Game of Bones #18 Rafferty Series

#18 Rafferty & Llewellyn Mystery Series COMING END-JAN 2018

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Game of Bones #18 Rafferty and Llewellyn Mystery Series–It’s Here!

Chapter One This novel uses British spelling and slang, so if there is a word or expression you don’t understand, there is a handy list at the back of this book. ‘He’s certainly made a gift of himself; it’s almost as if he wants to be caught.’ Rafferty didn’t know whether Professor Anthony Babbington was incredibly careless, or incredibly stupid, for all his fancy-dancy degrees. Either way, they’d bring him in, interview him, and charge him. At his most prim and proper, his back straight as if he had half a tree trunk stuffed up his jacksie, Llewellyn replied from his corner desk. ‘Mm. It’s certainly odd.’ His gaze fixed quizzically on Rafferty. ‘Did you ask yourself why such an educated man would make so many elementary mistakes?’ Loftily, he added. ‘It almost makes one wonder whether someone else has made us a gift of Professor Babbington.’ Rafferty’s eyes narrowed. Trust Llewellyn to put a wasp in his beer. Of course, his educated sergeant spent a lot of time at the university. His wife, Maureen was a lecturer there, and the pair were often at some evening function or other. He’d got to know Babbington, and whether Babbington was drunk or sober, he greatly admired him. Rafferty fixed Llewellyn with a lofty look of his own, and demanded, ‘How can you say that, when we’ve got his fingerprints at the scene, when he was seen with the victim just a few short minutes before he was killed? We’ve even got his bloodstained shirt, and the murder weapon, also with his fingerprints on it. All it needed to clinch it was his DNA, and now we’ve got that. What more do you want?’ Llewellyn was just narked because their murderer was a university man; a classics man, like Llewellyn himself. His intellectual sergeant had even gone back to university specially to study the subject. Rafferty, who had been glad to leave school at sixteen, and who had completed his education in the university of life, found his sergeant’s willingness to embrace half a decade or more of extra schooling incomprehensible. His face went stiff as, from deep in his belly, a bubble of resentment reformed, and whooshed upwards in the sound of disgust that burst from his lips. ‘Do you think that over-educated smart-arses like Professor Anthony Babbington aren’t capable of committing murder like the proles? I’m just grateful that he lacked even basic common sense – like so many intellectual types – and failed to cover any of his tracks.’ Right at the start of the investigation, he’d requested that the staff, students, and anybody else who’d been at the university reception, provide fingerprints and a DNA sample, using the shame factor to encourage compliance. It had worked like a dream. Of course, none of the staff had wanted to look like they weren’t co-operating fully with the police to catch the killer of the Administrator. A few of the students had made difficulties, but even they had given their samples in the end. Not that they’d been necessary after all—owing to the cost factor, and the Bradley factor where costs were concerned, he’d had to wait a while to reduce suspect numbers to single figures. But it quickly became apparent who was the guilty party, and he’d sent Babbington’s sample off with a priority request. The results of the DNA had come back this morning, and that had clinched it. He glanced out of their office window, surprised to discover that it was a lovely October day, and he turned fully to enjoy the sun’s rays. He was relieved, both that the case had been a simple one, and that Babbington was such an easy man to dislike that he wouldn’t feel ambivalent about arresting him as was sometimes the case. With luck, he’d be home in time to see his six-month-old daughter, Neeve, have her bath. He smiled. She looked just like a little cherub when she was splashing about. Neeve loved her bath time, with her ducks. To hear her laugh was a tonic at the end of a case. It seemed a suitable finale. To say he was delighted was an understatement. Even Superintendent Bradley, not a man much given to praise, had shown his pleasure, before taking off for an autumn break in the Maldives. Of course, Bradley had no great liking for so-called intellectuals like Babbington, either. When he had been to report to him first thing that morning, he had looked at Rafferty like he had his approval for once. But Bradley had immediately spoilt any fellow-feeling. ‘But then, it was a simple enough investigation’, that brought with it the not-so-subtle inference that even a man of his low intellectual prowess could solve it. Rafferty had just shrugged off the snide comment. It was typical Bradley. He couldn’t expect anything else from the man. But it was after he had left the superintendent, via the canteen, for a solitary, celebratory, mug of tea, and returned to the office he shared with Sergeant Llewellyn, that his happiness bubble had been well and truly popped, in a way that only Llewellyn could, and he’d been niggling ever since. Rafferty would be glad to go home. At least there he’d be able to boast of his triumph to Abra. Llewellyn began to sniff, then thought better of it—Rafferty’s comment that sniffing was ‘common’ in a previous investigation, had proved pleasingly inhibiting. Instead, deflated, he turned to face his desk, and remarked, ‘I suppose you’re right. You usually are.’ Rafferty smiled, and was about to say, ‘Thank you’, in his most sarcastic manner, when Llewellyn added a second wasp to his beer. ‘But an intelligent man would, I think, question—’ ‘I have.’ Irritated at the implied slur on his intelligence, his answer was sharp and to the point. ‘And came up with the glaringly obvious answer. Face it, man, your precious professor’s guilty as charged. The sooner you accept it, the quicker we can get out, apprehend our killer, and go home.’ And the sooner I can see my little girl. Rafferty felt like reminding Llewellyn, who, out of the two of them, always found the murderers. Well, almost all of the time. But when he looked at Llewellyn’s long face he changed his mind. All along, which was unusual for Llewellyn, he’d been convinced of Albert Payne’s guilt. Admittedly, on the surface, he seemed guilty. He’d had a furious row with the murder victim on the day of the murder, and had been suspended. Payne had spent the day propping up various pub bars, stoking his rage. By the time the evening came, he’d been good and stoked. But, in the meantime, Professor Babbington had come to their attention, and the subsequent forensic evidence had clinched it, till Payne was just a distant memory. Payne was one of the lesser mortals who hadn’t had a classical education. He was the maintenance man, and as chavvy as you like. Now that he’d found strange. Because Llewellyn was invariably a stick-to-the-rules man to a degree that got up Rafferty’s nose. He wouldn’t park on double yellow lines. He even kept to the speed limit, in spite of calls from Rafferty to ‘put your bloody foot down’. Normally, he was scrupulously fair in his attitude to suspects, and treated everyone with an irreproachable courtesy that made Rafferty feel like the Missing Link. He scowled again, and sprung to his feet. ‘Come on, let’s get on with it. With so much evidence, we may even get a confession.’ Llewellyn gave a reluctant nod, and got into his jacket. But his feet dragged, and were every bit as reluctant as his nod. END OF EXCERPT Continue reading

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The Author

Geraldine Evans is a British writer of police procedurals that contain a lot of humour and family drama Her15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn series features DI Joe Rafferty, a London-Irish, working-class, lapsed Catholic, who comes from a family who think - if he must be a policeman - he might at least have the decency to be a bent one. Her 2-strong Casey & Catt series features DCI 'Will' Casey, a serious-minded, responsible policeman, whose 'the Sixties never died', irresponsible, drug-taking, hippie parents, pose particular problems of the embarrassing kind.

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