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Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza Read Online (FREE)

Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza read online

Read Deadly Secrets (Detective Erika Foster, #6) by Robert Bryndza full novel online for free here

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.  – Oscar Wilde

 

One

It was late on Christmas Eve when Marissa Lewis stepped off the train onto the platform at Brockley, moving with the drunken crowds to the footbridge. The first flakes of snow twirled lazily in the air, and the crowds were full of warmth and alcohol, eager to get home and start the festivities.

Marissa was a beautiful woman with blue-black hair, violet-coloured eyes, and an hourglass figure. She took pride in being the kind of girl your mother warns you about. She was coming home from the club in London where she performed as a burlesque dancer, and wore a long black vintage coat with an elaborate fur trim, heavy pale makeup, false lashes and a slash of scarlet on her lips. As she reached the steps up to the footbridge, a couple of young men up ahead turned back, greedily checking her out. She followed their eyes down and saw that the bottom half of her long coat had come undone, revealing, as she climbed the steps, a flash of the stockings and suspenders she wore for her act. She stopped to fasten the large brass buttons, and the crowds surged around her.

‘I hope that’s fake fur,’ muttered a voice behind. Marissa glanced back to a bony young woman with her equally bony boyfriend. They both wore scruffy winter coats and the woman had long greasy hair.

‘Yes, it’s fake,’ Marissa insisted, a dazzling smile masking the lie.

‘Looks like real fur to me,’ said the young woman. Her boyfriend stood staring with his mouth slightly open at the flash of lace and suspender as Marissa finished arranging her coat.

‘Frank!’ she barked, dragging him away and off up the stairs.

The fur trim on Marissa’s coat was real. It had been a bargain from a second hand vintage shop in Soho. She’d bought it, along with the vanity case hooked over her arm.

Marissa climbed the remaining stairs and crossed the footbridge. The train tracks below gleamed in the moonlight, and a thin dusting of snow was starting to lay on the rooftops. As she neared the end, she saw the two young men had dropped back, and were waiting at the top of the stairs. Her heart began to beat faster.

‘Can I help you?’ asked the tallest, offering his arm. He was handsome, with red hair, and a smooth ruddy face. He wore a three-piece suit, a long tan winter coat, and his tan leather shoes gleamed. His friend was shorter, and dressed almost identically, but wasn’t quite as blessed in the looks department.

‘I’m fine,’ she said.

‘It’s slippery,’ he insisted, thrusting his arm up under hers. They were now blocking one half of the stairs down. She eyed him for a moment, and decided it might be easier to accept help.