The Visiting Detective – Episode 02

“I DISAGREE.” Chief Inspector Rawlish shambled in and shook hands with the new man.

“Hope you had a good trip, Robinson,” he said. “Good to have you on board.” Rawlish spun on one heel to face Gaby. “Glad I’ve caught you without the rest of the team,” he said. “Exciting opportunity; share knowledge and experience with other city CID teams; Robinson here is highly recommended.”

Rawlish had been a sergeant major in the war. Now, 20-odd years later in 1966, he still talked like a man on parade.

Gaby stood up.

“I’m sure DS Robinson is brilliant, sir, and there are officers here who will do a much better job of leading him around.”

“I don’t need leading, DS Clark,” Robinson said in a low voice. “I’m not much of a follower.”

Rawlish smiled.

“Actually,” Robinson went on, “I do usually work alone.”

“London’s a dangerous place,” Gaby said.

“And Liverpool isn’t?” Robinson said, quick as a flash.

Their eyes met, and two brows lowered in unison, two sets of eyes narrowed.

Rawlish held up a hand.

“This is not a contest about crime figures,” he said, “and I’m sure you both remember that our job is to reduce crime, not boast about it. I have teamed you up for the benefit of both of you. Clark, begin with an office tour.”

*  *  *  *

DS Kit Robinson had been delighted when he was sent down to London. He’d never seen Carnaby Street, or Liberty’s. He was really looking forward to going to see “Hello, Dolly” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane: he liked a nice bit of musical theatre. But he was definitely unsure about this DS Clark. There were no females back home at Liverpool Central, and he felt that life was probably easier that way. She also seemed to think he was less than human somehow, and certainly incompetent. She had shown him his allocated desk and telephone as if he had a disease.

“I’ve just got through a case,” she said. “A big case.” She leaned towards him. “A murder.” She seemed to think he’d never heard the word.

“So we’ll be taking whatever crops up next?” Kit said politely. “Murder or other.”

“Yes, I suppose we will,” she said.

He watched her walk back to her typewriter. How did she get away with wearing those clothes for work?

Kit decided that it was probably a good thing that a case landed on them almost before he’d had a chance to lay his fountain pen on his desk. Better to be busy than to sit and endure the scowls of DS Clark. He looked up from his temporary accommodation form to see DS Clark unhooking his coat from the peg by the door.

“A painting,” she said, and tossed the coat on to a spare chair next to his desk. She fetched her own coat, a white swinging thing that would have been more suitable on a catwalk than a criminal investigation, and was putting it on very quickly.

“Come on,” she said, “there’s been a painting stolen from a gallery in Mayfair. If we get there quickly we’ve more chance of working out what happened.”

“You think I don’t know about visiting a crime scene promptly?” Kit asked as he hurried after her along the corridor to the car pound.

“I don’t know what you know,” she said. “But it looks like I’ll be finding out.”

Kit clenched his teeth together and trailed after her. The white coat swung behind her, and her glossy hair swung with it. She was pretty. Pity she was a shrew.

Alan Spink

I am a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. I enjoy working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, I also write fiction and enjoy watching football and movies in my spare time. My one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.