Destruction of Evidence

Destruction of Evidence by Katherine John

Book: Destruction of Evidence by Katherine John Read Free Book Online
Authors: Katherine John
Tags: Mystery
beats me what they’d be doing in a quiet Welsh market town. On the other hand, the destruction of evidence has the hallmark of a professional.’ Peter thrust his hands into his pockets.
    ‘And it’s better to think professional criminal gang, than consider the local force involved.’
    ‘Agreed,’ Peter concurred.
    ‘And better still to keep an open mind,’ Trevor advised.
    ‘You’re beginning to sound like Dan and Bill Mulcahy. Is it something that comes with promotion?’
    ‘Stop winding people up and you might find out.’
    ‘What and give up my hobby? Bloody Mary! I can smell the stench of the fire from here. Do you think that’s what hell smells like?’
    ‘Haven’t you read your Bible lately?’
    ‘I’ve been waiting for the graphic version with pictures to come out.’
    ‘By all accounts the fires in hell are eternal and fed by brimstone.’
    ‘What is brimstone?’ Peter asked.
    ‘Some think it’s a reference to volcanic activity and sulphurous rocks.’
    Peter smiled. ‘Then that’ll give the Larry Joneses of this world something to look forward to.’
    Reggie was waiting for them in front of a twelve foot break in the wall manned by two uniformed officers. She effected the introductions. ‘Inspector Trevor Joseph, Sergeant Frank Howell and Constable Jim Murphy. They’ve been informed that you are here to take charge of the investigation.’
    ‘Sir.’ They both acknowledged Trevor.
    ‘And Sergeant Peter Collins,’ Reggie added, downgrading Peter to an afterthought.
    Peter nodded to the officers.
    ‘This is the rear entrance to the Pitchers’ yard.’ Reggie walked through the gap. ‘Has it been quiet, Sergeant Howell?’
    ‘Apart from journalists sniffing round,’ Frank replied. ‘They keep trying to rent rooms in the pub and adjoining houses that overlook the yard. But they picked on the wrong neighbours. Tim Pryce and the accountants tipped us off and we sent them packing.’
    ‘Carry on the good work, Sergeant.’ Reggie preceded Trevor and Peter into an open area the size of a tennis court. The reek of fire was overpowering at close quarters.
    Trevor looked around. ‘Where did you find your suspect?’
    ‘There.’ Reggie turned and indicated the building. Trevor saw two suited figures inside sifting through debris. ‘The family vehicles.’ Reggie pointed to the left-hand side of the yard. ‘The two BMW sports cars belonged to the eldest sons; the SLK coupe was Gillian Pitcher’s, the Mercedes Sprinter van, Alun’s.’
    ‘Alun Pitcher drove the short straw,’ Peter observed.
    ‘His Bentley’s in the garage.’ Reggie pointed to a double garage in the bottom right-hand corner of the yard well away from the house and the fire. ‘He only took it out on high days and holidays. Given the way he worked, there weren’t many of those. His is the only car that hasn’t been damaged by burning debris.’
    ‘You’ve checked it?’ Trevor noted the dusting of grey fingerprint powder on all the cars.
    ‘Along with the other vehicles. No recent alien fingerprints were found on the inside or outside of any,’ Reggie confirmed.
    A mobile HQ unit was parked next to the cars, close to the boundary wall.
    ‘The sports cars are tasty if you’re into joy-riding,’ Peter looked around. ‘This yard is an open invitation. I’m surprised there isn’t better security.’
    ‘Most of the taking without consent…’
    ‘We call it Twocking,’ Peter smiled at Reggie. A smile she didn’t reciprocate.
    ‘As do the ones who indulge in the practice in this town, Sergeant. I prefer to call it by its rightful name, thieving. Ninety per cent of the cars that are taken are stolen from the town and supermarket car parks,’ she continued. ‘As for security, if you look up you will see that most of residents, commercial and private, in this street have CCTV.’
    ‘So theft is a problem.’ Trevor eyed the cameras that had been fixed at attic level.
    ‘No.’ Reggie was emphatic. ‘This

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