No Smoke Without Fire (A DCI Warren Jones Novel - Book 2)

No Smoke Without Fire (A DCI Warren Jones Novel - Book 2) by Paul Gitsham Read Free Book Online

Book: No Smoke Without Fire (A DCI Warren Jones Novel - Book 2) by Paul Gitsham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Paul Gitsham
material and catalogues.
    The weather had been cold and Evans had stayed in for her lunch of home-made tuna sandwiches, nipping out on her own for a cigarette. Evans had been described by everyone interviewed as ‘her usual cheerful self’, looking forward to Christmas. Nobody could recall her mentioning any worries or strange people that she’d met.
    The shop closed at five-thirty and Evans had helped lock up, before exiting via the back door at her usual time, ready to get picked up by her boyfriend, Darren Blackheath.
    Warren rubbed his eyes, his hopes of an easy collar slowly fading. He still believed that killings by a total stranger were very rare; however, if Evans and her killer had crossed paths, he didn’t seem to be in her immediate circle of acquaintances.
    He said as much to the team.
    “OK, let’s start to shake the trees a little harder.” He turned to Gary Hastings. “Use the PNC and HOLMES to see what we can find out about all of her acquaintances. Let’s also scan a list of recent customers and see if anybody interesting turns up.” He turned to Karen Hardwick. “You built a pretty good rapport with her friend Cheryl. She mentioned past boyfriends. See if you can get a list of friends — try and get as many as possible, right back to university if you can. We’ll chuck them all in the pot and see what comes out.”
    He turned to DS Khan.
    “Mo, can you continue co-ordinating the house-to-house enquiries with the neighbours? Make sure the evening shift pick up those who were out earlier in the day.”
    With the jobs assigned, Warren glanced at his watch: ten to three. “I’m due a briefing on the autopsy in a few minutes. Keep feeding back to the incident desk and we’ll meet again tomorrow morning eight a.m.”
    The room emptied quickly, everyone eager to complete their given tasks, hoping to be the one that found the vital link. Human nature, mused Warren, just as it’s human nature to lose energy and become frustrated as time wears on with no new leads. They were less than twenty-four hours in and already Warren had a bad feeling about the case. If it was a true stranger murder then they were probably in for the long haul. And it would be up to him to keep his team engaged and focused all that time.

Chapter 7
    Warren had never been a big fan of autopsies. Some of his colleagues were happy to go into the morgue and see firsthand with their own eyes the clues teased out by the pathologist. Warren privately accused them of having a lack of imagination and a touch of voyeurism. He had no problem visualising everything he needed in his mind’s eye using a few colour photographs and a well-written report. He could see nothing to be gained by looking at the corpse on a table. Truth be told, he wouldn’t know what he was looking for. Far better that a practised expert describe what he was observing.
    The expert today was Professor Ryan Jordan, a fifty-something, American-born, Home Office Certified pathologist, and he was happy to meet with Warren at Middlesbury CID rather than calling Warren down to look at the body in the morgue.
    He read from his notes.
    “The body is that of a Caucasian woman, mid-twenties. One hundred sixty-one centimetres tall, weighing sixty-four kilogrammes. Average build, with no distinguishing scars or body decoration. Medically, she appeared to be of average to below average fitness, with limited muscular development and lungs consistent with that of a pack-per-day smoker of about ten years; some evidence of early cardiovascular disease. Her liver was again consistent with somebody who drank more than she should, showing early signs of inflammation. It is my opinion, however, that none of these conditions contributed to her death.” He glanced up. “Give it a few more years and I reckon she’d have had a hard time climbing the stairs though. You see a lot of young women like this in the UK. It’s a ticking time bomb and I don’t see how the NHS will

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