "Try it and see." He lay back down and yanked the covers over his head.
    "Nice meeting you." Resnick closed the door and went back downstairs.
    "Satisfied?" Tina Brent said.
    "Michael, where's he live when he's away?"
    "Some student house in Camberwell."
    "Best let us have the address, just to keep things tidy."
    Catherine Njoroge wrote it down. Resnick thanked Tina Brent for her time.
    Howard Brent was on the pavement outside, smoking a cigarette. Flowers, most, but not all, wrapped in cellophane, rested up against the low wall, along with several teddy bears and a cloth doll. Expressions of sympathy on small, decorated cards.
Never forgotten. Luv Always. Kelly—U R the Greatest. Rest in Peace.
Others, in plenty, had been left at the site of the shooting.
    Brent looked at Resnick with a taunting sneer. "Word is, you and the cop who was shot, you're like this, yeah?" And he ran the index finger of one hand slowly back and forth through the cupped palm of the other.
    For a big man, Resnick moved with surprising speed, fists raised.
    "Come on," Brent said. "Take a swing, why don't you? Here." And he thrust out his jaw. "Go on!"
    "Boss," Catherine Njoroge said quietly from just behind him. "We should go."
    She turned and started to walk away and, after a moment, Resnick fell into step beside her, Brent's mocking laughter following them down the street.

Five
    Shortly after she'd moved in, Lynn had come home one afternoon with a pair of bird feeders and a bag of mixed seeds.
    Resnick had taken one look and laughed. "The cats'll love you," he said.
    Only a few days before, Dizzy had dragged the mangled body of a robin through the cat flap and laid it at Resnick's feet, purring proudly, tail crooked and raised, for all the world as if he were still a quick young hunter and not a fading champion with a half-chewed ear and burgeoning arthritis in his hind legs.
    But Lynn remembered with pleasure the birds that had gathered in her parents' garden in Norfolk—the middle of the country, admittedly—and had bided her time. Early the following spring, by dint of standing, tiptoed, on a chair, she had attached the feeders high on the trunks of two fruit trees that stood towards the back of the garden, close against the wall; an apple tree, whose fruit was small and somewhat sour, and a pear whose blossom promised more than it delivered.
    For the first few mornings she saw nothing and wondered if she had sited the feeders wrongly, or if the mere presence of the
cats—just three, now that one had wandered off and failed to reappear—was sufficient deterrent.
    But then, suddenly, there was a blue tit on the apple tree; perching on an

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