A Double Coffin
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John Coffin, Commander of the Second City of London, is called upon to interview a former prime minister, John Lavender. Lavender has a confession to make - his father was a serial killer and as a boy, Lavender helped to bury one of the victims. It is Coffin's job to find the body.
‘I always look for things like that. A suspicious nature after years on the job.’ ‘So?’ ‘I am going ahead.’ ‘I thought you would say that.’ Phoebe hitched her shoulder bag over her right arm and gathered up her document case with her left. It was raining outside so there was a raincoat as well. ‘And you want me to make a start? Not sure where I do that, never done this sort of case before. You could call it historical research.’ ‘I hope we can continue to think of it that way …’ ‘I might
the girl. Fate. It happens sometimes. And then I feel that there is someone or something sitting up there pulling strings and maybe laughing. Smiling, anyway.’ ‘That’s called irony. You get a lot of it in the theatre. Although,’ she added thoughtfully, ‘not as much as you used to, writers being against what they call contrivance. But I like a bit of it myself.’ ‘You’re talking for the sake of talking, aren’t you?’ ‘Well, sort of.’ ‘Calming the old man down … I do love you, Stella. So you did
it has certainly been on the old man’s mind, may have motivated him to call you in. He has had two letters threatening him …’ Coffin gave him a quick look. ‘He knew I would tell you,’ said Jack Bradshaw. ‘Meant me to. It has made him nervous. He thinks it may be something from his past.’ Once again. Coffin had this feeling of being caught up in a maze. Every time he felt he was on solid ground, the ground was moved. ‘Send me all the information you have, including the letters, and I will say
Neptune.’ Coffin drained his glass, recognizing as he did so that it was probably time to get home to Stella. Darcy frowned and put his glass down. ‘She thinks she was attacked by the murderer of Layard.’ ‘I think she was,’ said Coffin. ‘And she accused old Lavender.’ ‘She did.’ ‘So what is your advice, sir,’ asked Darcy, aware that he was in charge of the investigation into Jaimie’s death. ‘Does that mean Bradshaw and Marlowe are out of it? It seems to me there is still reason to suspect
Lavender. You killed her and dressed her up as a guy because you hated her … Your van is being gone over now, Janet, and I am sure we will find fragments of clothing there, scraps of this and that to prove the body travelled to the car park in that van. I think you killed her in the garage here. They are looking there this very minute.’ ‘I really ought to laugh,’ said Janet. ‘I hardly knew her.’ ‘You knew her; I saw Jaimie’s telephone number on the wall of your bedroom. After I saw that number,