Broken Dolls (A Jefferson Winter Thriller)

Free Broken Dolls (A Jefferson Winter Thriller) by James Carol

Book: Broken Dolls (A Jefferson Winter Thriller) by James Carol Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Carol
Tags: Crime thriller
effect of her perfume. It was a good smell, one that monkeyed around with my overactive imagination and filled my head with all sorts of interesting and inappropriate notions.
    ‘If you don’t mind me asking, what the hell are we doing here, Winter?’ She was talking in a low whisper, her breath tickling my ear. ‘The reason I ask is because it looks to me like you’re sitting here watching the flowers grow when we should be out chasing the bad guy.’
    ‘What I’m doing is getting some perspective.’
    I smiled and waited for Templeton to smile back.
    ‘Okay,’ she said. ‘I’m listening.’
    ‘You do this job to catch the bad guys, right? That’s your endgame. And you’re good at it.’
    Templeton’s head bobbed ambiguously from side to side, which was as close to an admission as she was ever going to give. There was no way she was going to admit something like that out loud.
    ‘You’re a classic overachiever,’ I added. ‘Driven and good at your job, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever.’
    ‘Your point?’
    I nodded towards Sarah Flight. Another slither of drool had escaped from the corner of her mouth and I wiped it away with the tissue.
    ‘She’s the point. Her and every other person who’s come up against a lunatic with a warped world perspective and a bunch of twisted fantasies. When you focus all your energies on the bad guy it’s easy to forget the victims. Way too easy. I’m as guilty of that as anyone. That’s why I came here. To remind myself that the real reason I do what I do is because of the victims. Catching the bad guys is just a bonus. Somewhere out there is a woman who has been snatched by our unsub, and if we don’t do our job properly then she’s going to end up like this.’
    I reached out and touched Sarah Flight’s hand. Partly because I wanted to check she was real, but mostly because I needed to know. I half expected my hand to pass right through hers but it didn’t. I expected her skin to be cold but it was as warm as my own. There was a space on her one remaining finger where her wedding band had once been. The stumps of her other fingers and thumbs had been cauterised and were covered in scar tissue. Who’d removed the ring? Her mother? One of Dunscombe’s staff? A nurse or orderly Sarah would never know? One thing was for certain: Greg Flight hadn’t removed it. I got up and headed for the door. Behind me, Templeton’s footsteps sounded tentative and timid on the parquet floor, nowhere near as confident as when we’d walked in.

    Greg Flight’s PA showed us into his large corner office on the top floor of a three-floor building leased by Fizz, a Soho-based advertising agency. The agency wasn’t premier-league, but it wasn’t a bottom-feeder, either. It sat comfortably in the middle, surviving on the crumbs dropped down from the tables of Saatchi and Saatchi and the other big boys.
    Flight’s office was large and uncluttered, so was his desk. The furniture had soft round edges and was made from dark wood, and the ego wall screamed out that Flight had low self-esteem and was desperate to be taken seriously. He was doing his best to hide his insecurities and, given his position as art director, for the most part he was succeeding.
    The PA escorted us towards two seats near one of the windows. They were made from soft padded leather and had been positioned so that when the blinds were up, you’d end up squinting into the sun. Flight’s chair was big and throne-like and positioned in front of the window so anyone talking to him would be forced to look in that direction. It was also a good three inches higher than the ones we were supposed to sit in. The power play was obvious and pathetic, and smacked of desperation.
    Templeton stood beside me, tall and imposing and giving Flight her best cop stare. Greg Flight looked lost and nervous in his big chair. It was a major win for us. A total slam dunk. Flight had made his

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