Deadlight

Deadlight by Graham Hurley

Book: Deadlight by Graham Hurley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Graham Hurley
actions go to you. This isn’t rocket science, Corbett. That’s the way the system works.’
    ‘But I talked to Davidson. And I flagged him up in the first place. Why put someone else on to him when I’ve got the inside track?’
    ‘Who said we’re talking this afternoon?’
    ‘We’re not? I’m sorry, guv, I thought this was a murder inquiry.’
    Faraday looked him in the eye, letting the silence stretch and stretch.
    ‘Do you want to apologise for that?’ he said at last.
    ‘I’m sorry, sir, I’m just concerned about—’
    ‘Did you hear what I said?’
    ‘Yes, sir.’ His face was a mask. ‘And I apologise.’
    ‘Good. Now fuck off out of here. Ingham works in the incident room. Big guy. Yorkshire accent. Can’t miss him.’
    Corbett held his gaze. This was a declaration of war and both men knew it. Out beyond the car park, a flock of pigeons wheeled over the rooftops of Stamshaw. Finally Corbett stood up.
    ‘They told me it would be different down here,’ he said softly. ‘But you know what? I never believed them.’
    Faraday watched him leave the office, letting his anger slowly subside. When he picked up the phone and dialled, Dave Michaels answered on the second ring.
    ‘I’m off to the prison.’ Faraday was already struggling into his jacket. ‘Back in an hour or so.’
    HMP Gosport was over the water, a ferry ride away across a busy stretch of Portsmouth Harbour. A sprawling Victorian red-brick pile, as martial as many of the other institutions that littered the area, it towered over the surrounding terraces. According to the latest count, it was now home for nearly six hundred prisoners.
    Faraday had visited the place on a number of occasions and hated it. It was institutions like these where the people he hunted would probably end up, but in the strangest of ways Faraday had nothing but regrets for putting them there. Most of the villains he saw through to conviction were young, male, unmarried, ignorant, jobless and suffering from varying degrees of mental disturbance. Lock them in a cell twenty hours a day, get them used to the smell and sight of failure, and they’d quickly lose what little interest a decent life had ever held for them. Prison, in his view, was the very best way of turning an inadequate into a lifetime criminal.
    He stepped out of the cab and showed his warrant cardat the gatehouse. A phone call confirmed his appointment and he followed a burly prison officer through a warren of corridors towards the administrative block. This was Sean Coughlin’s world, he kept telling himself. The constant jangle of keys as warders patrolled the echoing wings. The jarring clang of steel on steel as they shepherded prisoners from floor to floor, opening and closing the big metal grilles. This was where you could take a serious liberty with people too frightened or too bewildered to make a fuss. This would be close to paradise for someone as predatory and ruthless as Coughlin appeared to have been.
    Or would it?
    The prison governor thought not. He was a small, squat, red-faced man with a toothbrush moustache and bad breath. He wore a brown tweed jacket with leather patches at the elbow. In another life, thought Faraday, he might have been a prep school headmaster.
    ‘Coughlin? Never had a problem with him. Exemplary would have been too kind but effective, certainly. We’ll miss him, I’ll tell you that. More Coughlins and life might be a great deal quieter.’
    Faraday frowned. He’d come here with an open mind. One or two of yesterday’s interviews suggested that Coughlin wasn’t the most popular of prison officers. True?
    ‘He keeps himself to himself, certainly, but I’m not aware of any Home Office regulation against that. If a man can get by without company, good luck to him.’ He patted the file on his desk. Coughlin’s timekeeping was spot-on and he’d taken just three days sick leave over the last couple of years. He’d never make management but that had never

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