Watching You by Lisa Jewell Read Online (FREE)
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20 September 1996
I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to feel. Is this normal? He’s an adult. He’s twice my age. There’s no way … No. There’s no way. But OH GOD.
I wish there was.
I think I’m in love with my English teacher.
DC Rose Pelham kneels down; she can see something behind the kitchen door, just in front of the bin. For a minute she thinks it’s a bloodstained twist of tissue, maybe, or an old bandage. Then she thinks perhaps it is a dead flower. But as she looks at it more closely she can see that it’s a tassel. A red suede tassel. The sort that might once have been attached to a handbag, or to a boot.
It sits just on top of a small puddle of blood, strongly suggesting that it had fallen there in the aftermath of the murder. She photographs it in situ from many angles and then, with her gloved fingers, she plucks the tassel from the floor and drops it into an evidence bag which she seals.
She stands up and turns to survey the scene of the crime: a scruffy kitchen, old-fashioned pine units, a green Aga piled with pots and pans, a large wooden table piled with table mats and exercise books and newspapers and folded washing, a small extension to the rear with a cheap timber glazed roof, double doors to the garden, a study area with a laptop, a printer, a shredder, a table lamp.
It’s an innocuous room; bland even. A kitchen like a million other kitchens all across the country. A kitchen for drinking coffee in, for doing homework and eating breakfast and reading newspapers in. Not a kitchen for dark secrets or crimes of passion. Not a kitchen for murdering someone in.
But there, on the floor, is a body, splayed face down inside a large, vaguely kidney-shaped pool of blood. The knife that had been used is in the kitchen sink, thoroughly washed down with a soapy sponge. The attack on the victim had been frenzied: at least twenty knife wounds to the neck, back and shoulders. But little in the way of blood has spread to other areas of the kitchen – no handprints, no smears, no spatters – leading Rose to the conclusion that the attack had been unexpected, fast and efficient and that the victim had had little chance to put up a fight.
Rose takes a marker pen from her jacket pocket and writes on the bag containing the red suede tassel.
Description: ‘Red suede/suedette tassel.’
Location: ‘In front of fridge, just inside door from hallway.’
Date and time of collection: ‘Friday 24 March 2017, 11.48 p.m.’
It’s probably nothing, she muses, just a thing fallen from a fancy handbag. But nothing was often everything in forensics.
Nothing could often be the answer to the whole bloody thing.