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Chapter 1: Redux?

Natalie closed her eyes as she dropped her letter on her desk, glad in a way that she had sent the boys off to school and university before heading off to work to read it rather than sit at home and sulk. She shook her head. This was what she wanted. Wasn't it? Her no good, aggressive, two timing husband was now officially her ex husband. He was no longer anything to do with her. She sighed heavily.

"Almost twenty years of marriage." She sighed. "Dad would be so disappointed in me."

"No he wouldn't." She jumped as she heard Ronnie stood in the doorway smiling. "You ok?"

"Divorce came through this morning. I am officially a single woman again." She wrinkled her nose as Ronnie smiled at her.

"Welcome to the land of the divorcee. It's not so bad, not really. And I should know."

"Did you want anything, Ron? Only I've got to meet the Chief Super in a bit. That monthly justify MIU's existance meeting."

"Oh." He wrinkled his nose in return. "Good luck."

"Thanks. At least Gill Murray will be there. We can both moan about our no good exes together."

"Manchester MIT's boss?"

"Yeah. Old friend from Hendon. Ron, did you actually want anything?"

"Oh yeah." He shuffled his feet as she raised an eyebrow. Ronnie was never nervous, not unless he had been back on the drink. She refused to think of that as a possibility. "I just 'ad a phone call."

"Go on."

"You remember that murder case we worked when I first joined MIU? Bloke in his late twenties? Christopher Pope."

"Murdered seven people. It was our first big serial killer case. Hardly likely to forget. He's serving life with a minimum tariff of fifty years isn't he? The Home Secretary put a tariff on it. Not many cases he does that for." Natalie held his gaze. "Why?"

"A young bloke was found in the park, same age as Pope's last victim. Same features and same apparent cause of death. Joy is conducting the post mortem."

"No. He's inside."

"Copycat?" Ronnie held her gaze. "You have to admit it's possible."

"It is." Natalie closed her eyes. The day was just getting weirder by the second. "Look, I can't get out of this meeting. I know you were here when MIU was set up but Matt and the others weren't. Brief Angie and the lads. Is it worth getting George and the CPS involved yet? Probably not."


"And Ron?" She picked up her handbag as she spoke. "If it is a copycat. And I am not saying it is. But if it is we have to be careful. Pope had no set type of victim. What was it? Three men and three women and a teenage girl? Sick little scumbag didn't care so I doubt his protege would care either."

"Yes Guv." He nodded, remembering the case well. It was the first one in a long time that he had been sober throughout the entire investigation. It had been the hardest case of his life. He smiled as he remembered Matt joining them the day Pope had been convicted. He had stopped him going for a pint to celebrate the verdict.


"Yeah." Natalie turned to him once she was satisfied she had all the files she needed to meet her superior. "I remember that case all too well. I know what it did to you. It ain't just me that needs to be careful."

"I know, Ron. Believe me. I know."


A/N Worth going on?