‘Is that the records of you, or George Mitchell?’

‘You know, it’s not against the law to change your name,’ said Igor. ‘You’re Slovak, yes? And you have a name like Foster?’

‘It’s my married name,’ said Erika.

‘Married?’ asked Igor, raising an eyebrow. ‘How did that work out?’

‘I’ll ask that you sit down,’ shouted Erika, slamming her fist down on the table.

‘If you are going to charge my client . . .’ started Mr Stephens.

Erika stood and left the room.

‘DCI Foster has just left the interview room. I’m stopping this interview at eleven-twelve am,’ said Peterson, rising, then following her out.

‘He’s a bastard, isn’t he?’ said Erika when she was outside with Peterson. She was shaking with anger. ‘I shouldn’t have lost it so early with him. He’s just so smug . . . Can you get Crane to check out his alibi, that he was out of the country?’

‘Yes, boss. Just don’t let him get under your skin. We’ve only just started. You want to go back in?’

Erika took a deep breath and shook her head. ‘No. I want to have a crack at Simon Douglas-Brown.’

63

Simon Douglas-Brown’s solicitor was equally as grey as Mr Stephens, but he wore a much better suit. He was waiting outside the interview room, straightening his tie.

‘We’re in here,’ said Erika, pointing to the door of interview room one.

‘I’ll be advising my client not to answer any of your questions until . . .’ he started, but Erika and Peterson moved past him.

Simon glowered at them as they filed in to the interview room. ‘Just be aware that when I’ve finished with you, you’ll be directing bloody traffic on the Old Kent Road. For the rest of your years on the force!’

Erika and Peterson ignored him, and they all sat. She went through the formalities for the tape and then opened a folder in front of her on the table.

‘Where is Linda?’ he said. Erika ignored him. ‘I have a right to know where my daughter is!’

‘Linda has been arrested, and is here in detention,’ said Peterson.

‘You leave Linda out of this, you hear me? She’s not well!’ shouted Simon.

‘Not well?’

‘She’s under a lot of stress; she’s not fit to be interrogated.’

‘Who informed you that we’re going to interrogate her?’ asked Erika.

‘When police officers rock up at my door at the crack of dawn in riot gear with guns, they don’t want a chat. I presume of course . . . I’m warning you . . .’

‘Your wife is in reception. Where is your son, David?’ asked Erika.

‘He’s on a stag weekend, with friends, in Prague.’

‘Where is he staying?’

‘I don’t know, a pub or hotel; could be a youth hostel for all I know. It’s a stag party.’

‘A stag party for who?’ asked Peterson.

‘One of his friends from university is getting married. I can get the information from my secretary; she booked it all.’

‘We’ll do that,’ said Peterson. There was a pause as Erika flicked through her file.

‘You run several companies in connection with your business and personal affairs, is that correct?’ she asked.

‘What a stupid question. Of course that’s correct.’

‘One is called Millgate Ltd, yes?’

‘Yes.’

‘And you have another one called . . . Peckinpath.’

‘Yes.’

‘Quantum, Burbridge, Newton Quarry . . .’

The solicitor leaned across the table towards Erika.

‘I don’t see why you feel the need to read this out to my client, DCI Foster. He’s well aware of his business interests; these are all public limited companies and this information is in the public domain.’

Simon sat back, alert but furious.

‘Yes, that’s correct,’ said Erika. ‘I just needed confirmation for the tape, before I proceed. Sorry to waste your client’s valuable time . . . So, I’ll ask again.’

‘Yes, yes, yes. Is that loud enough for your bloody tape?’

‘I would like to draw your attention to one of your bank statements from the month of September last year.’ Erika took a sheet of paper from her folder and laid it on the desk. Simon leant forward.

‘Hang on, why do you have this? On whose authority?’

‘On my authority,’ said Erika. ‘A payment was made by you to Cosgrove Holdings Ltd, which is the registered company behind Yakka Events – Giles Osborne’s Yakka Events. The sum was for forty-six thousand pounds.’ Erika tapped the figure on the statement with her finger.

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