Read All Quiet on Arrival Online

Authors: Graham Ison

All Quiet on Arrival

BOOK: All Quiet on Arrival
5.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Table of Contents

Cover

Recent Titles by Graham Ison from Severn House

Title Page

Copyright

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Recent Titles by Graham Ison from Severn House

The Hardcastle Series

HARDCASTLE'S SPY

HARDCASTLE'S ARMISTICE

HARDCASTLE'S CONSPIRACY

HARDCASTLE'S AIRMEN

HARDCASTLE'S ACTRESS

HARDCASTLE'S BURGLAR

HARDCASTLE'S MANDARIN

HARDCASTLE'S SOLDIERS

Contemporary Police Procedurals including the Brock and Poole mysteries

ALL QUIET ON ARRIVAL

BREACH OF PRIVILEGE

DIVISION

DRUMFIRE

JACK IN THE BOX

KICKING THE AIR

LIGHT FANTASTIC

LOST OR FOUND

WHIPLASH

WHISPERING GRASS

WORKING GIRL

ALL QUIET ON ARRIVAL
Graham Ison

This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

 
 
 

First published in Great Britain and the USA 2010 by

SEVERN HOUSE PUBLISHERS LTD of

9–15 High Street, Sutton, Surrey, England, SM1 1DF.

eBook edition first published in 2013 by Severn House Digital
an imprint of Severn House Publishers Limited

Copyright © 2010 by Graham Ison.

The right of Graham Ison to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs   Patents Act 1988.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Ison, Graham.

All quiet on arrival. – (A Brock and Poole mystery)

1. Brock, Harry (Fictitious character : Ison)–Fiction.

2. Poole, Dave (Fictitious character)–Fiction.

3. Police–England–London–Fiction. 4. Detective and mystery stories.

I. Title II. Series

823.9'14-dc22

ISBN-13: 978-0-7278-6920-3 (cased)

ISBN-13: 978-1-78010-491-1 (ePub)

ISBN-13: 978-1-84751-269-7 (trade paper)

Except where actual historical events and characters are being described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental.

This ebook produced by

Palimpsest Book Production Limited,

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

ONE

I
t was a hot and humid night at the end of July. The police immediate response car, its windows wound down, drew silently into the kerb outside 27 Tavona Street, Chelsea. The crew had seen no reason to activate the vehicle's siren, or to switch on the blue lights. After all, a call to a domestic disturbance on a Saturday night in this part of London was a frequent occurrence, even though the property in this particular street was probably more upmarket than most. And that, for Chelsea, was saying something.

When police arrived to deal with this type of incident they usually found it to be a riotous party, fuelled by alcohol and a little heroin or, at the very least, a few joints of cannabis. And in most cases the disturbance that was the cause of the call had ceased by the time the police arrived. Provided the police didn't get there too quickly, that is.

The man who answered the door of number 25 – the house whence the call had originated – looked to be in his seventies. For a moment or two he stared at the constable on his doorstep.

The PC referred to his incident report book. ‘Mr Porter is it?'

‘Yes, that's right. Ah, the police. I called you.'

‘Yes, sir. I understand you reported a disturbance at the house next door. Number twenty-seven.'

‘Yes, I did. It sounded as though someone was being murdered.' Porter laughed apologetically, thinking that he was being a little dramatic. ‘There were screams and shouts, and my wife and I couldn't get to sleep.'

‘Anything else, sir?'

‘Yes, loud music. I think it's called reggae or rap or some such thing. I'm not very familiar with this noise that passes for modern music. It could even have been those Rolling Stones, or the Beaters that everyone makes such a fuss about.'

‘I think you mean the Beatles, sir,' said the PC, whose name was Wayne Watson. ‘Or maybe The Seekers.' It was a group that he recalled his mother enthusing about years ago.

‘Ah, The Seekers, yes I remember them,' said Porter. ‘No, I don't think it was them.'

‘It doesn't really matter whose music it was, does it, sir?' said Watson, tiring of Porter's rambling prevarication.

‘No, I suppose not, but as I told you, I'm not familiar with this modern stuff,' Porter said.

‘Seems to be quiet now,' said Watson, anxious to finish with the matter in hand.

‘Yes, it does.'

‘All right, sir. But we'll have a word next door just the same.'

‘Thank you, officer. That's very good of you.' Porter closed the door, satisfied that his civic duty had been done. He went upstairs to the bedroom he shared with his wife and told her that the police were going to deal with the noise.

‘But it's stopped, Frank.'

‘For the moment, dear,' said Porter, ‘but they'll make sure it doesn't start again.'

PC Watson returned to the car and leaned in through the window. ‘Nothing in it, Charlie,' he said to PC Holmes, the driver. ‘I'll just have a word with the people at twenty-seven.' He glanced at his watch: it was twenty minutes past midnight. ‘Then it'll be time for a cup of coffee.'

Watson crossed the pavement to number 27 and rang the bell. But it was some time before there was a response.

‘Yeah?' A man in his mid-thirties eventually opened the door and stared at the PC. He wore a pair of jeans and was stripped to the waist. His hair hung about his muscular sun-tanned shoulders untidily; he looked to be the sort who would normally wear it in a ponytail. Around his neck he wore a slender gold chain. And in his right hand, he was holding a woman's bra.

‘We've had a report of a disturbance here,' said Watson, glancing pointedly at the item of underwear.

‘I can't hear anything,' said the man with a confident grin, and cocked his head in an attitude of listening. He too glanced at the bra, and then tossed it aside. ‘Who put the bubble in?'

‘We've been told that there was loud music, and shouts and screams,' said Watson, declining to answer the man's question. He took a pace back; the man's breath reeked of alcohol.

‘So? We were having a party that got a bit out of hand. But it's all over now, mate, and most of the gang's gone home. All right?'

A girl with a gorgeous figure and long black hair appeared beside the man, and smiled at Watson. She showed no sign of embarrassment to be seen wearing nothing but a thong. ‘What is it, lover?' she asked, slipping an arm around the man's waist and leaning into him.

‘Nothing to worry about, Shell. It's only the Old Bill. Apparently there's been a complaint about the noise. I s'pose it was some envious neighbour who was pissed off he hadn't been invited.'

‘Oh, that's all right, then.' The girl winked at the PC, turned, and sashayed provocatively back into the house.

‘OK,' said Watson, ‘but keep it down in future.'

‘Yeah, sorry, Officer, but like I said, it's over now. I guess you guys have got enough to do without dealing with noisy parties.'

‘You can say that again. And your name, sir?' Belatedly, Watson realized that he should take a few details.

The man paused before answering. ‘Carl Morgan,' he said eventually. ‘Why?'

‘Just for the record.' Watson afforded the man a crooked grin. ‘And you live here?'

‘Yeah, of course.'

‘Thank you.' Watson scrawled a few lines in his incident report book, and pocketed it. ‘I'll not need to trouble you any further.' He crossed the pavement, and got back into the police car. Taking out his pen, he wrote ‘All quiet on arrival' against the entry in the logbook regarding the disturbance call. He put his pen back in his pocket, and glanced at the driver. ‘I reckon that was some party,' he said. ‘Some bird came to the door wearing a thong and nothing else. Some people have all the luck.'

‘You could have told me earlier,' muttered Holmes.

‘A cup of coffee, then?' said Watson, and yawned.

‘Good thinking,' said his partner, and putting the car into ‘drive', accelerated away.

But almost immediately, Holmes and Watson received a call to an attempted burglary in Draycott Gardens.

‘Suspects on premises,' said the control-room operator. ‘Silent approach.'

‘There goes our coffee,' muttered Holmes. He turned on the blue lights, but not the siren.

After he had closed the front door of number 27, the man who'd told the police he was Carl Morgan walked into the front room of the house. Briefly parting the closed curtains, he glanced out at the street. He turned to the girl who was reclining in an armchair.

‘It's all right, Shell, they've gone,' he said. ‘That was a bit too bloody close for comfort,' he added, letting out a sigh of relief.

‘Well, what do we do now, lover?' asked Shelley.

‘There's something I've got to do first, and then we'll get the hell out of here. And we'll go as far away as possible. Home, in fact.' The man laughed nervously.

‘What about the hotel you booked, lover?' complained the girl.

‘Forget it,' said the man. ‘And you'd better put some clothes on. Otherwise there'll be another complaint.'

‘Only from a woman,' said Shelley drily.

Donald Baxter was unable to sleep. The temperature was still in the seventies despite it being half past twelve in the morning. He thought about reading for a while, but realized that the light would disturb his slumbering wife. He slipped out of bed and walked to the window.

‘Christ!' he exclaimed and, reaching for his mobile phone, called 999.

But his wife woke up. ‘What is it?' she asked sleepily.

‘The house opposite's on fire.'

‘What, the Bartons'?'

‘Yes,' said Baxter.

The emergency service operator answered the call. ‘Which service?' she asked in a calm voice.

‘Fire brigade.'

Another voice came on the line immediately. ‘London Fire Brigade.'

‘The house opposite me is on fire,' said Baxter.

‘What is the address, sir?'

‘Twenty-seven Tavona Street, Chelsea. The fire's on the ground floor, but it looks pretty fierce.'

The operator repeated the address. ‘And your name and telephone number?'

Baxter hurriedly furnished those details, irritated that the fire brigade operator appeared to be wasting time.

‘Is there anyone on the premises that you know of, sir?' If there were ‘persons trapped', to use the fire brigade's term, it was of prime importance for them to know before they arrived.

‘There's a married couple called Barton living there, I think, but I don't know if they're at home.'

‘Thank you, sir. Appliances are on their way.'

BOOK: All Quiet on Arrival
5.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Seeing Stars by Simon Armitage
Camino al futuro by Peter Rinearson Bill Gates
Dr. Death by Nick Carter - [Killmaster 100]
She's Me by Mimi Barbour
Sam’s Creed by Sarah McCarty