The Complaints

The Complaints by Ian Rankin

Book: The Complaints by Ian Rankin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ian Rankin
assume he didn’t.’ Breck took a deep breath. ‘There’s a pub in Gorgie ... Faulkner wasn’t exactly a regular, but he went in occasionally. They’ve got CCTV inside and out.’


    Breck stopped suddenly and turned to face Malcolm Fox, studying him. ‘I’m not sure how much of this I should be telling you.’

    ‘What’s the pub called?’

    ‘Marooned. Do you know it?’ Breck watched the older man shake his head. ‘It’s only been open a year or so.’

    ‘Vince Faulkner was caught on camera?’ Fox prompted.

    ‘Saturday night. A few rugby fans were in - Welsh guys. Words were exchanged and they took it outside.’

    ‘They beat him up?’

    Breck shook his head. ‘From the footage I’ve seen, he pushed one of them and they gave his head a slap. Three against one . . . Faulkner weighed it up and sloped off with a few final insults.’

    ‘They didn’t go after him?’

    ‘Doesn’t mean he didn’t bump into them again later.’

    ‘No.’ Fox was thoughtful.

    ‘Your sister says he doesn’t have any family left down south - is that right?’

    Fox shrugged. ‘She’d know better than me.’ He paused. ‘This doesn’t have anything to do with her, you know.’

    Breck nodded slowly. ‘All the same . . . it’s the way the game’s played.’

    ‘Will her house be a mess?’

    ‘I asked the SOCOs to go easy.’

    ‘They won’t have found anything.’ The two men had started walking again. When they turned left into Dewar Place, Fox realised they were doing a circuit. Another left into the lane and they’d be back at the police station and Fox’s car.

    ‘You live quite close to me,’ Breck was saying.

    Fox opened his mouth to reply, then made a swallowing motion instead. He’d been about to say, I know .

    ‘Is that right?’ was what he eventually answered.

    ‘It came up,’ Breck explained with a shrug. ‘I’m on the estate behind Morrisons.’

    ‘You married?’


    ‘How serious?’

    ‘Only a couple of months - she’s not moved in yet. How about you?’

    ‘I used to be married,’ Fox replied.

    ‘Family life’s tough when you’re a cop,’ Breck decided.

    ‘Yes, it is,’ Fox agreed. He was thinking about the girlfriend. Plenty of abusers and offenders had partners. It made for good cover - ‘the quiet family man’. Only a tiny part of their everyday life was given over to their secret self. On the other hand, there were probably lots of men out there who’d stumbled upon websites they wished they hadn’t, then had lingered . . . not altogether sure why. Drawn in by something.

    How many, though, ended up handing over their credit card?

    ‘Is that what you’ve got so far?’ Fox asked. ‘Marooned and some Welsh rugby fans?’

    ‘That’s about it.’

    ‘No sightings Sunday or Monday?’

    ‘It’s early days, Inspector.’

    Fox nodded and thought of something. ‘Where did he work?’ ‘You don’t know?’

    ‘I know he was a labourer . . .’

    ‘He was on a short-term contract at Salamander Point.’

    ‘I thought it had gone bust?’

    ‘Not quite.’ They had almost reached the end of Dewar Place Lane. Breck touched Fox on the shoulder. ‘Best if we split up here.’

    Fox nodded. ‘Thanks for the chat.’

    Breck smiled and stuck out his hand. The two men shook.


    Fox called Lauder Lodge from the car. They asked if he wanted to speak to his father, but he told them just to pass on the message. He couldn’t take Mitch to Jude’s today. Maybe tomorrow.

    Marooned was about halfway between Torphichen Place and Saughtonhall. It was down a side street, not far from the Heart of Midlothian stadium. Fox didn’t get out of the car, just sat there long enough to get an idea of the place. The single-storey brick building dated back to the seventies. Must have been a gap site at one time, maybe a garage or builder’s yard before that. Four-storey tenements flanked it, with another across the street. A

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