By Glenis Kellet
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A gripping intriguing murder mystery – Revealing the dark thoughts of a demented killer as he terrorises a quiet rural area with his evil intent. Who will be next? Will he succeed in destroying Paul and Josie’s romance and a bizarre legacy? Suspects secret lives are unveiled during the police investigation, further complicating the murder cases. When the killer is finally apprehended, shockwaves ripple through the jittery communities. This is a captivating novel bringing fear and alarm balanced with a touch of romance and laughter.
Glenis Kellet has mainly worked in agriculture, as well as with racehorses, and on a fishery. She draw on real life experience to write exciting fast-paced easy to read fiction novels.
The horrendous sound of a victim’s fragile head, crashing down onto a dense, sandstone slab in the greenhouse. The victim had been knocked to the floor with a terrific blow; blood oozed out of a fatal gash to the back of her head. The blood slowly pooled and congealed around her short, curly grey hair.
The perpetrator quickly dropped the heavy blood-splattered object from his gloved hand. His bare arms, face, and T-shirt marked him as a killer with the bright red splatter of innocent blood. He dashed to the house and tried the door handle to the backdoor; he was in luck – his victim had left it unlocked!
Leaving blood smears on the door handle, he ran around the house leaving a trail of smears; he was searching for anything of value. He rifled through a leather wallet, looking for any money he could find. He gleefully took £50 in notes and a few coins he had found on top of the tallboy in the main bedroom. He hurriedly stuffed them into his jeans pocket and ran to the back door; he hastily sprinted down the long garden path – glancing towards the open door of the long greenhouse, to the body lying motionless inside. His lips curled in a sinful smile at the sight of his heinous crime. He fled through the back gate; his heart was pounding furiously, adrenalin was surging through him, giving him an ultra ‘high’. He raced to his parked car and sped off.
The following day, Flora – an elderly friend of the murdered victim – arrived for tea. She knocked on the front door but there was no reply; she knocked several times. She attempted to turn the door handle – it was locked. Flora had her own key to the house, so she was able to let herself in. Perhaps my friend is in the bathroom, Flora thought to herself.
“Amy, Amy are you there, love?” she shouted, walking towards the backroom; she could smell the aroma of homemade bread. There was no reply, only stillness and the eerie sound of a ticking clock situated on the mantelpiece. The elderly woman wandered around the house searching every room, calling her friend’s name, and wondering if Amy had forgotten she was coming that day.
When Flora saw the blood smears everywhere she naively wondered if her friend had cut her hand – she was always having accidents in the garden and cutting herself in the kitchen. She looked out of the spare bedroom window to see if Amy had driven off in her car – to the hospital perhaps? – to have her wound attended to. But Flora saw her car was still parked, in its usual place at the dead end in the back lane.
Flora then thought her friend may be outside gardening, although she hadn’t seen her there through the spare bedroom window. Confused at not finding Amy ready to greet her, she slipped out of the unlocked back door to have a look. No, she didn’t appear to be in the garden; she was half expecting Amy to walk up behind her or appear from behind a bush holding her secateurs.
Suddenly, a high-pitched scream rang through the quiet garden – Flora had found her friend’s lifeless body in the greenhouse! Amy’s head was lying in a pool of blood. The birds took flight at the piercing noise, flapping their wings and soaring into the bright blue sky. Wide eyed with horror, the elderly woman fled from the greenhouse back into the garden. In that split second Flora was deciding what to do; she was afraid the killer was still lurking around the property. She ran panic stricken to the back gate, fearing to enter the blood smeared house again, and ran as fast as she could to the front of the house. Her heart was racing so fast and so loud in her chest, she thought it would burst. She jumped into her car and drove away at full speed. She pulled into a lay-by and rang the police on her mobile phone; her words tumbled off her tongue in an erratic and panicky way.
“Amy – she’s dead! … Come quickly… she’s just… lying there!” Flora puffed – the shock had affected her breathing and she was hyperventilating.
The policewoman who had taken the phone call, had to gently calm the elderly lady down to make sense of what had happened. Slowly the information required to locate the body was gently drawn out of the panicked, hysterical woman. The policewoman had also concluded that it was a possible homicide with the description she had received regarding the blood splattered object lying near the body.
Several police cars arrived with armed police officers in a van; an ambulance arrived on the scene shortly after. Immediately the back garden was searched for the killer or killers; they pronounced the garden secure and moved on into the house. The medics pronounced Amy dead at the scene and the crime scene investigators began their meticulous investigation of processing the crime scene.
Amy was a widow in her late 60s. The deadly weapon used lay at the scene by her side, as described by the dead woman’s friend, splattered with blood. It was a heavy brass door stopper used to stop the greenhouse door from slamming shut.
There were two detectives there on the scene – the older colleague, Detective Chief Inspector Alex Crawford, and his junior, Detective Inspector Sam Johnson. Both were good friends in and out of work. They made a phenomenal team together.
“The victim may have known her killer – Amy had obviously turned away from her attacker to be struck from behind, or the killer had crept up behind her and hit her violently on the back of her head; without her hearing him,” observed DI Johnson, speaking out his thoughts aloud.
DCI Crawford, perceiving the situation closely, replied “She would have seen anyone approaching from here unless she was preoccupied with something else. The greenhouse stands in the middle of the garden, she had a 360-degree view of the surroundings. The killer didn’t appear to have arrived with a weapon, look…” He pointed to the brass door stopper on the floor by the body. “The perpetrator took the nearest thing to hand to kill her.”
The wooden greenhouse was painted white, it was quite long with doors at either end. Amy was lying near to the door closest to the garden path.
Amy was small in height and slightly overweight, her green cotton summer dress fitting tightly to her upper torso. The light brown sandals she was wearing were askew on her bare feet. A slug trail glistened in the sunshine leading to the pool of blood. Flies were already buzzing around and landing on the corpse’s blood-soaked matted hair; crawling into the deep bloodied open wound in the back of her head. The plants in the greenhouse appeared to be bowing their heads in sympathy – they were dehydrated from the heat and lack of water. These vertical plants were tied to their canes – tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peppers; they wouldn’t have been watered for a while.
“It looks like she died yesterday, in the afternoon, I’ll confirm a clearer time after I’ve performed the post-
mortem back at the mortuary,” the forensic pathologist announced as he struggled to stand up after examining her lifeless body. He mopped his sweaty brow with a white handkerchief and sighed.
Deep in thought, the two detectives surveyed the garden; it was mainly a fruit and vegetable garden with an orchard – hens were clucking and pecking in the grass, behind a tall chicken wired fence; unaware of what was going on. The onions in long rows had their tops folded over; potato leaves were beginning to yellow at the far end of the plot. There were several neat plots all growing different types of vegetables. Pots stood on the patio area with different varieties of lettuce growing in them. Blueberries were beginning to ripen on several bushes. There were juicy strawberries galore, ripe, and ready to be picked. In the orchard, apples and pears trees were laden with unripened fruit.
The two detectives walked solemnly down the stone flagged pathway; they could hear the constant rumbling sound coming from the distant motorway to the east. A small bumblebee was busy collecting the abundance of nectar from a blackberry bush, it had alighted on one of the pinkish coloured petals making up the dainty flower, amongst a cluster of other flowers. DCI Crawford glanced at the wonderful display nature was providing him, the beauty of Mother Nature carries on regardless of what the human world creates for itself – he pondered quietly to himself. A long branch from the bush had been staked
in a vertical position yet had continued to grow and was arching over the washing line. A few white bath towels were pegged on the line.
The house had been pronounced as being secure by the police firearms team; they left once their job had been completed. The two detectives strolled on towards the small white painted house; they stepped over the threshold of the doorway, in white shoe covers and disposable plastic gloves they had put on at the doorstep in order to protect the crime scene.
In the kitchen, the smell of newly baked bread drew their eyes to half a dozen white bread rolls that had cooled on a wire tray. The sink was full of dirty dishes and pans; on the white tiled kitchen windowsill, there were a few dead black flies beside a fly swatter. Paint pots, paintbrushes, a wooden stirrer, and paint rags were placed on a cardboard sheet on the unit top.
“Amy appeared to be a handy sort of woman by the looks of things, doing her own maintenance,” DCI Crawford mentioned, thinking out aloud. He thought it was such a waste of a human life. A latched wooden door was open, leading into a walk-in pantry. Strange looking things in jars immediately grabbed their attention.
“Looks like she stored things the old fashioned way,” the DCI commented. Bottles and jars stood in rows on the wooden shelves. A few were labelled ‘cider vinegar’ – they had apple cores floating on top of a clear liquid inside the jars. Another large jar was labelled ‘orange peel’. There were jars of string beans in salt, beetroot in vinegar, and jars of different types of jams and jellies. Dried peas and beans stood in a few tall glass jars; a large round storage jar was full of pickled eggs, on the shelf above. The DI lifted a lid on a large glazed pot that stood on the stone flagged floor.
“Ugh, salted cabbage I think,” he remarked, rather amused. At the end of the room stood an upturned wooden stool, with a muslin cloth tied to the four legs. Laid on the cloth was a red mushy lump of stewed fruit; the red juice was percolating through the muslin cloth and was slowly dripping into a glass bowl beneath – reminding them of the blooded scene outside.
Onions were strung up on hooks from the ceiling with bunches of wilted herbs cascading down from other hooks giving off a strange mixed aroma. A tray laid on the floor was full of what appeared to be crushed eggshells.
DI Johnson chuckled. “It’s like going back in time in here, a completely different way of life and there’s no deep freeze!” They walked back into the old fashioned kitchen – all the units were free-standing. An old cooker was wedged between them; it had an eye-level grill. The large white ceramic sink had a set of old fashioned taps stood tall over the sink. There was a small fridge stood on one of the unit tops; it was humming quietly.
The rest of the house was thoroughly searched; blood smears were all over the house – on the walls, the banister rail, doorknob, and drawer handles. In the main bedroom, the victim’s bed was still unmade, clothes hung up on hangers hung from the top of a wardrobe. Her pink summer nightie was strewn over her crumpled duvet.
“This wallet has been tampered with, there are blood smears inside and no money in it,” the DI stated as he observed the empty wallet on top of the tallboy.
“It could’ve been an opportunist wanting cash but it doesn’t explain why he or she had to kill Amy!” exclaimed the other detective. They searched another bedroom; it was small with a single bed, made up, with a double wardrobe and empty shelving in an alcove.
They walked into a box room which had been made into an office – papers and files were everywhere. Lots of photographs mounted in frames hung around the walls. Many were of Amy’s late husband they assumed, near a lake and a wood.
There were photographs of deer quietly grazing near the fringes of the wood and magnificent close-up shots of dragonflies. There were a few fantastic shots of swifts swooping in for insects near the surface of the calm water in the lake. Striking phenomenal pictures of carp jumping out of the lake and diving back in caught their eye – it was a clever trick to remove parasites. It was a spectacular record of their acrobatic antics in the stunning sunsets. DI Johnson, being an angler, had seen the display in real life, many times.
A computer sat on an old shabby desk with a printer and keyboard.
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