Piece of My Heart

Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson Read Free Book Online

Book: Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Peter Robinson
Tags: Fiction, Mystery
not so long ago.”
    “I know,” said Banks. “She found him.”
    “Poor woman. Tell her there’s a drink on the house waiting for her, whatever she wants.”
    “Have you seen her husband tonight?” Banks asked, remembering that Mrs. Tanner had told him her husband was at a darts match.
    “Jack Tanner? No. He’s not welcome here.”
    “Why’s that?”
    “I’m sorry to say it, but he’s a troublemaker. Ask anyone. Soon as he’s got three or four pints into him he’s picking on someone.”
    “I see,” said Banks. “That’s interesting to know.”
    “Now, wait a minute,” protested CC. “I’m not saying he’s capable of owt like that.”
    “Like what?”
    “You know. What you said. Murdering someone.”
    “Do you know anything about the young man?” Annie asked. CC was so distracted by her breaking her silence that he stopped spluttering. “He came in a couple of times,” he said.
    “Did he talk to anyone?”
    “Only to ask for a drink, like. And food. He had a bar snack here once, didn’t he, Kelly?”
    Kelly was on the verge of tears, Banks noticed. “Anything to add?” he asked her.
    Even in the candlelight, Banks could see that she blushed. “No,” she said. “Why should I?”
    “Just asking.”
    “Look, he was just a normal bloke,” CC said. “You know, said hello, smiled, put his glass back on the bar when he left. Not like some.”
    “Did he smoke?”
    CC seemed puzzled by the question, then he said, “Yes. Yes, he did.”
    “Did he stand at the bar and chat?” Annie asked.
    “He wasn’t the chatty sort,” said CC. “He’d take his drink and go sit over there with the newspaper.” He gestured towards the hearth.
    “Which newspaper?” Banks asked.
    CC frowned. “ The Independent ,” he said. “I think he liked to do the crossword. Too hard for me, that one. I can barely manage the Daily Mirror . Why? Does it matter?”
    Banks favoured him with a tight smile. “Maybe it doesn’t,” he said, “but I like to know these things. It tells me he was intelligent, at any rate.”
    “If you call doing crossword puzzles intelligent, I suppose it does. I think they’re a bit of a waste of time, myself.”
    “Ah, but you can’t do them, can you?”
    “Does either of you have any idea what he did for a living?” Annie asked, glancing from CC to Kelly and back.
    “I told you,” said CC. “He wasn’t chatty, and I’m not especially the nosy type. Man wants to come in here and have a quiet drink, he’s more than welcome, as far as I’m concerned.”
    “So it never came up?” Annie asked.
    “No. Maybe he was a writer or a reviewer or something.”
    “Why do you say that?”
    “Well, if he didn’t have the newspaper, he always had a book with him.” He glanced towards Banks. “And don’t ask me what book he was reading, because I didn’t spot the title.”
    “Any idea what he was doing here, this time of year?” Banks asked.
    “None. Look, we often get people staying at Moorview Cottage dropping by for a pint or a meal, and we don’t knowany more or less about them than we did about him. You don’t get to know people that quickly, especially if they’re the quiet type.”
    “Point taken,” said Banks. He knew quite well how long it took the locals to accept newcomers in a place like Fordham, and no holidaying cottager could ever stay long enough. “That just about wraps it up for now.” He looked at Annie. “Anything else you can think of?”
    “No,” said Annie, putting away her notebook.
    Banks drained his pint. “Right, then, we’ll be off, and someone will be over to take your statements.”
    Kelly Soames was chewing on her plump, pink lower lip, Banks noticed, glancing back as he followed Annie out of the pub.
    Monday, September 8, 1969
    The newshounds had sniffed out a crime at about the same time that the incident van arrived, and the first on the scene was a Yorkshire Evening Post reporter, followed shortly by local radio and television

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