Exposed by Liza Marklund Read Free Book Online

Book: Exposed by Liza Marklund Read Free Book Online
Authors: Liza Marklund
    Annika leafed through the cuttings. ‘How long have you worked here, Berit?’ she asked.
    Berit sighed and smiled. ‘Almost twenty-five years. I wasn’t much older than you when I arrived.’
    ‘Have you been on the crime-desk the whole time?’
    ‘God, no. I got to write about animals and cookery to start with. Then I covered politics for a while – there was a period when it was fashionable to have a female reporter doing that. Then I was on the foreign news team for a while. And now I’m here.’
    ‘What do you like most?’ Annika asked.
    ‘The actual writing; getting hold of facts and teasing out the story. I really like it here in crime. I get to do what I like a lot of the time, working on my own stories. Can you pass me those articles? Thanks.’
    Annika got up and went over to her desk. Anne Snapphane still wasn’t back. It felt empty and silent when she wasn’t there.
    Annika’s Mac had put itself on standby, and she jumped at the shrill bleep it made as it came back to life again. She quickly wrote up what Daniella Hermansson had said, giving it an introduction, main text and a caption. Then she sent the piece to the paper’s online file-store, commonly known as ‘the can’. There, that was easy!
    She was about to go and get some coffee when her phone rang. It was Anne Snapphane.
    ‘I’m at Visby Airport,’ she shouted. ‘Has there been some sort of murder in Kronoberg Park?’
    ‘Oh, yes,’ Annika said. ‘Naked and strangled. What are you doing on Gotland?’
    ‘Forest fire,’ Anne said. ‘The whole island’s gone up in flames.’
    ‘The whole island or almost the whole island?’ Annika said with a smile.
    ‘Pah, that’s just details,’ Anne said. ‘I’ll be here at least until tomorrow. Can you feed my cats?’
    ‘Haven’t you taken them back to your parents yet?’ Annika said.
    ‘What, drive two cats hundreds of miles in this heat?That would definitely be cruelty to animals! Can you change their litter as well?’
    ‘Yeah, of course.’
    They hung up.
    Why can’t I ever say no? Annika wondered with a sigh. She got a cup of coffee and a bottle of water from the canteen, and walked idly round the newsroom with one in each hand. The air-conditioning couldn’t quite cope this far up the building, and the air was hardly any cooler than outside. Spike was on the phone, as usual, two big patches of sweat spreading from his armpits. Bertil Strand was standing at the picture desk talking to Pelle Oscarsson, the picture editor. She went over to them.
    ‘Are these the pictures from the park?’
    Pelle Oscarsson double-clicked an icon on the screen. The deep green of the park filled the screen, with patches of bright sunlight. Granite gravestones hung between the iron railings. You could just make out a woman’s leg, from her hip right down to her foot, in the middle of the picture.
    ‘That’s a bloody good picture, but maybe a bit hard to stomach,’ Annika said spontaneously.
    ‘Then you should see this one,’ Picture-Pelle said, clicking open the next image.
    Annika shrank back as the woman’s clouded eyes stared out at her.
    ‘These were the first pictures,’ Bertil Strand said. ‘It’s a good job I moved, don’t you think?’
    Annika gulped.
    ‘Daniella Hermansson?’ she asked.
    Picture-Pelle clicked a third icon. The picture showed a nervous Daniella clutching her child and looking up at the park in horror.
    ‘Brilliant,’ Annika said
    ‘ “It could have been me”,’ Picture-Pelle said.
    ‘How did you know that’s what she said?’ Annika asked in surprise.
    ‘That’s what they always say, at least in our captions,’ Pelle said with a sigh.
    Annika walked away.
    All the doors leading to the management offices were closed. She hadn’t seen the editor-in-chief today. He’d been fairly invisible all week, now she came to think about it. None of the editors had arrived yet. The men who looked after the paper’s layout normally turned up after

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