I've Been Watching You: a stunning crime thriller from The North East Police Series

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Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Epilogue

 

 

I’ve Been Watching You

 

 

K A Richardson

 

 

Copyright © 2016 K A Richardson

The right of K A Richardson to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

First published in 2016 by Bloodhound Books

Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publisher or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

www.bloodhoundbooks.com
 

 

 

For my husband, Peter, and my mum, Jeannet, without their support writing wouldn’t be possible.

 

Prologue

4
th
November 2008, 2320 hours - A field outside Durham, UK

He’d been watching her for weeks. It was finally time.

The only sound cutting through the darkness was the occasional hoot of an owl.

He strained, listening.

The damp soil was cold against his cheek as he lay there, feigning injury. He knew how it looked; the white mountain bike on the ground beside him, stark in the moonlight.

It looked as he had planned it would.

Stiffening, he heard her trainers slapping softly against the tarmac as she approached. He heard her pace change from steady to faltering and eventually to a walk. He pictured her pulling the headphones from her ears and looking at the gate in surprise. Tensed and ready, he almost jumped as she said, ‘Oh my God. Sir, are you alright?’

He waited, not moving a muscle, his eyes closed. A soft squelching sounded as she stepped into the mud at the edge of the field.

‘Crap,’ she muttered as she cautiously moved closer.

His hand gripped the knife concealed underneath him as his erection strained painfully against the zip of his trousers. His stomach churned with butterflies – this was going to be good.

He felt the touch of her hand on the arm of his jacket, and ready for action, he jumped to his feet with the agility of a gymnast. The faint moonlight glinted on the knife in his hand and he heard her gasp as she turned to run.

But it was too late.

He grabbed her, the knife to her throat in a movement that was controlled; more so than he thought it would be. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as the look of pained surprise on her face turned to fear.

Swiftly, he brought his fist around and allowed it to connect with the side of her face, knocking her to the ground. Kneeling down, he pushed the blade into her stomach – the motion slow and controlled, and he smiled in the moonlight as she groaned in pain.

Calm now, he pulled the cable ties from his pocket and secured her hands. Then he used them to drag her deeper into the darkness of the field, took a moment to close the gate, and chuckled as she screamed and struggled against the bonds.

‘I’ve been watching you,’ he whispered, kneeling beside her, watching the fear on her face intensify as he unzipped his fly, pulled the condom free from its packaging and  slid it down his length.

He hadn’t even touched her yet, but he felt shivers ripple down his spine at the thought of the things to come.

 

 

Chapter One

28
th
May, 0910 hours, Present Day – Newstead Residential Home, Sunderland

Pausing at the door, John Whitworth felt his mouth harden in anticipation. He hated this place. Always had.

Ever since they had brought his wife Eve here six years ago, he’d endured that smell that only hospitals and care homes could produce. He’d had to cope with the anaemic walls and musty furniture. He had wanted his wife to stay at home, but it just wasn’t practical. He couldn’t afford not to work, and she needed full-time care. Most of his pay cheque went on paying for her single room and board in the place that had now become his own personal hell.

He felt his teeth grit as he pressed his index finger onto the door buzzer. Ever careful, the home required that the front door be permanently locked and all visitors were expected to sign in on entry: security measures to keep the sane people out and the insane people in.

A half-smile flitted over his lips –anyone actually wanting to break in would have to be nuts. It was full of men and women of varying ages, in different stages of illness that was not likely to be cured. Many of them wore sodden or stained clothing with drool hanging in the corner of their mouths like an icicle ready to drop but never quite getting the momentum.
A tad harsh?
Maybe, but it was how he felt. If he ever got to the stage when someone wanted to put him in this home ...
That will never happen. I won’t let it. I’ll end it all myself before I get stuck in a shithole like this.

As the door clicked open he readied his sympathy face. He always made sure his facade never slipped in here. And sympathy was always the way forward when faced with a room full of blithering idiots.

He signed his name in the visitor book.
Same sad table, same cheap pen. Nothing ever changes.

Resuming his false smile, he followed the carer down the corridor. The years had not been kind to Betty Sanders: her wide hips swung from side to side as she walked, less of a sashay and more of a waddle. Her thunderous thighs rubbed together with every step, causing her trousers to edge upwards on the inside seam and making the inner leg appear shorter than the outer. The tight-fitting, faded tunic screamed of too many biscuits eaten at the residents’ break times. He wondered if the residents actually got to eat any. Betty’s untidy hair was swept up, a kind of messy grey birds nest, her wrinkled face well-tanned, presumably from holidays. It looked more like old leather than a healthy sun-kissed glow.

The only thing Betty had going for her was her eyes: piercing, intelligent, blue. The kind of eyes a man could look at and know she would take no crap from anyone.

For a moment John wondered whether there was a Mr Sanders at home, waiting for her with dinner on the table.
Aye; dinner for three, just for her.
He smirked to himself at the thought.

But it was only for a moment.

As they neared the door to his wife’s room, he forgot all about Betty. His breath stuck in his throat as he waited for
that
look – the look Eve always gave him through her stupor as he entered the room. The look of fear mildly disguised with defiance. He couldn’t hurt her in here. Not physically, anyway. But still he knew she was petrified. She knew everything of him, but she couldn’t say it. Her illness was now so far gone it was unlikely she even recollected a lot of the bad stuff. Her speech was down to the odd groan and grunt.

But he knew she always remembered him; he could tell by her eyes.

He felt his heart thud as he saw the fear fade to resignation. He was here again, and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.

 

28th May, 1005 hours – CSI Department, Sunderland City Centre Depot

Ben Cassidy had juggled her force folder, a bag of evidence and her camera case up the stairs to the office. With a complete lack of grace, she dumped the lot onto her desk, pulled the fingerprint lifts from the pocket of her combats and sat down with a sigh.

Other than her, the office was empty. She was on day shift with Craig Simpson, who was still out fixing up all the jobs he could before the mid-shift came in at 11 a.m. Ben also knew he was more than aware she had to leave early; he’d already picked up her slack by radioing her and telling her to get back to the nick to put her jobs through Socard, the forensic database used internally by the police.

She smiled to herself as she pulled out her scene notes to transfer over to the computer system – today was her daughter’s first report day. At a few months off five years old, Grace was an absolute gem of a child, even at the worst of times. She had started reception the previous September and had settled into it straight away.

Ben already knew how adorable Grace was, had loved her with all her being since the moment she had been put into her arms, but she was eager to hear what the teachers thought of her. Ben and her aunt Aoife had taught Grace well from very early on. She was advanced on her reading and writing, but also on her maths and science - well past the average levels for most children her age. It hadn’t taken the school long to pop Grace into some of the year one classes to help her advance.

This meeting was to discuss what would happen at the start of the new term in September – and Ben was more excited than Grace was. Trying her best to focus on the job at hand, she cracked on with transferring the information over to the computer.

Hearing a huffing sound in the corridor, she turned, looking towards the door. Her eyes widened as Cass McKay entered the room with about as much elegance as a pet elephant. Which was not entirely her fault – her large, pregnant tummy protruded outwards, making her movements jerky and undignified.

‘Cass! I thought you were on maternity. What on earth are you doing here?’ asked Ben, jumping up and pulling her into a bear hug, barely able to get her arms round Cass’s belly.

‘Damn baby wants to hurry up and come out. I’ve been lugging this round for nine months now. She was due out yesterday but she’s holding her ground. I’m convinced she’s doing it on purpose too. She keeps giving me Braxton Hicks, getting me to the point I think it’s real and then stopping,’ grumbled Cass, pulling up a chair and lowering herself down slowly. ‘As to what I’m doing here, I couldn’t stay inside. Am sick to death of being at home, cooped up in the cottage with only Ollie to keep me company. There’s only so many times you can have a conversation with the dog before you think you’re going crazy. Alex keeps going to work, which is fine: he has to work or he won’t get as much paternity, but seriously, I can’t even get over the stile to take Ollie for a walk. I’m bored shitless. So today I figured I’d pop in and see how things are going with you. You’ve been flying solo for, like, two months now, right?’

Ben smiled and nodded. Cass had been the reason she had opted to transfer into the CSI Department. In the year and a half since Cass had been kidnapped so much had changed. Ben had been sick of working just to pay the bills, and with the redundancies being offered, the CSI team had found themselves one person short. Cass had encouraged Ben to apply, giving her all the help she needed, and Ben had been offered the job six months ago. After a nine-week intensive training course, she had been mentored at the Ryhope station with Cass as her supervisor, and then transferred into the busier station in the city centre.

‘It’s flown by. I can barely remember being on front office now. It’s funny how quickly we settle into something new. Can you believe I start my Introduction to Digital Forensics course tomorrow? How’s married life?’

Cass rolled her eyes. ‘Alex is fussing over me like a mother hen, even more so now I’ve gone off on leave. He’s doing everything in the house, driving me if I need to go anywhere. It’s damned annoying.’ Her comments, however, were contradicted by the contented smile on her face. ‘Tomorrow? That’s come around quick. How’s Grace finding school?’

‘She loves it. I’ve a meeting with her teacher today. I can’t wait to see what she has to say – Grace is growing up so fast!’

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