Last week I started sharing Shallow Waters on the blog because I had opened a Wattpad account and thought as I was sharing on there, I would also share on the blog each Sunday, so today we have chapter 2. (This won’t run to the end of the book I’m afraid….)
Blue and red lights sliced through the night as I approached, the rotations casting eerie signals of death around Nottingham’s city community. I parked in front of a beautiful three-storey terraced town house, which had probably been broken down into several flats by now, the insides a distant remnant of its former glory. This was a contradictory street: old stone buildings on one side, shops and restaurants with run down flats above them on the other. It was as close as I could get. The perimeter cordon and the parked liveried vehicles of the first responders made it difficult to park adjacent to the alley I needed to be in. I climbed out of my Peugeot 308 and locked it. Pocketing the keys, I approached on foot, digging my hands into my coat pockets, shoulders hunched up to my ears in an attempt to keep warm. The end of October brought a definite drop in temperature and I hated the cold. It was bloody freezing here and the wind bit at my face, snapping and sucking the living warmth out of me. As I walked towards the scene I could see the uniformed officers on point duty, preventing the ghoulish section of humanity from entering the area. It disgusted me, the horrors people wanted to see. Looking up above the shops and restaurants in front of me, my breath made a smoky pathway through the dark. Dirty grey nets and floral curtains twitched. Pasty faces of woken residents peered out at the disruption below.
My DS, Aaron Stone, came over, pulling his blue face mask down so it hung around his neck like a second chin. We walked to the Crime Scene van parked next to a flapping blue and white taped police cordon. Aaron updated me.
“The body’s behind the restaurant where the industrial bins are. Girl’s been dumped behind them. Naked. She’s pretty bashed up. One of the workers was taking the rubbish out at the end of his shift. Poor bloke got sucker punched big time when he saw her on the ground. He’s a bit of a mess. Uniform are with him at the ambulance, trying to get some details. Jack’s on his way and Doug’s already here with the other SOCOs.” Though the new phrase for the forensic officers attending the crime scene had been Americanised to CSIs, there were some that hung on to old traditions and called them SOCOs. Aaron was particularly bad at change.
“Thanks, Aaron.” I collected a sterile packaged forensic suit from the back of the van and started to pull it on, wishing I’d worn something warmer. I felt tenser by the minute. The chill in the air was biting at my fingers mercilessly. “Do we have an ETA for Jack?”
“He shouldn’t be far behind you. I know he lives further out, but he drives like a newly qualified teenager with a heavy right foot.” White booties, hooded suit, gloves and mask in place, we headed into the alleyway.