Authors: Ryan Casey
Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Police Procedurals, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Murder, #Thrillers, #Thriller, #Mystery, #Crime, #Detective, #Police Procedural, #Series, #British, #brian mcdone
The Third Brian McDone Mystery
Sign up to the author's New Release Newsletter and get a free copy of
, a chilling suspense novella.
Click here to get started:
Nameless Kill is the third book in the Brian McDone series, however it can be enjoyed as a standalone book.
If you'd like to read the first books, visit here:
Little Jimmy Cox never went too far out of his mummy’s sight. But that one time he did, on 1
May 2014, he’d remember it for the rest of his life.
It was a warm day on Avenham Park in Preston. Jimmy had an ice cream, which was melting faster than he could eat it, dripping down his arm in a cold, sticky line. He thought it was pretty cool because he looked like a kind of weird monster with all white lines down his arms. The evil Ice-Cream Man! Not the scariest name for a monster, but he could make it scary. Make people turn into ice cream and melt, then gobble them all up.
His little legs were starting to ache around the knees as he walked another step and another step, his left hand dangling free from his mum’s. He felt pretty cool about this as he walked past the older kids lying on the grass, the smell of sun cream drifting off their bodies as the warm, boiling sun pelted down on them. He felt cool as he looked at the older boys with their tops off kicking around a football, laughing, pointing at girls in their bikinis. Jimmy smiled at them as he walked along. Smiled at how cool he must look with his ice cream. Smiled at how cool he must look, not holding his mummy’s hand.
“Oh, Jimmy, look at the state of you.”
As he stared across the green grass of Avenham Park, filled with sunbathers, football players, girl-watchers, he felt his mummy’s hand grab his left arm and dab the ice cream from the fingers of his right hand with a yellow tissue. He looked at her. Looked at her red cheeks and the watery sweat on her head. Her disappointed face as she wiped his fingers with the tissue. He felt his cheeks going red. He wouldn’t look cool anymore. He wouldn’t look cool to the boys or the girls on the grass.
“Mummy, get off!” he said. He made sure he said it as loudly as he could as he tried to yank his hand away from Mummy’s tight, warm hands. He looked to see if anyone on the park had noticed as his face felt even more fiery. But they just looked at the football. Looked at the girls. Looked at books. They hadn’t noticed yet. They hadn’t noticed his mummy showing him up, which was good.
“Someone’s mard,” he heard his mum say, his face reflecting in her dark sunglasses. She grabbed hold of his left hand when she’d cleaned the ice cream dripping down his arm. “Now get the rest of it finished before it all trickles away.”
Jimmy looked back at the boys and the girls on the big field. He listened to them chattering and he wanted so bad to chatter with them. To play with them. They looked cooler than the people in his year at school. The people that threw stones at him and pushed him over outside the classroom. They were smiling. They looked friendly. He wished he was one of them. He wished one of them would just notice him and see how cool he really was.
“Best get you back to your dad’s,” Mummy said. She was looking ahead, now. Smiling at one of the topless boys coming her way. He smiled back at her, and she twirled a finger around her brown hair like she did when Daddy used to make her laugh. “Don’t…don’t want you to be late back, do we?”
Jimmy looked at his ice cream cone, which was soggy from the melted ice cream. His stomach sank. Going back to Daddy’s meant going back to school tomorrow. But he just wished he could have a longer Easter holiday. A few more days to come to the park and try and play with the older boys and girls. The ones who were cool. The ones who smiled and were happy.
He took a bite of the cone. It didn’t taste as nice as it had before, all sloppy because of the melted ice cream. And he couldn’t get school out of his head either. How warm he’d be with his blue school jumper on. How the other children would laugh if Daddy made him wear his shorts on a hot day. But these boys were wearing shorts on the park. They were wearing shorts, and their friends weren’t laughing at them. They were all laughing with each other. Maybe he could join them. The Shorts Gang. Maybe he could tell them about the Ice Cream Monster and they’d understand and laugh and joke with him.
Jimmy heard something bounce on the concrete path up ahead. He looked over and saw a blue lightweight football bouncing over the path from the field, bouncing towards the long grass to the left of the path, bouncing towards the dip by the trees and the stream.
Jimmy looked. He saw one of the boys looking at the ball, then looking at him.
He held his breath. He didn’t even think.
He didn’t think, other than:
This is it. This is how they will like me. I’ll help them!
He let go of his mummy’s hand and he ran across the path towards the ball, which bounced further onto the long grass and the dip beside the trees.
“Jimmy, come back here!”
He heard his mummy’s words but he ignored them as he ran after the bouncing blue ball. He kept his eyes on it. He could imagine the kids behind him looking at him and thinking,
Woah, how fast is he?
He could imagine himself getting the ball, booting it back to them better than Luis Suarez. He could imagine them lifting him on their shoulders and running him around the park and never letting him go to school again.
Jimmy felt the long grass brush against his legs. The ball was still ahead, but it was getting further away. Rolling down the grassy hill and towards the stream below. He’d have to watch out. He’d have to be like those men on the nature programmes that Daddy watched. He’d have to be brave and save the ball from drowning.
He found himself sprinting down the grassy hill faster than he’d ever ran in P.E. He couldn’t stop himself, the stream getting nearer. The ball was in the water now. It was moving down the water. He’d have to run down the stream. Run down, save it, then climb back up the mountain and to the top and everyone would love him. He could hear voices behind him. His mummy shouting out. He knew she’d be annoyed, but it didn’t matter. He was going back to Daddy later. Daddy wouldn’t tell him off. Daddy would just laugh and open another can of Carling.
Jimmy landed with a splash in the stream below. His hands went flying into the freezing cold water, the hard stones underneath stinging them as water splashed up onto his face. He winced, then rubbed his hands against his white t-shirt. His hands were red in the middle. But he was tough. He wasn’t crying. He wasn’t going to cry. He was going to get this ball.
He looked to his left. He could see the ball was down the stream, but it had stopped. It was bobbing against something. Great. Now he wouldn’t even have to chase it far. He’d stopped it with his magical powers. Another reason for the boys and the girls to love him, as they laughed and shouted on the park above.
Wiping the muddy-tasting water from his lips, Jimmy paddled down the stream. The water only went up to his ankles. He could see the ball getting closer to him as he moved. The water was freezing, though. So cold on his feet that he could hardly feel them. But so nice. He wasn’t sweating anymore. His cheeks weren’t hot and his head wasn’t sticky. He was okay.
He got even closer to the blue ball, his mum still shouting behind him, and he got a whiff of something really nasty. It was so nasty that he stopped walking. He stumbled a bit to either side. It smelled worse than the smell in the school toilets that the other kids said was him that time when it wasn’t. Much worse than that. So bad that it was making his stomach rumble. So bad that it made him feel dizzy whenever he thought of his runny ice cream, his soggy cone.
He held his breath even though this made him feel a bit dizzier. He could do this. Even though he was shaking, he could do it. He just had to be brave. He stepped closer to the blue ball, still bobbing up and down as the stream tried to carry it along, trickling against the rocks like the music Mummy used to listen to when she was sad. He got closer. He was so close now.
But the closer Jimmy got, the worse the smell got. And he could hear something else, too. Something different to the laughing on the park and the stream against the rocks. He could hear a buzzing sound. Like a million bees were all coming his way. Poo. He hated bees. He hated bees. Maybe they were what smelled. Maybe they were…
It was at that exact moment that Little Jimmy Cox saw what the buzzing sound was.
It wasn’t bees.
There were flies. Big, black flies, loads of them, all swarming around the blue ball as it bobbed up and down.
Why did they want the ball? They couldn’t have the ball. The ball was his trophy. The kids on the park were going to love him for taking it to them.
“Jimmy! Come here right this second.”
Then he saw there were little yellow things in the water around the ball too. Maggots, all drifting down the stream. He thought this was sad at first. Sad because they were drowning, and there was nothing they could do without little arms or legs. He wanted to help them. Save the maggots, save the ball. Maybe then the flies would let him keep the ball if he saved their children.
But then he saw something else. Something he hadn’t been able to understand at first. The thing that the ball was bobbing against, he wasn’t sure what it was, but now he saw this white material. This white bandage with little red bits on.
And then, tied beneath the white bandages, he saw hands.
Pale hands. Pale feet.
He stumbled back. Back away from the ball. Back towards his mummy’s angry voice and her splashing feet.
But it wasn’t the hands or the feet that made him scream louder than he’d screamed in his entire short life.
It was the monster’s head that he saw poking out of the water.
The antlers. The white fur, like a dog’s. The pink hat, like Chloë’s at school.
It was the monster’s head—the monster’s eyes—that would give him nightmares for the rest of his life.
The more shitheads Detective Inspector Brian McDone dealt with, the more he longed for that fateful day in five years’ time when he could finally retire forever.
He stared at his fellow officers as they wrapped their cuffs around the wrists of Andy Briscutt and escorted him towards the police van. Andy Briscutt was just like all the other drug dealing scumbags around Preston these days—a skinny, weedy little scrote. Not the sort that used to deal back in the day. None of the class of dealers of old—the Mitchells, the Woodbridges. No. It was all grey trackie bottoms and scummy hoodies these days. Which was surprising considering how much cash they must be making.
Brian turned and looked at the red-brick housing estate just outside of Preston city centre that Andy Briscutt resided in. Scruffsville, that’s what it was. Prams were upturned outside. Punctured footballs rested in the uncut gardens—if they could be called gardens. He watched as his fellow officers walked in and out of the place, seizing whatever evidence of cannabis growth they could. He tensed his jaw. Why had he ever rejoined the police? Especially at the age he’d rejoined. He was getting on a bit. But he supposed a free Detective Inspector post was just too alluring after all.
He took in a deep breath of the car-fuel-stinking air and started walking towards the chatter inside Andy Briscutt’s house. As he walked, Brian found himself huffing and puffing, wiping sweat from his head. It was a bloody boiling day today. Always did seem to be May that Preston was graced with the rarity that was good weather. One month, maybe six weeks if they were lucky, then back to the banal grimness of a near eternal winter.
Otherwise, life was alright really. Been worse.
As Brian reached the door, the taste of salty sweat covering his lips, he noticed DS Brad Richards crouched outside tying his shoelace.
“You got anything for me, Brad?” Brian asked, raising his voice to make Brad jump.
Brad didn’t jump. Never did. He rose slowly to his feet and turned around to face Brian. His eyes were wide. His dark, curly hair was wild, uncombed and seemingly unwashed, too. He had a glassy glaze. His shirt looked like it had a few yellow marks on, like it hadn’t been washed in quite some time.
“Only one of Preston’s biggest weed dealers,” Brad said, scratching his head and sending a cloud of dandruff rising above it. He yawned into his hand and wiped a trickle of sweat from his forehead. “Should disrupt business for a short while.”