Chapter 1


DI Chandler was in that strange place between sleep and wakefulness, the place where you believe your having an awful dream that your phone is ringing incessantly at 5am and that moment where you realise, 'actually my phone is ringing - at 5am!'

Joe rolled over and reached for the phone, his hand found it in one movement, it was just to the left of his watch which was one inch from the edge of the bedside table, just as it always was.

A quick glance at the screen revealed that it was DS Miles, another glance at the time showed that his internal clock wasn't far wrong. 05:07am.

Chandler answered, already knowing who it was and what was coming, he spoke first.


"Yeah I'm on my way there now, Doc Llewellyn is there with uniform"


Chandler was in the shower 10 seconds after he had hung up on the DS quickly scrubbing at his hair with a mild sense of frustration.

Joe would have liked to have left right away, thrown his clothes on and flown out of the door as Miles undoubtedly had when he'd gotten the call that another young woman's body had been found. This time she had been dumped in the Public Library Car park.

Joe knew better than to push his luck that far, having managed to get things under perfect control he couldn't afford to deviate from his plan now, he had to do this once and get to the scene.

Chandler was out of the bathroom in less than 3 minutes, having followed his routine perfectly.

Body washed, once. Hair washed, twice. Body dried, once. Teeth brushed once, three minutes. Hair styled in seconds. Aftershave, one splash on neck. Shower and taps checked, once. Light off once. Door shut once.

Through to the bedroom. Pants. Socks, right then left. Shirt. Trousers, right leg then left leg. Tie, tied once, carefully. Jacket, right arm then left arm, once.

Out of bedroom, grab keys from bowl in kitchen, coat from cloakroom, right arm then left arm. Check pocket for wallet, grab case. Check windows in kitchen and living area, once.

At the door, check keys, check wallet, check bag. Open door, step out, once. Shut door, once. Check door, once. Walk Away. Ignore the lift, take the stairs.

Chandler felt in control, he didn't even have to count the stairs any more, that was good. In all he was in his car on on his way the crime scene in under 20 minutes. Things were getting better.

Eight minutes later Chandler arrived at the Crime Scene. A white forensic tent had already been set up at the edge of the car park, to preserve any evidence, in front of the library entrance.

DS Miles was standing outside the tent, the small man lifted his chin lifted as he looked ahead to greet Chandler, who was now walking purposefully through the group of police officers that had gathered around the tent.

"Llewellyn is looking her over now" DS Miles said as Chandler approached, Chandler nodded without stopping and headed straight into the tent.

"Morning" Dr Llewellyn said brightly as he entered. Chandler nodded in acknowledgement and looked to the body laying face down on the black tarmac surface.

Another young woman, this one was wearing a black cocktail dress and heels, her long blonde hair, sprayed forward over her shoulder, covering her face, just as in the other cases. Chandler noted, as Llewellyn s assistant too photographs of the victim, that there wasn't a mark or a single speck of blood on her.

"Anything?" Chandler asked, his gazed focused now on Llewellyn, almost hopeful that this time there might be something, anything.

"Well we've only just got started, but I'd place time of death as being within the last 4 hours at most" she said whilst stepping forward to stand next to Chandler, her attention turning to her assistants who were still photographing the body. "you can turn her over now" she told them.

Chandler watched as the two men carefully prepared to turn the body onto her back, towards Dr Llewellyn and Chandler. Carefully they turned her over and her hair fell smoothly over her shoulder.

Instantly Chandler was reminded of Lily, his memory flashed up an image of her, his stomach turned over at the thought that this could be her lying dead on the ground. Pushing the thought away, he knew for sure it couldn't be her, besides the shade of hair was too light, she was also a little leaner than Lily and not tall enough. Even so he'd be glad when she was turned over so that he could see the girls face and check. Grimly he thought, just as he had to check everything. Check dead body on floor isn't one of oldest friends, once.

As the body rolled back the girls head fell back lifelessly. Instead of revealing the face of a stranger that Chandler had been hoping to see what he saw was a mass of blood, flesh and broken bone, there was nothing recognisable as a face left.

Chandlers stomach lurched and he was outside of the tent in seconds, leaning over to support himself on his knees as he heaved for air.

"Are you alright Sir?"

It was DC Kent, he was looking on at Chandler, clearly concerned.

Chandler had his hand clamped over his mouth but he nodded, lifting his other hand to signal that he was okay.

Kent shifted nervously as he looked around at the uniformed officers, they were watching Chandler and smirking.

DC Miles steadied himself as he prepared to enter the tent, he needed to know what had got to Chandler about this body, after what they had seen during the Ripper case he knew that this one must be bad. Wordlessly he stepped inside.

Kent looked between the two men, Chandler slowing his breathing now but his face still white and Miles stepping back out of the tent, looking equally grim.

The other officers who had been smirking at Chandler became sombre as they took to DS Miles face, they all knew Miles and if this body phased him it had to be bad.

They started to head over, Miles who had seen their mocking smirks barked at them "you lot, get on to missing persons, now! Find anyone who fits the usual description and get it to me. I don't care if they've been missing five months or five minutes. Go!" they stumbled over each other and headed for their cars.

Chandler, who had now composed himself and was upright again, ran his hand through his blonde hair anxiously and looked to Miles. Shock and dread filled his eyes,. Their killer, who had killed a woman a month for the past 5 months, had just got worse. Much worse.