Hush Little Baby

Hush Little Baby by James Carol Read Free Book Online

Book: Hush Little Baby by James Carol Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Carol
She could still remember all too clearly touring a crime scene with him during the Valentino case. That had been eye-opening, and more than a little unsettling. She was anxious to see what he’d make of this scene. At the same time her instincts were telling her to give him space to do his thing.  
    Winter disappeared through the open doorway and she looked at the rug again while she attempted to get her head around what had happened here. Even if Heidi’s murder hadn’t been marked out like this, even if the stained rug was removed and the place was scrubbed clean from top to bottom, she would still have known this was a murder house. There was something about murder houses that affected her at the molecular level, a dark thrum that vibrated all the way through to the core. Her parents were superstitious and, although she liked to think of herself as rational and level-headed, the truth was that their influence ran deep.
    Yoko took one last look at the rug then went after Winter. She found him in Suzy’s darkened bedroom. He was sitting on the floor in the corner of the room, eyes fixed on the bed, knees drawn up to his chest. He had one of Suzy’s soft toys clutched tight in his hands, a large Disney Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh TV series. A thin slash of light from the hall had cut through the open door, the point stopping just shy of his foot.
    ‘It’s not right,’ he whispered. ‘Parents are supposed to protect their kids. That’s the way it’s meant to work.’
    He was speaking so quietly that Yoko struggled to hear. There was no disguising his anger, though. It came through in every syllable. What’s more, she was pretty sure that he wasn’t talking about Suzy Devlin here. She’d read the reports on Albert Winter’s arrest. The FBI had struck in the early hours of the morning. Winter had been found hiding in his room. By all accounts he’d been scared half to death, and understandably so. It must have been terrifying for an eleven-year-old.
    The way he was sat there clutching Tigger, his knees pulled in tight, he looked much younger than twenty. It was easy to imagine him as that boy whose life was about to change for ever. Yoko had a lot of questions she would like to ask him, but this was neither the time nor the place. Heidi and Suzy were all that mattered right now.
    Winter jumped suddenly to his feet, startling her. The energy levels in the room jumped up with him. He tossed Tigger onto the bed and turned to face her like he’d just noticed she was there.
    ‘Okay, Special Agent Tanaka, what do you think happened here?’

Chapter 9
    What do you think happened here?
    Winter’s question hung in the air between them. He was staring intently, his eyes demanding answers. Yoko felt like she’d just sat down to do an exam, which was ridiculous. If anyone should feel as though they were being tested it was him. She became aware of a movement in the narrow corridor and glanced over her shoulder. Dixon was standing there wearing a similar expression to Winter’s. Yoko moved further into the room and positioned herself so she could see them both.
    ‘The first thing the unsub needed to do was to take control of his victims and the environment. Establishing control is crucial in a crime like this. And he needed to do that before Heidi and Suzy had a chance to process what was happening. Also, you have a situation where he’s outnumbered, which increases the likelihood of something unaccounted for happening. Controlling one person is challenging enough. Controlling two, especially when one of them is a six-year-old kid who could do anything, is even tougher. Finally, you have to factor in the relationship between Heidi and Suzy. A loving mother will do anything to protect her kids, right? So the question we need to ask ourselves is how did he take control of the situation?’
    Nobody answered. Dixon had her pad out again and was jotting down notes. Winter was watching her, studying her, his face

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