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I had an idyllic childhood playing outside from dawn to dusk, I went to a small private school in Ilfracombe. I have always been interested in architecture and construction and have designed and built several houses. Ten years ago I moved to Cornwall and now live in a converted barn in the Cornish countryside.
Copyright © M i c h a e l J o h n s o n The right of Michael Johnson to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library. ISBN 978 1 84963 213 3 www.austinmacauley.com First Published (2013) Austin & Macauley Publishers Ltd. 25 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5LB Printed & Bound in Great Britain
For David, Neil and Allison.
I pulled over to the kerb leaned over and opened the door as far as I could and Sarah got in she leant over and kissed me, she sat with her lovely bare legs up against the centre console and I drove to the club we always go to. I had been drinking all evening so was already fairly loaded, I lifted her onto a stool at the bar and stood between her legs. I gave her a cigarette and she put a hand each side of mine when I lit it. We never talked about what we had been doing all day our time together was about us, she got off the stool and took my hand and led me to the dance floor, the DJ was playing Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye, she put her arms around my neck and I took her into my arms and pressed her tight up against me running my hands up her back and down to her bottom, we were lost in the music and ourselves and kissed throughout the song, for some reason the DJ played it over again. When it finished I noticed a gap had appeared around us, they had obviously been watching us we laughed and went back to the bar. I pulled up outside the flats where she lived, none of the lights worked in the stairwell so it was pitch black, I pinned her against the wall and pulled her blouse out of her skirt and put my hands underneath and caressed her wonderful breasts and kissed her, she pulled away and we made our way carefully up the stairs. When we got to her small apartment I fell onto the bed and took her with me I was very drunk and had a job being upright. She undressed me until I was lying on top of the bed naked, she stood beside the bed and took her clothes off while looking into my eyes, taking her time teasing me, she cupped her breasts lifting them and squeezing them together and gave me her sexy smile, then got onto the bed and sat astride me taking me in, she leant forward with her palms on my chest. I caressed her lovely breasts while she made love to me, she leant her head back with her mouth open and made mewing sounds as the sensation over took her. When she reached her climax she scratched my chest with
her long nails, then lay on top of me resting her head on my chest. ‘I love you,’ she said. I touched my face with the palm of my hand and felt and heard the rasp of my stubble, it was very hot and clammy beads of perspiration covered my naked body, I could feel Sarah’s breath on my arm, we were lying on top of the bed it was too hot even for a sheet. I sat up, the sudden movement made my head ache and my mouth felt dry, I looked down at the girl lying next to me, she was naked and very pretty and had a stunning figure, large breasts all pink and soft, and beautiful long legs, her hair was bleached, the dark roots were showing and didn’t match her curls, I got off the bed as carefully as I could and put on my clothes, my suit was all crumpled and my shirt had a stain on the front, I put my tie over my head and did it up then sat in the chair and held my head in my hands. I’m never drinking again I said to myself, how many thousands of times had I said that. I got my cigarettes out of my suit pocket and lit one and sucked in the delicious smoke and coughed a couple of times until my lungs got used to it again. When I stood up I came over all dizzy and had to hang onto the mantelpiece for a few seconds. I took out my wallet and removed a ten pound note, walked over to the bedside table and picked up the glass and placed the note under it; Sarah reached up and took my hand. ‘Jack please, you don’t have to pay.’ I leaned down and kissed her and she put her arms around my neck. ‘Do you have to go?’ She said. ‘I’m already an hour late.’ I opened the door and stepped out into the dark corridor, I tapped the light fitting and it came on the bare bulb dazzling me. When I got to the stairs the light went out again, ‘Fuck,’ I said. I fumbled for the hand rail and gingerly walked down the three flights of stairs, none of the lights were working the place is a death trap if there was a fire god help them. I found the door and pulled it open and the sun blazed in, it was nine in the morning and already roasting hot. My BMW was parked outside with one wheel on the pavement. I saw the traffic warden coming towards me so I got in and gunned the motor and drove off down the road, she gave me a black look and I smiled at her as I shot past.
When I arrived home I was glad to see that Penelope hadn’t returned yet from taking the twins to school. I had a shower and put on a clean shirt, I heard the door. I was hoping to get out before she came back. ‘I suppose you have been with your little whore again how much are we paying her?’ ‘Ten pounds and worth every penny, how much are you paying your tennis coach?’ I said. ‘I’m paying him for tennis lessons.’ I laughed. ‘And what about that American Bob something or other are you paying him as well.’ ‘Robert Young is just a friend, at least he’s not a loser like you, Daddy told me not to marry you, he said you would never amount to anything and look how you have proved him right. Detective Inspector Jack Mills, you’re thirty-five and still a detective, my Daddy was a chief inspector when he was thirty.’ ‘Your Daddy is an arse kisser of the worst order, I’ve never kissed an arse in my life and I’m not going to just to keep you happy and where do you think all his money came from? Coppers don’t get rich without being on the take.’ I went downstairs and opened the front door. ‘Fuck off to your shitty little whore I hope you catch the pox,’ she screamed. I drove to the station and the desk sergeant buzzed me in. ‘You’re up to your neck in it,’ he said. I walked into the office, John pointed to the bosses office. ‘He’s been waiting for you for over an hour.’ I knocked on the glass door and went in without waiting for a reply. ‘Fuck me look who’s turned up, the deputy chief constables son-in-law, well, well what’s the excuse this time.’ I shrugged and sat down. ‘You look like shit,’ he said. I held my head in my hands. ‘For fuck sake somebody get him some coffee.’ John brought me a cup. ‘Cheers,’ I said. ‘Look at you a fine example of Scotland Yard’s finest.’
‘Give me a break, save the lecture for when I haven’t got a hangover,’ I said. ‘I haven’t seen you sober for at least two years, I’m waiting for the day you will stop feeling sorry for yourself and get yourself sorted out.’ ‘Why did you want to see me?’ I said. ‘This is Ruth Wilson from the vice squad; she wants to ask you a few questions.’ I nodded in her direction, she was quite pretty I suppose but had that feminist look, trouser suit and hair tied up in a bun which turned me off straight away, I liked girls to look like girls. ‘Fire away,’ I said. ‘A prostitute was murdered again two nights ago we’re checking the cars cruising the streets, you were seen driving by the girls three times, then you stopped and picked one of them up.’ ‘I was waiting for Sarah that’s who I picked up.’ ‘Is she your girlfriend then?’ ‘I wouldn’t put it like that, we have a few drinks after she finishes work and I go back to her place and spend the night.’ ‘For fuck sake Jack if the press got hold of that, the Chief Constables son-in-law having an affair with a prostitute, he would go fucking mad.’ ‘Why should I care, he can’t hate me more than he already does,’ I said. ‘As it happens it works in our favour, find out what she knows about the victims, the girls won’t speak to me,’ she said. ‘I’ll try; the trouble is they trust me because I’m not going to arrest them if I start trying to get information out of them they might clam up.’ ‘We need to find this guy as soon as possible, before he kills again, tell her that any information will be treated with confidence.’ ‘Ok I’ll do what I can.’ I finished my coffee and left.
When I got to my desk there was a brown envelope sitting there written on it was simply Jack Mills. I picked it up by the very corner and slipped a knife along the edge then shook out the contents, a black and white photograph dropped out, I looked in the envelope it was empty. I stared at the picture, I was pretty thick skinned and I had seen and done some dodgy stuff in my life but the photo disgusted me. It was very grainy but I could easily make out a young girl about fourteen spread-eagled on a bed naked, her hands and feet were tied to the bedhead and the footboard, surrounding her were six men, looking at the clothes they were wearing and the decor I would think it was taken just after the war, two men had their backs to the camera so obviously didn’t want to be identified. One man was stood closest to the bed with his erect penis out, another man looked on horrified. Someone was stood in the shadows, I turned the picture over, on the back was a message, all for one and one for all, London 1949. I put the photo on my desk and leaned back in my chair, why had it been sent to me. ‘John have you got a magnifying glass?’ I said. He handed me one, I looked carefully at the photo studying each man. It was 1976 so twenty-seven years had elapsed. I tried to see them as they might look today. I lit a cigarette. The telephone started ringing. I picked it up while still studying the photo. ‘Mills,’ I said. ‘Is that Detective Inspector Jack Mills?’ ‘Yes, who wants him?’ ‘I would rather not say over the telephone, have you seen the photograph.’ I sat upright. ‘I have it in my hand now, was it you who sent it.’ ‘Does it interest you? Of course it does, come to the bar at the Claridges hotel.’ ‘How will I know you?’ ‘I will look out for you I have seen your picture in the newspapers.’ He hung up. I drove to Claridges and showed the doorman my card. ‘This is official business keep my car where I can get to it,’ I said. I walked
through the chrome doors and into the hall, I had never been in here before, my shoes made a loud clacking noise on the black and white marble floor. As I entered the bar a man sat on a stool beckoned me over, he was a big man not fat but muscular, he had blond hair and a beautiful black suit, a crisp white shirt and a very gaudy tie. We were quite a contrast, me in my crumpled suit, tie slightly loose, the top button of my shirt undone, I hadn’t had time to shave so my dark stubble was almost a beard. He stood up and proffered his hand, we shook hands he gave me a bit of a squeeze which I returned. ‘That’s quite a grip,’ I said. ‘You look terrible.’ ‘You’re not the first person to tell me that today.’ ‘I would say you need a drink, what will you have, I’m drinking martinis.’ ‘I’ll have the same,’ I said. ‘So who are you and what’s this all about?’ ‘I’m Michael Henderson and I’m managing director of a firm of house builders, I took over after the owner Tony Shapiro died, when I was going through his documents I found that photo. I was so disgusted by it I wanted to do something about it. I’m pretty sure Tony was a member of an East End gang after the war, I got the impression from him that a policeman was also involved.’ ‘That wouldn’t surprise me,’ I said. ‘You see that large man in the back ground I believe that is Tony, you can’t see his face it’s in the shadows but I would know that physique anywhere.’ ‘So why send it to me?’ ‘A couple of years ago you were involved in an investigation and discovered that one of your senior officers was involved, as I remember reading about it, your partner was killed by mistake when they thought it was you. I chose you because I believe you are one of the few honest cops left in London and of course you’re the only copper I have heard of.’
I knocked back my Martini, the barman refilled the glass, I had a fairly good reputation; the media loved me as I was always in some scrape or other. They saw me as a kind of Dirty Harry character trying to clean up the mean streets of London. My bosses saw me as a pain in the arse; they just wanted a quiet life until they could get their pension and spend some of the money that the underworld had provided. When I first became a detective they tried to get me to come in with them, all the detectives received a brown envelope each month, I refused to get involved and had been seen as a pariah ever since. I’m sure I’m only alive because of who I’m married too. I had also turned a blind eye to what was going on, it would be my word against the whole department, I had to work with these guys, besides I didn’t need the money my wife was rolling in it, Daddy saw to that. ‘Ok Michael, I agree that one of the men could be a policeman, There have always been unscrupulous coppers then and now, you will have to give me some time to get to grips with it, I’m very busy at the moment but I was as disgusted by it as you are, I hate to think that these men could have got away with such a thing.’ The barman poured us another Martini. ‘We don’t know anyone in London, will you and your wife go out to dinner with us on Saturday night?’ ‘I can ask her, we’re going through a bad patch at the moment, I’ll let you know.’ The most beautiful woman I had ever seen came into the bar, I think my chin must have dropped an inch with my mouth agape, she had long blonde hair and had the most stunning figure, she came toward me but it wasn’t me she was aiming for it was Michael, she went up to him and they kissed, ‘Darling this is Detective Inspector Jack Mills, Jack this is my wife Diane.’ She turned to me and gave me her wondrous smile. ‘Hello Jack.’ Her voice was like honey, I was speechless. I looked at Michael he just smiled at me; I think he was used to this reaction to her. When I got home I went upstairs to tuck in the twins, this was the best time of the day. All the horrors of the day put to one side; I
pulled the sheet up under Anna’s chin and kissed her forehead, ‘good night sweet heart.’ I crossed the room to Jane she reached up and put her little arms around my neck, ‘I love you, Daddy,’ she said. I kissed her forehead, ‘I love you too.’ She turned onto her side and clutched the bedspread. She saw me looking at her and gave me her wonderful smile. When I got to the door I turned to look at them and leant on the door frame, they’re so cute with their black wavy hair and their pink cheeks they look so sweet when asleep but they can be proper little madams. I crossed the landing to our bedroom; Penelope was sat at the dressing table putting on her makeup. ‘Are you going out again?’ I said. ‘What’s it to you.’ ‘Who is babysitting?’ ‘Rose, I suppose you will be getting drunk and fucking your little whore again tonight.’ ‘Probably,’ I said. I laid on the bed watching her get ready, she was very beautiful like the twins she had long glossy black hair, and stunning green eyes, we used to be so in love. ‘What happened to us?’ She turned and looked at me. ‘How can you say that, you know very well, for the last two years you have been permanently drunk, that’s what happened.’ ‘Is it too late for us, if I promised to change, could you ever forgive me? I still love you, do you hate me now?’ ‘What has brought this on?’ she said. ‘I think you’re going to leave me and try and take my girls with you are you.’ ‘Robert has asked me to go to America with him.’ ‘I thought as much, I won’t let you take them, I will use all the power I can muster to prevent it.’
She stared at me. ‘Isn’t it a bit late to suddenly become the doting husband and father.’ ‘That’s not fair I have never done anything but be a loving father, you know I love my girls, I would lay down my life for them. Please let’s try and patch things up, don’t leave me, don’t go out tonight we can stay in and cuddle on the couch like we used to. If you stay with me I promise I will never have another drink. In time you might remember why you married me in the first place.’ ‘It’s too late,’ she said. ‘I won’t let you take them you would need my consent to take them abroad, I will never give it.’ I had a shower and shaved, I looked at myself in the mirror, I needed a haircut, it had receded a little but it could be worse, my hair was long and black and even though I had just shaved I already looked like I needed another one. I had what might be termed rugged good looks, woman seemed to like me, I was never short of offers, though I had never taken any up, until recently I had been faithful. I took up with Sarah because she gave me what I want – sex and companionship without asking for anything in return. I drove to my usual bar I liked it because I didn’t know anyone there, I sat at the bar and started on my quest to get as drunk as possible, the barman kept them coming, it took more and more drinks to get the correct level of drunkenness which enabled me to forget my troubles. I needed a piss so I stood up and was so dizzy I bumped into someone. ‘Stupid drunken arsehole,’ the man said. ‘Sorry,’ I said. He took hold of my shoulder. ‘Look at this fucking wanker,’ he said. Several people started laughing. ‘Take your hands off me,’ I said. He took a swing at me I ducked and he missed. I wasn’t that drunk. I grabbed his hand, he tried to pull it away I twisted it and bent the wrist back and back and back, he gradually sank to his knees, he was almost crying with the pain, I looked around. ‘Anyone else think I’m a wanker.’ I let go and walked into the toilet which as it turned out wasn’t a good idea, when I was
peeing half a dozen young men came in and punched and kicked me. I ended up lying on the floor bleeding from my nose and mouth. I swilled water on my face to wash the blood off, I looked in the mirror there was no permanent harm done, I combed my hair and straightened myself up and went back to the bar as if nothing had happened. I was pretty tough it would take more than a few teenagers to do me any damage. Someone must have called the cops, two of them came into the bar but of course by then it was all over and no one spoke to them, they recognised me and came over. ‘Hi Jack, any trouble in here.’ ‘I haven’t seen any,’ I said. He patted me on the back and they left. ‘Are you Jack Mills the famous detective?’ said the bloke on the stool next to me. ‘Who,’ I said. He went back to his beer. At eleven o’clock I drove to where Sarah works from she was stood in her usual place, I was glad to see her I had been a little worried with this murderer about. I pulled up and she got into my car several of the girls called out my name and waved so I gave them my panting dog look, and they grinned at me. I gunned the motor and shot off down the road. I took a torch from the glove box so we could see going up the stairs. When we got to her flat she took off what few clothes she had on and she had a shower and cleaned her teeth. I took off my clothes and lay propped up against the headboard, it was roasting hot her flat being in the roof was like an oven. She didn’t towel herself so when she got onto the bed she was all wet, she combed her hair behind her ear’s and sat cross-legged facing me. She kept giving me her come and get it look, I pretended not to notice and we fell about laughing. She was so beautiful and sexy I couldn’t resist for very long, I pulled her down on top of me and we made love with total abandon and ended up in a tangle of arms and legs and sweating from our exertions. I lit two cigarettes and gave her one and we lay side by side. ‘You’re the best Jack no one turns me on like you do,’ she said.
‘Keep going you’re saying all the right things,’ I said. We laughed. ‘No really you’re the only one that can make me come; I just pretend with the punters, you’re covered in bruises what happened?’ ‘Just some yobs.’ She kissed my bruises better on my chest and stomach and my arms. ‘How do you fancy going out with me on Saturday night,’ I said. She sat up and stared at me. ‘Really!’ ‘Yes, I have been asked to go out with a rich couple who don’t know anyone in London, I know it’s a busy night for you, but I will make it up to you.’ She kissed me. ‘I thought you didn’t do kissing.’ ‘Only with you,’ she said. ‘I don’t want you on the streets with this killer on the loose.’ ‘I have to earn money,’ she said. ‘We’ll see.’ I handed her a hundred pounds. ‘I keep telling you I don’t want your money you’re not a punter.’ ‘I want you to buy a dress tomorrow, sexy but not too sexy and shoes and a matching handbag and have your hair done, is that enough money?’ I said. She put her arms around my neck and kissed me again. She got off the bed and made some coffee and she turned to look at me. ‘You’re so beautiful; you could have been a model or something, why do you do what you do?’ I said. She leant against the counter top; I was hard just looking at her, she smiled. She brought the coffee cups to the bed and gave me one then sat on the bed next to me. ‘I ran away from home when I was fifteen and came to London, I fell in love with a man, but he was just using me letting his friends have me for money, then he would bring clients to me. I tried to get away from him but he kept bringing me back beating me and tying me to the bed so men could use me, eventually I got away but by then I didn’t know any other life.’ A tear ran down her cheek. ‘I have never told anyone this before,’ she said.
‘Who is this man, can he still do the same to other young girls.’ ‘His name is Danny Tyler.’ ‘I have heard of him,’ I said. ‘If you intend arresting him be careful he can be very nasty.’ I gave her a cuddle. ‘If I asked you to give up this life, would you?’ ‘That would depend on what you had in mind,’ she said. ‘Tell me what you know about this killer who is stalking the girls, we’re going to try to catch him so I need as much information about him as possible.’ ‘What sort of information?’ ‘Have you noticed any one hanging around, does someone drive past but not pick up, do any of the girls have their suspicions about who it might be someone must have seen the two girls who were killed getting into his car.’ ‘I have noticed a Ford Granada go past sometimes but not pick up, we thought it was just a shy man who wants it but can’t bring himself to stop and choose.’ ‘You’re probably right; I will tell the vice squad to look out for him.’ ‘I’ll ask the girls tomorrow,’ she said. She climbed onto my lap facing me and put her arms around my neck and kissed me. In the morning I didn’t feel as bad as I sometimes do, I got dressed and leant down to kiss her she put her arms up to me. ‘Will I see you tonight?’ ‘Of course,’ I said. She smiled. When I got to work I telephoned Ruth and told her about the Granada, then I went to the records office and got the file on Danny Tyler. I took it back to my desk, having the chief constable as my father-in-law meant I could pretty well do as I pleased, I came and went when I liked, followed whatever case I took an interest in. No
one was going to challenge me about what I was doing. This had brought me quite a lot of success. I looked at Danny Tyler’s file he had a string of convictions, the most common seemed to be pimping, and ABH. I found his address and decided to go and see what he was up to now. I went to the Chief Inspector’s office. I told him what I was doing, about helping Ruth and looking into Danny Tyler. I didn’t mention the photograph. He would want to see it and would dismiss it. I telephoned a solicitor I had come across during my work and made an appointment for the afternoon. When I got to Danny Tyler’s flat I sat in the car to see what was going on. The area was as rough as it gets, rundown council housing, semi-derelict houses, graffiti on every surface and rubbish piled up around the dustbins. A young man dressed in jeans and a tee shirt came out of Danny’s flat it wasn’t him, he came down the steps and walked over to a car and drove off. I waited a few minutes to see if I could see anyone else I locked my car and went up the stairs. I knocked on the door, there was no answer so I pushed hard it wasn’t very strong and it gave with a splintering sound. The place was a pigsty with rubbish and clothes strewn everywhere, I went through every room they were all empty, whatever business he was doing it wasn’t here. I had a good look round, there was a pile of bills on the table for a couple of other addresses, I checked the usual places for hidden weapons or drugs and money, stuck under tables, the back of drawers, under beds and carpets, I went into the bathroom and lifted the cistern lid and found a large plastic bag containing a roll of money and a couple of ounces of blow and some tabs and an automatic pistol, I pulled the clip out, it was full I put it in my pocket. I grinned, when he finds it missing it will put the cat amongst the pigeons. I carefully put everything back as I had found it and left. I couldn’t declare the find as I had made an illegal search; I put the dope in the rubbish bin inside a bag full of rotten vegetables, I put the money in my pocket, I will give it to Sarah he owes her big time and then I put the gun in my glove box and locked it. I walked up the stairs to the solicitor’s office; a very pretty girl met me. ‘This way Mr Mills,’ she opened the door for me.
‘Come in Detective what can I do for you?’ ‘I’m here on a private matter so please call me Jack.’ I sat down. ‘My wife confirmed to me last night that she is thinking of going to America with her lover and taking our twin daughters with her I don’t want them to go; I understand that she would need my permission to take them.’ ‘That’s correct, to live there yes, but she can take them on holiday without your permission for up to a month, this is the problem area she could take them on holiday to America and then not bring them back, it could then take years in the American courts to try to get them back if ever, there is a presumption that children are better off with their mother.’ ‘Is there nothing we can do about it?’ I said. ‘I can try and get a court order to prevent them from travelling but it probably won’t stop her she could just ignore it and take the next flight out and by the time an arrest warrant was issued she would be long gone.’ ‘I see, so baring locking her in the cellar there isn’t much I can do.’ ‘If you can find out when she is leaving, there is nothing to stop you taking them on holiday yourself, eventually you would have to come back and face the music. Your father-in-law is the Deputy Chief Constable isn’t he, what does he think about losing his daughter and his grandchildren?’ ‘Perhaps I should go and see him,’ I said. I went up in the lift to the top floor and sat waiting in the outer office for over an hour. ‘You can go in now,’ she said. He came around the desk and shook my hand; he hated my guts but still pretended that all was well. ‘What can I do for you?’ he said all smiles. I sat down and looked at him, he was in his uniform even on such a hot day. The years hadn’t been kind to him he was fifty but looked sixty-five, he had lost most of his hair and what was left was combed over which always looks ridiculous, he had put on quite a bit of weight lately so the uniform didn’t fit as it should.
‘What do you think about Pen going off to America with lover boy and taking your grandchildren with her?’ ‘Obviously I’m not happy about it but there isn’t much I can do, if you had been a better husband to her maybe she wouldn’t be going.’ ‘You could tell her you are withdrawing her allowance if she goes.’ ‘I suppose you are worried about losing yours, I’m not going to give you anything if you’re separated.’ ‘That’s not why I don’t want her to go, I don’t want to lose my daughters, you know very well I didn’t want your money it was Pen that couldn’t live on my salary. I’m not going to let my girls go without a fight. Are you resigned to her going then?’ I said. ‘Like I said, there isn’t much I can do about it.’ ‘My solicitor is getting a court order to prevent her taking them without my permission, if she ignores it and goes anyway she would never be able to come back with them, unless you go over there you won’t see them again. If my children are taken away from me there will no longer be a reason for me to withhold certain information I have.’ He looked at me with a hatred I knew he felt toward me, I had taken his little girl away from him all those years ago and he had done everything he could to split us up, it was only when she had the twins that he resigned himself to the marriage. ‘Are you threatening me?’ ‘Oh yes, and I will enjoy every minute of your disgrace,’ I said. His face turned blood red. ‘If I go down so will most of the department so you had better watch your back,’ he said. ‘If she takes my daughters I will have nothing to live for, I left a large envelope at my solicitors which he has instructions to send to the press in the event of my death, so you had better make sure I stay very much alive.’ I stood up and walked out. When I got home I had a very frosty reception, ‘I have just had Daddy on the phone begging me not to take the twins away with me.
He said you had threatened to expose him, you really are a piece of work, you have treated me like shit for the last two years and now you want to ruin my hope of some happiness.’ She started to cry. ‘I begged you to stay, I promised to change, I love you and I want to make it up to you, but you wouldn’t listen, I told you I wouldn’t let you take my girls away from me.’ I tried to put my arms around her but she pulled away from me.
I put on my best suit and a new white shirt and tie and drove to Sarah’s flat. Miraculously the lights worked, She opened the door and met me in her underwear she looked gorgeous, she put her arms around my neck and I took her into my arms and kissed her then she sat at the dressing table and did her makeup. I lay on the bed having a drink watching her, when she saw me in the mirror she smiled her lovely smile. ‘I think my wife is leaving me and going to America I’m trying to stop her taking my children.’ She turned to look at me. ‘What you want her to go and leave them, they belong with their mother I can’t believe you would do that.’ She had taken me totally by surprise I assumed she would agree with me. ‘Can’t you come to an arrangement so they visit you during their holidays, surely they would love to come and stay with you, or you could go out there and visit them, don’t make her choose between her happiness and her children, I haven’t told you this but I have a daughter she lives with my sister. I was fourteen when I had her and I had to give her away, I go and see her every month, don’t make her choose Jack, it’s not right.’ She was really upset I had never seen her like this she always seemed so tough, I got off the bed and gave her a hug. She opened the wardrobe and took a dress off the hanger and stepped into it and wriggled it up her body and over her shoulders, ‘Zip me up,’ she said. When I did she turned and I gasped she looked so stunning, it was about six inches above the knee and hugged her gorgeous curves, it was fairly low cut and showed off her cleavage. ‘You look fabulous,’ I said. She grinned at me. ‘I scrub up well don’t you think.’ She leant against me and put on new shoes with stiletto heels with at least four inch heels, she was now just three inches shorter than me; she kissed me then wiped my lips with a tissue. ‘Will I do?’
‘You’ll do,’ I said. We walked through the chrome doors and she took my arm, her shoes click clacked on the marble floor, no one would guess what she did for a living, I had made up my mind to set up home with her if she will have me, no other man would ever touch her again and I would tell my wife that she could take the children with her, Sarah was right it wasn’t right to try and make her give them up. When we entered the bar Michael and Diane waved us over to their table, Sarah whispered in my ear, ‘I’m a little nervous.’ She squeezed my arm and I introduced her to them. Michael stood up and we shook hands, he was staring at Sarah as was every man in the room. He ordered Martini’s for us all, Diane said she was going to the ladies room and Sarah went with her. ‘Your wife is stunning,’ he said. ‘She’s not my wife, she’s my girlfriend, my wife and I are separating this is the first time we have been out in public.’ ‘How old is she?’ ‘Do you know I have no idea it’s not something I have thought about.’ ‘I bet.’ We grinned at each other. When she came back she sat very close to me with her arm in mine. He took us to le Gavroch a very expensive French restaurant with several Michelin stars, ‘I thought you had to book weeks in advance to get a table here.’ ‘I know the owner Michael Roux, one of his apprentices opened a restaurant back home we go there all the time.’ After dinner we went to a disco, Sarah is a good disco dancer writhing to the music with her arms above her head she looked fantastic, I’m not one for disco dancing, better left to the youngsters. I asked Diane if she could jive she said she could so we left Michael and Sarah and I took to the dance floor and gave all the youngsters a demonstration, they all moved out of our way and watched. When the music finished everyone clapped.
We went back to Claridges and they invited us up to their suite for a night cap. ‘Did you come to London just to give me the photograph?’ I said. ‘I have a meeting with a property company tomorrow I think they’re going to make me an offer for my shops, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone. Are you going to investigate it?’ ‘You said that your boss Tony Shapiro wasn’t it.’ ‘That’s right.’ ‘You said he was a member of an East End gang, do you think the other men in the picture were members of the same gang?’ ‘I don’t know for sure but I would put money on it.’ ‘I am going to look into it so I need as much information as possible, did Tony still have dealings with them.’ ‘I’m sure he did, since I have taken over I’ve cut all ties with his old businesses, I’m only interested in making the building company a success, my plan is to go nationwide,’ he said. When we arrived back at her flat she made coffee while I got undressed, it was still roasting hot so I lay on top of the bed and watched her take her clothes off. ‘Michael’s wife is very beautiful,’ she said. ‘And yet he couldn’t keep his eyes off you, I was getting quite jealous.’ ‘How can you be jealous of him just looking at me when you know what I do.’ ‘That was before I decided I wasn’t going to ever let another man touch you,’ I said. ‘Oh you decided.’ She got on the bed and put her arms around me and laid her head on my chest. ‘I want exclusive access.’ ‘Really how is that going to work and don’t I have a say in this.’
‘No you don’t, I’m going to leave my wife and come and live here, your soul task will be to keep me happy and when I get a divorce you’re going to marry me.’ She sat up and looked at me a tear drop formed in the corner of her eye and ran down her cheek. ‘Aren’t you going to say yes?’ ‘Of course I will marry you, I love you,’ she said. She got on top of me and put her hands each side of my face and kissed me. I took her hands in mine and tipped her over and held them above her head, and kissed her some more, I knelt between her legs looking down at her she was so beautiful and oh so sexy, we made love with even more passion than usual. We were laying in each other’s arms; ‘I’m so happy I had given up on ever being normal, you know just being in a normal relationship with someone I love.’ She was caressing my chest rubbing the hair back and forth. ‘I know what you men want is a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom, I can’t cook,’ she said. ‘That’s ok we’ll eat out, Michael asked me how old you are I have no idea I know you’re not supposed to ask a woman her age but if we’re going to be a couple perhaps I should know.’ ‘Twenty two,’ she said. ‘I was thirteen when you were born.’ She snuggled up to me. ‘You’re a real man, men my age are more like boys.’ When I got home in the morning, Pen was rushing around getting the twins ready for school, ‘I’ll take them this morning I want to spend more time with them before you take them off to America.’ It took a few seconds to sink in. ‘You mean you’re going to give your permission.’ ‘I have decided it wouldn’t be right to make you give them up, but I want you to promise me that I can have them every summer for at least two weeks, somehow we will have to find a way for them to travel, and I will come out to the states as often as I can to see them.’
She came over to me and gave me a hug the first physical contact we had for ages. ‘Thank you darling and of course they can come and stay with you. What made you change your mind?’ ‘Sarah convinced me that a mother should never be separated from her children, her daughter was taken away from her when she was young.’ ‘I have always abused her, maybe she’s not so bad after all.’ ‘I’m moving in with her and if you’re moving abroad I want a divorce as soon as possible and we had better put the house up for sale, I’m sure we could both do with the money,’ I said. ‘You’re going to live with a prostitute.’ ‘She’s not on the game anymore; as soon as we are divorced were getting married.’ She looked stunned. ‘If you met her you would see what a nice person she is, she has taken me as I am, and I have taken her as she is, she has never asked me for anything not even money.’ The next day I went back to Danny Tyler’s flat to see what, if anything, resulted from my visit. I knocked on the door as I did so it swung inward, I cautiously pushed it against the stop and crept in, the place had been completely trashed, there wasn’t a bit of furniture in one piece. I assumed someone had freaked when they found the money and the gun missing. I decided to go and see the other properties which he had bills for. I pulled up outside, I took the gun out of the glove box and went up to the front door, this neighbourhood wasn’t any better than the last one, not so many blacks though, I rang the bell. ‘Who is it?’ a voice said. I ignored it, the door opened and as it did so I kicked it inward so it hit the man in the face, I pushed him into the hall and shut the door. ‘Been looking for this?’ I said, showing him the gun. I pushed him along the corridor and into the living room where I handcuffed him to a radiator. I crept upstairs. In the front bedroom was a young girl of about fourteen she was asleep. In the next room was another girl a little older, with her hands tied to the headboard. She was in a terrible state bloody face, hair all over the place and naked apart from a sheet that
was partially covering her. ‘I’m a policeman and I’m going to get you out of here.’ I left her and went back to the other girl she seemed to be drugged as I couldn’t wake her, I picked her up she was like skin and bone I took her out to my car and put her in the back. I went back in and untied the other girl wrapped her in a blanket and led her down the stairs. ‘You’re a dead man you don’t know who you’re dealing with,’ the man shouted. ‘I’m Detective Inspector Jack Mills; tell Danny I’m coming for him.’ I took her out to the car and put her in with the other girl. ‘Where are you taking me?’ she said. ‘Charing Cross hospital it’s the nearest one I think, what’s your name?’ ‘Elizabeth Howard.’ ‘What about the other girl?’ ‘I don’t know she only arrived a couple of weeks ago.’ ‘How long have you been there?’ ‘A few months.’ ‘You’re safe now no one is going to hurt you anymore.’ I drove right into the ambulance bay, picked up the girl and carried her into casualty, Elizabeth followed me in. I telephoned Ruth and told her what I had done; I stayed at the hospital until she arrived. ‘You have really fucked up this time we have had that house under surveillance for weeks, he will move to another house now and we don’t know where it will be.’ ‘You mean you knew these girls were being abused in there and did nothing about it.’ ‘We were building a case.’ ‘Jesus, I have two daughters and the thought that if they had been kidnapped a cop knew where they had been taken and left them, you should be ashamed of yourself.’
‘Now Danny Tyler is still out there able to do the same again,’ she said. She was pacing up and down the corridor. ‘You have overstretched the mark; I don’t care if you are related to the chief constable I’m having your head on a platter.’ ‘Fuck you,’ I said. I drove back to the station where I was faced with a couple of hours of paperwork. The boss called me into his office, he looked even more stressed than usual, he was a big man overweight and always seemed to be sweating and had a serious problem with BO, it was best to try and keep downwind. ‘For fuck sake, Jack I’ve just had Ruth on the phone saying you’re interfering with her investigation.’ ‘I came across a house where two girls were being held captive, I told you I was looking into Danny Tyler, I didn’t know it was under surveillance there was no way I was going to leave them there.’ ‘After you left the house they went in and found a man handcuffed to a radiator, he had been shot in the head.’ ‘He was alive when I left him. I expect Danny or one of his men killed him so he couldn’t talk, if they’re watching the place did they see anyone enter the house.’ ‘That’s what I asked her, it seems they didn’t see anything.’ ‘Fucking idiots I bet they were asleep or went for cigarettes or something.’ ‘She accused you of doing it.’ I looked him in the eye. ‘You’re kidding, aren’t you?’ ‘You have overstepped the mark many times but I don’t think you’re that stupid,’ he said. ‘Besides I don’t have a gun,’ I lied. I moved in with Sarah, I only took what clothes I needed and my favourite records and left everything else behind, I was starting a new life with a flawed angel; I had plenty of flaws of my own so we fitted each other. Every day I thanked whoever was in charge of my life that they had given me this wonderful girl who loved me without ever
asking for anything from me. But I did change I no longer seemed to need to get drunk every day, I’m not saying that I became a good person that would take a miracle. I sometimes brought home with me the horrors of the day and I would rant and rage about some dreadful thing I had seen or done and I would drown my sorrows in whiskey, but these days were fewer and further between. Every day she would open the door and fling her arms around me and thank heaven I had come home safe, she always made an effort to look beautiful, sometimes she would greet me in her sexiest underwear and I would fall under her spell all over again, she had been practising the art of cookery this was not always the success she had hoped for, but I gave her encouragement telling her how wonderful it was she would look at me and smile her wonderful smile and we would fall about laughing and go to the nearby Chinese restaurant. Saturday nights we would get dressed up and go to the Disco where I taught her how to jive and she tried to teach me disco dancing, I’m not sure a man my age should be doing such a thing, She always looked stunning very often in a new dress, I had insisted she have the money I took from Danny Tyler she deserved it. On Sunday we drove to my old house to pick up Anna and Jane, She wouldn’t come in and meet my wife, Pen went out to the car and insisted she come in which was very kind of her, meeting a man’s mistress is one thing but Pen knew all about Sarah’s previous life but chose to ignore it and treated her in a very friendly manner. Of course, it was Sarah that had convinced me to let her take my girls to America, so she was very grateful. ‘I can see the attraction,’ Pen said to me when we were alone in the kitchen. ‘She is very beautiful, but it’s not just that, we have a connection that goes beyond sex.’ ‘If you say so, I’m a little jealous,’ she said. We took them to London Zoo, they had been there before and loved the place. Sarah and I walked hand in hand while Anna and Jane ran about screeching with joy. They’re six years old and so very cute, Pen had dressed them in matching pink dresses they always insisted that they have everything the same, Sarah couldn’t tell them apart as they’re identical but I could as they have slightly different
personalities. We had lunch in the restaurant Sarah and I sat on one side of the table and the twins on the other, they’re such pretty little things with their glossy black hair and sparkling green eyes, they chatted constantly. Sarah was captivated by them. ‘I can see why you didn’t want them to leave they’re so cute.’ ‘I will miss them terribly,’ I said. On Monday I had to go before an enquiry, Ruth Wilson had accused me of killing the man found in Danny’s house and also of interfering in someone else’s case. My boss stood up for me told them that it was an official investigation and that we had no idea that vice had the place under surveillance, this sort of thing was bound to happen from time to time. There was no evidence that I had shot the man so the board decided to suspend the enquiry pending more information. I took Ruth to one side, ‘You don’t really think I shot him, surely.’ ‘I don’t know, you have a reputation for taking matters into your own hands.’ ‘I’m willing to let bygones be bygones if you are,’ I said. ‘Ok, only if we work together to catch this bastard. Did your girlfriend come up with any information about this serial killer?’ ‘Is that what you’re calling him now?’ ‘Both prostitutes were killed by the same man forensics prove that.’ We sat in the canteen and had coffee and donuts. ‘I apologise for accusing you, I was very frustrated at you interfering but I see now that we were both working on the same case coming from different ends.’ ‘Sarah is still talking to them I don’t have anything for you at the moment. I do have another address for Danny Tyler that we could look at.’ ‘What do you have in mind?’ she said. ‘I think we should raid the place and see what we find.’ ‘Go in guns blazing you mean?’
‘I want to put the wind up him. That would be three houses he can no longer use. It might bring him out into the open.’ ‘Does he know you are after him?’ ‘I told the man that was shot who I was and that I was coming for him.’ ‘You do like to live out on the edge; it’s a bit macho isn’t it.’ ‘I have a personal stake in bringing him down; my girlfriend was one of his first victims.’ We decided to have a look at the place to get the lie of the land, we took her car in case someone recognised mine, I sat in the front she drove so that meant her partner detective sergeant Dave Brown had to sit in the back he didn’t look very happy about it, I refused to have a partner after what happened to my last one. I’m not a very good passenger and found myself hanging onto the dash as she seemed to have only one speed, flat out. I lit two cigarettes and put one in her mouth I thought the nicotine might calm her down a bit, I was wrong. She was wearing a mini skirt which had ridden up her legs, if I leant forward I could see her panties, her dark curls could be seen pressed up against the material, she had bare legs it was too hot for tights, I tried to force myself not to look. ‘Have you had a good look?’ she said. ‘Yes thanks.’ We laughed maybe she wasn’t such a dragon after all. We parked just up the road, I told Dave to stay in the car and keep an eye out, then come and pick us up when we got around the corner. Ruth and I walked up to the house she took my arm so we looked like a couple out for a stroll, I left my jacket in the car it was blisteringly hot, the air was full of pollution which made your lungs feel tight, the hot weather seemed to be going on forever, it hadn’t rained for weeks and there was talk of standpipes. This was a slightly better area the house was in a Victorian terrace, there was a basement and steps up to the front door then another two stories, it was very faded with dirty net curtains and rubbish down in the light well. The door was ajar and a big man was stood in the hall, I couldn’t see who
it was as he was in the shadows. We kept walking up the road when we turned the corner the local beat officer was coming toward us. ‘Hi Jack, what are you up too?’ he said. He looked Ruth up and down. ‘This is DI Wilson,’ I said. ‘Sorry marm, I didn’t recognise you.’ She didn’t look very happy, it was still unusual to have woman in the police force and practically unheard of for one to be a DI. ‘What do you know about no 43?’ she said. ‘I don’t know anything about it except a lot of people seem to come and go.’ Dave turned up in the car and we got in. ‘He knows exactly what goes on I bet he receives a brown envelope every week to look the other way,’ she said. So do most of your department I thought. We decided to raid the place that night in case word got back to them and they had cleared off. We were going in at ten o’clock, she had to arrange for uniform to come with us; they would be needed to block up the road and take anyone we arrested into custody and she had to get a search warrant. On the way home I called at a photographic studio where I knew the owner, he owed me a big favour. I had been investigating a drug den. When we raided the place I found his daughter who was only fifteen and had run away from home after getting in with a bad crowd I spirited her away during the chaos and took her home, she was out of her head on LSD. He came over to me and pumped my hand. ‘Long time no see,’ he said. ‘How’s Lucy?’ ‘Thanks to you she’s completely turned her life around and has just finished doing A level’s.’ ‘I’m so glad for you,’ I said. ‘What can I do for you; I’m sure you didn’t come here for my scintillating company.’
‘I have taken up with a beautiful girl and I wondered if you might give her a chance to do some modelling.’ ‘How old is she?’ ‘Twenty-two.’ ‘She’s a bit old Jack, most of our models are in their teens.’ I obviously looked disappointed. ‘Bring her in and let’s have a look at her we may be able to use her for a catalogue we’re doing.’ Sarah had been struggling to fill her days and I didn’t want her going back to her old life. When I got home she met me at the door, as usual she looked stunning, she had done her hair differently and was wearing jeans and a crop top which left nothing to the imagination. I couldn’t resist putting my hands up under the material she wasn’t wearing a bra so her nipples pressed out into the fabric which hung off them. ‘God you’re beautiful,’ I said. She put her arms around my neck and kissed me. ‘You need a shave,’ she said. ‘Before or after?’ She giggled like a little school girl. ‘Both,’ she said. I put on an old suit, if I got into a ruckus I didn’t want to damage a good one. Sarah didn’t want me to go, ‘Please be careful if you come up against Danny watch out for the knife.’ She hugged me for ages, ‘I’ll be out most of the night so don’t wait up.’ I had to pull myself away from her. I drove to the station and met Ruth with her team of officers. ‘You all know Jack, he’s coming with us.’ There was a mixture of moans and cheers, most of the older guys knew me and were pleased to have me along, I was a big lad and could give a good account of myself, the younger ones probably thought I was out for publicity, I never courted the press but they seemed to like me. I wasn’t shy about speaking to a camera or microphone so the Chief usually asked me to do the press conferences. We drove to the area and waited for the plods to turn up. About ten-fifteen several patrol cars drove past us and blocked the road at
each end and several officers got out of the cars. I parked behind one of them and we made our way to the house, there was some confusion as to who was going in first while they were arguing I ran up the steps and crashed through the door followed by the rest. Ruth handed the doorman the search warrant and we charged in, I ran up the stairs with Ruth just behind me, I opened the door of the last room on the landing just as a man was climbing out of a back window, I tried to grab him but he managed to get away, I clambered out of the window, I saw him running along a flat roof so I gave chase. He dropped off the end of the roof with a clatter of bins; he had gone down two stories and was scrambling in amongst all the rubbish. ‘Fuck it,’ I said, and dropped over the edge landing on top of a bin which then tipped over sending me sprawling. My hand went into something sticky, I picked myself up and ran down the alley wiping my hand on my jacket as I went. The man was limping so I was catching up fast, I saw something glisten in his hand he suddenly stopped and turned to face me he had a huge bowie style knife in his right hand, It was fairly dark so I couldn’t see who it was, but I remembered what Sarah had said about watching out for the knife. ‘Danny Tyler I’m arresting you on suspicion of murder.’ ‘You have to get me first,’ he said. I ran at him which took him by surprise, he probably assumed I would be frightened by the knife but I don’t scare easily. He tried to lunge at me but I managed to grab his wrist and bent it back as I did so I punched him in the face repeatedly with my right fist, he went down and I continued to hit him. I had the red mist now I was shouting, ‘This one’s for Sarah, and this, and this and this.’ I think I would have beaten him to death had not two uniform coppers took hold of me. ‘Jack ,that’s enough, you’ll kill him.’ ‘Jack Mills.’ Danny mumbled through broken teeth and a mouth full of blood. They put handcuffs on him and dragged him down the alley. I sat on the ground shaking with rage, gradually I calmed down and my right fist started to throb, I lit a cigarette and sat there for a few more minutes. ‘Jack are you alright?’ Ruth said. I looked up she was stood on the flat roof outlined by the moonlight.
‘I’m ok. I’ll have to walk around.’ I started to walk up the alley my hand was really hurting now. ‘You smell like a sewer rat,’ she said. She was right I did stink; I took off my jacket and threw it into the light well. ‘You’ll have to go to casualty it looks like you may have broken your hand, come on I’ll drive you.’ She drove my car so I had to sit in the passenger seat. ‘This is a bit flash, how can you afford it on your wages,’ she said. ‘My wife bought it for me a couple of years ago; it seems like an eternity ago now.’ They x-rayed my hand there was nothing broken just a lot of cuts and bruises, they bandaged me up; Ruth was waiting for me she tried to get in the driving seat again. ‘Oh no you don’t,’ I said. She laughed. When we got to the station several of the guys patted me on the back. ‘The hero returns,’ one said. ‘Look at the state of you.’ I was filthy dirty and bandaged up. ‘You should see the other guy,’ I said. ‘We have.’ There was some cheering.
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