Read Kennedy 01 - Into the Shadows Online

Authors: Shirley Wells

Tags: #police, #UK

Kennedy 01 - Into the Shadows

Into the Shadows
Jill Kennedy & DCI Max Trentham [6]
Shirley Wells
police, UK (2007)
When a man wrongly arrested for murder hangs himself, forensic psychologist Jill Kennedy, who helped put him away, leaves her job and moves to a sleepy village. But when the vicar's wife is murdered, Jill discovers village life isn't the retreat she'd hoped to find. And while Jill's excolleague and ex-lover, DCI Max Trentham, sees the case as cut and dried, someone else has other ideas. It seems that Jill's past is coming back to haunt her.
About the Author

Shirley Wells was born in the Cotswolds. When she went to live in Cyprus she began writing short stories, and when she moved again, this time to the Orkney Isles, she switched to full length novels, of which she has published a dozen so far.

Synopsis

When a man wrongly arrested for murder hangs himself, forensic psychologist Jill Kennedy, who helped put him away, leaves her job and moves to a sleepy village. But when the vicar's wife is murdered, Jill discovers village life isn't the retreat she'd hoped to find. And while Jill's excolleague and ex-lover, DCI Max Trentham, sees the case as cut and dried, someone else has other ideas. It seems that Jill's past is coming back to haunt her.

About the Author

Shirley Wells was born in the Cotswolds. When she went to live in Cyprus she began writing short stories, and when she moved again, this time to the Orkney Isles, she switched to full length novels, of which she has published a dozen so far.

 

Jill Kennedy is a forensic psychologist who has recently moved to the village of Kelton, in northern England. She has decided on a new career of writing, no longer able to work with the police after her profile of a serial killer led to the wrong man being arrested and tried. She is enjoying life in the village, meeting a set of standard characters - lord and lady of the manor, estate agent, vicar and his wife and teenage son, builder, post-office lady, headmaster and his wife, local historian and her ailing husband - in the opening chapters. The idyll is soon shattered, however, by two events: the serial killer is still at large and is now stalking Jill; and the vicar’s wife is found brutally murdered, apparently by her son.

 

Jill, herself a widow, has previously had a relationship with widower DCI Max Trentham. Max was in charge of the serial killer case, but was taken off it when the wrong man was arrested. He and Jill have broken up, but Max is still keen on Jill and tries to regain her affections as well as to protect her from the stalker. Jill is attracted to him but is wary of rekindling their relationship after Max betrayed her by having a brief affair. However, she misses his two sons and his mother-in-law, and cannot seem to get very enthusiastic about any of the relatively large field of available males (read: suspects) in the vicinity.

 

 

For Nick,

may our steps always rhyme …

and with grateful thanks to all those who have helped along the way

 

Bertrams

Constable & Robinson Ltd

3 The Lanchesters

162 Fulham Palace Road

London W6 9ER

www.constablerobinson.com

 

First published in the UK by Constable,

an imprint of Constable & Robinson Ltd 2007

 

Copyright S Shirley Wells 2007

 

The right of Shirley Wells to be identified as the author of this work has been identified by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library.

 

ISBN: 978-1-84529-527-1

 

Printed and bound in the EU

Chapter One

The stupid bitch thought she was God, all knowing and all seeing. Conceited cow.

He assumed she had driven to Burnley, as she had the last two Friday mornings. He’d followed her then, and he guessed he had at least a couple of hours before she returned.

Her bedroom was soft and frilly, all pastel blues and yellows, and a vase of flowers, huge yellow daisies, sat on the windowsill.

He hated to see flowers in bedrooms. It reminded him of hospitals where dozens of sick bodies competed for air with garish blooms.

He peered around blue and yellow curtains and gazed at the brooding Pennines. It was easy to picture her standing here and admiring her view, so different to the one of office blocks and houses she’d had in Preston. She would admire it as it changed with the seasons - the hills lush and green in the summer months, wearing their snowy mantle in winter, or hazy in the mist of a November morning, as they were now.

A cat ambled into the room, saw him, spat at him and raced out again.

He liked cats; he’d had one once, a tabby kitten that he’d called Tiger. He’d been six years old at the time.

Very slowly and carefully, he inched open a drawer, the top drawer of a set of four in what pretended to be antique pine.

Inside were scraps of material that made his breath catch. A silk bra in black - no, it was dark blue - caught his attention, then a tiny thong in the same soft silk.

 

He pulled off a glove, and allowed his fingers the luxury of running over the scanty silk.

Deciding to keep a souvenir, he shoved the thong into the pocket of his trousers, put on his glove again and slid the drawer back into place.

Her bed had been neatly made and he pulled back the quilt, inhaling deeply. Her scent was on the pillow.

Tonight, he’d smell her in the flesh, God willing. They would be at the same bonfire party, in the same house, talking to the same people, and although they probably wouldn’t speak, he would make sure he got close enough to smell her.

It was tempting to leave the photograph on the pillow where, later, her pretty head would rest, but it was too soon for that. He would put it in an envelope and drop it through her letterbox.

After one last look at her bedroom, he left as quietly as he’d entered.

Chapter Two

Jill walked up the drive to Kelton Manor and wished with all her heart that she didn’t have to be here. At the best of times, she wasn’t a party person and today, despite the fact that Manor Girl had seen off the favourite and romped home at 22-1, wasn’t the best of times.

There had been three brown envelopes on her doormat when she’d returned from Burnley that morning - a reminder that her TV licence was due, a reminder that the cats’ inoculations were due and a photograph complete with newspaper clipping.

Nothing had been written on the photograph. Even the envelope, plain manila and self-seal, hadn’t seen a printer or a pen. The piece cut from the newspaper was simply a large headline that read: Serial killer arrested.

She knew the photograph well. It had been taken a year ago when, flushed with success, she’d been snapped by the local press. Due in part to the profile she’d prepared, a serial killer who had been terrorizing the north-west for four years had finally been arrested. Oh yes, she’d been smiling for the cameras that day.

That was before Rodney Hill committed suicide. Before they realized they’d got the wrong man.

A rocket exploded into thousands of silver and gold stars that lit the overhead sky. Very pretty, but it did nothing to improve her mood. She hoped her three cats would be all right. They should be. There was unlikely to be much activity along her lane, and she’d locked the cat flap so they couldn’t get out.

 

It was the dressing up she hated most about parties.

Happier in jeans and jumpers, she resented occasions that required effort. She wasn’t in the mood for being polite to complete strangers, either. Not tonight.

 

She pushed a heavy finger at the doorbell, a round brass affair set in the stonework, and pinned in place the brightest smile she could manage.

 

The door swung open and a babble of conversation and polite laughter drifted out.

 

‘Jill!’ Mary Lee-Smith, her hostess, air-kissed Jill’s cheeks. ‘Thank you so much for coming, my dear.’

 

Thank you for inviting me.’ The sound of talk and laughter from within cheered Jill slightly. It was a month since she’d moved into the Lancashire village of Kelton Bridge, and it was high time she met some of her new neighbours. This way, she’d meet a lot in one go. ‘It’s very kind of you,’ she added.

 

From what she’d heard, Gordon Lee-Smith’s family had lived at Kelton Manor, a gorgeous square building set in immaculate grounds that sat in the middle of Kelton Bridge, for generations. Although Mary’s heart was in the right place, it was said she thought this gave them - well, her really, as Gordon worked in London during the week - the right to organize the other residents.

 

That, of course, was simply hearsay, something Olive Prendergast from the post office had told her. Olive, who struggled to find a kind word for anyone, was coming up to retirement and her heart was no longer in the job.

Apparently, since losing her husband a couple of years ago, Olive’s main purpose in life was to spread local gossip.

 

For all that, Jill could believe that Mary was a natural organizer, despite her small stature.

 

Jill’s coat was taken from her and she was ushered through an impressive hallway into an even more impressive drawing room. It was already crowded.

‘Let’s get you a drink,’ Mary said. ‘Gordon!’

Her husband was across the room, out of earshot and unable to see his wife’s flapping arms, and then the doorbell rang again.

 

‘Don’t worry,’ Jill said, “I’ll get myself one and hunt down someone I recognize.’

 

Are you sure, dear?’ Another fruitless gaze in Gordon’s direction. “I hate the thought of abandoning you.’

 

‘I’m sure.’ Jill was more than happy to be abandoned.

 

Ever since moving to Kelton Bridge, she’d been itching to see inside the manor, and would rather be nosy on her own. From the outside, it was an imposing building with a paddock and stable block to the side. Huge chestnut trees marked the property’s boundary.

 

It reminded her of the large house she’d seen from her bedroom window as a child. Only a field had separated the council estate from Shelton House and Jill had spent hours watching the comings and goings. A girl, Penelope, the same age as Jill, had lived there. She’d attended a boarding school in Hereford but, during the holidays, Jill had watched her trotting off on her elegant silver pony.

Jill had even fantasized about befriending the girl simply to have a ride on the magnificent animal. It came to nothing, of course. Their paths never crossed. The field separating the River View estate and Shelton House might have been a million miles.

 

The interior of Kelton Manor didn’t disappoint. Everything was lavish - huge oil paintings, long and heavy velvet curtains, antique furniture and old wood that had been polished to within an inch of its life. With a glass of very acceptable white wine in her hand, Jill was on her way to inspect the Victorian conservatory when she bumped, almost literally, into Andy Collins. At least there was one person here she knew.

 

‘Jill, I’ve been looking for you.’ This time, her cheeks were kissed properly.

 

Tall, slim and blond, he wore rimless glasses, and his eyes were the palest blue, speckled with silver streaks.

 

‘Hi, Andy, how’s my favourite estate agent? Hey, I bet you’d like this place on your books.’

“Wouldn’t I just,’ he agreed, sounding wistful as he looked around. ‘No hope of that, though. So how are you settling in?’

‘Wonderfully well. I owe you.’

It was thanks to Andy that she had the cottage. Due in part to the little sod who’d burned her flat to the ground, she’d decided the time was right to head out of Preston and find a place in the country. She’d had several areas in mind. One day, she’d wandered into Andy’s office and, from that moment on, he’d been tireless in his search for the perfect property for her. He’d certainly earned his commission.

While house hunting, Jill had begun to despair of estate agents in general. Despite giving them precise details of what she was looking for, they either sent brochures for properties that would only be feasible when she’d won the lottery, or they omitted to send anything until any possible properties were already under offer. Andy, however, had been a gem. He’d called her from his car phone after an appointment with Mrs Blackman to say Lilac Cottage was about to go on the market.

“I think it will be perfect for you,’ he’d said. ‘It’s a bit on the small side, but there’s plenty of room to extend. It needs a fair amount of work, hence the sensible asking price. It’s well within your budget.’

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