CXVI The Beginning of the End (Book 1): A Gripping Murder Mystery and Suspense Thriller (CXVI BOOK 1) (7 page)

BOOK: CXVI The Beginning of the End (Book 1): A Gripping Murder Mystery and Suspense Thriller (CXVI BOOK 1)
13.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

“Christ… Why would you go to the trouble of copying
the dealer logo on the reg plates when cloning a car?” Woods asked.

“Aye, it’s a new one on me,” McLean replied.
“Usually they just copy the reg. I’ve never come across anyone copying the
logo; perhaps he’s a perfectionist, like you.”

 

 

Pauline watched as Rosco
carefully placed his coffee down on the table and gave her a few seconds to
compose herself.

“I assume you were very close to your twin sister.”

“Yes, we were inseparable. We did everything
together; shared the same interests, got the same grades at school, went to the
same university, studied law and qualified together. She was my best friend,
and she was beautiful. . .”

“Ahhh… you were identical twins.”

Acknowledging the compliment, she managed a smile. “The
only difference was in our choice in men. And that was Shelly’s downfall.”

“You said your former colleague killed her and got
away with it. I don’t understand; wasn’t there a police investigation?”

“Shelly committed suicide.” She paused for several
moments and looked vacant, “she was twenty-two and they’d been lovers;
basically he used her, broke her heart and she could no longer cope.”

Rosco nodded. “The suicide of a loved one can have a
huge impact on those left behind,” he conceded. “Feelings of guilt, and shame,
rejection and sometimes anger are very common. Did you experience these?”

“Yes, probably all of them at first, but then some
diminished and left me with guilt, anger and hatred, which I still feel today.”

“So, is it your former colleague’s actions that
drive your feelings of anger and hatred?”

“Yes, definitely.”

“But what drives the guilt?”

“It was my fault they met,” she said, noticing him
looking expectantly over the top of his spectacles again. “Shelly came to stay
with us over the Christmas period,” she continued. “It was my work’s party and
I invited her along. She bumped into him there. I didn’t know they’d started
dating, otherwise I would have put a stop to it straight away. That’s one of my
biggest regrets. Anyway, eventually she told me, but by then they’d been seeing
each other for about six months and she was head over heels in love with him.”

“Perhaps she thought you wouldn’t approve; that’s
why she kept it from you for so long.”

“Perhaps… but I didn’t keep anything from her…” she broke
off for a moment, “well, just one thing… sorry where was I?” She glanced up and
again he was appraising her over the top of his glasses. “We’ll save that
particular demon for another day,” she said.

“So you feel responsible for what happened?”

“Partly, if I hadn’t invited her to the Christmas
party she wouldn’t have met him.”

“No, but you didn’t have a crystal ball.”

“I tried to warn her off him. I’d told her he was
married and that he wasn’t any good for her, but she said he’d promised to
leave his wife. She was besotted with him. She wouldn’t listen.”

“Would you have listened if she’d tried to warn you
off Gerrard?”

“No, but Gerrard wasn’t a bastard.”

“No doubt at the time Shelly though the same about
her lover.”

 “Perhaps,” Pauline acknowledged.

“So you invited her to the Christmas party for all
the right reasons, and not being able to see into the future you had no idea
what was going to happen. Then, when you found out she was dating a married man
you did everything within your power to warn her of the dangers and to get her
to stop seeing him.”

“Yes.”

“And as you’ve already conceded, if the tables had
been switched you would have probably ignored her advice.”

“Yes.”

“So what is there to feel guilty about?”

She sighed. “I suppose when you put it like that,
nothing, but it’s not easy and when those pangs of guilt occur I struggle to
deal with them.”

“Could I suggest when you next have those thoughts
you challenge them with the same rationale I’ve just used?”

She sighed again. “I know you’re right, and I
promise I’ll give it a try. But I’m not convinced it’ll succeed.”

“It will if you allow it to.”

“Okay,” she said unconvincingly.

“Now, let’s return to those feelings of anger and
hatred.”

“They’re directed solely and squarely at him. It’s
taken twenty-eight years for him to finally get what he deserved.”

“Do you really think he got what he deserved?”

“Yes, I do, and I hope he’s burning in hell as we
speak.”

“How did he die?”

“He hanged himself from Scammonden Bridge.”

Rosco hesitated for a split second. “How did. . .?”

“She hanged herself in the barn at my parents’
house.”

Silence.

“Ironic isn’t it?” she said. “That he chose the same
way out as Shelly.”

“That’s not uncommon, and neither are those thoughts
you are having, but ask yourself how useful they are.”

“They’re not. I wish I could make them disappear.”

“You can, Pauline, but you have to let go of the
past.”

“Have you let go of the past?”

“Yes, I have. It’s all part of moving on; instead of
having thoughts which are painful, destructive and debilitating, challenge them
with thoughts that are soothing, constructive and reinvigorating.”

“Is that what you did?”

“Yes.”

She thought long and hard. “You’re right,” she said eventually.
“It is time to quell the anger and rebuild. I can’t bring Shelly back and she
wouldn’t want to see me like this. I don’t want it to continue to drag me
down.”

“There’s a quote, I can’t remember who by, but it
went something like this: ‘You’ll never find peace until you finally let go of
the hatred.’ To do this you must know why you feel the way you do and why you
no longer need to feel this way. It’s about letting go of the past and pushing
forward with good intentions.”

She smiled. “I’ll remember that.”

“Right, that’s a good point to stop. We’ll meet
again tomorrow morning and agree some more coping strategies and perhaps, if
you’re up to it we could discuss the secret you kept from Shelly.”

 

Friday 18
th
May.

 

Woods walked into the Incident
Room at 10.00 a.m.; he’d been with Detective Chief Inspector Malcolm Foster,
updating him on the two murder investigations. As he entered he saw Barnes,
McLean and Jacobs busily working away at their respective desks. He strode over
to the white board, picked up a black marker pen and called the three
detectives over.

As they gathered round he wrote MATELAND at the top
centre of one half of the board and HUSSAIN at the top centre of the other
half. Under the names he wrote their respective Roman numerals and under
Mateland he wrote Dawn Mateland and alongside it John Wright; under Hussain he
wrote Julie and Edward Noble.

“Right everyone, let’s have a quick update. Who
wants to go first?”

“I will,” Jacobs said. “I’ve interviewed both Julie
Noble and her husband Edward; he knows about the affair, but claims he only found
out recently when his wife spilled the beans about why she’d been called to
give evidence at the inquest. This is backed up by texts between them. She
can’t think of anyone who would want to harm Hussain and is dumbfounded that
his death is being treated as murder. Their phone and computer usage doesn’t
have anything suggesting any involvement in the crime or contact outside their
immediate family. Oh, and Julie Noble is adamant that 1116 or MCXVI doesn’t
mean anything other than the time Hussain sent the e-mail.”

Woods put question marks against their names on the
white board.

“I’ve also,” Jacobs went on, “been to see Hussain’s
wife and, like Noble, she can’t think of anyone who might have wanted to kill
her husband; neither can she throw any light on the numerals. However,
Hussain’s elder brother was there and on the way out he followed me into the
garden. Obviously not wanting Hussain’s wife to hear what he was going to say, he
mentioned that his brother had been seeing a white woman about thirty years ago
and when the relationship broke down she’d committed suicide. Now, he couldn’t
remember her name, how old she was, or where she was from, but he said she’d
hanged herself.”

“Have you managed to find out who she was?” Woods
asked, chewing the pen top.

Jacobs shook his head. “Not yet, I’m still digging.
I know Hussain was living in West Yorkshire at the time and where he was
working, but the company has long since folded, and the two owners are no
longer living; trying to trace people who worked there is proving difficult.
Also, I’m looking at the records of women in West Yorkshire who hanged
themselves at that time and I’ve got a list of names, but I may have to widen
the search as she could have been from outside the area.”

“That’s good work, Chris; stick with it.” Woods
said, writing female suicide victim and a large question mark under Hussain’s
name.

“Aye, I’ll go next,” McLean said. “As you know,
we’ve been able to discount David Brunt, so I’ve focused on our two friends up
there. Dawn Mateland’s and John Wright’s phone, e-mail and internet usage has
been fully checked out now and appears to be clean; there’s no evidence
suggesting a link to the crime. I’ve spoken to a few of Mateland’s team and
asked if they can suggest anyone who’d want to see him dead. You’d be surprised
how many people detested him up there, but no-one could come up with a name.”

Woods jumped in, “I can’t determine what
significance 916 has to Mateland. I’ve looked at old case file numbers,
historic events in that year, I’ve discovered there’s a Ducati 916, an Alfa
Romeo 916 and a film, but I’m jiggered if I can find a link to him.”

“Aye, I’ve also been searching for a link between
Mateland and Hussain and again I can’t find one. As far as I can tell they
never came into contact with each other, were from totally different
backgrounds, and were from opposite ends of the social spectrum.”

Woods pondered. “The link must be someone who’s had
dealings, disputes or major issues with them both.” He looked at Jacobs,
“Chris, we need to know who that suicide victim was and if there’s a link to
Mateland.”

“I’m on it.”

Woods turned to Barnes. “How about you, Maria, have
you got some good news?”

“I’ll start with the security bolts and the special
serrated tool used to dismantle and reassemble the bridge cage. The manufacturers
gave me a list of all their local suppliers, and one in Ossett, which is only a
couple of miles from the bridge, confirmed they sold sixteen bolts and a tool
to a Mr Mateland, who paid cash, one week prior to the murder.”

“He’s taking the piss,” said Woods. “Let me guess,
there’s no CCTV footage at the suppliers.”

“Correct,” Barnes said as she rubbed her eyes.
“However, moving on to the metallic-blue Peugeot 206, I’ve found one that was
stolen from Headingley two weeks prior to Mateland’s murder - just before the
clone car was recorded travelling around Wakefield. Unsurprisingly the stolen
Peugeot was recovered burnt out in the Harrogate area the day after Mateland’s
murder. It was a complete write-off and not much was left, but the odometer
reading and discussions with the owner indicated that it had travelled
approximately 6,000 miles in the two weeks. Having said that, there’s no
evidence on the ANPR — either on its original plates or its clone plates — of
it using routes, other than when it’s following Mateland or when Brunt’s on his
normal driving regime. It’s all very strange.”

“Give us the two reg numbers.” Woods asked, writing
them under Mateland’s name on the board.

“And the mystery deepens,” Barnes continued. “The Peugeot
stolen in Headingley wasn’t recorded on any of the traffic cameras or ANPRs in
the area that night. I’ve also checked for the reg of the cloned car, just in
case he changed plates straight away, but I can’t find any trace of that either.
I’ve already checked for any covered trailers or car-transporters in the area
that night and there weren’t any.”

“That’s really good work Maria,” Woods said. “Can I
suggest you check all the metallic-blue Peugeot 206s that were recorded
travelling around Headingley on that night, and then contact the owners and check
if they were in the area. My guess is that there will be one who wasn’t and
then that’s our second cloned car. It appears he’s been switching plates around
to throw us off the scent.”

“Okay,” Barnes replied. “But that level of intent
indicates astuteness.”

Woods spotted the corners of her mouth rise slightly
as he scribbled astute on the board.

“Now the good news,” she said. “I’ve found a silver Mitsubishi
Shogun that on three separate occasions had been following Hussain and it’d also
followed Julie Noble’s car back into the hospital car park after one of her
usual midday romps with Hussain.”

BOOK: CXVI The Beginning of the End (Book 1): A Gripping Murder Mystery and Suspense Thriller (CXVI BOOK 1)
13.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Fall of Carthage by Adrian Goldsworthy
Soul Splinter by Abi Elphinstone
Losing Me, Finding You by C.M. Stunich
The Promise by TJ Bennett
The Reluctant First Lady by Venita Ellick
The Kind One by Tom Epperson
Eden by David Holley
Sweet Justice by Cynthia Reese
A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin