Death Marks: Chapter 6

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 6

Keeping his face composed, Redd nodded. ‘Mrs. Woodhouse? May we come in?’

Opening the door wider, the woman grimaced. ‘I suppose you’d betta.’ She led them down a narrow passageway through to the lounge. Dove wrinkled her nose at the stench of unflushed toilets, cigarettes, and fragmented joints, let alone clumps of dirty clothes strewn over chairs. They stepped around plates with the remains of last night’s takeaway.

‘Sorry about the mess, ain’t got around to cleaning yet.’ She fiddled with the ponytail. Dove hovered by the door, not wanting to sit down, while Redd sat on a wooden dining chair.

Fumbling in a pocket in her leggings, the woman pulled out a packet of cigarettes. ‘Want one?’

Redd smiled, ‘no thanks’

Grunting, she reached over for the cigarette lighter. Dove’s eyes widened as Regina’s short skirt rode up to reveal a naked crotch. Oh, God, couldn’t the woman cover herself up. ‘Want a cuppa?’

Dove glanced through to the kitchen, at the sink piled high with dirty dishes, ‘No thank you, I’ve only just had one.’ Shaking his head, Redd muttered something about not being thirsty.

Leaning forward, he said, ‘Regina, can I call you Regina?’

The woman, busy sucking down smoke, nodded.

‘We want to talk to your daughter Delle.’

‘She ain’t my daughter no more, little slag.’

Redd frowned, ‘I see. Do you know where Delle is?’

‘Nah, ain’t seen her in months. Don’t want to either.’

‘Why is that?’

‘She only went and did it with my partner. Little slut.’

 ‘So where is your partner?’

‘Kicked ‘im out and her, both of them. They thought I was working the late shift, but I just pretended to go to work. Silly twats.’ Regina puffed furiously. ‘Fucking in me bed, Gave them a bloody good hiding. Threw ‘em out, didn’t I?’

‘So you have no idea where she might be?’

‘No, and don’t want to – the little bitch.’

‘Regina, have you any photos of Delle?’

‘Yeah, I stashed ‘em away. Couldn’t bear the sight of ‘em.’

Getting up, she went to the sideboard, opening the top drawer, bringing out a photo of a young girl, her pretty face tanned, long black hair waving over her shoulders. As she brought it back, Regina said, ‘Yeah, that was in Lanzarote, the ungrateful little shit.’

Examining the photo, Redd said, how old is she now?’

‘Twenty-one. Why?’

Redd evaded the question. ‘Can I borrow this?’

‘Yeah, I ain’t got no use for it.’

‘Did Delle have any boyfriends her age?’

‘Nah, she was too busy fucking my partner.’

‘Regina, do you mind if we have a look at her room?’

‘Call me Reggie. Don’t like Regina; it rhymes with you know what?’ She winked at him, her hand going to her hair. ‘It’s just across the hall, wait a moment; I’ll show yer.’

As she struggled again to rise from the chair, Dove watched the legs opening. She rushed forward, putting a hand on the woman’s arm. ‘No, you sit there now, Reggie; we’ll manage thank you.’

Redd managed a smile. ‘Thanks, Reggie.’

Dove followed him to the bedroom. They gazed up at posters of heavy-metal bands. Looking at the black duvet with scarlet lace frills and black lace pillows, she noticed a large mirror on the far wall, facing the bed. Moving to the dressing table top, small and white with gilt handles, they searched through potions, lotions, perfumes, and makeup. Picking up a bright crimson lipstick, Redd pocketed it, while Dove plucked at black hairs on the hairbrush. Reaching for her handbag, she pulled out a plastic exhibits bag. Sealing it, she said, ‘These should help with the DNA.’

Redd’s eyes scoured the small bedroom. ‘Let’s hope she’s left us some leads. A photo or DNA of Dave Baker would be handy.’ He pulled out the top drawer and carried it to the bed, emptied out the contents onto the duvet, and went to a chest of drawers. Together they searched through combs, hairgrips, tickets, tampons, and a half-used packet of birth pills.

Holding them up, Dove murmured, ‘She did leave in a hurry.’

Shaking his head, Redd went to the second drawer, emptying the contents onto the bed.

Sorting through panties, thongs, bras, and tights, Dove said, ‘Mahoney was right if the victim is Delle, she was petite. These are a size eight.’

They searched through more sweaters and nightwear consisting of sheer tops again, no sign of a lead. Lifting out the last pair of tights, Dove picked up a frayed pink ticket. ‘Look, Guv might be something here.’ Reading the small print, she said, ‘it’s “Saturdays,” a nightclub on the pier. I know the place. You have to be a member to get in.’

Redd’s jaw bunched. ‘Right, let’s go.’

After replacing everything in the drawers, they returned to the smoke-filled lounge; Redd sat down on the chair, looking steadily at Regina. ‘I wonder if you could help us a bit further, Reggie. Do you know of any distinguishing marks on Delle’s body?’

The color drained from the woman’s face. ‘Wot d’you mean?’

‘Well, any marks that might help us to possibly—’

‘You’re talking about the couple in the papers, ain’t yer?’

‘Your daughter may be able to help us in our inquiries. ‘

The woman’s eyes narrowed. ‘You’d better be telling me the truth, mate.’ She lit up another cigarette, her hand slightly shaking. ‘Well, she ain’t got a mark on her; she has lovely skin, little minx.’

Dove noticed a tone of protection creeping into Reggie’s voice. Walking to the car, she said, ‘that was difficult.’

Redd nodded. ‘You can’t drag every possible witness in to view a headless body. If it is Delle’s body, then we know she’s only recently had the tattoos.’

‘You think the unsubs did those?’

‘Could be. Redd frowned. ‘Did you notice how tidy Delle’s bedroom was? Neat, the carpet pristine clean, not a mark on the dressing table or chest of drawers.’

‘Yes, she’d kept everything too. However, the rest of the flat was a pit.’

‘Just shows, doesn’t it, for all Reggie’s hate talk, that room is ready for Delle to return.’

‘Let’s hope it doesn’t become a shrine.’

Seeing the boys still sitting on the curb near the car, Redd took out the peaked cap from his pocket. ‘Here, thanks.’

Seeing another five-pound note in the cap, the boy grinned. ‘Thanks, Guv, that’s sick.’


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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

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Other Chapters

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

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