Cracking Open A Coffin
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A series of apparently indiscriminate murders reveals the work of a very patient, calculating criminal, and Chief Commander John Coffin must discover the link between the victims from an elite London university and a refuge for battered women. Reprint. K.
from; she was rich, ran a successful hairdressing establishment in Jermyn Street) and took up the letter. He read it through slowly once and then again. ‘Short and to the point. Signed Frank Darely. Who’s he?’ ‘A kind of local czar,’ said Coffin. Frank Darely was a councillor and had always seemed friendly. No doubt this letter was meant in a friendly way, but it was cheek and angered Coffin. ‘He carries a lot of clout, and of course he’s on the Police Committee.’ ‘Big in local government,
mood with some anxiety: he might be on the edge of a breakdown. She would watch him, she loved him, as she loved their son, but they were not easy men. As she drove herself to work, she wondered if the old man, the butcher, was to blame, handing down to them a complexity of spirit they would not own up to. There was an edge, a boundary, in life, and both of them would, on occasion, leap over it. Tom had done so once. A tough man, Sir Tom was called, but his wife knew better. He thinks of what is
been there in the room, had seen it, and would pass it on. In the end, someone would tell Stella too, but it wasn’t going to be him. I can be a coward too, he told himself. And for some reason that satisfied him. The afternoon had passed, Fiona murmured her goodbyes (it would be Lysette tomorrow), and Andrew had departed soon after. He looked in his diary at the entry next week for the crucial interview. It seemed to innocuous: just the time and the name and the place. A breath of air was what
were managing, and she had hung on to the TV part. And her private life was a pleasure. She smiled as she did her face before going out. This time they would manage and not savage each other emotionally at intervals. But she was concerned about the Wagner production which was taking up valuable rehearsal rooms and, what was more, demanding use of the main auditorium. Politics came in here, as so many of those involved in the opera were strong supporters of St Luke’s Theatre. They had given
past.’ ‘So what brings you down here?’ ‘I could turn that back on you and ask you why you wanted to see me.’ ‘News about Amy, of course. It’s about time I heard something. You seem to forget what she was to me.’ ‘It wasn’t because you had that call from Coleridge?’ ‘Why should you think that?’ ‘You and Harry are close enough, I think.’ ‘I hardly see the man.’ Coffin leaned forward. ‘Perhaps I wasn’t thinking of seeing … There are other ways of being close. Shared habits, tastes,