A woman is found dead on the rocks after a night of drunken revelry in a converted lighthouse. Inspector Sven Ffolkes uncovers a web of intricate relationships as he seeks to unravel the events of the previous night. Using his close-knit team of Cornish detectives, he discovers secrets and seething resentments in a series of encounters where observation is key. Suspects include:
• Kyomi, a beautiful young lady with a tragedy in her past
• Alicia, a sensitive observer of life
• David, the boyfriend who finds other interests
• Carole, a confident young lady with ambition
• James, Carole’s boyfriend, a handsome, rugby-playing doctor
• Todd, the wild child who grew up fast
• Scarlett, Todd’s girlfriend; and
• Nick, the only boy in a class of pharmacy students.
We also encounter Big Porky Jewell, a larger-than-life drug dealer from London’s East End. Cat lovers will appreciate the cameo performance of the hotel feline, Simba, probably more than Sven did.
Chapter 1 – 16th July 1997 5:00 pm
‘This is your train superintendent speaking. We will shortly be arriving at Penzance station where this train terminates. Please make sure you take all your personal belongings with you when you leave the train.’
‘So it’s alright to leave my impersonal belongings.’ Ffolkes mused. ‘I wonder what they might be.’
He was coming to the end of a long, tiring journey, which had started early in the morning when he left his flat in Oslo. He took another look at the invitation.
Kathy J Master Associates
requests the pleasure of the company of
Mr Sven Ffolkes
at the Grand Reopening of
The Lighthouse Inn,
Blimford, St Ives, Cornwall
On Thursday 17th July 1997 at 12:00 pm
Was it a coincidence he would be visiting his friends Edward and Rose Hamilton in St Ives on that day, or did somebody know?
Why had he been invited? It was his efforts of a year earlier that had been responsible for its closure and subsequent neglect, albeit indirectly and through no malice on his part. It had been reopened before, by its then owners, once they had cleaned off the graffiti, repaired the windows broken by vandals’ stones and installed a modern security system. It almost closed six months later, but managed to hang on. He intended to ask his hosts what they knew about it.
He saw Rose waiting outside the station.
‘Edward was trying to find a place to park, but he’s on his way now. It’s very difficult at this time of night, especially in the summer with the tourists filling the car park. Even the five pound daily charge doesn’t put them off. I called him as soon as I saw you. He’ll be here in a minute. We weren’t sure if you would manage to catch the earlier train. You did well.’
‘I was lucky. The airport bus just made it to Reading Station in time. Enough of that, though. How are you?’
‘Oh, I’m fine. Well, coping anyway.’
‘Not so well, I think. He’s putting on a brave face, but underneath he’s still hurting a lot.’
‘It’s only natural. I’d be very surprised if either of you weren’t. It was a huge personal tragedy. I know the Cornwall and Islands Police gave Edward support, time and space, which would have helped, but he was under a lot of pressure and had to cope with it. That must have been a strain. Now the trial is over and the press circus has gone away, is it getting any easier? Everybody else will be getting back to normal, but both of you have got to deal with the consequences. Are the press still hounding you?’
‘I’ll let Edward talk to you about that. In fact it’s probably best if you let him talk about anything he wants to. At least it’s given him something to distract him since he retired.’
‘Yes, how long’s it been?’
‘Nearly three months.’
‘Is he keeping busy?’
‘Very much so. He done all the usual stuff. You know, decorating, gardening, clearing out the loft, shed, garage; you name it, it’s been cleared. Daily trips to the dump and the charity shop. There’s also this other thing, but I’m going to let him tell you about it. Here he is now.’