Read Snow Kills Online

Authors: Rc Bridgestock

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #British Detectives, #Police Procedurals, #Crime Fiction

Snow Kills

Caffeine Nights Publishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Kills

 

RC Bridgestock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction aimed at the heart

and the head..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Caffeine Nights Publishing 2013

 

Copyright © RC Bridgestock 2013

 

RC Bridgestock has asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 to be identified as the author of this work

 

 

CONDITIONS OF SALE

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, scanning, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher

 

This book has been sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental

 

Published in Great Britain by Caffeine Nights Publishing

 

www. caffeine-nights com

 

 

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

 

ISBN: 978-1-907565-63-2

 

 

 

Cover design by

Mark (Wills) Williams

 

Everything else by

Default, Luck and Accident

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

 

Thank you to our publisher Caffeine Nights Publishing.

The fabulous CEO, Darren Laws, and literary agent, Monika Luukkonen for their continued hard work, support, dedication and tireless enthusiasm. Mark (Wills) Williams, once again, for the brilliant art work for the ‘Snow Kills’ cover and

Gemma Beckwith for her up-to-date knowledge of police procedure. We are also thrilled to welcome on to the DI Dylan series team, Sandra Mangan for 'Snow Kills' – the most proficient editor and proofreader.

 

We couldn't do it without you!

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

To all our family for their continued love and support.

 

Our beloved golden retriever Max, who sadly passed away in 2012 at the ripe old age of 15, but still lives on in the DI Dylan series. We’re not ready to let go yet, mate...

 

To those who strive daily to make the world a safer place for everyone, by bringing to justice those individuals who seek to inflict injury and suffering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The D.I. Dylan Books

 

 

Deadly Focus

Consequences

White Lilies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Kills

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preface

 

‘Who am I?’ Jack mused as he smiled down at his baby daughter. He put his finger to her rosy red cheek and was rewarded by a lopsided grin. She was snug, warm and sleepy laid in her pram. Dylan looked over his shoulder and back down the forest glade to where he saw Jen admiring snowdrops in flower under the shade of a tree. Sensing his stare, his wife glanced up at him, smiled and rose from her haunches, scurrying towards him as best she could in her wellington boots. Dylan stifled a chuckle – her jerky movements made him think of a newly born deer.

‘It always amazes me how anything survives outside in this weather,’ she said, expelling warm air from her lips in a mist. She grabbed his arm as an involuntary shiver went through her, even though she was wrapped up in her winter clothing. ‘We don’t see much of this where I come from,’ she said, pointing her gloved hands to the snow filled sky. For a moment, the pair looked to the heavens. Jen watched Dylan close his eyes and screw his nose up as little pinpricks of snow fell on his face. She laughed, put her arm through his and together they watched the snow flurry cross the ever-whitening Yorkshire valley – in silence.

As they walked through Sibden, a strong northerly wind carrying damp snow and sleet blew down the steep hillside. The air was like white sparkling wine. Dylan took a deep breath and put his head down, feeling the cold burning in his lungs as they fought to walk against the rapidly worsening conditions. Jen put her face into his upper arm, closed her eyes and held on tightly, walking blindly.

The sky was full but the snowstorm passed quickly. Dylan looked down, noticing his wife’s blonde hair was covered in soft, white snowflakes. Unperturbed by the weather, Max, their Golden Retriever, bounced towards them; a light coating of snow on an ice crusted snow bank was heaven to him. He barked at the top, as though shouting ‘I’m king of the castle,’ and Dylan put his finger swiftly to his lips. Maisy’s eyes flew open and then shut again.

‘Shush,’ Jen said, crossly. Nevertheless, Max crouched down in play and barked again. Jen threw a snowball for him to chase and seconds later he was back with more than a dusting of snow on his nose.

‘Who’d have thought that five years ago when I was living on the Isle of Wight and engaged to be married to another policeman, when the doctor gave me the news that I’d never have children? Look at me now, three hundred miles away from home, married, and we have Maisy,’ she said, with a contented sigh.

‘And who’d have thought I’d be a married man? Me, the eternal bachelor, wedded to the job before I met you,’ Dylan said. ‘I’m not much of a husband when I’m absorbed in an incident though, am I?’ he added, as he reached for her and held her tight.

Jen tilted her head up to him, stood on tiptoes and kissed his cheek.

‘I miss you, now I don’t see you at work,’ she said. ‘At least when I was at the station and you had a job running I’d see you there... and there is no one else to talk to with Mum gone and Dad so far away,’ she mumbled into the breast of his coat. ‘Sometimes I feel so alone.’

‘Alone? With Maisy?’

Jen cocked her head and gave him a crooked smile.

‘When you coming back to work then?’

Jen pulled a face. ‘Well, I guess since Maisy is nearly eight months old, I’d better come in and have a chat with Avril Summerfield-Preston soon about my return.’

Max barked louder and the two looked at him in horror. Dylan’s phone rang. Maisy started to cry. Jen rolled her watery eyes, and stepped back from their embrace, taking the pram from Dylan and briskly pushing it away. He turned from the force of the wind to take the call.

Who was he?

He was DI Jack Dylan, the officer in charge of Harrowfield CID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Kills

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Didn’t the whole town know it by now? Kayleigh tutted, then sighed, dropping her shoulders as she raised her eyes to the ceiling. Yet another severe weather warning was being broadcast over the airwaves.

Two o’clock prompt – and as always on a Wednesday, the shop door handle turned. This time though, the door juddered over the cardboard on the floor to soak up the wet footprints. As if in slow motion, a snow-covered figure, carrying a suitcase, fell headfirst into the salon. Mavis Beanland lay spread-eagled on the lino.

‘I don’t know why I’m bothering,’ she said, as Kayleigh dashed over. Mavis brushed her away, struggled onto her hands and knees, paused for a moment to untie the Rain Mate that had fallen over her eyes, and pick up a penny. ‘See a penny pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck,’ she said. ‘My hair’ll be none the better for doing, you know, by the time I get to my sister’s,’ she added, puffing and blowing. Kayleigh smiled at her customer and gave a fleeting glance over her shoulder at the busy Harrowfield High Street through the open door. Closing it, she could see the large snowflakes lazily drifting past on an unseen breeze.

‘But, I’m here now. Quite a trek from them there moors today it was,’ said Mavis, popping the found penny into the charity box on the shop counter next to the till.

‘You’ll feel better for having it washed,’ Kayleigh said, taking the old lady’s scarf and gloves as she watched a puddle appear on the floor at Mavis’s feet. She took off her coat and hung it up. Unaware of the mess she had made, Mavis padded across the floor towards the basin. With a flick of her plump wrist, she flung her wet fringe out of her eyes and looked at Kayleigh.

‘My goodness girl, look at you in them high heeled boots,’ she said in mock horror. Kayleigh draped a gown in front of her and Mrs Beanland turned and dropped her head to allow her to tie it. ‘They’ll be less use than a glass hammer in this weather,’ she said, pointing to Kayleigh’s footwear. ‘And I’ll be darned if you don’t end up with frostbite on y’ ... y’ bits,’ she added, pointing the same finger a bit higher at a short skirt. ‘I wear more in bed,’ she said, turning around to sit with a thud on the chair. ‘Don’t you young ’uns listen to the weather forecast?’ she added, shaking her head.

‘I wish,’ said Kayleigh, turning to the radio sitting on a shelf, as right on cue another severe weather warning rang out, this time with school closures and cancelled public transport notifications. ‘And, I’ll have you know these boots cost me a week’s wages, Mavis,’ she said, as she placed a towel around her client’s shoulders and turned on the basin taps.

‘They did?’ Mavis said, pulling a face as her hairdresser’s hand expertly guided her head into the wash basin. ‘You were robbed. Aren’t you worried about getting home? We don’t want you breaking a leg now, do we? Who’d do my hair then?’ Kayleigh pumped the shampoo from the bottle at the side of the sink into her hand and started massaging Mavis’s scalp to form a soapy lather. Kayleigh’s favourite client gripped her towel tight to her chest. ‘Ooooo, you are a good scrubber,’ she said with delight.

‘Don’t go saying stuff like that; you’ll get me a right reputation,’ Kayleigh said, laughing. ‘People already think that because I’m a blonde and a hairdresser I’ve nothing between my ears. Aren’t you worried about getting to your sister’s, Mave?’

‘No,’ laughed the old lady. ‘If the bleeding Germans didn’t stop me in the war, a few snowflakes won’t.’

‘You are a one,’ Kayleigh said with a chuckle.

The salon was hot and humid, with condensation running down the windows and Kayleigh could feel sweat beads forming on her top lip. ‘Why does everybody want to talk about the weather today?’ she said with a sigh, wiping her brow with her forearm.

Unhearing, Mavis went on. ‘I hope you aren’t wearing those tongue things that I’ve read about. Kayleigh raised her eyebrows and stifled a giggle. ‘If you are, you’ll know about it if you go down on your backside, my girl.’

‘You mean a thong Mavis, they’re called thongs,’ laughed Kayleigh, bringing the old lady up from the basin. She patted her wet hair with the towel.

‘Call them what you like love, but what you need in this weather is a pair of them there knickers that gathers it all in,’ she said. ‘Harvest Knickers we used to call them. Not particularly appealing to look at, I grant you that, but...’ she said with a nod, looking at Kayleigh through the mirror. ‘I tell you what, I’ll get you a pair next time I go the market.’

‘No, you’re alright. They don’t sound very ... attractive,’ Kayleigh said, screwing up her nose.

‘Too bloody cold to be thinking what they look like my girl. Common sense’s got to apply on days like these; it’s not the middle of summer, you know. Eee ... you’ll learn when you get a bit older,’ Mavis said, shaking her head.

‘You sound like me Mum. Don’t cast a clout ’til May passes out, she always says,’ Kayleigh mimicked her mother’s voice. ‘She’d still have me wearing liberty bodices if she had her way.’

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