Figuring things out
What if a man is wrongly declared dead? How does he get his life back? Who benefits from his death.
What if he cannot prove he really is Geoffrey Stephens?
What if he gets his life back and someone wants him dead?
What if Rebecca goes into labour early?
What if Brian won't let her go back to work?
What if the final 'accident' seems to have been successful?
What if the killer's wife wants GSs house?
What if killer is drug dealer?
What if GS has seen too much?
1. Riverside Police Station and the rest of Tidemouth as in previous novels.
2. Rebecca Brookes - see previous
Geoffrey Stephens - He is old. He wants his life back.
3. Lack of proof ID
Geoffrey Stephens wants his life back before someone actually kills him.
Geoffrey Stephens will be seventy in a few days time when the story starts. He is retired from his job as a mechanical engineer in a factory making machine tools.
He married Sheila thirty three years ago and regretted it almost immediately. They divorced after three years and he was left with a house he could ill afford.
They had no children and he never remarried.
He currently walks with a limp, supported by a walking stick.
His hair and beard are greying, but his brown eyes still have a spark.
Part of him regrets not having children, it was her choice not his.
He worked a lot of overtime to pay off the mortgage on the large house he now owns outright. He knows he should move but somehow the work he put into it holds him there.
Rebecca is heavily pregnant and confined to working in the police station. She is not happy being stuck behind her desk and this is causing conflict with Brian.
Geoffrey Stephens has been wrongly declared dead. He seeks Rebecca's help to get his life back. The first hurdle to overcome is that he has no photographic ID to prove he really is Geoffrey Stephens.
Whilst Rebecca is solving his dilemma, Geoff stays with Rebecca and Brian. This starts a friendship with the former and causes more conflict between the couple.
Geoff is duped into going to the warehouse. It explodes and everyone thinks he is dead. They search but can't find a body. Rebecca has enough evidence to arrest the Farbingdons. They are charged with murder.
Geoff turns up on Rebecca's doorstep.
Rebecca and Brian decide to get married. Where are they going to live? Brian's place is his mother's and has to be sold to pay for her care. Brian considers Rebecca's too small. The Farbingdons' house is to be sold. Geoff suggests they buy both houses. (For all those kids you two are going to have.)
Rebecca believes the slates falling from the roof was just an accident. When the runaway vehicle narrowly misses Geoff she begins to think someone is out to get him and works to find out who.
Rebecca goes into labour at her home and Geoff is there to help her.
Sheila is investigated but ruled out. A chance remark from Geoff makes Rebecca suspicious of the Harbingdons. Bricks R Us confirm they made an offer on the house. Where does their money come from? They are put under surveillance.
Help me; I'm dead
Geoff explains his situation.
Rebecca tries to prove his ID.
Tam visits the estate agent and gets the keys, searches the house for clues.
First mention of the Harbingdons.
Discover the hospital mistake.
Someone's trying to kill me
Slates fall from the roof and narrowly miss Geoff.
A runaway vehicle narrowly misses him.
He hides out at Rebecca's.
Rebecca goes into labour.
The man who saw too much.
Geoff talks about his neighbour.
Rebecca becomes suspicious.
Geoff's place used for observation.
Prove Harbingdons behind accidents.
Geoff lured to warehouse which then explodes.
Return from the grave
Geoff turns up on Rebecca's doorstep.
House taken for reparation.
Geoff suggests they buy both.
Rebecca and her colleagues as per previous two novels.
Geoffrey Stephens - the victim
As I have already written extensively about Rebecca Brookes I will be telling Geoffrey Stephens' back story.
"Overtime again, Geoff?"
"I need the money, Mate."
"Oh, for the wedding you mean?"
"No. For the house. Sheila won't even set a date until I buy her the house she wants. It wouldn't be so bad if she was happy with a two up, two down. Oh, no, not Her Ladyship. She has her heart set on this four bed Victorian villa with its own driveway. We don't even own a car."
"And what's that gonna cost ya?"
"200 grand. And she wants to do work on it."
"Are you sure you want to marry her?"
Geoffrey Stephens is pleased to announce his marriage to Sheila Jones on Saturday 19 March 1988.
"Welcome to our new home, sweetheart."
"Okay, put me down. Now what are we ordering for dinner?"
"What do you mean, ordering?"
"Takeaway. Chinese, pizza?"
"Hun, we can't afford takeaway."
"Well, I can't cook. I guess you'll have to."
"And where did that sofa come from? Please, tell me you didn't get it on credit?"
"We need furniture, darling."
"Second hand will do for now. At least until we've paid off some of the mortgage."
"I'm not having someone's castoffs in my house."
"Our house. No, correction, the building society's house."
Happy New Year 1991
"Oh, found yourself another sugar daddy have you?"
"I've had enough of your penny pinching."
"Sheila, we're a quarter million pounds in debt. We can't spend what we don't have."
"We've paid off the sofa."
"And you've added a ton of other stuff we can't afford."
"We could if you worked harder."
"I'm working all the hours God sends already. And what have you contributed? You lost your job and didn't even try to get another one. I tell you what, you go. I'll be better off."
"What about maintenance?"
"Yes, I'll expect a cheque in the post."