This is the 45th Instalment in the Novella Series concerning the life and career of Detective Joseph Lind of the Murder Squad.
His long-term partner, Shelley Anne Shields is confined to Hospital, struck down as her mother before her, experiencing similar complications when first becoming pregnant. Lind is very concerned that Shields will go the same way as his other long-term partner, Marjory Hendricks and prefer the life of motherhood over that of being a successful half of the Murder Squad team of Detectives.
Lind is paired with Detective Cameron De Foe. It soon becomes apparent that De Foe is a round peg in a square hole and not suited to a career in the Murder Squad. He has no empathy or spirit for the job ... or is there a more sinister reason for his ineptitude? His lassitude?
How does a person prove their Identity? By what is in their wallet or purse?
If that goes missing, stolen, or lost, how does a person prove who they say they are?
Is it that difficult to overcome, or are the processes required to once again obtain those Proofs of Identity, of living, of surviving very problematic?
The Banks and Money Institutions of the World lose enormous amounts of money each year to Credit Card Fraud.
Identities stolen every day for various nefarious and illegal reasons.
Can you prove who you say you are?
Have you proof of Identity?
"Joe!! How are you? It's been a while. I heard through the grape-vine that you are flying solo."
"Hello, my Dear." I gave her a peck on the cheek. "I have missed your lovely form hovering over a dead body...it has to be over six months since we shared the mutual, beneficial experience." A wide smile on my face at seeing Bree Wzerlic again after such a hiatus.
The woman a consummate professional but still managed to flirt harmlessly with me with no offence taken or given.
Brenda Wzerlic was the 'blond-headed boy' so to speak, of the Morgue precinct, the Forensic Pathologist appointed to take over Muscles' position as Head of the Forensic Pathology Team at the City Morgue when he retired in something like ten years' time if he made it that far!
I had heard through that same grapevine that she was being 'hunted' for her talents and expertise over in London. That is the downside of these sojourns to foreign shores to increase one's knowledge and craft of your chosen career. It whispered that she would never leave her long time, live-in partner. He was the reason for her constantly returning to the nest after so many of those overseas 'jaunts' so aptly described by her Boss, tongue firmly in cheek.
To be fair, it was always with his blessing that she agreed to these arrangements.
A hard working, very intelligent and astute woman who loved her job and was a career person down to her boot-straps. She was in a long-lasting relationship with a well-respected, young St. Vincent Hospital and Visiting Assistant Surgeon whom she had shared her medical traineeship with. They owned a beautifully restored Paddington Terrace with two miniature Poodles, a cat, two Lorikeets and a friendly Ferret who slept with the cat...go figure!
I have no idea when they found the time to undertake the expensive and time-consuming business of restoration, but the results were breath-taking! Sure, most of the work carried out by a Builder who by all accounts, was an absolute marvel, but still...a Builder of such attributes was a hidden gem!
Listening to the two waxing lyrically over a pleasant Dinner which we were often invited to, they seemed to revelled in the dirty work of demolition, labouring, painting, tiling, and designing on the go. One look at Bristol Agnew's hands and you wondered on the validity of the stories. His hands were almost feminine in shape. Picking up a paint-brush or a sledge-hammer would seem out of the question! Quite alien to him, in fact.
The stories continued though, long after the works completed!
So, who is to know?
"Yep, it has been a while. I did that second six-month stint in Oxford, came back to 'second assist' Muscles at the Autopsy Table for a while and have just done another stint of night duty while Hawkins tries to work out his life...I am afraid his marriage has gone to hell in a cane basket...he would not have helped in any way what with his philandering and acerbic manner. He has gone, or he will go very shortly, so Muscles told me at the beginning of this week during a Staff Meeting. Good riddance is all I will say on the matter. Voluntarily took leave, with his resignation pending at the end of the month. Heading towards Adelaide and his parents' warm embrace, by all accounts. We will then have another empty position to cover which is a bugger as we were just about on our feet after all those years since that pompous arsed bastard from London near wrecked the Morgue Precinct...then Caramine Lees' suicide sure put a spanner in the works...as her Assist at the time, I sure feel guilty...I saw her melt-down and did nothing about it! Still, nothing is meant to be easy, so they say...how about you, Joe, life good?"
"Couldn't be better. To think I went through hell and back worrying about being a late blossoming father with now having the two most wonderful little girls in my life...and of course, Tellie...and Bree...um...we all share some responsibility in letting Caramine slip through the crack. We all worked around her, knew she was down and not travelling well...if anyone should share the bulk of the guilt it is that bastard from London, as you said. I hear he is in a one-man show in Dunedin on the South Island of NZ. The weather is his cup of tea too, so I have heard...the rotten sod! Even shit can fill in holes, so they say."
"Well said, Joe. I couldn't have phrased it better myself."
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: