Death Marks: Chapter 3

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 another 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 3

Redd parked the car in a quiet country lane, just outside the village of Angmering in the South Downs. Grimacing, he murmured, ‘no lurid details, scare the shit out of them.’

Looking at the verdant hedgerow, Dove glowered as if she would say anything. Scents from honeysuckle and cowslip wafted from the lush hawthorn and buckthorn bushes. Water trickling over stones in a stream covered with ferns broke the silence. The flagstone path curved to the front door with dog roses climbing around the gabled porch. Dove frowned; how could violence exist here?

A woman opened the door, short and plump, with brown hair parted to one side. Hope glimmered in a slight smile. From the photo, she knew he was dead, knew they came to confirm it. Yet, hope ignores reason.

‘Mrs. Baker?’

‘You got here quick.’

‘Yes, ma’am. Detective Chief Inspector Redd and Detective Sergeant Dove. May we come in?’

‘Yes, this way.’

She ushered them through to a tiny hallway, the old red quarry tiles brightly polished. The lounge, small and quaint, boasted an oak-beamed ceiling, yellowed by the fire, the lime and wattle walls curving over with age. The woman gestured for them to sit down in old chairs covered in chintz.

‘Mrs. Baker, you say the photo resembles your son. We would like you to come to the station to identify him.’ Redd took out his notebook.

‘Was it an accident? Is it bad? Is he…?’

‘We just need you to have a look—’

‘It may not be him. He sometimes goes missing for a week or so; he’s a good lad….’ Her voice trailed away.

 Producing a photograph from the lab, Redd murmured. ‘If you would just look at this.’

The woman’s face blanched as she clutched the photo, her hands trembling. ‘I, it looks like him, but then it might—’

‘Have you seen him recently?’

She pushed the photo back into Redd’s hand. ‘It ain’t him – can’t be. I shouldn’t have phoned – shouldn’t.   I tell you it ain’t him.’ Her chin wobbled as she jutted it out.

‘Mrs. Baker, when did you see your son last.’

The woman slumped into a chair, wiping her eyes with her apron. ‘Don’t know – err, a few days ago.’

‘So, do you know where he might be?’

 ‘Think he’s gone off surfing with the lads – Cornwall – oh, I don’t know.’

Redd looked around the room at the photographs dotted on the windowsill and mantelpiece, pictures of David as a child. ‘Did David have a girlfriend?’

‘He’s got a girl.  But he didn’t say much about her. Doesn’t like talking about his girlfriends.’

‘Did he tell you her name?’

‘I want to see him. It might not be—‘

 ‘Would she have gone to Cornwall?’ Dove stepped towards her.

‘I told you, I don’t know.’ She burrowed her head in the apron and sobbed.

Dove murmured gently, ‘your husband?’

‘He’s out the back – digging – digging potatoes – oh Gawd, Gawd.’ Dove leant over her, stroking her shoulder as Redd left the room.

He returned a few minutes later, with the husband, a short, burly man walking in front of him. Coughing, the man pulled a dirty tee-shirt down over a beer belly. ‘What’s up, luv?’

 Mrs. Baker lifted her head from her apron, fresh tears streaming down her cheeks.  ‘David – our David.’

 Wiping his shaved head, he growled, ‘For Gawd’s sake, Hilary, this police bloke says you phoned them, says the bloke in the paper is our Dave?’

Mrs. Baker howled, ‘I need to see him.’

 ‘Look yer upsetting me missus ere.’

‘Please, sir, have a look at this.’ Redd interrupted, showing him the photo.

Grunting, the man wiped his hands on his dirty jeans before taking the photo. Glowering, he peered at it, his brow creasing. ‘Nah – can’t be….’ He looked up, his eyes haunted.

Redd spoke slowly. ‘Sir, I would like you and your wife to accompany us to the station. I assure you it won’t take long.’

On the journey, they’d talked in monosyllables, with the occasional gravel cough from a truculent Mr. Baker.

Redd’s voice was soft as he spoke to Mrs. Baker, ‘we’re going to view the body now.’

She hiccupped, still wiping her eyes. ‘Where?’

Dove hesitated. She wouldn’t say the mortuary; it was too cold.  ‘Err, the station, he’s at the station.’ Dove walked beside Hilary, now clinging onto her arm, whilst Redd followed with Bert.

Redd told the morgue attendant they were ready to view the body, opening the viewing room door.

Dove moved closer to Hilary as the curtains draw apart. Their son, covered in a soft blue blanket to his chin, lay on the gurney. Thankfully the head appeared attached. She felt the woman’s arm jerk, ‘Oh no, no, can’t – can’t be Dave. Oh no.’ Putting her hands on the window, she cried, ‘my baby – please -it can’t be. Bert?’

Dove turned to see the man’s face go from pale to white; his mouth opened in a cry, ‘Hilary, Hil.’ Groping his way towards his wife, he clasped her in his arms as she buried her head against his chest. Bert gave a terrible cry, ‘can’t be him, nah – can’t be.’

Surprised at the man’s reaction, Redd went to him, putting a hand on his shoulder. His chest tightened, his teeth grinding together. He knew the pain the man was going through, understood the agony, an agony that would never die. ‘I’m so sorry.’

Bert sobbed, gulping, his words torn from a broken heart. ‘That’s me boy in there, me boy – what’d he go and do that for?’ His sobs turned to a shout, rage now reddening his face, his lips turning an ominous blue. ‘Who did it? What fucker did it? I’ll bloody kill him. I’ll tear the fucker’s head off.’

Hilary cried out, ‘don’t Bert, don’t, not in front of … he’s gone Bert – gone.’

Redd held him tight as the grief-stricken man crumpled to the floor, his fists bunched, punching emptiness. Redd knew the rage, the pain; he’d been there. Tonight, alone in his lounge, he would switch off the TV and reach for the bottle of Johnny Walkers, oblivion.


No part of this book may be stored, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express permission of the author.

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:

Available Chapters!

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