Gone

Gone by Mo Hayder Read Free Book Online

Book: Gone by Mo Hayder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mo Hayder
Tags: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Crime
nature, get me? But this time I’m like that. I just go rigid. And this person comes in and next I know I’m on the tarmac. See that?’ He held up his hand for Simone to look at. Showed it to Caffery. ‘Broke my damn wrist, damn
eediat
.’
    ‘He took the car?’
    ‘Takes the thing from under my nose. Think I’m so clever, don’t I? But the man’s fast – before I know it, it’s all over and he’s driving my car up into Clifton. He’s only gone a bit and my kid’s yelling at him in the back so much he loses it.’
    ‘The files say half a mile away.’
    ‘Yeah – up by the university.’
    ‘He parked the car?’
    ‘On the roadside. Burst a tyre on the pavement, like, but what’s a new radial among friends? And then he’s like that.’ Damien pushed a hand towards the window. ‘Legs it.’
    ‘Leaves Alysha behind?’
    ‘Yeah. But she’s OK. I mean, she’s a clever kid, you know? Got the smarts.’ He tapped his forehead. ‘So bright. She deals with it like it happens every day. Just climbs out the car and stands there looking at the crowd what’s gathered and goes, “What you looking at? You going to get the police or what?” ’
    Simone gave a small smile. ‘She sounds great.’
    Damien nodded, smiled back. ‘She’s wicked. I swear.’
    ‘Do you remember seeing a car?’
    ‘What sort of car? I mean, there were cars everywhere. It was a car park.’
    ‘A dark blue Vauxhall.’
    ‘A Vauxhall.’ He turned and raised his eyebrows questioningly at Simone, who shook her head and shrugged. Caffery noted it – this silent conferring. It meant that even if
he
hadn’t decided it was the same person who had taken their cars,
they
had. Without knowing any of the details about what had happened to Rose Bradley they’d nailed their jacker as the same guy and had probably decided he’d taken Martha too. But Caffery had to keep an open mind. From a glance at Damien and Simone’s original statements the attacks had had common denominators: the theft had been fast, with violence, and the jacker’s clothing had been similar. A ski mask – not a Santa mask, but in both cases he’d been wearing a black jacket of some sort and low-slung jeans with loops and buckles.
Probably a fashion thing
, Simone had said in her statement.
But it made him look like he was planning to climbEverest, not steal a car
. Rose Bradley’s statement had said he was
wearing jeans with little pockets and straps
. Still, Caffery knew a handful of circumstantials like that didn’t add up to a definitive.
    ‘Damien? A dark-blue Vauxhall.’
    ‘It’s more than four years ago. Sorry. Not a Scooby.’
    ‘Simone?’
    ‘I’m sorry. There were cars everywhere. I really can’t remember.’
    Caffery nudged the MP3 player so its directional mic faced her. ‘It was school drop-off time? In Bruton.’
    She nodded and sat forward, eyes on the player. One arm she rested across her chest, hand placed lightly on her shoulder. The other she lowered to somewhere near her calf. ‘That’s right. I don’t know how much you already know, but Cleo was nine then. She’s turned ten since. It was two hours before I heard she was safe.’ She gave Damien a small, sympathetic smile. ‘The worst two hours of my life.’
    Damien’s mouth hung half open. ‘
Two hours?
’ he said. ‘I had no idea. I never heard about any of this. No
idea
.’
    ‘It was in the local paper but it didn’t get much further. I suppose when a child comes back safe and sound you don’t hear about it. And, anyway, it was about the same time that foot-baller’s wife went missing. Misty Kitson? Nobody was interested in what had happened to us.’
    ‘Mrs Blunt?’ Caffery cut across her quickly. He didn’t want anyone veering off and talking about the Kitson case. He had his reasons. ‘Who was in the car that morning?’
    ‘Just me and Cleo.’
    ‘Where was your husband?’
    ‘Neil’d had an early meeting that day – he’s at the Citizens Advice Bureau,

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