Death Marks: Chapter 2

Uncompromising, gritty, thrilling, and not for the faint hearted! British detectives suspect a serial killer is on the loose. With the support of American profiler Dr Tessa Davies, they soon realize that this could be the work of a druidic sect.

Please enjoy the second chapter of my dark crime novel, Death Marks . For now, I will post a chapter every Monday and Thursday.

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Death Marks

Chapter 2

Sitting in Debbie Stamp’s tiny office. Redd raked his forehead. As usual, the station’s counselor wore a tailored jacket and skirt, fitting slim curves; dark blonde hair worn in a sleek French knot accentuated the paleness of her blue eyes.

‘’You look like you need some sleep.’

‘It’s better than it was.’’

Debbie frowned. ‘A year isn’t long enough. How d’you feel, dealing with this case?’


‘Are you sure of that? Quite sure?’

‘Yeah, yeah. I need the contacts, need to be on the inside.’

‘You’re still searching?’

His voice tensed, ‘Yeah. Why?’

‘Come on, Redd, I have to ask the question.’

‘I can handle it.’

Seeing the thin scar on his cheek redden, she said, ‘look, as your counselor, I suggest you contact Doctor Evans, just let him know what kind of case this is. You may need his support, as well as mine.’

‘I don’t need a psychiatrist.  I’m over it, okay?’ His heart seemed to climb into his brain, pounding it to a pulp. He’d never be over it, but he was desperate to lead the case. His stomach clenched; he heard their voices, always in the background, Esther’s low voice, and his son’s infant squeaks. Sometimes he saw them, deep in the shadows, always in the shadows. It terrified yet strengthened him; it didn’t matter in what form they appeared, just that they were there, not the figments of his tortured imagination. He blinked, hearing the counselor’s voice. ‘I have to be sure—’

‘I’m dealing with it. This case could be linked to ….’ How many times did he have to say that? For Christ’s sake, he’d been back months, worked, cooked, slept, survived. Why the hell wouldn’t he be ready?

Debbie watched him slip away for a split second, only to snap back into the present; the haunted eyes betrayed the nightmares.

His voice rasped. ‘Okay, I’m not over it, how could I? But I need to work, Debbie; I can deal with my shit; I need to work.’

‘Okay – okay.’’

‘So, let’s get to the point.’ He shuffled through his notes, his voice hardening, ‘Have you found a profiler yet? Dr. Timmins won’t be coming back anytime soon.’

‘Yeah, Dr. Tessa Davies, a psychologist, an American from Alabama. She’s at Chichester University on a research contract.’

‘Hmm – what’s her track record?’

‘Helped on a couple of cases with the FBI. She might fit. I’ll phone her now. That alright with you?’

‘Sooner the better, thanks.’

Tapping in the numbers, Debbie frowned. ‘She’s left a message saying she’s away on a conference for a couple of days.’

‘Oh fuck. I’ll phone around. Thanks anyway.’


Music thundered as Redd and Dove entered the morgue. Mahoney chose poignant pieces, another of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos.

Dove’s stomach clenched, spotting the bodies on two stainless steel slanted tabletops, the drained fluids on the tray underneath them.’

Seeing her hesitate, Dr. Mahoney waved them forward. ‘Now first thing.’ He picked up a small bowl. ‘There were mistletoe berries in the male victim’s mouth.’

Redd raised his eyebrows. ‘So?’

Mahoney shrugged, ‘They didn’t get there by accident. Ye never cease to be surprised.’ Pointing to two gruesome organs in a bowl, he said, ‘d’ye see the liver here now?’ He brought the bowl to the table. ‘An indent right across the two sections. Buggers cut it open and then scored it; did the same to both livers.’ Muttering, he turned his back and strode to another bowl, picking out a heart. ‘They cut this open along its length; that way, they have sight of the valves. Again, both hearts.’

Dove felt ants skitter against her stomach wall. She had to get a grip on herself. She’d worked damned hard to get to DS and now partner to the DCI. It was important to impress him; he had a short fuse, his former partner lasted a month.

Mahoney turned to her, pointing to a bowl of wrapped sweets, he said, ‘take one of those peppermints.’ Looking at Redd, he waved a hand at the female victim. ‘Raped, poor wee soul. I’ll be sending off samples for traces of DNA.’

‘Then we might just have a lead?’

‘There’s something important here ye should see.’

Redd stepped sideways for Dove to come alongside him. ‘You’re doing fine, Dove. This is the worst it can get.’

Mahoney grinned. ‘It’s not the gore that will get to ye, it’s the smell, but these are fresh.’

Fighting the urge to run, she nodded, watching Mahoney place a kidney on the tray. Gently prodding it open, he said, ‘same scorings, but there’s a pattern. Come and see. Same from both bodies.’ He grunted, taking some heavy-duty paper from a roll. ‘I’m going to flatten it against this; that way ye’ll have a better idea.’

Seeing a pattern of three sticks jutting from a center point, like the spokes of a wheel, Redd muttered, ‘what the hell’s going on?’

Mahoney glowered. ‘Ye are faced with the darkest heart of man and the devil’s climbing out.’

Redd shook his head. ‘Sick.’

Turning to the mutilated remains, Mahoney said, ‘the female’s five feet three inches, the male five feet ten. The left side of his body is thicker, so he was left-handed.’ Crossing over to another stainless-steel table, he brought back a bowl filled with two lumps of darkened flesh. ‘Stomach contents.’

Dove swallowed bile, reaching for another peppermint.

Mahoney poked at one of the stomachs. ‘Remains of a salad in both, potatoes, salmon. Some of the greens could be opiates. I’m sending them off to the toxicologist along with other body fluids.’


‘I’m thinking cannabis,’

‘Time of death?’

‘Hmm, lividity fixed, rigor full, the body temperature 80 degrees Fahrenheit, insect activity, eggs, and hatchings. Approximately 3.00 am.’

 ‘Anything on the bones?’

 ‘Bleached they are, a mixture of male and female. From the texture, they’re hundreds of years old – completely separate from the two young victims. It will take several days for the lab to work it out.’

Dove said, ‘how can you tell, which is which?’

Mahoney frowned. ‘Now there’s no mean rule for the size of male and female skeletons. Ye see, some males can have a smaller skeleton than a female. But, ye can tell the differences in certain areas. See here, the humerus is often bigger in a male, as is the lower bone on the thumb side, and the femur.’

Dove whipped out her notepad, scribbling down the information. She’d taken many courses in her career, but forensics was not her forte.

Mahoney continued, ‘the female pelvis is wider than the male. Ye’ll see the sciatic notch is broader as well.’

Feeling the cell vibrate in his pocket, Redd took it out to see the station number. Clicking it on, he listened, his face tightening. ‘That was bloody quick, we might have a lead on the male, and we’ve got an address.’


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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © Katy Walters

All rights reserved

Other Chapters

Don’t worry if you miss any chapters, since you will find links to other posted chapters here:

All Available Chapters!

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