Honeytrap: Part 3

Honeytrap: Part 3 by Roberta Kray

Book: Honeytrap: Part 3 by Roberta Kray Read Free Book Online
Authors: Roberta Kray
    It was over two hours since Harry Lind had been taken to the police station and placed in an interview room. The space was familiar to him from all his own years in the service: the faded magnolia walls, lino floor, an overhead fluorescent light, Formica-topped table and four chairs. He rubbed at his face, fatigue adding an unwanted layer to the shock of discovering that Caroline Westwood had been murdered, not to mention the dull remains of his hangover. He’d been over his story numerous times, but endless repetition didn’t make it sound any better.
    The two officers who were interviewing him – a middle-aged DI, Judith Cobb, and a youngish DC called Malcolm Wells – made little attempt to hide their scepticism. They looked at him with cool, cynical eyes, asking the same questions in different ways, trying to establish a truth about Friday night that didn’t actually exist. He was in the frame and he knew it, although he couldn’t be the only suspect. What about the husband? What about the guys she’d been talking to? The evidence against him was purely circumstantial – wrong time, wrong place – but it was enough to keep his interrogators interested.
    DI Cobb leaned forward and put her hands on the table. ‘What I still can’t understand is why you wiped the tape. Surely you were supposed to be gathering evidence. Wasn’t that the whole point of the exercise?’
    Harry was kicking himself over that decision. ‘It was just … I don’t know, an impulse. It didn’t seem right to give the tape to her husband, especially as I hadn’t even finished the job. I suppose I wanted her to have the benefit of the doubt.’
    ‘The benefit of the doubt?’ Cobb repeated.
    ‘Yes,’ Harry said. ‘I mean, there was some flirting but nothing … It was all pretty innocent.’
    ‘So why not let him hear it?’
    ‘Because it didn’t prove anything one way or the other. In another five minutes she would probably have given me the brush-off, but she never got the opportunity – at least not in a way that could be heard on tape. And that was my fault. I took off in the middle of it all and … Look, I messed up, okay? I didn’t see why she should have to pay for it.’
    ‘How very chivalrous of you.’
    Harry knew how it was coming across, that he’d deliberately wiped the tape in order to hide something incriminating. He could see the way the DI was staring at him, like he was one of those blokes who couldn’t take rejection, who lashed out when a woman turned him down. ‘It was just banter,’ he said. ‘Ask the barman. He was listening in to most of the conversation.’
    ‘We will,’ she said. ‘You can be sure of it.’
    In his head, Harry was still trying to come to terms with the one stark fact he was sure of: Caroline Westwood had been shot in her hotel room late on Friday night or in the early hours of Saturday morning, but her body hadn’t been found until today. The terrible thing was that when the cops had told him the news, and after the initial shock had subsided, he’d felt a disconcerting wave of relief that it was Caroline and not Sylvie who was lying on that hard cold slab at the morgue.
    ‘So let’s get back to this ex-girlfriend of yours. Ellen, yes?’
    ‘She wasn’t a girlfriend, just a friend – someone I hadn’t seen in years.’ Harry hadn’t wanted to give them a name – Ellen was skating on thin ice as it was – but then he’d remembered that he’d asked the receptionist if she was booked into the hotel. Lying would not have been a smart move. ‘To be honest, I just meant to catch up with her, grab her phone number and then return to the bar. She moved away a few years ago and we lost touch.’ Even as the words ‘To be honest’ came out of his mouth, he winced inwardly; there was something about the phrase that always made people sound less trustworthy rather than more.
    ‘And you thought that was more important than the job you were supposed to be doing?’

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