Blood lines, p.1
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       Blood Lines, p.1

           Angela Marsons
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Blood Lines







  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Chapter Thirty-Six

  Chapter Thirty-Seven

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Chapter Thirty-Nine

  Chapter Forty

  Chapter Forty-One

  Chapter Forty-Two

  Chapter Forty-Three

  Chapter Forty-Four

  Chapter Forty-Five

  Chapter Forty-Six

  Chapter Forty-Seven

  Chapter Forty-Eight

  Chapter Forty-Nine

  Chapter Fifty

  Chapter Fifty-One

  Chapter Fifty-Two

  Chapter Fifty-Three

  Chapter Fifty-Four

  Chapter Fifty-Five

  Chapter Fifty-Six

  Chapter Fifty-Seven

  Chapter Fifty-Eight

  Chapter Fifty-Nine

  Chapter Sixty

  Chapter Sixty-One

  Chapter Sixty-Two

  Chapter Sixty-Three

  Chapter Sixty-Four

  Chapter Sixty-Five

  Chapter Sixty-Six

  Chapter Sixty-Seven

  Chapter Sixty-Eight

  Chapter Sixty-Nine

  Chapter Seventy

  Chapter Seventy-One

  Chapter Seventy-Two

  Chapter Seventy-Three

  Chapter Seventy-Four

  Chapter Seventy-Five

  Chapter Seventy-Six

  Chapter Seventy-Seven

  Chapter Seventy-Eight

  Chapter Seventy-Nine

  Chapter Eighty

  Chapter Eighty-One

  Chapter Eighty-Two

  Chapter Eighty-Three

  Chapter Eighty-Four

  Chapter Eighty-Five

  Chapter Eighty-Six

  Chapter Eighty-Seven

  Chapter Eighty-Eight

  Chapter Eighty-Nine

  Chapter Ninety

  Chapter Ninety-One

  Chapter Ninety-Two

  Chapter Ninety-Three

  Chapter Ninety-Four

  Chapter Ninety-Five

  Chapter Ninety-Six

  Chapter Ninety-Seven

  Chapter Ninety-Eight

  Chapter Ninety-Nine

  Chapter One Hundred

  A Letter from Angela








  Also by Angela Marsons


  This book is dedicated to Beau David Forrest whose life was tragically cut short.

  If ever a true angel walked amongst us, it was he.

  His spirit is with us always.



  Doctor Alexandra Thorne sat at the square writing table that separated the two single beds.

  She had claimed the second-hand piece of furniture for herself.

  Cassie, her cellmate, barely possessed the ability to read or write and had no use for the makeshift desk.

  The stupid woman had once placed a pile of clothing on the right-hand side of the table. One look from Alex and the pile had been swiftly transferred to the bottom of the bed.

  Alex felt the right leg of the chair wobble as she pulled it beneath her. Damn cheap furniture was as inferior as the people around her.

  Had she been at her office in Hagley her legs would have slid beneath a mahogany desk. Her backside would have been caressed by the tan executive chair. The deep pile carpet would have cushioned her feet. Her eyes would have rested on expensive paintings amongst the luxury for which she had worked so hard and so richly deserved.

  But that had all been taken away from her.

  She was holding a Bic biro that had been signed for and a sheet of A4 lined paper that looked as though it would tear if she bore down too hard.

  But facing forward to the stark white wall she could convince herself she was in any hostel or dirt cheap hotel room. Not that she’d ever stayed in such a place but she could extend her imagination that far. The lingering aroma of cheap perfume mixed with body odour added to the illusion.

  She crossed one leg over the other beneath the table. She was in no rush. She would savour writing this letter and the effect it was sure to have.

  There were many people she could blame for the direction her life had taken. And yet she blamed only one. A person that had not been far from her mind since the last moment they had spent together.

  Alex resented the fact that no one had seen the value in her experiments. Given longer she would have been able to add a significant finding to the mental health community. Her only mistake had been in choosing poor subjects who had inevitably let her down.

  A small voice reminded her that she had been foolhardy in allowing her fascination with a certain detective inspector to distract her from her goal.

  But now it was time for them to reconnect.

  A frisson of excitement coursed through her as she put the pen to paper and wrote the two words that would change everything.

  ‘Dear Kimmy…’


  Kim Stone heard the footsteps behind her. She didn’t turn. Her pace quickened in time with her heartbeat. The proximity she couldn’t determine. His steps had fallen in sync with her own.

  She stumbled.

  He paused.

  An ordinary pedestrian would have continued normally and passed her or quickened their pace to assist her.

  He did neither.

  She righted herself and continued. The footsteps resumed but were now closer. She didn’t dare look back.

  She quickly assessed the local area. At 11.30 p.m. there were few people around the trading estate through which she’d taken a short cut.

  As she’d travelled deeper into the belly of the estate the sound of the sparse Sunday night traffic had become even more distant. The street lights from the road no longer cast any light in her direction.

  To her left was a row of small units, no bigger than garages. To her right was an alleyway that ran between a steel fastener company and a food processing plant. The width was no more than five feet but it headed back towards the main road.

  She turned into it.

  The footsteps followed.

  She increased her pace, focussed only on the lights at the other end. Running was not an option. In four-inch heels it would be like a toddler trying to take its first steps.

/>   The footsteps behind were now faster.

  As she neared the halfway point she upped her pace again. The sound of her blood thundered in her ears.

  The footsteps stopped. A hand grabbed her short black hair from behind and slammed her against the wall.

  ‘What the—?’

  Her words were cut short as a fist crashed into her mouth. Her bottom lip exploded.

  A hand covered her mouth.

  ‘Don’t fucking scream, bitch, or I’ll fucking kill yer.’

  Kim tried to shake her head to say she wouldn’t but the back of her head was jammed against the wall. The knobbly bricks bit into her scalp.

  He looked to the right and to the left and back at her. He smiled. ‘Ain’t nobody gonna hear you anyways.’

  Kim guessed him to be an inch short of six feet giving him a two-inch height advantage.

  She tried to kick out but he used his body to force her against the wall. His erection strained against his trousers and rested against her stomach.

  She fought down the nausea and tried to wrestle her arms free. He laughed and pinned her harder. With his full weight against her torso her arms and legs flailed uselessly.

  A blow to the temple caused her vision to blur for just a second.

  She shook her head and looked into a face she knew to be mid-twenties. His expression was triumphant and amused.

  ‘Listen, darling, we’re just gonna have a little fun—’

  ‘Please… please… don’t… ’

  ‘Oh come on, you whores are all the same. You know you want it.’

  He leaned down and licked the side of her neck. The feel of his tongue on her skin sickened her. She bucked against him. He laughed and did it again, biting the skin beneath her ear.

  ‘Oh yeah, you just love it, eh slag?’

  She struggled against his bulk again but his body imprisoned her against the wall. His right hand reached down to his zipper.

  ‘Darlin’, tonight is your lucky night.’

  Just the words she’d been waiting to hear.

  She snapped her head forward hitting him square on the nose. Blood spurted immediately. She took the advantage to knee him in the balls and grab his right wrist. She turned it until something snapped. He howled in pain and dropped to the ground. His free hand travelled between his groin and his nose.

  Two sets of boots came from each end of the alley. Bryant and Richards got there first, closely followed by Dawson and Barnes.

  ‘Thanks for showing up, boys,’ she said as Dawson secured the man’s feet.

  ‘You okay, guv?’ Bryant asked.

  She nodded and turned to Richards who was carrying a small medical bag.

  ‘Swab my neck here,’ she said. Just in case he played hard to get. His saliva had been deposited on her neck and now belonged to her.

  Richards ripped open the cotton bud and rolled it around the area she’d indicated. He turned his attention to her lip. ‘Let me take a look—’

  She turned away and wiped the blood with her sleeve.

  She leaned down to the scumbag responsible for seven rapes in the last three months. No physical trace had been left on six of the victims, but with victim number seven he hadn’t pulled out quick enough, giving them a DNA sample to work with.

  That last line about ‘lucky night’ he’d used with all of them and had been all she’d wanted to hear before making her move.

  His eyes were full of pain and hatred. She smiled in return.

  ‘Looks like it was my lucky night, after all, matey boy. And someone should have told you that withdrawal is not a safe method.’

  Dawson and Richards covered their amusement with sudden coughing fits.

  His ankles had already been secured and, as they tried to do the same with his wrists, he screamed with pain.

  She smiled as she walked away. Oh yes, her work here was done.


  Burger wrappers littered the four desks in the Halesowen CID squad room. Kim had collected the takeaway on the way back from the sting.

  Only Dawson was still eating: a flurry of some description. The plastic spoon scraped at the cardboard container before he was satisfied it had been defeated.

  ‘Cheers, boss,’ he said.

  ‘Everyone’s notes up to date?’ she asked and was rewarded with three affirmative nods. The details of the case lay in their notebooks.

  ‘If you’re finally ready, Kev, it’s time for the wipe and you get to do it.’

  ‘Hang on, why him?’ Bryant asked.

  ‘Because he got to me in the alley first,’ she said, throwing Dawson the roll of kitchen towel.

  Although it was after midnight Kim had insisted they all return to the station. After a high tension job like that it didn’t work well to go straight home. The adrenaline and excitement still coursed through the body. There had to be a ‘come down’ period allowing the levels to return to normal.

  This was decompression.

  The case was solved and the seven women who had been sexually assaulted would sleep easier knowing their rapist was no longer out there.

  Dawson ripped off two sheets and began to wipe the board clean. It was a ritual at the end of each case to erase it. To enjoy the satisfaction of wiping it all away. Every swipe across the board signalled that another scumbag was off the streets. She enjoyed the symbolism of the exercise.

  Tomorrow they would complete their statements and continue with the interview process; tonight was the time to enjoy the results of their work.

  She pushed herself up from the spare desk and started to gather the takeaway wrappers. Bryant offered an impressive yawn just as her phone began to ring.

  She saw Woody’s name and stepped out of the squad room into the dimly lit general office.

  ‘Sir?’ she said into the phone.

  ‘I did ask for an update the minute the operation was concluded, Stone.’

  ‘Just about to call you,’ she said, pulling a face. ‘Martin Copson is in custody right now and—’

  ‘Well, I know that, Stone. I’ve already spoken to the Custody Sergeant. I don’t have all night to wait around for your call.’

  She frowned. Well, if he already knew why was he bugging her now?

  ‘Jack also told me that your face is quite colourful.’

  She groaned. Damn Jack on the front desk. Now she knew what was coming.

  She braced herself.

  ‘I thought we agreed that Stacey was going to be the decoy with you and the others supporting?’

  ‘Did we really agree that, sir?’ she asked, innocently.

  ‘Do not play dumb with me, Stone. You know full well that we did.’ He sighed heavily. ‘She is a police officer as well as a young woman. You have to let her do her job.’

  ‘Of course, sir,’ she protested. ‘Just a simple misunderstanding.’

  The line fell into silence, and Kim made no effort to fill it. She continued to walk around the dark office without speaking. If he’d thought for one minute she was going to let the twenty-three-year-old try and entrap a vicious, brutal rapist he didn’t know her as well as he thought he did.

  She had thought she might escape the rebuke. Her boss was now on annual leave, but he couldn’t resist one last check-up before he took his granddaughter away for a few days. And by the time he came back it would all be forgotten.

  ‘We’ll discuss it on my return.’

  Or maybe not.

  ‘Need me to check on anything while you’re gone, sir? Water your cat? Let your plants out?’ she offered, generously.

  ‘Oh Stone, I would not trust you, of all people, to feed or water anything of mine. Thank you for the offer but my cleaner has it all in hand. And don’t forget to keep the superintendent informed on a daily basis while I’m away.’

  ‘Yes, sir,’ she said, rolling her eyes.

  ‘I heard that eye-roll, Stone,’ he said and paused. ‘It’ll give you two the chance to umm… bond in my absence.’

  Kim opened her m
outh to retort, but her boss had already ended the call with a chuckle in the background.

  Kim sighed and strode back to the office, but stopped a couple of paces out.

  ‘Honestly, Stace, you should have seen the boss in those high heels. She—’

  ‘What, Kev?’ Kim asked, stepping into the doorway. She leaned against the door frame.

  ‘Please… continue,’ she urged.

  He shook his head. ‘Nah, nah, I’m done now. I can’t even remember what I was going to say.’

  Bryant, who could read her better than anyone, stifled a smile.

  Kim folded her arms. ‘Really? Bryant, throw Kev the shoes.’

  Bryant reached behind and did as she’d asked.

  Kim tipped her head. ‘Stacey is more of a visual person. I’m sure she’d appreciate the demonstration.’

  He looked from her to the shoes and back again. ‘You don’t really want me to—?’

  ‘You started it,’ Kim said.

  He looked around the room for support. Stacey raised one eyebrow, and Bryant sat back in his seat.

  ‘Bloody hell, you pair,’ he said, removing his shoes and socks.

  He forced his feet part way into the shoes while using the filing cabinet for support.

  ‘Aww… shit… ’ he said, trying to take a step without letting go of the cabinet.

  It reminded Kim of someone trying to ice-skate for the first time who was loath to let go of the side.

  ‘A fiver if you can make it over here,’ Bryant said, taking the note from his pocket.

  Dawson smiled. ‘Ha, for a fiver of yours I’d wear them all day.’

  He suddenly threw one foot in front of the other and half staggered and half fell across the office.

  To Kim it appeared he’d just stepped off a really bad zombie movie. His arms were stretched in front either for balance or to break his fall.

  He fell against Bryant’s desk and held out his hand.

  ‘Fair’s fair,’ Bryant said, slapping the note into his palm.

  Dawson turned to her, imploringly.

  ‘Take them off,’ Kim said, smiling.

  ‘Damn, I was just starting to like him, too,’ Stacey said.

  Dawson handed Kim the shoes. ‘Seriously, boss, respect.’

  She slung them beneath the desk. ‘Okay, folks, time to call it a—’

  Her phone sounded from the desk. She frowned as she picked it up.

  ‘Stone,’ she answered, shortly.

  As she listened to the voice on the other end she could feel her frown deepening.


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