As Erika glanced along the bookshelves, a bright blue cover caught her eye: Swimming London: London's 50 Greatest Swimming Spots. Erika pulled the book out and began to leaf through photos of swimming pools and lidos in London. A creeping feeling began to emerge from the pit of her stomach.
Back at Lewisham Row, Moss and Crane were watching the interview unfold on the video screens. Peterson was listening as Linda talked about Boots, her beloved cat. There was a knock, and Woolf put his head round the door.
‘This just came through for DCI Foster,’ said Woolf. He handed Moss a piece of paper. She scanned it quickly.
‘This is from Linda Douglas-Brown’s private Harley Street physician. He states she is mentally unfit to be questioned by the police.’
‘Jeez, what are we dealing with here?’ said Crane.
‘Who brought this in?’ asked Moss.
‘Diana Douglas-Brown; she’s shown up with another lawyer,’ said Woolf. ‘You need to stop this interview.’
‘We’ve been told she knows nothing, and yet this document is hand-delivered just before seven in the morning?’ said Moss.
‘You know I have your back, but this goes high up. Establishment stuff. I can see the edge of the cliff approaching,’ said Crane.
‘Just a few minutes more, Woolf. Go back out, come back in ten.’
Woolf reluctantly nodded and left.
‘Okay, Peterson, push her harder,’ said Moss, into the microphone.
‘How did he die, Linda?’ asked Peterson, back in the interview room. ‘How did Boots die?’
Linda’s bottom lip was now trembling and she gripped the coffee cup, running her finger over the tiny cartoon cat. ‘None of your business.’
‘Were your family upset when Boots passed?’
‘Andrea and David, they must have been younger, too?’
‘Of course they were younger! Andrea was upset, But David . . .’ Linda’s face clouded over; she bit down hard on her lip.
‘What about David?’ asked Peterson.
‘Nothing. He was upset too,’ said Linda, flatly.
‘You don’t look too convinced. Was David upset, or wasn’t he, Linda?’
She started to breathe fast, sucking in air and blowing it out, almost hyperventilating. ‘He . . . was . . . up . . . set . . . too,’ said Linda, her eyes wide, looking at the floor.
‘David was upset?’ pushed Peterson.
‘I JUST SAID HE WAS! HE WAS FUCKING UPSET!’ shouted Linda.
‘I think this is getting—’ started the solicitor, but Peterson went on.
‘David’s away at a stag party, isn’t he, Linda?’
‘Yes. I was surprised at how hard it was to let him go,’ she said. She froze, and frowned.
‘He’s only gone for a few days, hasn’t he?’ asked Peterson.
Linda was now crying, tears pouring down her cheeks.
‘It’s okay . . . He’s coming back, Linda . . . David is coming back,’ said Peterson. Linda was now gripping the desk and her face was red, her mouth curled up.
‘My client is . . .’ started the solicitor.
‘I don’t want him back,’ Linda hissed.
‘Linda, why don’t you want David back? It’s okay, it’s me; you can tell me,’ said Peterson. He could feel the air almost prickling with intensity in the interview room.
‘Far away,’ said Linda darkly. ‘I want him gone far away . . . Gone . . . GONE!’
‘Why, Linda? Tell me why; why do you want David gone far away?’
‘BECAUSE HE KILLED MY CAT!’ she suddenly cried. ‘HE KILLED BOOTS! Killed Boots! No one believed me! They all thought I was making it up, but he killed my baby cat. He killed Giles’s cat too, and made it look like it was me! That fucking bastard . . .’
‘David? David killed your cat?’ said Peterson.
‘How did he kill him?’ asked Peterson.
Linda was now turning purple, gripping the desk, trying to rock it, but it was bolted to the floor. The words were pouring out of her now. ‘He strangled him . . . He strangled him . . . Like, like . . .’ Linda bit down on her lip so hard that a spot of blood oozed out.
‘Like who, Linda?’
‘Like those girls,’ she finished, in a tortured whisper.
Erika’s hands were shaking as she began to leaf through the book in David’s bedroom. As she flicked through the pages, her heart pounded faster. She saw a section for the Serpentine Lido, another for Brockwell Lido, Hampstead Heath Ponds, The Serpentine Lido – all of the murder scenes, apart from the Horniman Museum. In each section, notes had been written around the photos and text in a manic hand. On some pages, the notes filled all of the blank space around the photos, noting where the entrances and exits were, whether there were CCTV cameras, what the opening times were of each location, where the best place was to take a car and conceal it nearby.
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