DCI Monika Paniatowski investigates a case that could be the making – or, more likely, breaking – of her career
DCI Monika Paniatowski has only been back from maternity leave for three days when she is called in to investigate a nightmare of a case. Not only is the murder victim a mother of three small children, but her husband is a wealthy politician. Monika knows that if she can’t make a quick arrest her career is on the line. It’s lucky, then, that within minutes of meeting Councillor Danbury, she has a bruised face – and a prime suspect.
But then the case takes a nasty twist, and suddenly the investigation is national news. Monika’s sure she has the right man – but how to prove it? Particularly when she’s under pressure from her superiors to arrest anyone other than Councillor Danbury, president of the golf club and friend of her chief constable . . .
About the Author
Sally Spencer worked as a teacher both in England and Iran - where she witnessed the fall of the Shah. She now lives in Spain and writes full-time. She is an almost fanatical mah jong player.
Read an Excerpt
At first, Jane Danbury had no idea at all of what had just happened.
She knew where she was.
Of course she knew that!
She was in her own lounge.
She could see the expensive wallpaper on the far wall, though it was rather worrying that it was refusing to stay still, but instead insisted on jiggling up and down like a badly tuned television.
So – she knew where she was.
What else did she know?
She knew that she had been talking to someone, only moments earlier . . .
Why couldn’t she remember who that someone was? she wondered.
. . . and saying things she should have said a long time ago. She knew that she had turned her back on the someone – who was it, for God’s sake? – though she could no longer remember why she’d done that.
And she knew that that was when it had happened.
Whatever it was.
Did she have any clues, from which she might build up a picture of what had occurred? she asked herself.
Well, her head was hurting.
That was for sure.
In fact, it was hurting one hell of a lot.
And she had a vague sensation that something was being pumped out from a spot midway between her ears and towards the back of her skull.
Blood! she thought.
I’m spurting blood!
What was left of her brain had been working in overdrive in the split second after the blow was struck, but now her body had caught up with it, and she felt herself falling forwards.
This is all my fault, she thought as she fell.
I’ve been very stupid, and it’s all my fault.
Her face hit the floor, and as it did, her nose almost concertinaed. It should have been an agonising experience, but she was almost beyond pain now, and she hardly noticed it.
It surprised her – annoyed her, almost – that as she lay dying (and she was sure she was dying) her hearing seemed to be as acute as it had ever been.
But it was. It undoubtedly was.
She heard the squeak of leather shoes, as the someone squatted down beside her.
She heard harsh, irregular breathing.
And she heard the soft swishing sound made by the soles of the shoes on the thick rug, as the someone shifted slightly to get a better angle on the task in hand.
And then she heard nothing – nor ever would again.