No Lovelier Death

No Lovelier Death by Graham Hurley

Book: No Lovelier Death by Graham Hurley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Graham Hurley
trespass. The whole fucking city knew about the rave in Sandown Road, they seemed to be saying. So we just turned up.
    Faraday glanced down at his notes. His suspects’ list now numbered seventeen. These youths, mainly male, mainly white, would be subject to further interview this evening. In the absence of forensic evidence or incrimination from another source, they’d be released on police bail by midnight. Tomorrow, he anticipated a start on comparing ninety-four witness statements, no matter how brief. In conjunction with the emerging picture from Scenes of Crime, plus developments on the intelligence front, he’d hope for some kind of solid timeline within a few days.
    ‘One other thing, boss.’ He was looking at Gail Parsons. ‘We re-interviewed Rachel’s best friend this afternoon. If we’re looking for motive, the lad Berriman definitely has some questions to answer.’
    Briefly, he outlined the relationship that Rachel had so recently broken off. Gareth Hughes had taken Matt Berriman’s place. And Berriman had been less than pleased.
    A hand went up at the back of the room. It was one of the D/Cs who’d seized Berriman’s laptop at Margate Road. He was looking at Faraday.
    ‘One thing I forgot to mention, boss. Guess who we met coming out of Berriman’s place?’
    ‘Who?’
    ‘Paul Winter.’
     
    It took a while for Winter to pin down an address for the dead boyfriend. The Pompey phone book had dozens of entries under ‘Hughes’ so he put a call in to a contact on the News. Lizzie Hodson was a mate of Jimmy Suttle’s. Winter had met her himself on a couple of occasions and he knew she was intrigued by what had taken an ageing cop to a new career on the Dark Side. In return for the promise of a drink and a chat later in the week, she agreed to make a few enquiries and call him back.
    His phone was ringing within minutes. Hughes, it turned out, had lived with his family on Hayling Island. Winter, impressed with this speedy bit of research, asked how she knew.
    ‘Jimmy told me,’ she said.
    ‘Did you mention my name at all?’
    ‘Of course not.’
    Hayling Island was on the other side of Langstone Harbour, an area of land the size of Portsmouth. Flat, featureless and ribboned with rows of neat little retirement bungalows, it had always struck Winter as an invitation to an early death, but towards the south of the island there were avenues of more substantial properties, expensively alarmed against predators from across the water.
    Orchard Lodge, Sinah Lane, lay behind a thick laurel hedge. From the Lexus, with the window down, Winter could hear the tick-tick of a water sprinkler. More faintly came a surge of applause from some kind of crowd.
    Pushing in through the big double gates, he braced himself against the attentions of a black Labrador. The dog was young, still a puppy, and it danced round Winter’s feet as he made his way to the front door. The house looked pre-war, solidly built, with half an acre of so of encircling garden. Most of the garden was lawn, newly mown. Winter knocked again, watching the arching throw of water as the sprinkler ticked round.
    ‘Can I help you?’
    The voice came from an upstairs window. Winter shaded his eyes against the last of the sunshine. The woman seemed in no hurry to open the door.
    ‘It’s about Gareth …’ he began.
    ‘Who are you?’
    ‘My name’s Winter. Paul Winter.’
    ‘Are you a journalist’
    ‘No.’
    ‘Then why are you here?’
    It was a good question. Winter was still coming up with the answer when the front door opened. A man this time, overweight, middle-aged, in jeans and a faded pink T-shirt.
    ‘What the hell do you want?’ Winter caught the scent of alcohol on his breath. His eyes were filmy. ‘Don’t think we’ve had enough for one day?’
    ‘I’m sorry. Bad time.’
    ‘It bloody well is. So what do you want?’
    Winter produced an iPod and held it out. The man stared at it a moment. When nothing registered, Winter

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