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Authors: Lee Weeks

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‘They must be back.’ Megan looked at Harding, relieved.

She pushed the door open and looked around the kitchen. She glanced back at Harding. There was no noise coming from inside the house. Megan nodded in the direction of the sitting room. Harding
followed. It was empty. Beyond the lounge, the hallway and stairs up to the landing walkway and the bedrooms were completely dark. Megan turned.

‘There’s no one here. If we go back outside we stay together, okay?’

‘Yes, one hundred per cent.’

It was pitch-dark. The wind had dropped, the road was speckled with hail. The moon emerged again – ringed with silver. The granite tramline once again stood out white against the dried
moorland.

‘Where would they have gone?’ Megan asked as she held on to Harding’s arm.

They walked upwards towards the Tor and dropped down over the back, past the quarry, and stopped as something moved in their path. It was Ellerman. He was crawling towards them in the
moonlight.

‘Stay where you are,’ said Harding.

‘I need help. I’m hurt.’

‘Stay where you are,’ she repeated, as she motioned for Megan to wait, in case it was a trap.

He leant back against a rock and clutched his leg in pain. Something was sticking out of it.

‘Please help me.’

Harding walked forward and knelt beside him. ‘What’s the matter?’

‘I’ve been hurt.’

Harding looked at his leg. He flinched as she prodded the wound.

‘Stay still, help is on its way.’

‘I saw my wife’s car. I tried to find her. Is she okay? She tried to run me off the road.’

‘She was okay last time we saw her,’ Harding said.

They heard a voice calling from above them.

‘JJ?’


Run
,’ said Ellerman. ‘
Hide
.’

‘From who?’ Harding looked around. ‘From what?’

‘Just do it – for Christ’s sake.’

Megan looked around and started running towards the quarry. Harding followed. They got down to the base and hid amongst the rocks. Harding picked up a rock in her hand.

They looked up at the sound of the gate to the quarry opening. The sound was magnified in the stillness that had followed the storm. Illuminated by the moon they saw Paula being pushed forward
by Emily.

‘I know you’re in here!’ shouted Emily. The quarry rang with her voice. Megan and Harding kept quiet.

‘You saved me the job of coming for you,’ Emily shouted down at them.

Harding saw Emily standing, squaring up her aim on the clifftop, waiting for the clouds to part again, and then she took aim.

‘Put the weapon down.’

It was Carter, standing at the gate to the quarry. Harding closed her eyes and sighed gratefully.

‘You need to stop now.’

‘Where’s my wife? Did you find my wife?’ Ellerman crawled forward towards Carter. ‘I saw her car go past.’

‘I’m here.’ Dee stood ten feet away.

‘Please, Dee, help me now. Everything I did was for you.’

Emily focused on Dee and then back at Ellerman.

Paula stepped forward. ‘Dee?’ She realized who it was.

Dee didn’t move closer to Ellerman; she stayed where she was.

‘I don’t love you, JJ. I haven’t loved you for a long time.’

Emily was agitated. ‘You see? You need to start your life again, with me, JJ.’

Ellerman stifled his pain in his sleeve as he tried to move forward.

‘Dee, please.’

‘It’s over, JJ. You destroyed the only good thing we ever had between us. I’ve found someone else now.’

In the moonlight his face was drained of blood. The act of moving had shifted the arrowhead and punctured his femoral artery. He stood and staggered towards Emily.

‘Help me. I need you.’ He sank to his knees and his chin dropped to his chest.

Emily kept her bow pointed at Carter as she backed a few steps towards Ellerman. ‘Help me up. We can still get away. We just have to get to my car.’

‘Yes. I’m going to look after you. We only need one another. You’ll see.’

Emily reached an arm down to help him up. He got wearily to his feet.

‘Okay. We can make it. You ready, JJ?’

‘I’m ready.’

He gripped her tightly and drove her forward over the edge of the cliff and the quarry filled with screams. There was a cracking sound in the middle of the deepest of the three lakes at the base
of the quarry. The moon shone down on Ellerman lying on the top of the frozen surface as it slowly cracked around him. His eyes were open. His skull was smashed – blood leaked warm onto the
frozen surface. Emily moved once, a spasm, then she sank with him into the black water.

Smith was in the cells by the time Carter and Willis got back from Devon. Carter and Willis stood outside the interview room.

‘What’s going to happen, guv?’

‘We have all we need to convict Balik of Olivia Grantham’s murder.’

‘What about Smith’s sister, Emily?’ Willis looked at him incredulously. ‘She murdered the women.’

‘We don’t know if it was her or Ellerman setting others up to do it and transporting them in his car. We have yet to find that out. Maybe we never will.’

‘Pretty sure it was Emily: she taught Toffee to use the Internet, she had access to the PCs used to message Harding and the others.’

‘Yeah, but I understand how things went wrong for her. I can see that she was a good person, just deceived one too many times. She needed help along the way when she didn’t get it.
She found it in someone like Ellerman,’ said Carter. ‘Ellerman was the root of all this.’

‘Guv?’

We convict Balik, job done. Ellerman got what he deserved.’

‘Case isn’t closed.’

‘No, case isn’t closed, but I’m satisfied with the outcome.’

‘What are we going to do with Smith?’

‘He hasn’t done anything wrong as far as I can see. He may be a twat but he hasn’t done anything we can convict him of. He’s lost his sister, that’s
enough.’

Chapter 60

In the morning, Alison parked her car as she always did on a weekday and got out and opened the rear door. She took out her coat, put it on and picked up her backpack and then
she saw the dog limping out from behind the arch. She put her hand to her mouth to stifle a cry. The dog’s eye was gone. It had massive wounds over its body. The skin was so ripped that she
could see the bone of its shoulder. She stood there, watching as it limped towards her.

‘Oh, my God.’ She swallowed as the emotion stuck in her throat. The dog was coming towards her with a purpose. It could hardly walk but it was focussng on her and it kept coming.
Alison looked around the car park but there was no one there to help. There was a homeless girl watching from the far side, her shawl wrapped around her head. She was staring but not moving.

Alison stood absolutely still as she watched the dog drag itself towards her and then she took a step towards it.

Sandy couldn’t stand upright. Her balance was gone but she knew she had to reach the woman who gave her the food. She knew if there was one more task she had to do before
she gave up, it was to try to save her master. She kept her eyes on the woman and limped towards her.

The dog continued to come forward. Alison took two more steps towards it and stopped. The dog turned and waited for her to follow. It limped back towards the far side of the
arch and she followed. As she came level, she saw a man; he was shaking with fever and his face was mottled and swollen around deep cuts.

The dog collapsed by her master. Alison took out her phone and dialled for an ambulance.

Willis stared at the photos onscreen as she dialled a number.

‘Hello?’

‘Hello.’ There was a slight time delay on the line. ‘Is this Eddie?’

‘Yes, speaking. I know who this is . . . this is Ebony, right? I got your email. I’ve been sat by this phone ever since. How are you doing?’

‘I’m okay . . .’

‘Thank you for the photos in the email. I could not believe it when I received them.’

‘Sorry – it must have been a big shock. Not the kind of thing you think will happen.’

‘No, not a shock, but it was a great surprise. It’s not every day you find out you have a twenty-four-year-old daughter that you never knew about.’

‘She never told you, did she?’

‘No, I was young. I probably wouldn’t have been much use but I would have done my best by you. I would have loved to have had a daughter. Well – it’s never too late, huh?
You will meet my sons and see how much you look like them; you’re tall, right?’

‘Yes. Five ten.’

‘Just like me. My boys are both way over six foot.’ Willis had a sudden urge to cry with happiness.

‘But, Ebony – your mother. I read about the problems. She will stay in hospital, right?’

‘Yes.’

‘Good. She’s a very sick woman. I am sorry for the life you must have had with her.’

‘Yes.’

‘You live in London now?’

‘Yes, north London.’

‘Have you ever been to Jamaica?’

‘No, I haven’t.’

‘Ah . . . you will love it.’

Chapter 61

In April, the air had a sweetness to it. The quarry was a leafy green place.

‘I thought I’d find you here,’ Harding called down to Megan as she made her way down the side of the quarry in the spring sunshine.

‘I left you sleeping.’

‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m just tending my husband’s grave.’

Harding reached her and hugged her.

‘Did he jump off here?’

‘No. He couldn’t bring himself to end it. After the cremation, I scattered his ashes in here. I feel close to him here.’

‘I’m sorry to disturb you.’

‘Not at all. I was talking to him about you.’

‘What did you say?’

‘I said I feel happy for the first time since I lost him.’

Fifi and Esme had matching white cotton dresses on. Paula had dressed them for the big day. They had bought the dresses in the market in Marbella. The girls had wanted flamenco
outfits but Paula had said no – she explained that if they were to make Spain their home, they needed to give respect to the people that lived there. After all, Paula wouldn’t only be
cutting expats’ hair. She would be opening the salon to everyone. It was the beginning of her dream. Over the door, the salon’s name shone in bright red letters:
Truer
Colours.

Paula smiled as she wiped away a tear and pulled her girls close to her side and lifted her glass of sangria as a toast.

‘To the future,’ said a voice from her side. Dee Ellerman gave Paula a hug as she came close. ‘Mike?’ Dee turned to usher forward the man standing at the edge of the
pavement admiring his handiwork. He was proud of the shop front. It had been a challenge.

‘From gardener to builder, Mike.’ Dee said proudly. ‘You can be whoever you want to be.’

Acknowledgements

Thank you to so many people who gave their time and expertise generously and listened to my ideas for stories: Aengus Little, Carolyn Stephens, Neil Rickard, Dave Willis, Becky
Long. All of whom are so important to the process of story writing for me.

Thanks to the usual suspects of friends and family who have to listen to my ideas time and time again and are invaluable in the development stage and the despondent stage and the gone completely
mad stage.

To Della and the team at True Colours.

The teams: my agent, Darley Anderson, and his hard working women who take it personally if you don’t buy my books, and the dedicated staff at Simon & Schuster. Massive thanks to them
all.

BOOK: Frozen Grave
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