Davies and Jeffries were probationers nearing the end of their first two years and both hated their stints on the station’s front desk. Their indifference to Maggie Boban's shocking “I've just killed my husband” statement and then their negligence to act swiftly had caused some of the station's personnel to question their aptitude for the job.

Linley was now in full flow. 'Now, there are questions being asked from higher up as to how this can happen in a police station. My neck is on the line, so I want answers . . . I want facts. Why did this obscure middle class woman shoot her loving husband and then herself? Where did she get her hands on a sawn-off shotgun and the cartridges to commit murder? Answers, if you please!'

No one spoke until Teresa Mannion offered the obvious.

'Not knowing any of the facts yet sir, my first impression would be insanity, there are a number of cases where a spouse has shared a lifetime with someone only to end it all and decide to take others with them, I guess they just flip.'

Linley frowned. 'Maybe, DI Mannion . . . but why didn't she complete the grisly job at home, why walk half a mile with a shooter in a Tesco carrier bag and take the risk of being stopped from pulling the trigger here.'

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