Depth of Despair

Free Depth of Despair by Bill Kitson

Book: Depth of Despair by Bill Kitson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bill Kitson
moved them. Why?
    The third door was slightly ajar. Nash examined the stout bolt and sturdy padlock on the outside, his eyes hot with anger. He looked inside at the single item of furniture, a double bed. He’d suspected what the room would reveal and his heart went out, not to the trio of men lying dead, but to the victim they’d abused. If ever there was a case of justifiable homicide, Nash thought, this was it.
    Mironova joined him. ‘There’s no other sock with that pattern. Are we looking for a one-legged murderer?’
    Nash shook his head. He stepped round the bed and twitched the curtains back from the window. It had been boarded over. He turned to face her, his expression bleak. He beckoned her. ‘Tell me what you can smell?’ His tone as forbidding as the look on his face.
    She sniffed; the sour aroma faintly disgusting, vaguely familiar. ‘Yes, I know what that is.’
    ‘This room holds the key to the motive. If I’m right, the men went to great lengths to ensure their prisoner didn’t escape and that they weren’t seen. I believe the person held in this room was their sex slave. This was where he or she was abused until they seized the chance to exact revenge and make their escape. This is where the real crime in this house took place.’
    ‘Mike, look at this.’ Clara pointed to a dirty cardboard box protruding from under the bed. ‘Are those bloodstains?’ She slid the box out, to reveal a badly stained dress thrown on top of the other contents.
    ‘At least we know we’re looking for a woman.’
    The final room was a bathroom and toilet combined. On the floor lay a discarded towel. It had never been clean but now it was badly stained. The soap and wash basin were covered in brown flecks. ‘Okay, leave all that for SOCO. One last thing, we need to go through every room, all the drawers and cupboards and look for any papers or documents.’ Nash turned and led the way back to the bedrooms.
    As they were completing this task, with not a single sheet of paper to show for their effort, Nash’s mobile rang.
    ‘Nash, where are you?’ The caller sounded far from happy.
    ‘Who is this?’
    ‘Saunders, who the hell do you think? Have you forgotten youwere supposed to be meeting us this morning? I’ve had to drive five bloody miles to make this call!’
    ‘Damn! I’m sorry. I got called to Netherdale. There’s been a triple murder. Look, Johnny, I’m nearly finished here. Can you make a start? I’ll join you as fast as I can.’
    ‘Don’t leave it too long. Remember, we don’t get many hours of daylight at this time of year.’
    Nash turned to Mironova. ‘I’ve to get over to Cauldmoor. I’d forgotten we’d scheduled the Rubber Johnnies to resume their search of the tarn today. That was Saunders spitting blood because I’m not there. Can you hold the fort? With luck, I’ll be back before dark.’
    ‘I need a word first. It’s no big thing but I’ve got a problem with a shoplifter. She was caught red-handed, arrested and cautioned but no matter what I ask she won’t talk.’
    ‘Get her a solicitor and tell him to persuade her to cooperate, otherwise we’ll throw the book at her.’
    ‘I’d have done that,’ Clara said. ‘The only problem is finding a solicitor who speaks Russian.’
    Nash stopped suddenly and turned back. ‘What?’
    Clara explained her abortive attempt to interview the girl. ‘All I got from her was her first name, Ludmilla, Milla for short. She’s from somewhere in the old Soviet Bloc but she won’t say where.’
    ‘Describe her.’
    ‘No more than fourteen or fifteen, looks half starved. Dressed like a cheap whore and absolutely terrified about something. It isn’t the shoplifting though; she doesn’t seem the least bit worried about that.’
    Nash was silent for a few seconds. ‘Leave her for the moment. Stay here and wait for SOCO. I’m taking Viv with me then I’m coming straight back. I’ll give you a call when I’m on my way and meet you at

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