This is the 25th Installment in the Series surrounding the activities of Murder Squad Detective Joseph Lind and his young partner Shelley Shields. The young woman was again partnered with Lind as her former partner Dallas Courtney was involved in a horrific car accident as he headed for home from a week-end "Slip Team" duty.
The prognosis is not encouraging for Courtney to be able to return to the Murder Squad. Consequently, the partnership of Lind and Shields is settling into a warm familiarity.
A vicious fight between two twin brothers leaves one dead and the other in hospital. One brother tormenting the other for years until the pent up rage for revenge explodes.
A retired successful Solicitor dies after a terrible hammer blow to the head. Alone in his home on the north coast of NSW the evidence initially points to a Home Invasion gone terribly wrong. After more than a week of investigating the crime, the local Police call in the Murder Squad Detectives Joseph Lind and Shelley Shields from Sydney. A situation not enjoyed by the Murder Squad Detective as the scents have cooled.
Is it possible that a small kernel of hate can slowly ferment to become an ulcerating mass blackening the very soul.....and once revenge is exacted, will this obsession dissipate or will it sour the soul? Forever?
The quiet suburban neighbourhood was split by a loud cry of anger.
The cry of anguish from some-one's backyard.
The voice is joined by another, just as strident.
Just as angry.
Expletives taint the cool morning air.
Slaps and thuds as flesh meets flesh.
Groans and gasps as air is forced from lungs by sudden thrusts of wild fists and arms.
A headlock forces a head to be smashed into the adjacent fibro wall of the garage which results in a piercing shriek of pain.
Breaking china being smashed onto a concrete surface.
Chairs and knick-knacks flying.
The sounds, the groans and moans of close-in fighting.
A roar of anger.
A scream of pain.
Perhaps five or six close neighbours heard the uproar.
Grateful that it had ceased.
No-one thought to ring the Cops. A family dispute, the occasional discomfort of life in the 'burbs.' The uproar a common occurrence from that particular house.
The sound of a car door opening, then quickly slammed shut.
The immediate sound of screeching tyres as the vehicle backs out of the driveway. Straining motor revved hard. Gears changed angrily with no finesse. A cloud of smoke as tyres fight for traction on the bitumen and the car takes off down the narrow suburban street.
Usually kids are out playing on their bikes. Kicking balls or skate-boarding. Luckily it was a school day.
Then silence after the vehicle only just negotiates the corner at the end of the street in a crescendo of agonising, screaming tyres and flying pebbles and dirt. The driver over-corrects and with a series of 'fish-tails', the vehicle side-swipes three parked cars.
An agonising screech of tormented, bruised, and contorted metal. The car doesn't stop but continues on its way well above the 50-speed limit of the 'Built-up' area.
A guy at the end of the street was out watering his front garden.
It was an 'even' day, so he could lawfully enjoy the pleasure this early in the morning. He looked up at the sound of a speeding car from up the street heading directly for his front yard. He momentarily was transfixed before the survival instinct took over and he flung himself to one side. Luckily the car made it around the corner and except for a bruised ego and a racing heart, the old man was unharmed.
He rang the Cops to complain.
Not about the argument that he never heard, but about the young 'Hoon' drivers around the neighbourhood...and the fact that his evasive action had caused him to wet his pants.
With the hose, of course!
- - - - -
A 'Divvy' Van from the local Police Station was asked to pay a call to the neighbourhood if in the area. A description of the speeding vehicle was broadcast. To be stopped and examined if seen. Driving dangerously in a '50-kay Zone' of a built-up area. Leaving the scene of several collisions with parked cars in the narrow suburban street.
The suspect vehicle was pulled over by a Highway Pursuit Vehicle after going through a red light.
The Constable leaned towards the open window, sniffing as he did so.
"Have you been drinking, sir?"
The guy shook his head.
Again, the driver shook his head groggily.
"Your Driver's License, please sir. Didn't you see the red light, driver?"
The Senior Constable looked down at the License Card, noticing freshly smeared blood on the plastic. The driver seemed not to have heard the question.
"Are you injured, sir? You are bleeding...perhaps if you get out of your vehicle. Turn the motor off, sir. If you will."
The young cop stood to one side so that he could not be hit by a door suddenly flying open. The driver sat motionless.
"Sir? Could you turn the motor off and step out of your vehicle, sir?"
The guy eventually obeyed the order. Standing for some moments leaning back against his car. Unsteady on his feet.
"I suggest that you sit down at the kerb, sir." The tall Constable gestured with a wave of his arm.
The Officer led the man in front of the still idling vehicle to sit him down slowly on the Council verge. The man laid slowly onto his back and placed his arms over his eyes.
The Cop walked back to lean into the vehicle to turn the ignition off and drop the ring of keys to the floor-well on the passenger side of the vehicle. The Cop had noticed the blood oozing from a long slash on the upper arm of the man. Several deep cuts across his left palm. Spot marks on the man's pants that denoted several puncture wounds to the left hip and fleshy part of the buttock. His T-shirt appeared to be drenched in blood.
The cop didn't feel it was all of the guy's own blood.
There was far too much!
The Constable walked to his marked Patrol Vehicle to pop the trunk. As he did this, he speed-dialled in his local Station requesting urgent back-up, the immediate appearance of the Station Plain-clothes Dee, a vehicle to be dispatched to the address of the driver as shown on the license card and for an Ambulance to both that address and his location.
He signed off to stoop into the trunk to extract a double pair of latex gloves and a medical kit to apply pressure bandages to the various oozing wounds.
The guy was woozy from the lack of blood. Still he refused to advise of the location and the reason for the obvious knife wounds.
The cop thought correctly after a blood sample was taken, that the guy was high on something. Ice more than likely. It was the drug of choice with more and more people coming under its insidious spell. It's effect with a lot of Users, one of anger and unpredictability.
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: