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LUNCH TO DIE FOR - A Mornington Peninsula Mystery

A career policeman, Inspector Adam Baron, has set up a serious crime unit in a coastal town on the Mornington Peninsula, approximately two hours from Melbourne. 

His concept was to have these units across the state to utilise officers that had local knowledge and had spent time in central crime areas. 

His ability to bypass the bureaucracy of the force, and state governments, to set this system in motion is due to his long and distinguished service to the Victorian Police Force. Disillusioned with the drug squad but not with policing after a shooting has brought him to the Peninsula. 

Is this a case of food poisoning or murder? It's hard to tell at first. This is a test case for Adam and his team and the characters they encounter. To find the real reason for the deaths goes beyond their expectations.

In Store Price: $AU23.95 
Online Price:   $AU22.95

ISBN:   978-1-921574-43-6    
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 146
Genre: Fiction
/Crime
Cover design:
Sandra Coventry

 Buy as a pdf Ebook version - $AUD9.00

 

Author: Geoffrey Dryden
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2009
Language: English


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Author Biography 

Geoff Dryden was born in 1945 in a coal mining and steel town in the north of England. He was educated in local schools, before spending seven years working in a steel plant. 

As a young man of twenty-three he left England for Australia as a ten pound migrant to settle in Melbourne working in the automotive industry. 

After six years in Australia he returned to England briefly for personal reasons, before finally returning to settle in Melbourne permanently. 

He has spent most of his working life in manufacturing management in many industries and from large corporations to boutique companies. An inquisitive traveller and lover of cooking, fine foods and architecture, he has visited a number of countries to exercise these interests. 

While maintaining a holiday house on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula since 1985, it was not until 1999 that he settled there permanently with his second wife Julienne. 

Geoff has been an avid reader of crime fiction for as long as he can remember and in the last few years has wanted to write the type of story that he loves to read and hopefully others will also enjoy.

READ A SAMPLE 

‘Adam, follow it up first then we’ll decide later.’

Senior Detective Inspector Adam Baron put the mobile back in his pocket, picked up his keys on the hall table and left the house. Pulling out of the drive onto the Cape Schanck Road, he was considering the conversation he’d had with Superintendent Rich. A patrol car had answered an emergency call from a neighbour at a house in Shoreham - two people dead in the driveway. Uniform are not comfortable with the scene nor is the local on-call doctor and the ambulance officers on site refuse to touch anything. Usually these situations fall into three categories: one, foul play; two, an accident; and three, natural causes; rarely is there any ambiguity.

Pushing the Volvo along the Boneo Road, Adam took in the sight of Spring on this side of the Mornington Peninsula - the uncultivated rolling ground with grass so green you could put it in a salad, alongside the orderly cultivated rows of vegetables and flowers of the market gardens. The sea came into view on his right, rich blue with not a cap in sight; not a day to be looking at bodies. Slowing down to pass through Flinders, which wasn’t quite awake at this time in the morning, he continued up and over the hill to Shoreham. An expensive area, Adam thought, big houses on big blocks, most with some kind of view of Westernport Bay. Tight control of sub-division had kept the area clear of city developers, probably because the developers themselves had their second homes here.

Number 17 The Ridge was typical of the houses in the area - a pseudo-sandstone ediface, reached by a curved drive bordered with some kind of conifer that in years to come would develop into an avenue. The blot on this scene consisted of a police vehicle, an ambulance, a station wagon and in front of a double garage, a Jaguar XJ6 of a comfortable age. Getting out of his car Adam walked to meet the two uniformed men approaching him almost at a run. PC Garret was tall - tall enough to play on the local basketball team. His partner, probationary PC Almond, still in the full flush of acne, remained in the large shadow of his Senior. Looking both ill at ease and ill as in unwell, PC Garret opened the batting.

‘Sir, good-morning, sir. Before you look at the scene, sir, can we have a word?’

On the threat of being ‘sir-ed’ to death, Adam nodded.

‘Sir,’ said Garret, ‘there’s two people in that Jaguar, dead. The problem is they look as if they vomited to death; the whole inside of the car is covered. We didn’t know how to call it in; even the doctor couldn’t help.’

‘Who called Emergency?’

‘The lady next door, sir. She’s gone back to make us a cup of tea but I think the doctor wants a word as well.’

Adam went over to the station wagon where Dr Philip was fossicking in the back.

‘Morning, Francis,’ said Adam to the portly body turning to face him.

‘Ah, Detective Inspector, nice to see the senior ranks up so early.’

 Dr Francis Philip and Adam knew each other well. Apart from the irregular games of golf, they had damaged some bottles of local red together while the good doctor had promoted the values of Roman Catholicism.

‘Only because we can’t get any sense from the lesser mortals. Now what have we got, Francis? What’s the mystery?’

‘Let’s have a look at the bodies first, but I warn you the smell is bad.’

‘Ok, hold on a minute.’ Adam went back to the Volvo and from the glove box pulled two tissues from a box and from a small bottle splashed a few drops of liquid onto the folded tissues.

‘Eucalyptus oil,’ he said to the doctor as he walked back. ‘I spent enough time in the drug squad rummaging through seedy junkies belongings, one-room dives and looking at bloated bodies to have not learned something.’

The driver’s door to the Jaguar was partly open and Adam gingerly stuck his head in. Even with the eucalyptus, the stench was overpowering and the Inspector suppressed a gag long enough to take in the scene. He’d already been warned about the vomit but it was hard to accept the volume, which almost covered the entire interior of the car, but worse was the expression on the faces of the two occupants. The driver, male, probably late-sixties, sat bolt-upright, eyes bulging and teeth bared, as if trying to control what was happening to him as fluid must have burst from his nose and mouth. The passenger, a woman of about the same age, lay slumped against her seatbelt, head forward, eyes closed, also covered with vile liquid and, from among the smells, Adam guessed she’d lost control of her bladder. Adam pulled his head out of the car doorway, took one step back before the doctor grabbed his arm and steered him round a patch of liquid on the ground.

‘The remnants of your constable’s breakfast, Adam,’ said the doctor as they walked back to the station wagon.

‘Who can blame him for that?’ as he took some deep breaths.

‘Francis, off the record, what’s your best guess?’

‘Inspector,’ the doctor becoming more formal, ‘my best guess is not an answer but more questions. If it was a suicide pact, why such a terrible means, assuming they knew what they were ingesting, and why in the driveway? If it was an illness, why should it attack them together and what illness would come on so immediate and so violent? Obviously they’d eaten within only a short time of the attack, but what kind of food poisoning would bring on such a reaction?’

‘What about foul play?’

‘Adam, only two thoughts come to mind about foul play: one, if they’d been gassed, that can often bring on vomiting but not to that extent and there’s no evidence so far; two, poisoning, but why? How was it administered and again, what would give such a reaction and in both cases, and why are they parked in the driveway?’      

‘Francis, do you think you could hang on here a minute while I check with the neighbour? I might get a clearer picture when I’ve spoken to her.’

Adam walked to the dividing fence and stepped over into the adjoining property and round the back to a large deck, tapped lightly on the glass sliding door and stood back.

A short, plumpish woman of about fifty, dressed in neat slacks and top, smiled as she walked across a tiled sunroom and opened the door. ‘Hello, I’m Betty Munro. You must be the detective the boys have been talking about.’

‘Yes, I’m Detective Inspector Baron. Could I have a few words, Mrs Munro?’

‘Of course. Come and join us in the kitchen.’

In the kitchen, which overlooked a dining area, sat the two PCs who leapt up as Adam appeared.

‘These two boys,’ said Adam slightly menacingly, ‘will need to station themselves at the front of next-door, making sure no one enters or leaves, and call their duty officer to explain their position.’ Garret and Almond slipped out without a word as Adam turned to Mrs Munro. ‘I’m sorry you had to witness such a scene earlier, but we do need some help in understanding what has happened. Can you tell us anything about your neighbours and what could have led to this?’

‘Well firstly, Inspector, I didn’t actually go that close to the car. I could see a mess on the inside of the windows and I could just see the outline of two figures, and I had this instinct that things weren’t well, apart from the fact that Dennis, that’s Mr Holme, never ever leaves the car in the drive; always puts it away. After that, I suppose I got frightened and dialled 000. What actually has happened?’

‘We’re not quite sure at this stage, Mrs Munro. Can you tell us anything about your neighbours and when you last saw them?’

‘Well, we last saw them, that’s my husband, Barry, and I, on Saturday for drinks over there at about five-thirty. They were starting celebrations of their fortieth wedding anniversary and a few local friends and neighbours were asked in for drinks. Their daughter from Adelaide was there too. We left about seven and didn’t see them again. Their big day was yesterday and they’d booked Sunday lunch for family and friends at Red Ridge Winery at Merricks.  We’ve known Margaret and Dennis for years but just as neighbours really. We both used to be weekenders, then Barry took a package from the bank and we moved here permanently. Margaret and Dennis only moved here permanently in January. Dennis got out of his Real Estate business in Melbourne, sold their house in Canterbury and moved in after the New Year. Mind you, they must have been planning it for a while because the builders were here for three months last year redoing the kitchen and putting in an ensuite.’

As Adam made a few notes he asked, ‘Mrs Munro, apart from the daughter, would you have any idea of the next of kin?’

There was a long silence as Betty Munro realized the finality of the question. ‘Well, there’s the daughter, Heather, I’ve already mentioned, a son, Peter, but he lives in London I think, and Margaret has a brother, David. He lives local and works for the council. That’s all I know really.’

The Inspector thanked Mrs Munro who was starting to look teary. He’d send someone round later for a full statement and walked out back through the sunroom and deck across to his car, and over the mobile, not the car radio, he punched in the Super’s mobile number. Superintendent Rich answered after the third ring and listened as Adam gave him a breakdown of the situation. When he’d finished he said, ‘Adam, you’ve given me all the details but I still want your opinion.’

There was an uncomfortable lapse of time before Adam spoke. ‘Sir, while it’s obviously a suspicious death, my instincts tell me that some other hand led to this and I rule out accident and self-inflicted.’

‘You know what that means as well as I do, Adam, but I’ll back your judgement. Do you want me to start the ball rolling?’ 

‘Only the coroner and the crime scene people, sir. I’d like to get a team together as soon as I can. Oh, I’ve got the local patrol looking after the scene until some authority arrives. Would you clear that with the duty officer, sir?’

‘I can do that, Adam, but let me remind you, this could be a full-scale murder inquiry that is being handled by local offices outside of head office. The public, press and our own betters will scrutinise how we handle this.’

Adam said he understood and thanked the Super for his support, although he knew that if things got too tough, he would be the fall guy. Adam’s push to set up major crime units outside of the major centres of the Victorian Police had not been favourably received by all stakeholders but Adam’s reputation, his close relationship with politicians, both State and Federal, had won the day, but the real clincher started earlier.

 

Some eighteen months before, Detective Inspector Adam Baron had been a senior member of the Victorian drug squad with a reputation as an untouchable. He came with no price tag, no wife and kids and no relatives. He couldn’t be bought, threatened or blackmailed. He had represented the Victorian Police Force interstate and overseas on many occasions. On a raid to a storage depot in Essendon with six other officers and two van-loads of uniforms, they had burst in on a distribution centre. From the minute the doors crashed down, the whole exercise went pear-shaped. Lights died in four seconds, two shotguns placed at either side of the warehouse in the gantry kept heads down, and automatic pistol fire aimed towards the point of entry had the squad as flat as yesterday’s pizza. Trying to scramble between two adjacently parked trucks, Adam went down, the bullet in the hip pushing him over and down. As he grabbed the side of the truck in an automatic reaction, the second bullet took the tip of his left elbow off. With his right hand stemming the blood from his hip and the left arm useless, he never fired a shot. As instant as the firing started, it stopped - only the sound of the squad shouting out names and cursing in fear. Then even that stopped and there was  nothing - not a sound for a full thirty seconds until the deep, smoky rasp of DS Wally Walters shouted, ‘Adam, where are you?’

A weak voice answered, ‘Between the trucks and I’m hit.’

That galvanized everybody into action. Senior Sergeant Pearson took uniforms back outside and called an armed response team and had his men spread out round the outside of the building. Walters did a roll-call and had them find Adam and get him out. Somebody must have called an ambulance and ten minutes later it screamed into the factory estate two minutes behind the armed response squad. They’d found PC Phillips on the right-hand side of the doorway. They actually heard him first, trying to breathe with part of his neck shot out by a half-round of shotgun pellets.

The conference, around Adam’s hospital bed thirty-six hours later, was not noted for its diction or eloquence. ‘We were fucking set up,’ was the opening line of both DS Walters and Pearson. Adam fought the aftermath of the anaesthetic to try and contribute, but failed. The result of the official inquiry three weeks later suggested that, while the raid was well-planned and prepared, the target had prior knowledge, which could only have been gained from sources inside the force. The target had escaped the net, leaving nothing behind that could be of any value in identifying the gang, the source of the drugs, or their current whereabouts. PC Phillips, who was currently in a stable condition, would be retired from the force - the end of a young career - and DI Baron would make a full recovery and return to duty as soon as the doctors permitted. The inquiry into the source of the leak would continue.

What the inquiry failed to say was that the bullet that took out Adam’s hip could only have been fired from behind, making it almost certain that the shot came from his own team. Examination of the bullet and all police weapons that were on the scene failed to identify the gun. Fear, pain and a deep distrust had set in Adam, and an anger that savaged anyone who crossed his path. He could never return to his old squad and lobbied even harder to set up localised major crime teams, of which he took on one of the first.                                                                 

                    

Before Adam left the scene he told the doctor and the two uniforms the state of play and to wait for the crime scene people. The ambulance boys took their cue and packed up ready to leave; they wouldn’t be needed for a long time yet.

On the way to Rose Bay Adam rang Detective Sergeant David Wales.

‘David, it’s Adam. We need to set up. Possible double homicide. Can you get hold of Ann and Chris? See if we can meet in the office at about ten.’  Dropping in to home at Cape Schanck he picked up his away-from-home kit, two shirts and another suit. The kit consisted of underwear, socks, toilet bag and shaving gear, always packed ready for a minimum three days away. He dropped a note to next-door to say that his comings and goings would be erratic and would they please keep an eye on things. Next-door meant Judy and Alistair Watt. Judy was one of the peninsula’s GPs and Alistair ran a very good air transport business out of Tyabb. As neither Judy, Alistair nor Adam had regular hours they each kept an eye on each other’s property and watered plants, brought in washing etc. In twenty minutes Adam was back on the road and with any luck he’d have time to drop in to Superintendent Rich’s office for a brief word before the meeting at ten. The brief word with the Super was very brief, only setting out the rules so that the Super was kept up to date at regular intervals, consulted at critical stages and no press statements were made without his approval. Not many inspectors had a Super like Rich who knew how hard it was out there - increasing crime, barristers, the media and the paper chase - but if you didn’t pull your weight you could expect no support for any new program.

In the incident room DS Wales was in flight, setting up a computer system to be used for this case only, with links to all other states, the Federal Police and options that had international affiliations. Furniture was arranged facing the information board, a telephone technician had just arrived to relocate two extra dedicated lines in the event of a phone-in hotline, and the usual stationery was spread about the desks. Adam called over to David to leave them to it and join him in his office.

Adam and David had met years before when they were both at Fitzroy. David hadn’t been happy in the rough inner city hot spots, kicking in doors or heads whichever was required at the time. Dirty Harry he wasn’t; he liked to be a real detective, painstakingly putting facts together and getting inside the heads of the protagonists to build a solid case. He’d eventually got back to the peninsula he’d grown up in, used his extended family and school days network to make himself indispensable as the man with the local knowledge of places, people and events that could span well past his thirty-seven years.

Before Adam and David had a chance to open a conversation, Detective Sergeant Chris Lee ambled straight into Adam’s office without a by-your-leave. Six foot four, sixteen stone, dressed by the Salvation Army, he looked like some wild warrior that had just pillaged Portsea. In his day he had put the fear of God into murdering villains and bank managers. A trained accountant and a capacity to work continuously for days without sustenance, he could follow a paper trail back to the tree it was made from. If he would have shaved on a regular basis and had some human skills, he could have been a top corporate detective. Instead, his fierce unkempt looks and his intense questioning technique kept him out of that elite squad that wanted to treat corporate crooks like gentlemen. Eased out of the squad in the mid-eighties for making rude noises about a number of entrepreneurs, he ended up on the peninsula doing anything but using his skills. Once he’d settled with his doting wife and son in the area, all the coaxing from the fraud people to go back and sort out the mess that would bring down State Ministers was met with his booming statement “go forth and multiply”.

While Chris sat down and was about to speak, Adam held up his hand. ‘Hang on. We may as well wait for Ann so we only cover the story once.’

Ann was not usually late but it was well after ten before the gentle tap on the door and a small round face appeared looking sheepish and a little flushed. ‘Sorry I’m late, sir, but I had an appointment that ran over time and I couldn’t get away.’

David, ever the stickler for efficiency and punctuality, observed, ‘We all have the same problems, Senior Constable Serge, but we managed to be on time.’

Not intimidated by David’s seniority or manner, Ann replied, ‘Really? How did your mammogram go?’

Adam stopped the laughter, including his own, and got everybody to pay attention. He knew this could be a good team but they hadn’t been pushed hard yet and this case could be the one. Adam filled everybody in on what had happened and how he read the scene - that Melbourne would be watching and they had the Super’s support, but only their skills and teamwork would close this case. Adam had already mapped out in his head who would do what.

‘David,’ said Adam, ‘information and communication, our ringmaster. All information goes to you and your magic box. You make sure that wherever we are, all of us know what’s going on as a group. You deal with outside agencies and generally keep the wheels of industry turning. Your first job, apart from setting this up, is to check with the scene of crime people and see if they have finished at Shoreham. Next, talk to the State Coroner and ask when we can expect at least a preliminary report. As you have the keys to all information and are not just the filing clerk, I expect you to contribute to the investigation.’

The last part won David over. He knew how important the job was but he still wanted to contribute and be listened to as a working detective. ‘That’s ok with me, boss, as long as you all remember I don’t make coffee.’

Adam hadn’t been called “boss” in a long time but David had remembered. “Detective Inspector” was too long, “sir” was condescending and “Adam” was too informal; “boss” would be fine. Next he looked at Ann Serge. She was twenty-seven, small, neat, peaches and cream; one look into her eyes and you told her everything you knew. She was disarming, exuded trust and empathised with any poor unsuspecting soul who had to be interviewed by her. She was a good police officer with a fantastic memory and her reports were written like stories. On the other side of the coin, she took no shit from anybody whoever they thought they were. Those early probationary years of harassment, of making tea for dumb desk sergeants and being generally ignored had produced a steely resolve that could not be broken into.

‘Ann, I want you to identify and notify family and friends. So far we have a daughter who lives in Adelaide, but may still be in Melbourne, and a son who we think is overseas, and we have a set of people that were at the lunch. Talk to Mrs Munro first, the next- door neighbour, then if the crime scene people are out of the house, pick it up from there. When you’ve got the dynamics together, get out there and talk to them all. We want to know who’s up who and how they think about it. If you need extra help talk to David. Can you handle that, Senior?’

There was a noticeable silence that made everybody look up at Ann who had actually stood up and was bright red in the face. ‘Yes sir, thank you, boss,’ and she sat down.

‘Don’t thank me yet, Ann. You may have the brown end of the stick. I’m not handing out awards here.’

Adam continued, ‘Chris, you and I are going over to Red Ridge Winery. That’s where the Holmes were supposed to be celebrating. We’ve all got jobs to do. Let’s get moving and meet tomorrow here at ten.’ Adam and Chris went downstairs and out into the car park. ‘This way,’ said Adam as he headed for his car.

‘We’re not going in that bloody thing are we?’ said Chris. ‘It’s an embarrassment to any self-respecting policeman to be seen in that Swedish brick.’

‘Chris,’ said Adam. ‘if it’s good enough for the Swedish Police and the British Motorway Police, it’s good enough for you and if you’d been shot in the arse, you would be looking for a comfort zone. This is mine. Now come on and stop buggering about.’

Chris looked across lovingly to his yellow V8 Ford with the strapped down suspension and fat wheels, and got into the Volvo.

‘That would make a lovely taxi,’ smiled Adam as they pulled out onto the Boneo Road. It was mid-afternoon by the time Chris and Adam pulled into the Red Ridge Winery. Walking towards the cellar door you could see the vines running down the hillside, their new shiny leaves as green as basil glinting in the Spring sunshine. Adam didn’t see Russell Burton at the door, only a man of over sixty who introduced himself as Arthur. Arthur was the vineyard all-rounder and a man of the land. He’d lived on the property even before Russell had bought the hobby vineyard from a city barrister, who’d become bored and disheartened when his accountant told him that his $26.00 bottles of wine were costing him $42.00 to produce. This was Russell’s first winery after twenty years of making wine for other people and having to, what he called, compromise his standards to suit his clients. Before Adam and Chris got to Arthur, Russell came racing round the cellar door in his converted golf buggy.

‘Detective Inspector Baron, you’re not going to book me for drink-driving in this thing, are you?’ said Russell.

‘It’ll cost you two glasses of last year’s Pinot and some of your time to forget the whole thing, Mr Burton,’ said Adam.

Adam introduced Chris to Russell and Arthur who’d caught up.

‘Arthur, bring a bottle and some glasses, including one for yourself, so that we can pay off this corrupt policeman. I saw your car pull in. I was expecting that drunken doctor friend of yours to be with you, or has he been struck off?’

‘No, he hasn’t been struck off yet but he’s too busy at the moment working on something we think you might be able to help us with.’

They settled down round an old outdoor table as Arthur poured the wine while Adam filled them in about the events of that morning. Russell and Arthur were a bit taken aback by what they heard and nobody touched their wine.

‘Adam, as you know,’ said Russell, ‘I don’t bother much with the restaurant. I let it out to a chef. I take some bookings during the week as we all do. The chef only does lunches Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He doesn’t come in until Thursday to check the bookings and prepare his menu, then he works with an assistant and usually two waitresses on the three lunch days. Arthur’s granddaughter often helps out.’

‘Was she working this weekend?’ asked Chris who’d been listening but not saying much.

‘Her name is Helen,’ said Arthur. ‘She worked Saturday and Sunday only. She’s still at school, see. Only seventeen. Not the brightest, even though I say so myself.’

‘Let’s wander over to the restaurant,’ said Adam. ‘And can I have a look at the bookings for Sunday?’

They strode over to the restaurant which was a separate building set on the cusp of the hill with a sweeping view of the vines. Adam liked it best in Autumn when the leaves were all reds, browns and yellows and you could still sit outside on the balcony on the left-hand side away from the wind. Arthur had brought the reservations book which was kept by the cellar door phone. Chris took the book from Arthur and scanned the page for Sunday, the twentieth.

‘Russell, if I’m reading this correctly, the table was originally booked for eight people on 19 July, that’s four months ago, and they were seated on Table Six. Is that right?

‘That’s right. This place is booked out at least six weeks ahead but if you want Table Six or Seven under the atrium, which gives the best views, three or four months is not unusual.’

‘What about the other tables?’ said Chris. ‘We better take the booking details in case we need to spread the inquiry and I think we should stick our heads in the kitchen just for a quick scan.’

A quick scan of the kitchen, which really meant sticking a head round the door, showed an orderly, tidy area that to Adam and Chris looked as clean as a whistle.

‘Just in case, let’s book the crime scene people for tomorrow morning. Chris, you book it with David and be here when they arrive. Russell, if you can give us the chef’s name and a number we’ll get him here as well.’

Straight off his mobile Russell gave Adam the name and number of the chef. ‘Claude Argent,’ Adam repeated to Chris. ‘What’s he like, Russell?’

‘A shit,’ said Arthur before Russell could say anything. ‘Typical of what you hear about French chefs – arrogant, rude bastard; thinks he’s God’s gift to food. If you turn your nose up at his concoctions he calls you a peasant.’

‘I wouldn’t put it like that,’ said Russell. ‘He’s not that bad. It doesn’t bother me as long as the guests are happy, keep coming and buy the wine.’

Adam and Chris refused a second glass and headed back to the car.

Back at the station, only David was in the operations room working a keyboard and with a telephone trapped in his neck. Adam didn’t interrupt and cut back to his office to check if he’d had any paperwork dropped on his desk. His desk was clean. He checked his watch that said 6:11. Twelve hours was enough for the first day. He knew the days ahead would be longer so he left his “away-from-home gear” and slipped out again to the car park. Knocking off and leaving the station was one thing, knocking off your brain was another and all the way to the Cape, he juggled the information he had in his head. He knew he had few facts at this stage but he liked to keep it moving, for later on he might have too many facts which can steer you off course.

At home he poured a light beer while a casserole, one of two he’d made over the weekend, was cooking. He sat on the deck even though it was a bit cold and watched the darkness take away his view of Bass Strait. He ate the casserole accompanied by a bottle of Shiraz while he filled in his diary of the day’s events. There were no lights on at the Watt’s next door so he went over to check the house and put an outside light on. Within another forty minutes he’d cleaned up, laid out tomorrow’s clothes and gone to bed. While he read he was thinking how boring his home life had become, then reflected that in the drug squad he’d had no home life, boring or otherwise.

 

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