This is the 20th Instalment in the Series involving the Murder Squad Detective Joseph Lind and his two young Partners, Detectives Shelley Shields and Dallas Courtney who have recently joined him.
The story is a direct link and a continuation to the previous Novella, "Guilty Until Proven Innocent."
The brutal homicide deaths of Ulla Arunta and her two children is suspected to be the work of a savage and cruel Sydney Crime figure and his two cohorts to save a profitable and ongoing illegal concern from detection. A small affair in the over-all criminal activities of the major Sydney criminal. The estranged husband of the woman is wrongfully accused of the crime.
A "Siege and Shoot out" causes the death of a drug fuelled husband who had previously gunned to death his wife. The actions of Detective Lind in not following correct Policy and Procedures in such matters threatens to shorten his career as a top Murder Cop.
A Home Invasion goes terribly wrong with the three residents of the premises brutally slain.
What is the tenuous link between these murders and the knifing to death of the Arunta woman and her two children?
The sudden escape from Australia of the Crime figure and his two cohorts with a sizable cash fortune deposited into various Balkan State Banks means that any further investigation into the slaying of the Arunta woman cannot be proceeded with.
Extradition of the suspected criminals in question is extremely doubtful.
The only satisfying token completion to this case for Detective Lind is arranging for an Open Warrant to be issued for the apprehension and conviction of the Criminal Trio if they ever returned to Australia.
Why would the Criminal Trio ever desire to return to Australian shores knowing that their past would be their downfall? Or would it?
It appears that a home may never be a safe Haven.
I'd hazard a guess and say that I am not the only one. Both here, within the secure confines of the Police Building in Parramatta or in the outside civilian office community.
My former professional partner of some six to seven years, Marjory, 'Mar' or 'Marge' Hendricks, used to tear her hair out practically. Angered by my laissez-faire attitude and a less than enthusiastic perspective towards the practise. She accused my obvious ineptitude to the task as she called it, as a basic personality flaw. A trait that required medical intervention, according to her often-heard tirades on the subject!
Frequently murmured across the expanse of our two desks.
Loud enough for others in the Office to overhear.
It helped in the day being a bright and sunny one, was the oft heard comment from said eaves-droppers, to hear her cast disparaging utterances on my sanity, my personality and birthright!
But then, my former partner was a fair dinkum OCD freak!
Of major proportions, to my way of thinking!
All this magnanimous chatter was about my lack of clearing out my Computer User Name In-box in a habitual, daily manner as everyone else in the Squad appeared to do... regular-like! Or so they often told me, that smug smirk on their faces every time!
I sometimes doubted these very claims.
Overhearing their complaint that they too had not heard or read of so and so's Retirement Drinks session being conducted at the closest Club to our multi-storey building on such and such an evening. Having to then make that terrible telephone call to the recent Retiree with an excuse that beggared belief and which should have remained unsaid as part of the etiquette of the Office.
It only made them look like idiots, as far as I was concerned!
Consequently, I rarely engaged in such grovelling...and obtained a bad name into the bargain. A thoughtless and uncaring former colleague. A tool of major proportions. I expected nought people to attend my Retirement function as a result!
To my way of thinking, I had much more important chores to attend to rather than wading through mountains of absolute rubbish every morning or evening! Or sometime during the day when a supposedly lax moment presented itself to undertake the chore.
To be totally honest.... who had such times?
It just seemed to slip my mind and when I did remember, I would only concentrate on those items that had a recognisable Murder Case Code Number attached. Everything else was left for another day...which in my case, never seemed to occur! Regular-like!
Consequently, my 'In-box' was full to overflowing, constantly, and perhaps when time allowed, about once every month or two, I would diligently attempt to empty the accursed thing. Not really paying that much attention to every 'piece of gold' contained therein. I reckoned that about 95% of its content was just plain garbage, drivel or a waste of time even opening! Therefore, I didn't, unless the 'Sender' or more correctly 'The Addresser' was vaguely familiar!
Deputy Commissioner and above not withstanding!
In the old days, it was 'Mar' Hendricks who used to remind me of upcoming important events, such as Births, Deaths and Marriages within the Office.
These things usually communicated to me as she picked me up or dropped me home in the Unmarked. Now it was I who had the unenviable task of picking up Dallas Courtney every morning. My other 'temporary' partner, Shelley Shields, lived too far removed to be included in the exercise. Well on the other side of Liverpool actually. Up the Leppington Road where she resided on a small acreage with her loyal partner who happened to be a Uniform Cop out of the Liverpool Copper Station and by all accounts, sharing a large menagerie of animals and birds, chooks, geese and dogs!
Where she found the time to look after all these animals, I had no idea. Perhaps she didn't read her e-mails either, giving her another couple of hour per day to look after said animals!
She left home for the Parramatta Office at Sparrow's fart and usually arrived home sometimes well after dark!
I should mention that I am the only Detective Grade 4 who had one young, not long out of the Academy, Graduate who required some degree of mentoring and steerage. Shelley Shields was what we would call a mature age Graduate in the Detective ranks.
That I would be selected to be this mentoring person was way beyond my comprehension....and just about every other work colleague's understanding to boot! While my association with the young Dallas was somewhat stilted and unsure, Shelley Shields was showing true promise with her attitude and left field splay on the world and of the life and mental state of Murder Suspects!
Right down my alley and someone that I could understand. Logic and all!
But then again, she had experience in the Police Force in other capacities and was considerably older than the young Dallas, who was, as I have already mentioned, wet behind the ears and more or less, straight from the Academy.
Still, as the Computer Geek, it was he who would now fill me in on the e-mails of importance as we drove the kilometres to work each morning. On those important events so diligently e-mailed to every In-box recipient in the Force with the mind-snapping information of someone's mother having died or Sergeant Cooper out at the Deniliquin Police Station having turned the ripe old age of sixty! If anyone was interested, a "Drinkies" night was being organised at the local Royal Arms Hotel on the twentieth... which happened to be last Friday! And hundreds of kilometres away.
Yippee! Happy 60th to Sergeant Cooper, who-ever he was. A nice bloke for sure, I would imagine!
Give me strength.
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: