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Prologue


Picking up the Rich Tea biscuit between his yellowing finger and thumb, Albert Fisher slowly dipped it into the smooth, silken surface of his eleven o’clock cup of tea. Suddenly, his quiet contemplation was shattered by a piercing scream.

Pa! Come quick! Our Mabel’s running around the garden – naked!”

With a deep sigh, Albert raised his hand and watched as his biscuit dropped, crumb by soggy crumb back into his tea.

Oh, bugger!”



One


The name’s Malone, Detective Inspector Mike Malone. A name of my own choosing, after all, solid alliteration gives that sense of authority that Joe Public seems to like. I had been in this sleepy little town for three months now; three months and I was still waiting for some bombshell to wake the place up – and me. Being a DI can be exciting, exhilarating and energising; it can also be exceedingly, excruciatingly exasperating. However, I had needed this transfer; a change of scene, pace and identity. The Met had been very good to me, letting me go into ‘hiding’ for a while until everything was forgotten.

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