Chapter Eighteen

Admiral Street Police Station

Day 19

‘On whose authority did you go and attempt to link Miss Richards with the events that are unfolding in this city?’ growls DCI Salisbury, glaring at DC Lucy Fairchild who is standing stiffly erect in front of his desk. He had summoned both her and Bannon within minutes after speaking to Naomi on the phone.

   Before she can reply, he continues. ‘You do not have the authority, detective constable Fairchild, to go charging off on your own without reference to either sergeant Bannon or myself, do I make myself clear?’

   Fairchild stares back, not looking particularly contrite. ‘Mr Button said it would be all right,’ she mutters. ‘I thought he was in charge.’

   Salisbury brings his fist down on his desk with a bang, making both Bannon and Fairchild jump. Bannon supresses a smile. DC Fairchild is pressing all the wrong buttons.

   ‘Mr Button is not in charge of this station,’ roars Salisbury. ‘And you had better remember that constable.’

   ‘But he said she could very well be involved because she had two conversations with Miss Taylor,’ protests Fairchild.

   Salisbury shakes his head. ‘Miss Richards is as likely to be involved with spying as the man in the moon,’ he says, grimacing at Bannon.

   ‘You should know that Naomi Richards has been of very material assistance to us at this station on at least two previous occasions,’ says Bannon. ‘DCI Salisbury is quite right. She is not the kind of person to be involved in criminality of that kind.’

   ‘I am aware that you entertain some animosity towards Miss Richards,’ growls Salisbury. I have no idea why that should be and I don’t want to know. You are a professional police officer and I expect you to behave like one. From now on you take instructions from sergeant Bannon here and not Mr Button whom I will be having a word with. You are dismissed constable.’ And with that he waves he out of the office with the back of his hand.

   After she leaves, he turns to Bannon and asks what is behind Fairchild’s dislike of Naomi.

   Bannon looks perplexed. ‘I don’t really know quite honestly sir,’ he says. ‘It literally was hate at first sight. She was contemptuous the moment she met Naomi. I thought it was strange that she should be so completely rude to someone she had only just met. I was all for making her apologise but Naomi wouldn’t have it.’ He shrugs and shakes his head.

  ‘I suppose when Button approached her, she must have jumped at the opportunity to try and pin something on Naomi. It really wasn’t on, as you so clearly pointed out.’

   ‘Well, keep an eye on her Steve. If she tries something else let me know because we cannot allow this kind of behaviour to continue and let me know when Mr Button is in the office. It is high time I had a talk to him.’

   Bannon is about to leave when Salisbury asks if there is any progress in finding out what the murder of the Chinese student in Princes Park was all about.

   Bannon frowns and sits down in front of Salisbury’s desk. ‘DI White has been dealing with that,’ he says. ‘As I understand it though, it is looking less and less likely that he had anything to do with spying. DI White told me the other day that he has been in touch with the Garda in Dublin and that he was almost certainly involved in gang criminality which has leaked over to Liverpool.’

   ‘Jesus, that’s all we need. We have enough problems with our home-grown thugs without importing new ones from Ireland. I’ll get an update from DI White later.’

    Bannon stays seated and is looking thoughtful. ‘There is one other matter sir. You probably know that the super has given permission for us to co-operate with the Garda over a missing woman case they have.’ He looks at his notes. ‘A woman by the name of Roison Doyle who they are rather keen to interview.’

   Salisbury is staring at him. ‘What about it Steve? Cut to the chase will you? I have a budget meeting in a few minutes.’

   ‘Well sir, they wired over a picture of her,’ He holds up a photograph. Salisbury looks at it and shrugs.

   Bannon turns it around and studies it. ‘The thing is she has a remarkably close resemblance to our missing woman, Maggie Taylor, who Button is so keen to talk to. I just wonder if they can be one and the same.’

   ‘Are you inferring that Taylor changed her name, came here and started a new life as a university lecturer?’

   Bannon nods. ‘I think it’s a possibility we must consider. If she re-appears it is certainly something I will put to her.’

   Salisbury stands. ‘I can’t keep ACC Howard waiting.’ He walks around his desk and suddenly stops. ‘Naomi knows Taylor, doesn’t she?’ You had better warn her and tell her that we want to know if she hears anything. We don’t want to give DC Fairchild another excuse to go and see her, do we?’

Published by pod1942

I am a cereer journalist having worked for the London Dail Mail, Reuters and latterly the Liverpool Daily Post on Merseyside as well as the journalists’ leader in the region. I have experience as a crime reporter, feature writer, business editor and latterly, a senior sub-editor. My qualifications include a BA (Hons) English, from the University of Liverpool; a BA (Hons) Fine Art and an MA in Creative Practice both from Liverpool Hope University. I now divide my time between art and writing. I will shortly be publishing my first full-length novel, The Poseidon Files and as a taster I have written a short story which features the same central female character in which she talks about her world and her life. It is, however, essentially a ghost story.

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