Katy’s Blog

The Golden Legacy

The Golden Legacy

I am so excited to be a part of this box set, The Golden Legacy. My contribution is the time travel romance, The Price of Love. I hope you you will give this box set a look, and that you enjoy a really good read.
Love, Katy

FIVE stories of passion and excitement, all the result of THE GOLDEN LEGACY.

The legacy of a pirate treasure is either a curse or a blessing depending on if it’s used for good or evil.

USA Today and NY Times Bestselling Authors.
Nancy Radke – Rebecca York – Susanne Matthews – Katy Walters


The Golden Legacy box-set. Five stories by Nancy Radke, Rebecca York, Susanne Matthews, Katy Walters. Pirate treasure and romance.

Love survives despite the trauma of pirates, kidnappings, and murder; villains, lies and deceptions. Travel from the 18th to 21st century and find what perils and pleasure await in this romance box set collection based on the cursed pirates’ treasure of THE GOLDEN LEGACY.


2021-03-23T00:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

The Golden Legacy releases.


You can pre-order The Golden Legacy at Amazon using the following links:


Death Marks: Chapter 10

Death Marks: Chapter 10

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


Death Marks

Chapter 10

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

Opening the door wider, the lined face grim, she led them through to the lounge. Her morbidly obese body brushed the sides of the narrow walls of the hall, the ridiculous mini skirt barely covering thunderous thighs, with skin mottled red, deeply pitted from cellulite. 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.’

Dove hovered by the door, not wanting to sit down, whilst Redd sat on a wooden dining chair.

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

Redd smiled, ‘No thanks.’

Grunting, her chin digging into her enormous breasts, she tried to lever herself up in the chair to reach 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. Redd seemed unaware of the monstrous thighs opening. ‘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.

Dragging deeply on a cigarette, the woman appeared disinterested as to why they wanted to question her daughter. Sucking the smoke down, she directed out a stream of it to the ceiling.

Redd steepled his fingers as he leant forward. ‘Regina, can I call you Regina?’

The woman, busy sucking down the smoke, nodded.

‘We actually 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.’

‘Can I ask why?’

‘Yeah, she only went and did it with my partner. Egging him on all the time – letting him see her tits. Little slut. She thought I couldn’t see it. But, I’ve got eyes ain’t I? I’ve got ears.’

‘So your partner?’

‘Kicked him out and her – both of them. Caught them at it, you know. They thought I was working the late shift, but I knew, you see – I knew, and I just pretended to go work. Fooled them, didn’t I? Silly twats.’ Regina puffed furiously. ‘Caught them in the noddy, fucking – fucking in my bed no less. Gave them a bloody good hiding. Threw them out, didn’t I?’

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

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

‘Regina, have you any photos of Delle?’

‘Yeah, I stashed them away. Couldn’t bear the sight of her or him.’

Turning, she pointed to a sideboard drawer. ‘Save me getting up, just get one out of the sideboard over there. Pick any you want. ‘

Dove rose and walked over, pulling open the top drawer to see piles of paper, cards, keys, cigarette packets, and photos. Sorting through the muddle, she picked 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, ‘Pretty girl, 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 own age?’

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

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

‘Look me friends call me Reggie. Don’t like Regina; it rhymes with you know what?’ She winked at him, her hand going to her hair, the piggy eyes flirtatious. ‘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 humungous breasts wobble over a huge stomach, 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.’

Smiling, Reggie collapsed back in the chair. ‘Thanks – yer a mate you are.’

Redd managed a smile. ‘Thanks, Reggie.’

Disgusted, Dove followed him to the bedroom. Once there, 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 whilst Dove plucked at black hairs on the hairbrush. ‘Hair roots guv.’ 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, scrunchies, bits of paper, a couple of tampons packets, 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, ‘Some of these things are new, look – not been used, the price tickets are still on these three tops. Mahoney was right; if the victim is Delle, she was petite. These are a size eight.’

Redd held up a thong, a slip of red lace. ‘Shame, too small for Reggie, not that she would wear them anyway.’

Dove felt her face flushing, but on seeing his broad grin, he giggled, realizing he’d seen it all. They searched through more sweaters and nightwear consisting of flimsy tops and knickers – 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. ‘If this is our girl, then we’ve got a lead.’

Dove began re-filling the drawers. ‘Better put these back tidily.’

Walking back into 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 colour 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 enquiries.’

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?’

Dove said, ‘I think Reggie loves that girl.’

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.’

The other boy beamed. ‘Cool – just cool.’

Once seated, Dove said, ‘That was good of you. The trouble is, it will most probably pay for their next fix.’

‘It’s insurance. I might have to park the car here again.’

Redd listened to the engine purr into life. ‘The ticket to “Saturdays,” get DC Green and DC Crosby on that – check out the night club – the photo will help.’

As the car pulled out of the estate, Dove said, ‘Shame we can’t take Reggie to the mortuary – might be something to identify her.’

‘We haven’t got enough evidence for that. We can’t subject the woman to viewing a headless corpse until we’re more sure.’


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 9

Death Marks: Chapter 9

Back again after a very busy time. 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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


Death Marks

Chapter 9

Under any other circumstances, Redd would have enjoyed the journey. Within minutes of leaving Brighton, he drove through the Downs’ verdant countryside, the fields rising up to forested peaks of hills. The Weald had a bloody history, the land of the Celts invaded by Romans. In the fourth century, after the decline of the Roman Empire, England’s shores became vulnerable to hordes of vicious Picts, followed by the Scots. Only the tyrannical Vortigern, leader of the Anglo Saxons, stood between freedom and annihilation. It was a dark period of history, where King Arthur’s name floated through the jetsam of blood and bone.

The cool tones from the GPS instructed him to turn into Meads Way. Many townies would give their eyeteeth for such a setting. He pulled up outside a thatched cottage that slumbered into the earth. Cows from the field opposite trotted up to the fence, their calm brown eyes inquisitive, tails twitching away flies. Scents of lavender wafted towards him as he opened a decrepit gate. Tufts of grass and buttercups sprouting up through edges of the flagstones.

The front door charmed him; the blackened old oak held a stained-glass window depicting a biblical theme, Adam and Noah clad in white, blue, and brown robes looking contemplatively towards green hills. The whole scene instilled a sense of peace, serenity even, contrasting with the profiler’s gruesome occupation.

The door opened before he could pull the wrought-iron pulley. Redd looked down into their eyes the colour of dark chocolate, pale skin with the slightest hint of peach in her cheeks, contrasted with her ebony hair waving over her shoulders.

Grinning, she said, ‘You found us, come in.’

As he went to step forward, he heard a deep bark coming from the side of the cottage. Turning, he saw a blur of black and white, as a massive dog bolted towards him, grinding to a halt, just a foot away as she called out, ‘Sweetpea, stop it now.’

‘Sweetpea? The dog was a monster. Trying to look unconcerned, he silently followed her into a tiny flagstone porch, barely three feet by three feet. Leading him through the red quarry-tiled passageway, the lime and wattle walls looked fresh with white plaster. As she showed him into a large lounge, his gaze went to the inglenook fireplace, the lintel being one huge oak beam sagging to one side. The air was lightly scented with bunches of dried lavender and sweet-smelling herbs hanging in bunches from overhead beams. She waved to one of the overfilled chintz chairs and a small settee. Brightly coloured rag rugs lay strewn across the quarry stone tiles. ‘Do sit down, anywhere you like. Won’t be a sec.’

As she left the room, he looked at Sweetpea, who gazed back, panting. Shaking his huge head, he stooped and began licking the carpet. Frowning, Redd watched; why was he doing that? Maybe, there was some old food there or something. Hearing her re-enter, he tried to give some kind of smile that he was sure looked twisted.

Looking at the dog, she said, ‘Sweetpea, stop it.’ The dog took no notice and began licking furiously nearer to Redd’s feet. ‘I said, stop it. Do you want to be put out?’

Redd wished the dog could speak that he would say yes.

Crossing her arms, she went up to the dog and, without speaking, stood down looking at him; Sweetpea looked up and stopped immediately. They seemed to have some kind of telepathic rapport. After a few seconds of eyeballing, Sweetpea loped over to the couch and bounded up in one movement, groaning as he settled his head on his paws.

Seeing the question in Redd’s eyes, she said, ‘He shares everything. He’s a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, nearly two years old now. They have to be one of the family, almost in constant physical touch.’ Standing opposite him, she looked down at her top, the pale pink cotton jersey smudged with dirt and grass stains. ‘I’d better go and change. Can I get you a cup of coffee – tea?’

He wished he could go with her, help her change her top. Instead, he said, ‘Coffee would be great, thank you.’

‘It’s instant – Gold Blend.’

‘That’ll do fine.’

‘Sugar? Milk or cream?

‘I’ll have milk, and sugar please.’

‘Won’t be a sec.’

Leaving the room again, she left the door ajar. He took a wary glance at Sweetpea, who lay watching him, his brown eyes gentle. The dog became aware that Redd was looking at him, his tail thumped, as he got down from the couch. Redd knew that sometimes dogs wagged their tails in anger.


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 8

Death Marks: Chapter 8

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


Death Marks

Chapter 8

‘Now, blood types. David Baker’s is type ‘0’, and the female is type ‘AB.’ Both were in good health, judging from the organs. The stomach contents revealed they ingested salmon, potatoes, and a salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and so on. Here’s the strange bit. The report says both victims ingested a herb known as Salvia Divinorum; it’s referred to as Diviner’s or Seer’s Sage. It is a hallucinatory drug, a psychoactive plant. To be precise, it’s a potent κ-opioid and D2 receptor agonist with low toxicity and low addictive potential.

Dove raised her pen. ‘I didn’t know sage was a drug.’

‘This is a cousin of the herb, can grow to a meter in height. The information I’ve gathered originated in a cloud forest in Sierra Mazateca de Oaxaca, in Mexico, now it’s worldwide.  Here’s the twist, the unsubs have added a cocktail of agents, making it highly toxic and addictive. Therefore, it’s a bloody dangerous mix and can produce powerful visions and hallucinations.’

Dove felt her stomach churn. ‘Christ. I wonder if they took it willingly.’

Scratching his head, Jack said, ‘it produces hallucinations, but why give it to the victims? I would have thought the perps would be more likely to take it. The crimes seem to fit the drug. Hallucinations, delusions. Strange.’

Dove said, ‘they must have an expert chemist to be able to do the mix.’

Jack muttered, ‘so far, we have a surgeon and a chemist.’

Redd raised his eyebrows. ‘Could be your local pharmacist.’

Dove read over her notes so far. ‘Can anyone grow this? Is it like cannabis?’

‘It reproduces vegetatively, meaning it will root where it bends over and meets the ground, same as the yew trees. Easy then to get cuttings and grow it. It rarely produces seeds.’

Redd nodded. ‘It’s all over the net – plants, seeds, joint rolls – very cheap too.’

‘Surely it’s against the law if it’s a psychoactive drug?’

Redd said, ‘it seems there were some moves towards the legislation of the drug. In 2005 in an Early Day Motion, an MP moved to ban Salvia Divinorum. However, it only received eleven signatures. Somebody raised in October 2008. That had 18 signatures. It seems an MP also wrote to the Home Secretary at the time. Subsequently, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs was asked to look into the matter. It seems the drug is in line with other k-opioid agonists and has therapeutic potential and can aid in cocaine addiction.’

Dove raised her head from her writing. ‘So, it’s controversial then? I would have thought with it being non-addictive, it would not ring the alarm bells.’

Redd nodded. ‘I got this information from HOLMES 2; one director of a national health screening program said it could be useful in a whole range of diseases, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, depression, AIDS and HIV.’

Leaning back in the recliner, Jack said, ‘makes you wonder what the perps were up to. Why drug them? Fuck it, doesn’t make sense.’

Redd shook his head. ‘We’ve got to comb the websites, get lists of customers and their addresses.’

Dove frowned. ‘Boss, there’ll be hundreds, thousands.’

‘Exactly, get the teams on it. Get DS Williams and Papworth; they’re the computer bugs.

Jack said, ‘now, the bones. Why include them in the crime scene? They’re definitely over two hundred years, possibly older, male and female.’

Dove wrinkled her forehead. ‘I’ll get Bessie Owen and Mack O’Connell on that. I think it would be best to concentrate on the older churches in the district.’

Jack said. ‘I can’t understand why they bleached them. Leaving an old, rough parchment scroll points to a cult.’

Redd nodded. ‘Generally, killers don’t leave a specific note.’

‘Only when they’re escalating, then they do.’ Jack grimaced. ‘Changing the subject, have you assigned a profiler yet?’

‘Dr. Timmins was supposed to take it on, but he’s undergoing tests at the hospital, possible spleen trouble. I tried the one at Worthing, but she’s completely booked up. Debbie did recommend a profiler who’s breaking new ground. She’s been away for a few days, but she should be back now. It seems she’s got a new approach to profiling, helped out on a couple of cases with the FBI.’

‘And that is?’

‘Not sure. Something about a symbolic perspective, but as long as it works!

‘So have you got her number? I’ll get on to it straightaway.’ Jack rose from the recliner. ‘Yeah, I’ll write it down for you. Have` you got a pen and paper?’

Redd pushed over his pen and handed him a notepad.

‘Thanks.’ On scribbling down the name and number, Jack rose to his feet. ‘I’d better be off then. See you.’

Redd nodded as he buzzed Michelle. ‘Would you get hold of a Dr. Davies? She’s on this number.’ He spelled it out. ‘She won’t know me, so just give her my name and rank and tell her it’s urgent; I speak with her. Then put her through to me. If she’s not there, leave a message explaining I need to speak to her urgently.’ Okay?’

‘Yes, sir, I’m on it.’

As he waited, he realized he was gritting his teeth. The case was a mess; he just hoped the profiler could make sense of it. He sighed with relief as he heard a soft voice with an American accent. ‘Hi there, Dr. Davies, you wanted to speak to me?’ 

‘Hello, Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Redd here, Brighton Police Headquarters, our Counselor Ms. Debbie Stamp recommended you.’

‘Ah yes, I’ve just returned from Warwick. Debbie did phone me about you some days ago. I was going to contact you.  How can I help?’

‘Better if I explain in person, it’s complicated. Could we meet up?’

‘Yes, of course, when’s convenient for you?’

‘How about tomorrow morning?’

‘Ten-thirty tomorrow morning be okay?’

 ‘Fine. I’ll need your address.’

It’s in the Downs, Tatbourne, Hyde Cottage, Meads Way. You can’t miss it; it’s the only cottage down the lane – fields either side.’

‘I’ll find it with the GPS.’


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 7

Death Marks: Chapter 7

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


Death Marks

Chapter 7

Redd picked up the phone. ‘Dove here. I just got back from Saturdays. The place was packed, but no-one seems to have seen or heard of Delle and the Baker boy.’

‘Okay, thanks.’

He put down the phone drumming his fingers on the desk. Time was going on; they had to get a break. His face lit up when he saw the young PC carrying brown envelopes with the forensics insignia. After two hours of studying the reports, Redd groaned, putting his head in his hands. Stabbing the intercom button, he said, ‘Michelle, get Cummings and Dove in here pronto. Contact Dr. Patterson in Toxicology; I need to speak to him urgently.’

Michelle came back almost immediately, ‘I was just about to ring Dr. Patterson when the Deputy Chief Constable came on the line, sir.’

‘Okay, Michelle, put him through.’

‘Dan, it’s one hell of a case. I see you need the DNA of the Woodhouse girl in a hurry.’

‘Yes, sir, we interviewed the mother. One interesting point, the girl, must have had the tattoos done after leaving home. I’m wondering if the unsubs did them, some ritual.’

‘The case gets weirder. Good work getting the hair roots. I’ve already been on to Dr. Patterson. He knows the case has top priority. We need to get those results through in forty-eight hours, even if his team has to sleep at the lab. So send the samples off to him by special courier.’

‘Bill, I have to square it with Titmouse. The budget…?

‘Leave that to me. Forget Titmouse; he’s a pain in the arse.’

‘Thanks, that’s a relief.’

‘We’ve got to kill this quickly. I can see large-scale panic if we don’t; damn bunch of psychopaths.’

‘Got everyone on it, Bill. All overtime canceled, officers working twelve-hour shifts. The Incident Room is up and running; the teams are working non-stop.’

‘Sounds like it could turn serial.’

‘I’ve contacted other branches as to similar crimes. DS Williams went back five years on HOLMES2, and he’s combing it every day. If there is anything comparable, we’ll know. Papworth is searching Interpol.’

‘Good – let’s hope it’s contained to the UK.’

‘I’ll phone Patterson now, sir.’

‘Keep at it; anything you need, just let me know.’

Putting down the phone, Redd breathed a sigh of relief. At least, he had the DCC on his side; Titmouse was murmuring about Seaton assisting. He didn’t need that louse crawling in his hair. The investigating teams were already in full throttle. As Jack was also helping on the case, it made for a good excuse.

Pressing the intercom, he said, ‘Michelle, try Dr. Patterson now. ‘Will do, sir.’

Minutes later, Michelle buzzed. ‘Dr. Patterson for you, sir.’

‘Great, put him through.’ Redd switched the phone to the loudspeaker, leaving him free to write notes. ‘Hello doctor, just been speaking to the DDC; he tells me he’s already discussed the case with you.’

Although suffering from chronic osteoarthritis, Patterson was well beyond retirement, making it almost impossible to walk; he scooted around the labs in an electric wheelchair. ‘Hi Redd, yes, the DCC has been onto me. Bloody awful crime. There are some right monsters out there. You want the DNA results on Delle Woodhouse, as of yesterday?’

‘Yes, but first, I’ve just been through the reports on the victims. We managed to find some root hairs from the girl’s hairbrush and a used tube of lipstick. Let’s hope the DNA matches the victim. This is one bugger of a case; perps are pure evil.’

‘The DCC is pulling out all the guns. I’ll go over to the lab personally. We should get it through in three days tops – Saturday?’

Knowing it usually took weeks to get the DNA test through, Redd grinned. ‘Brilliant. My thanks, now I’m going to go through the reports with Jack and Dove. Hope to hear from you soon.’

As he put down the phone, Dove entered with Jack following.

‘Come in, I’ve been through the toxicology reports, and I think there is a glimmering of a lead, but the whole case is bizarre. Sit yourselves down; we’re in for a long haul.’

Taking a chair, Dove took out her notepad whilst Jack dragged the recliner forward. ‘Might as well make myself comfortable. So, anything?’

‘Forensics managed to lift a fingerprint from the bark of one of the yew trees on the site. The only thing is, Papworth ran it through HOLMES2, and there is no match. All we have to do now is find the hand.’

Dove grimaced. ‘Let’s hope it’s still attached to the body.’

‘Maybe they’ll start dissecting each other.’ Jack muttered. I’ve phoned Edward Patterson, and he’s promised to do DNA testing on Delle’s hair roots and lipstick together with the DNA from the body in the morgue. We’ll have the results Saturday, hopefully. If the DNA of both of them marries up, you can get the mother to identify Delle’s body.


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 6

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


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.’


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 5

Death Marks: Chapter 5

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


Death Marks

Chapter 5

The Present

Frustrated, Redd pushed the file to one side. He looked up, as Dove in a fresh blue top matching the denim skirt, entered the office. His voice tense, he said, ‘It’s nearly four days now. Forensics are taking their bloody time.’

Tiredness painted violet shadows beneath her eyes. ‘The teams are searching the hills around the forest, boss, got the  Chichester stations on it as well; then there are volunteers going over every blade of grass.’

‘What about O’Connell and Owen?’

‘They’ve covered all the dives, massage parlors, brothels, and the surrounding districts; Brighton, Littlehampton, Bognor, Chichester, bugger all. It seems we’re dealing with ghosts.’

‘People are zipping up. Don’t want to draw attention; these are vicious killers.’

‘Yeah, even the snitches don’t wanna know.’

‘Christ, you’d think with such grisly murders, there’d be someone with a conscience.’

‘Everyone’s scared, stiff, Sir. I mean entrails? Sounds like a voodoo sacrifice. People don’t want to be seen talking to the Plod. It might be their head rolling in the Downs. ‘

‘Yeah, it isn’t in the papers yet, but everyone knows. At least we’ve managed to keep the decapitations under wraps. Jack’s checking out the mobsters and gang leaders. He speaks the language.’

‘Prossies just button up when you go near them. Uniforms say they’re frightened; they don’t want their knee caps broken.’

As Dove handed him a steaming cup of coffee, he said, ‘chase toxicology, they promised they’d rush it through, what the fuck’s wrong with them, got their heads up their arses?’

Dove remained silent, now used to the boss’s flare-ups. ‘It’s as silent as a graveyard out there.’

‘Yeah. Four days and nothing. I thought with the Baker boy we might be getting somewhere.’

The internal phone buzzed. ‘Huh, Michele. Yes?’

Dove listened on the intercom. ‘Guv, the desk has a woman on the line. Says she knows the Baker boy met a new girl.’

Redd glanced over to Dove, giving a thumbs up, his eyes brightening. ‘Put her on.’

The girl’s voice held a tremor as she spoke over the intercom. ‘You the dick in charge of the murder case?’

‘Yes, speaking.’

‘Well, I knew the guy who got done in, my friend went to a night-club with him. I have not seen her around for about a week or so, you know. I’m getting worried.’

‘Have you her name and address?’

‘Delle Woodhouse, Trevelyan Heights, Flat 6. St. George’s Block.’

Redd grabbed a pen, scribbling it down. ‘Okay, thank you and your name and address, please.’

The girl’s voice rose; her fear was evident. ‘I told the plod on the desk I ain’t giving out my name and stuff. I’m only trying to help.’

‘We’ll only contact you if it’s necessary, okay?

‘Alright, Tracy Thomas. 12 Coxgrove Street, Brighton.’

‘We’ll need your phone and cell numbers, please.’ The phone went dead. ‘Damn. She’s put the phone down on me.’ Dialing through to the desk, he said, ‘Trace that call I just had, Sergeant.’

Looking at Dove, he said, ‘bet she gave a false address. Fuck. Let’s get going.’ Pushing his chair back, Redd reached for his jacket.

‘I expect her cell was a throwaway.’

Trevelyan Heights was the product of a nanny government scheme. Once the Town Council’s joy, it was the dream of some anal-retentive architect from the seventies. His idea of outré design being a rectangular box wrapped in concrete. The trailblazing squares and angles now jutted out stark and grey, the cracked plaster-like barnacles on a dead whale.

Getting out of the car, Redd looked over the sleek lines of his pride and joy, an Audi A6 Coupe, brilliant black. He wanted it to remain bright black, so he sauntered over to a couple of teenagers sitting on the kerb, their hands swiftly disappearing into pockets, faces contorted, as they tried to swallow the smoke. Redd smiled, his expression bland, as he smelt the cannabis. ‘Hey, want to earn a fiver – just watch the wheels, okay?’

The kid with a number one haircut and bum fluff goatee screwed up his eyes; the obligatory peaked cap pulled down to his eyes. ‘You having a laugh? Tenner more like it.’

Raising his eyebrows, Redd held out the fiver. ‘Last chance.’

The kid stood up, hand outstretched, the fiver disappearing into his top pocket. As Redd turned, he swiftly whipped off the boy’s cap and grabbed his wrist looking at the tattoo that marked him as a Red Cut Gang member. ‘Just for insurance.’

As they walked away, Dove heard the boy say, ‘Fucking filth, do his fucking car in.’

Dove muttered, ‘should have given the little bastards a tenner.’

Redd shook his head, waving the cap. ‘Nah, they know we’re police; they won’t chance me hauling them in.’

After ringing the bell twice, the peeling blue painted door remained closed. Dove looked through the small window covered with a grimy net curtain. ‘Someone’s just turned down the sound on the TV.’

Ringing again, Redd flicked open the letterbox. ‘Open up, police.’

Silence reigned. Irritated, Redd shouted again, ‘Look, we know you’re in there. Come on, open up.’

Hearing shuffling footsteps, they stood back as the door opened. A woman in her late thirties, with thinning brown hair dragged back in a ponytail, peered at them, ‘Yeah?’

‘Chief Inspector Redd and Detective Sergeant Dove. We need to speak to you.’

‘You wanna ask about that slag of a daughter of mine, don’cha?’


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 4

Death Marks: Chapter 4

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


Death Marks

Chapter 4

Flickering lights flaring from brass sconces gave a soft sheen to mahogany paneled walls. A huge chandelier shimmering with crystal teardrops enhanced the baroque plastered ceiling. Deep maroon curtains covered arched windows blocking out the evil within. A center table covered with a white linen cloth stretched the length of the room. Death gleamed in the cut crystal glasses and solid silver candlesticks. As the diners, a mixture of men and women, helped themselves to brandy and liqueurs, a tall man, his silver hair gleaming under the light, rose to his feet and tapped a decanter.

‘Ovates, your attention, please. I hope you enjoyed the sumptuous repast cooked by our very own chef Monsieur De Clef.’ At that moment, a rotund chef entered, goatee beard immaculate, overalls pristine white; his tall white chef’s hat slightly cocked to one side. Bowing, his small teeth shone in a wide smile. The diners clapped heartily, at which point he bowed again and left the room.

His face composed, the Chief Druid Adakan addressed the assembly. ‘I regret to inform you that the first stage of our initiations failed. We will now return to the Grove to address the matter.’

Silently, the company rose as one, their faces grave, as they walked in single file through huge mahogany doors. In a small anteroom, off the great dining hall, they swiftly divested themselves of their formal dining clothes, displaying bodies covered with tattoos of ancient Celtic spirals. Naked, they donned black hooded cowls and followed Adakan to the sacred place in the depths of the Manor house.

The rough-hewn stone walls of the immense cavern glistened, with the smell of beeswax wafting from candles flickering in wrought-iron sconces. Several wolfhounds stood panting in one corner as their handlers held them back by steel linked lashes.

On divesting their cowls, the members stood by velvet cushions placed upon the floor, their heads bowed, waiting for the Chief Druid to mount a podium carved with oak leaves. Ascending the steps, he stood tall and proud, naked except for a wreath of oak leaves and mistletoe. From his studded leather belt hung a sword sheathed in an ornate scabbard. He gestured for them to sit. Bowing, they obeyed, those more limber sat on the stone floor, crossing their legs, hands resting on their knees. Three men and one woman entered, carrying a drum, whistle, and reed pipes in the silence that followed.

Once assembled, Adakan said, ‘sadly, the first stage of offerings to our Lady of the Earth failed. Our chosen maiden did not give the oracle. His voice lifted, ‘Ovate Hagnivior defiled her, our virgin, our Oracle.’ His voice rose to a scream, ‘bring forth the sinner.’

Four men, masked and clad in black loincloths, decorated their leather armlets with steel spikes. Carrying knives, with cutlasses lashed to leather waist belts, they bowed to Adakan. They watched in silence as the Ovates dragged in a cowering figure, throwing him down before the speaker whose voice filled the cavern.  ‘Sinner, confess, confess now.’

The figure shuddered. ‘I didn’t mean to … it was the drugs.’

Adakan turned toward the man, holding him down. ‘Ovate Bleiki, tell us how you learned of this sacrilege?’

‘The Ovate Hagnivior was in charge of the chosen virgin. But I was suspicious of him when I saw him take the woman to his house. As the back door was unlocked, I crept in and watched him take her down to the cellar. I went outside to the garden, where I could see them through the cellar window’s iron bars. I saw him fuck the virgin. She – she enjoyed it.’

Adakan’s face suffused with rage, the pale skin a shade whiter, his grey eyes as hard as slate, as he shouted at the cringing ovate. ‘You despoiled our virgin, the maiden was chosen to be the Oracle; you insulted our Mother of the Earth. As your Chief Druid, I sentence you —’

The figure raised an arm, screeching, ‘no, please. I won’t —

‘Be silent. You do not deserve an honorable death.’ Adakan roared.  ‘We will sever your limbs from your body, one by one, and you will watch the hounds eat them here before you. Your head will be severed from your filthy body. Your brain will be food for the crows, your skull cleansed by the virgins. I, your leader, servant to the Great Earth Mother, will take great pleasure in drinking from your skull. No-one defiles the virgin, our Oracle.’

‘Mercy master, mercy, I beg you, I will not do it again, I—’

‘Silence, you cur.  Sternly he stepped from the lectern and walked slowly to a large throne carved with the ancient Celtic symbols.

Seated, he cleared his throat. ‘Everyone rise to witness the fate of the virgin. She, faithless woman, will become the whore to the denizens of hell.’

 The Ovates dutifully rose to their feet, covering their heads with the hoods, and stood quite still.

As Adakan pounded his iron staff on the floor, two women in white silken robes entered either side of a young woman sobbing and pleading for mercy. The room was hushed to a deathly silence broken only by her piteous pleas.

The drums began softly thrumming as the women stepped aside. Reed pipes played softly above the drums as two of the leather-clad men came forward. One held her delicate arms whilst the other stood behind her, his steel sword raised. The reed pipes now screeched above the drums as Adakan nodded. In that split second, the sword flashed in the light of the flares. Swift and silent, it came down, severing her head from her body. The Ovates standing near raised their hands to catch the spurting blood, reverently painting a bloody oval on their foreheads.

No one cried or moved; only the sobbing of the Ovate broke the dreadful silence.  

A woman stepped forward and gently placed a sprig of mistletoe in the dead girl’s mouth and gently closing it.

With grim faces, the four leather-clad men gathered around the penitent, now gibbering with terror, scrabbling on all fours away from his executioners.

Two of the men held him down whilst the other two prepared their weapons. Some group members lowered their eyes as one of the executioners raised the struggling, sobbing ovate’s arm out from his body, at which point, the axe came down, severing his left limb at the shoulder. Upon Adakan raising his hand, one of the leather-clad men threw the twitching limb to the hounds who snapped, ripped, and chewed the bloody flesh. The Ovate’s screams rent the air, knives, and cutlasses sparkling, falling on the flesh and limbs of the accused, the blood arcing, splattering his attackers. The squish of severed limbs filled the cavern, followed by the crunch of bones on steel. As the Ovate’s head and torso sobbed, grunted, twitched, and wriggled on the stone floor, Adakan nodded to one of the men, who bent over and skewered the skull, pulling out the grey matter slipping and slithering near his feet. He looked up to Adakan, who signaled for him to put the wretch out of his agony. In one swoop of the axe, the deed was done, and the Ovate’s torso lay still, whilst Adakan examined the head. Most of the Ovates looked on gravely, knowing this was their fate if they broke the rules.

Raising his hand, Adakan said, ‘gather round; we shall read the signs of his wicked crime.’

In silence, the Ovates watched as the body was ripped open, and the senior Ovates searched for signs of the accused crimes in the organs, each artery a portent. Adakan stood right over him. ‘You see the signs; the man is guilty of crimes against our Lady Mother Earth. We will not demean the Gods by reading for goodly omens or marking the entrails.’ Turning, he said, ‘Ovate Fjorn place the mistletoe in the fiend’s mouth, and let there be an end to this.’

The reed pipes faded away with the last drum beat as the four executioners gathered the bloody detritus into a leather bag. Bowing to the Chief Druid, they left the cavern.

His voice silky, Adakan said, ‘he will reincarnate as the lowest of the low, a mere slug or fly. I will pass you over to Ovate Bleiki.’

Bleiki walked to the podium beside the dais. ‘Now we must discuss our search for another chosen. We must find two more worthy. It will be difficult to use the same Grove to place our offerings, but there is another similar near a barrow mound, early Neolithic. It is just below the summit of the Downs so that it will be an auspicious site. We must mollify the Gods at the first opportunity.’

He nodded as another Ovate raised his hand. ‘Yes, I have heard of it; pagans and the neo-druids alike use the ground.’

‘How the neo-druids can even use the name Druid is blasphemy. They follow a different path. First, we must find a suitable companion to escort the defiled woman to hell. It must be some inconspicuous young man. Now, we need to decide how we will procure the next Oracle. This time we should look for those with more merit. After all, these are sacred offerings.’

A voice rang out from the back of the group. ‘You are right. Maybe this is a sign from The Mother, that the offerings were not acceptable.’

Clasping her hands over a rotund belly, a woman said, ‘We should keep to those who blaspheme against nature, despoiling the body of Mother Earth with their scientific experiments. They should serve as an example, as well as an offering.’

The Chief Druid smiled, ‘Good point, Ovate Asleifra.’

Ovate Bleiki spoke up, ‘I think we should refine our search for the Oracle among those who live alone, or young couples setting up home together. They are less likely to be missed.’

Adakan pursed his lips, ‘So be it. I think a nightclub or bar near the university would be advantageous. Ovate Braddulfr that is more your scene. See to it.’

He then turned to a tall man stroking a lock of dirty-blond hair over a balding pate. ‘Do the police suspect anyone at this time?

‘The male head is identified, but forensics has not come up with anything as yet.’


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 3

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


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.


Copyright.

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!

Death Marks: Chapter 2

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.

Other Chapters

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

All Available Chapters!


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?’

‘Okay.’

‘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.’

‘Opiates?’

‘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.’


Copyright.

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

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