Bloodline by Mark Billingham

Book: Bloodline by Mark Billingham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mark Billingham
Tags: Fiction, Mystery
wanted, that’s what you said. But you didn’t buy anything in the end.’
    â€˜It’s not what I said . It’s what happened.’
    â€˜This is stupid,’ Turner said. ‘The police checked all that an’ all. Went to the shops Jamie went into.’
    â€˜We could always check again,’ Thorne said.
    â€˜Do what you bloody like,’ Paice said. ‘Maybe I should be talking to a solicitor, check out how much I can sue you bastards for.’
    â€˜A solicitor might be a good idea,’ Holland said.
    â€˜What?’ Paice suddenly looked furious and began rocking slowly in the chair, his knuckles whitening around the neck of his beer bottle.
    â€˜It’s all right, Jamie.’ Looking daggers at Holland as she went, Turner moved across and sat down on the arm of Paice’s chair. She laid a hand on his shoulder and told him that he needed to calm down; that getting worked up wouldn’t do any good, or bring Catherine back.
    â€˜She’s telling the truth,’ Holland said. ‘And it’s about time you did.’
    Thorne had been happy to sit there and let Holland get stuck into Jamie Paice. They knew very well that his alibi checked out, and they had not driven a hundred miles because they thought he’d killed Catherine Burke or anyone else. But for some reason he had lied to Paul Brewer, they felt sure about that, and in these situations it always paid to put the subject firmly on the back foot.
    Holland had made a good job of it, and not for the first time. Thorne had told him once, a year or so back, how impressed he had been. Holland had laughed, then told Thorne that when it came to making people feel uncomfortable, he’d learned from the master. ‘I don’t mean watching you in interview rooms or anything,’ Holland had said, enjoying himself. ‘Just, you know, how you are with people . . . all the time .’
    â€˜You were asked how Catherine’s mother had died,’ Thorne said. He waited until Paice was looking at him. ‘And you talked a lot of rubbish.’
    â€˜When Brewer rang and asked, you mean?’ Paice seemed genuinely confused. Turner was squeezing his shoulder, trying to say something, but he wouldn’t let her speak. ‘I told him. I don’t understand.’
    â€˜You said Catherine’s mother died of cancer.’
    â€˜Right, same as her dad. He died a few years ago, stomach cancer I think, and her mum died when Cath was a kid. I’m not sure what sort—’
    â€˜Why are you lying?’
    â€˜I’m not . She died of cancer.’
    â€˜No,’ Thorne said. ‘She didn’t.’ He was as certain as he could be that Catherine Burke’s mother had been murdered fifteen years before, just as the mothers of Emily Walker and Alex and Greg Macken had been. There was nobody named Burke on the list of victims that was folded in Thorne’s pocket, but nor was there a Macken or a Walker. There were any number of reasons why the surnames of parent and child might not match, but the link between the four most recent murder victims could no longer be in any doubt.
    â€˜This is mental,’ Paice said. He shifted forward, trying to get up, but was pressed gently back into his chair.
    â€˜It’s true, Jamie,’ Turner said. ‘Cath’s mum was murdered by a man named Raymond Garvey.’
    Paice looked up at her, and as soon as he had placed the name, he began shaking his head. ‘You’re kidding? He killed loads, didn’t he?’
    â€˜Seven,’ Turner said. She looked at Thorne, received a small nod of confirmation. ‘Cath’s mum was the third or fourth, I think.’
    Paice took a long pull on his bottle, held the beer in his mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. ‘So, why didn’t she tell me? Why was there this made-up cancer story?’
    â€˜She just got sick of it,’ Turner said. ‘People wanting

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