With a Narrow Blade

Free With a Narrow Blade by Faith Martin Page B

Book: With a Narrow Blade by Faith Martin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Faith Martin
a social get together.’
    Hillary hid a sigh. ‘Sounds nice, sir. I’m sure we can all make it.’ She glanced at Janine, who grinned, and Keith Barrington, who looked a shade nervous. ‘Frank might be too busy, though.’
    ‘Hell yes,’ Danvers said, with feeling. ‘Oh, and feel free to bring a date, if you want. I’ve just split from my partner, unfortunately, but Janine, if you want to bring Mel, or Barrington, if you’ve got a girl, feel free.’
    ‘Only just moved here, guv,’ Barrington murmured, and Danvers nodded and looked casually across at Hillary.
    Hillary smiled briefly, and said nothing.
    Danvers, after a moment, nodded and went back to his cubby hole. Janine shot Hillary an admiring look, but had to wonder why she was giving him such a hard time. Danvers was single, good-looking, and a rank above her. What was holding her back? She was free and single. With a mental shrug, Janine turned back to her desk, shot a tight, hard look at her In tray, then reached for the printouts waiting for her, from her background research into their victim. She’d collate them for Hillary then head off for home. Maybe she’d cook Mel something special. She’d be Mrs Mallow in a few days’ time, after all. But somehow, she was finding it hard to feel the old excitement.
    She studiously avoided her In tray, and reached for the stapler.
    It was nearly eight o’clock that night before Hillary finally put away the last of the reports and stretched out in her chair. Danvers had just left, and her team had long gone – Barrington being careful to be the last of them to leave.
    At some point she was going to have to ask him flat out why he’d lost his cool and decked his sergeant. But that could wait. One problem at a time.
    She put on her coat and walked out into a windy, wet night. On the main road, the council had already put up the Christmas light decorations, and they cast a cheerful, multicoloured hue in the background. The rain had come back with a vengeance however, so she dashed to her car, and once inside, delved into her handbag for her oldest filofax. The name she was looking for went back many years now. Finding the number she wanted at last, she punched in the buttons, hoping the man hadn’t moved. Or died.
    ‘Hello, Titchmarsh residence,’ the precise female voice took Hillary by surprise for a moment, before she remembered that ‘Mitch’ Titchmarsh’s missus was supposed to be from the upper crust. An old desk sergeant had once told her that she’d been a primary school teacher in Windsor before she’d married Mitch from Bunko, and living so close to the royal family had given her airs.
    Now she bit back a grin as she said cheerfully, ‘Is Mitch there please?’
    There was moment of painful silence, and then the voice said, ‘Certainly, Thomas is here. I’ll just get him.’
    Thomas. So that was Mitch’s real name. The legendary Mitch the Titch. Tom Titch. Well, well.
    ‘Hello?’ the voice asked cautiously, and Hillary felt herself grin.
    ‘Don’t worry, Mitch, this isn’t some old lag with a grudge.’
    ‘Thought you might have forgotten me.’
    ‘Not you, you’re unforgettable, girl. Still got all those curves? I used to watch you go by in that tight little uniform and salivate.’
    ‘Pervert! But I’ve got even more curves than ever nowadays. I need to go on a diet.’
    ‘Don’t you bloody dare!’ And then, some of the laughter dying out of his voice, he said craftily, ‘You need something, gal?’
    Hillary sighed. ‘Couldn’t I just be ringing up an old pal, a departmental legend no less, just for the hell of it?’
    ‘Course you could,’ Mitch Titchmarsh said stoutly. Then added, ‘But I bet you ain’t.’
    Hillary nodded in the dark of her car. ‘No,’ she said flatly. ‘I’ve got a problem, Mitch. A particularly nasty, dirty problem. I might need your help. The kind only you can provide. Know what I mean?’
    There was silence for a moment, then

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