Don't know if this will become anything yet. Not used to writing crime...
Detective Inspector (D.I.) Madeline Cane was the youngest female officer to make D.I. in 30 years. She had battled through her fare share of: late nights, paperwork and sexism within the ranks. However, there was one battle she seemed incapable of winning, the battle of the coffee stain. As she changed into yet another shirt DI Cane felt strong arms wrap around her from behind. She spun quickly out of his reach, fighting every instinct to find comfort in her husband’s embrace. She was already late for work. As Richard tried his approach again, she ducked under his arms and gave him a kiss on the cheek, before rushing out the front door, her shirt half on.
“Love you too hun” he muttered under his breath as the door slammed shut behind her. He went into the kitchen and removed a pack of cloths from under the sink before returning to the bedroom. He opened a duffel bag and shoved the cloths inside. He closed the bag and grabbed his hard hat and keys, before following in his wife’s footsteps out the front door.
As DI Cane stepped through the doors to the South Sussex police station, her phone rang. “Cane” she spoke through a yawn as she answered. “Don’t bother coming upstairs, body just washed up at Brighton Pier. I’ll meet you outside in a minute” said a man with a gruff voice. Detective Sergeant (D.S.) Brian Moore had never amounted to much on the force. Despite a promising start when he was a constable, and a smooth promotion to Sergeant, he had not received much praise or any offers for promotion in the last decade. He was considered an old timer by most on the force. He followed the rules, and was well known for patronising anyone younger than him. DI Cane was less than fond of her partner, but knew he got the job done.
DS Moore drove like a snail, but Madeline couldn’t handle his incessant back seat driving, so she usually let him take the wheel. He pulled up after an agonising forty minute drive at the end of Brighton Pier. A young woman’s body lay face down in the pebbles, wave after wave lapping up over her calves. Blood mixed with the small stones and seawater, creating an alarming scene. As DI Cane stepped closer the smell hit her, decomposition. This woman had been dead for a while. As the coroner rolled her onto her back Madeline recoiled at the sight of the woman’s face, or rather the deep gashes over her face. Whoever did this was sick, a monster. As she tried to come to grips with the sight of a woman with her face half torn off, she noticed a small patch of dried blood by her foot. She waved her hand to call over one of the scene of crime investigators (SCI) so he could collect a sample. She took a deep breath and started to walk towards the body.
“Ah, DI Cane, as I was just telling DS Moore here, I believe that the victim died at least 72 hours ago. Also, due to the amount of DNA evidence and fibres I’ve found, it is my opinion that the body did not wash up here, it was placed here. Only the lower legs seem to have been damaged by salt water. However, I can’t confirm any of this until I have completed my autopsy.” The coroner continued to scour the body for evidence as DS Moore pulled DI Cane to the side. He leaned in close, so close that Madeline could smell his breakfast. He held her gaze, stopping her attempts to recoil. “Now, what does this tell us Cane?” As she went to speak he continued his pompous monologue. “It tells us that the killer is most likely a sociopath, do you know what that means?” As the words left his mouth she felt her eyes role. “No I don’t, please, enlighten me oh intelligent one. Of course I know what a sociopath is Moore! The question is; was this a personal act by a mentally damaged person, or a random killing by a person who’ll likely kill again?” She said managing to take a step back from the foul odour escaping his mouth. A look of distain rapidly spread across DS Moore’s face and she noticed a sound, almost like a growl, escape his lips. “Please do try not to patronise me Cane, I was only attempting to bring you nearer to my calibre of police work. You go back to the station and start trying to get a hold of CCTV footage from the area. I’ll stay here and wait for the victims personal effects to be released to us from the SCI.”
Richard Cane was stood on his building site, attempting to measure a roof tile, when his best friend Alex approached him. At only 5”7 Alex had to look up to have a conversation with him. As Richard steady his hand and raised his slater’s axe to make his final cut, words began to free flow out of Alex’s mouth. He lowered his hand, knowing the conversation would become distracting; a slater’s axe is very sharp and very capable of removing a few fingers. “So you see Ricky? I can’t choose between them, but I can’t keep going on like this forever either.” Richard let out an exasperated sigh and lowered his gaze to meet Alex’s. Whilst they had been close since childhood, he often resented how his best friend treated women and certainly didn’t enjoy hearing about his weekly ‘conquests’. “Sorry, uh, which women are you on about now Al?” His voice was smooth, like a warm hug. “The ones we met the other night! You know there’s the blonde with the great legs, but there’s the brunette with the big, you know!” He let out a high-pitched laugh as he spoke, the sound making Richard feel like his ears were on fire. “Al, I need to have these tiles done by end of day tomorrow! Have you sorted out the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom yet? If you haven’t go do that, I’ll catch up with you later okay?” As Alex sauntered of into the partially constructed house, Richard raised his arm again, bringing his axe down hard, slicing of a portion of the hard slate tile.
DI Madeline slammed the phone down hard into its holder. A shop owner had a perfect view of the crime scene, but was refusing to turn over their private CCTV footage, on the basis that they had a sensitive clientele and they prided themselves on guaranteed customer privacy. With no CCTV footage of the section of beach where the body was found, she began the long process of combing through footage from the surrounding area. DS Moore strided towards his desk and removed evidence bags from his jacket pocket. He placed them on the desk and sat down in his chair, the recliner dropping a few centimetres under his weight. He began to flip through the victims belongings. She had a driver’s licence which identified her as Kimberley Drake, a 22 year old who lived on campus at Brighton University. A search of her name in the police database revealed no previous criminal convictions, but an account of petty theft which she received a warning for at the age of 15. “Cane, apart from some trouble as a kid, this girls got a clean record. Says here she doesn’t have any parents, but there is a foster brother who she was close with. He only lives down in Newhaven. I say we go pay him a visit in the morning? For now, I’m taking my lunch break.” As he rose from his chair, he collected the evidence and swept it into his drawer. “Moore, you can’t go we’ve still got all this footage to go through!” She raised her voice but he just continued out the door. She sighed and returned her focus to the grainy black and white images in front of her, muttering something under her breath about minimum effort.
In her state of frustration, she almost missed the potential evidence on the screen in front of her. As she rewound the tape she knew her eyes were not deceiving her. At the edge of the screen a van pulled up. The driver stepped out and removed a large object from the rear of the van, dragging it along the floor in the direction of the beach. DI Cane attempted to identify the object, but the poor quality of the CCTV footage meant she could only see the outline. She knew it was the victim’s body though. It had to be; the timing, the location, the size and apparent weigh of the object. There was no other explanation she could think of. If that was the victim, then the man in the video was her monster. She zoomed in close and ran his face through the police database. After a few agonising moments and some serious lip chewing her computer screen flashed. The words ‘NO MATCH FOUND’ bleeped at her until she closed the window. She knew this man was out there, and she knew what he’d done. The question became; who was he, and how would she find him?