As the book is based in Bournemouth we thought we would take a few days to take in some of the sites that the characters came across, and maybe visit the local book shops. The latter was a fail as most of them are either, Christian, secondhand, or featured non-fiction.
Anyway, we had a great time, the weather was brilliant and we met some lovely people.
To Clare and Anthea at Borzoi Books in Stow on the Wold for adding ‘The Hillingdon Files’ to their on-line book-shop, and for Mog and Pauline at Warwick Books for inclusion on the shelf to their extensive book collection.
…..It was 2:30pm by the time Jeremy got back and called Pam. He’d made a point of not mentioning the file to her before, in an attempt to keep her away from any backlash. Which was now quite clearly unavoidable. She picked up on the fourth ring.
‘Hi, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you today, to what do I owe the pleasure?
‘Hi, Pam – we have a problem.’
‘Houston – you missed Houston’ Pam said.
‘What! – oh right’
‘Sorry, what problem’ she said a little sheepishly.
‘File 102277 – it’s been accessed by a third party, someone in IT managed to open it during the firewall update.’
‘Yes’ Jeremy said
‘How – it’s supposed to be encrypted – your encryption.’
‘We don’t know, but you and I are being put in the firing line.’
There was a pause and Pam said ‘Neville’s in hospital, been there since Monday, is that connected?
‘Possibly’ he lied. Definitely, should have been his response.
‘How much trouble am I in?’ she asked.
‘I think we are both in way over our heads.’ He paused, a long pause. ‘How seriously do you feel about us?’
‘What do you mean, us? Pam asked.
‘How would you feel if I said we should cut and run? Leave the country. Start our own life together.’
The phone went quiet.
‘Is it really that bad?’ she said.
This wasn’t quite the response Jeremy was hoping for.
‘I don’t have that sort of money Jeremy.’
‘Look’ Jeremy said ‘I was instrumental in setting up this scam in the first place. For the last three years I have had my own independent IT guys employed skimming an incidental amount off each top-line. Went down as software support costs. I … ‘ he paused ‘we have at least six mil in a Caymans account’
‘Shit Jeremy, you’re scaring me, I don’t know. I need some time to think.’
‘Not sure how much time we have love, it took less than twenty-four hours for them to get to Neville Hillingdon.’
‘Bloody hell, so he was hit as a consequence.’
‘If they, whoever they are, are that switched-on, we shouldn’t be having this conversation over the phone’ Pam said.
‘You’re right, can we meet?’
‘Yes, I’ll see you in the Reef Café on the pier in two hours……
The traditional book shop in the Market Place, Warwick will be carrying ‘The Hillingdon Files’ from next week.
Big thank-you to Mog and Pauline the proprietors.
….I saw the hammer pull back on the 870 as I ploughed into Aleysha’s mid-section and heard the discharge, felt the ringing in my ears and shattering of splintered wood from the door frame behind. This was a one-time charge, in an effort to move her head away from the line of fire. I had no backup plan and Rigley would still have the gun, be on his feet, and we are sprawling on the office floor. The next thing I’m aware of is the outside door, which would be directly behind Rigley, being smashed off its hinges and one of the officers burst in and announcing ‘Armed officer, put your weapon down’ at which point, apparently, as I was face down over Aley and wasn’t looking, Rigley span round and was shot. The ringing from gunfire, immediately followed by a violet yelp, the last sound to emit from the serial killer. Once the resonance died away, the office fell into a deep silence for a few seconds. We recovered ourselves from the floor and Aleysha got up, her first response was ‘Where the fuck is Powell’ She turned and left the launderette…..
Article from this weeks local news.
The article released in the Leamington Courier earlier has now been corrected and is also up on the Warwick Courier and Kenilworth News.
Thanks JPI Media
…..I knock on door 12 and peer in. ‘DCI Greg Richards, CID’ I introduce myself. Jilly stands up, extends a hand.
‘Evening sir, PC Jilly Smith and this is Doctor Ball.’
‘How is it?’ I say looking at the bandage on his left upper arm.
‘I’ll live, no it’s really just a scratch, not at all deep thanks to my suit jacket. That’s not so good’ he says. ‘Is this to do with Mr. Hillingdon?’
‘I suspect so’ I say ‘There’s something bigger going on here than just a hit and run we think. Did you get a look at the woman?’
‘I already have a statement from Doctor Ball’ Jilly says and hands it over.
‘Thanks’ I look over the description given, 5’2” to 5’4” – Woman of colour – black hair, natural, tied up – slim build – 25-30 years old – perfect teeth – possible scar left side under the chin – black chinos and trainers.
‘Woman of colour?’ I say, ‘Very PC, any ideas?’
‘That’s in built in our profession. Not Indian or African’ he says, ‘possibly Asian, Arabic or a mix, attractive though.’
‘Perfect teeth? – that’s an unusual observation’ I say.
‘When she pulled the knife, she screamed like a trapped animal as she lashed out, that’s when I noticed her teeth, and as she pulled her head back for the second slash, just before I high-tailed it, I caught a glimpse of what looked like an old scar under her chin, about this long’ he spread his forefinger and thumb to about 10 centimetres. Longer but similar to the one you’ll have in a couple of months’ he said with a smile. ‘As I said, I ducked and ran at that point. Oh, and my daughters a hairdresser, it wasn’t dyed.’
I added the doctor’s additional comments to the statement, counter signed it, and handed it back to Jilly.
‘Thanks’ I say to them both, then looking at the Doctor. ‘Anything else you may remember or think of later please contact me’ I hand him my card, he nods, and I leave……
The Hillingdon Files gets a mention in the local paper under the heading ‘People’
A few strange errors, like halfway through I become Alan rather than Paul, and ‘having not released the Hillingdon Files’ as opposed to ‘having now released the Hillingdon Files’. That aside, a nice article.