A dead cop. A brutal murder. A dangerous game.
DCI David Jones is no stranger to murder cases. But when DS Charlie Pelham is found dead in a dirty, disused house in Birmingham, Jones is shocked by what he sees and disturbed to be faced with the murder of a former colleague.
Brutally butchered and stripped naked, Charlie’s body is only recognisable by the tattoo on his forearm. There isn’t much in the way of evidence but a St Christopher medallion left at the scene could have belonged to the killer. The last time Jones saw Charlie, he had him sent to a desk job working on cold case files. Could this also be a vital clue?
Worryingly, Charlie isn’t the only person to die in mysterious circumstances. Fortunately, new Forensic Scene Investigator Dr Robyn Spence is on hand to assist with the investigation. With her help, Jones might be able to crack the case. But can he do it before the death toll rises?
The next tense novel in the DCI Jones series, from bestseller Kerry J Donovan
Sunday 14th May – Evening
Near Shipton Village, Shropshire, UK
DCI David Jones drained the wine glass and contemplated returning to the kitchen for a second refill but said no to the call of the slippery slope. No heavy solitary drinking for him. A small glass or two with his meal would suffice. He settled back into his comfy chair to review the end of another case. Hopefully, Melanie Archer would be able to live the life she deserved, free of the fear she’d endured for more than a decade. He’d done a good thing and allowed a satisfied smile to work its way onto a face he usually kept dour.
Seconds later, or so it seemed, the burping rattle of the mobile vibrating on the side table woke Jones from a light doze. He groaned.
Give me strength.
He snatched up the mobile and hit the “accept” option after briefly considering the alternative.
“Jones here. This better be important.”
“Evening, David. It’s me, Phil.”
“Yes, I know it’s you. I can read a caller ID when I see it.” He tried to make his voice gruff, but it wasn’t working.
“Sorry, boss. This isn’t a social call.” Phil sounded tense.
Jones sat up straighter, his senses prickling. Passing up the third glass of wine turned out to be a good idea—it meant he didn’t have to wait for a lift into the city.
“Okay, Inspector. What’s wrong?”
“Suspicious death in Bordesley Green. The Orchard Towers Estate. By all accounts, the body’s been there a few days.”
“Are you on scene?”
“Not yet. On my way there now.”
“Vic Dolan’s there with one of his newbies. He didn’t want to say anything on the radio, but he asked me to call you out right away. Sounds serious.”
Jones shot to his feet. Sergeant Victor Dolan happened to be one of the most reliable uniformed officers in Birmingham. He’d never hit the panic button and have Phil call in a DCI without justification.
“Vic’s there now?”
“Yep. He’s holding the fort until I arrive. The FSIs are on their way in.”
“You mean the SOCOs,” Jones grumbled.
“They’re called Forensic Scene Investigators these days, boss.”
“Not by me they aren’t. We’ve been calling them SOCOs for years, and I see no need for the change of title. Their role’s still the same, isn’t it?”
“Good. Text me the address. I’m on my way.”