After the Silence: Inspector Rykel Book 1 (Amsterdam Quartet)

BOOK: After the Silence: Inspector Rykel Book 1 (Amsterdam Quartet)
10.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Jake Woodhouse



Day One


Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6


Chapter 7


Chapter 8


Chapter 9


Chapter 10


Chapter 11


Chapter 12


Chapter 13


Chapter 14


Chapter 15


Chapter 16


Chapter 17


Day Two


Chapter 18


Chapter 19


Chapter 20


Chapter 21


Chapter 22


Chapter 23


Chapter 24


Chapter 25


Chapter 26


Chapter 27


Chapter 28


Chapter 29


Chapter 30


Chapter 31


Chapter 32


Chapter 33


Chapter 34


Day Three


Chapter 35


Chapter 36


Chapter 37


Chapter 38


Chapter 39


Chapter 40


Chapter 41


Chapter 42


Chapter 43


Chapter 44


Chapter 45


Chapter 46


Chapter 47


Chapter 48


Chapter 49


Chapter 50


Chapter 51


Chapter 52


Chapter 53


Chapter 54


Chapter 55


Chapter 56


Chapter 57


Chapter 58


Chapter 59


Day Four


Chapter 60


Chapter 61


Chapter 62


Chapter 63


Chapter 64


Chapter 65


Chapter 66


Chapter 67


Chapter 68


Chapter 69


Chapter 70


Chapter 71


Chapter 72


Chapter 73


Chapter 74


Chapter 75


Chapter 76


Chapter 77


Chapter 78


Day Five


Chapter 79


Chapter 80


Chapter 81


Chapter 82


Chapter 83


Chapter 84


Chapter 85


Chapter 86


Chapter 87


Chapter 88


Chapter 89


Chapter 90


Chapter 91


Chapter 92


Chapter 93


Chapter 94


Chapter 95


Chapter 96


Chapter 97


Chapter 98


Chapter 99


Chapter 100


Chapter 101


Chapter 102


Chapter 103


Chapter 104


Chapter 105


Chapter 106


Chapter 107


Chapter 108


Chapter 109


Chapter 110


Chapter 111


Chapter 112


Chapter 113


Chapter 114


Chapter 115




Follow Penguin




Jake Woodhouse has worked as a musician, winemaker and entrepreneur. He now lives in London with his wife and their young gundog.

For Zara, and my parents



The voice shot out from behind him in the dark, and the cold touch of a gun, his own gun, jammed into the back of his neck.

This was not how he imagined it would be.

He’d been shoved to the hard, freezing ground, where something –
a stone, a shard of glass?
– had jabbed into his right kneecap, a trickle of blood cooling fast. He twisted his head up towards the sky, his breath rising plumes, stars piercing the dark, and somehow the pain made it all seem more beautiful, more precious, more real.

He had to play it cool, had to make sure he didn’t give in to the fear wrenching his gut, pulsing right through him. But, he thought as he fought down the rising panic, he wasn’t a soldier, a commando trained to kill with his bare hands, or a martial arts expert who could whirl around, kick the gun away and deliver a fatal blow to a secret place on the side of the neck.

No, he was just a police officer, an Inspector, specializing in homicide, dealing with crime after the fact, after murder had been committed.

His work began where someone’s life ended. And he’d seen enough of those to know he wasn’t yet ready to be a mere job for someone else, for some other Inspector to
arrive at the crime scene, piece together his life, and the events which had led to its close.

How could I have been so stupid
, he thought,
letting them catch me?

The people he was supposed to be chasing, bringing to justice. Who’d tied up the old couple and let them burn alive in their own home …

‘I said

Increasing pressure from the gun barrel, pushing on the spot – the same spot as the earlier impact just on the back of his skull – made him rise up, both knees cracking like pistols.

‘Take it easy,’ he said, and couldn’t believe how scared his voice sounded.

He moved forward, step by step, the odd patch of ice shooting his feet away until he learnt to just shuffle along. Steel from the cuffs cut into his wrists.

He pictured the man behind him, the leather face mask with the zip where the mouth should be.

Is this it, am I going to die now?

Part of his mind screamed at him to engage his captor, he seemed to remember that was the key to surviving these situations, making them see you as a human being, not just a target, a kill – and where exactly did he know that from, a film? He was pretty sure he’d never received any such training from the Amsterdam Police Force – but he didn’t know what to say.


That voice. Harsher now, more guttural, as if the freezing air was corroding his vocal cords.

He thought of his wife, at home, her belly swollen
with the life he wasn’t going to see. Doubling up, he vomited bile.

A kick to the back of his legs made him fall to his knees again. The feeling of being trapped rushed over him, crushing the air from his lungs, and making his head spin so badly he jerked sideways before managing to right himself.

It was then he heard the car, moving slowly, behind him off to the left. The sound grew, headlights streamed out of the darkness and his elongated shadow spilled forward on to the ground, a monk kneeling at prayer.

, he thought,
the last resort.

He took a moment to scan his surroundings; it was a concrete drainage ditch – he’d thought as much – the shallow, sloped sides leading up to the trees which he knew must be all around.

The car stopped, engine turned off and ticking gently, but the headlights stayed, blue-white lasers slicing the dark. Doors opened then closed with soft thuds. Footsteps from the road, difficult to tell how many people, soles grinding grit against concrete, then quieter steps on grass, before more hesitant footfalls on the ditch’s sides, each one carefully placed to avoid slipping.

Voices, in a language he didn’t understand, grating, sinister.

He was shivering now, his whole body shaking as if every muscle had simultaneously gone haywire, but he didn’t know if that was the cold or the sheer terror, or maybe both.

Someone walked round his left side and flicked a torch directly in his eyes, dazzling him. Instinctively his eyelids
closed tight, protecting, even though part of him wanted to see who it was. He squinted them open just in time to see a figure in silhouette, wearing some kind of trench coat. The man’s arm moved, checking the time on a large wristwatch.

Then the light was off, one word uttered behind him and the footsteps retreated, doors opened and closed again, and the car, its engine roar splitting open the silence of the night, reversed away.

He listened until he could no longer hear it.

Was that it? Was this just a warning?

He couldn’t be sure but he felt he was totally alone now, the man who’d brought him here had departed as well. Relief surged through him, but then … if they’d found out about him …

I’ve got to warn Jaap
, he thought, his knees aching, stomach loose. He forced himself up and started to turn around.

A shot rang out, and faded into the darkness.

BOOK: After the Silence: Inspector Rykel Book 1 (Amsterdam Quartet)
10.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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