Detective - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
In the corner of the workshop was a refrigerator, quite ordinary, white, with a smaller upper section above and a larger one below. Still Mac was curious, it was too clean. Why wouldn't such an appliance be covered in the fingerprints of the mechanics? He took some steps toward it just to observe the reaction of the workers, nothing at all. Likely even their lunches weren't inside. He wondered toward the workbenches until the owner arrived and repeated his test. Despite his efforts to be genial there was a tightening of his facial muscles and an involuntary hand gesture. Whatever was in there worried him. Perhaps this was the location after all.
She would break the news with tact, discretion, even with compassion. God knew she had enough practice in ten years of policing. But she would still be a traitor to grief, watching and listening, even as she spoke the formal words of condolence, for the flicker of an eyelid, the tensing of hands and face muscles, for the unwise word, for any sign that for someone in that waiting house in Campden Hill Square this might not be news at all.
In the stack of envelopes was one curiously unlabelled, the same as any random piece of junk. He slid it open nonetheless. All it contained was a simple leaf; deep summer green, finely divided and lacy. It was almost triangular, broad at the base with the tip tapering to an almost point. He knew better than to touch it. Pushing backwards on his chair coasters Mac slowly exhaled, took out his phone and sent a picture to the crime scene investigators. After two minutes his phone buzzed. Poison Hemlock. Conium maculatum. By itself it was harmless, but it had to viewed as a threat. This was new, worrying. Gerard's mob had never strayed to threatening law-enforcement before. Before he had time to draw another breath he knew where the ring and bangles were from. They were the key items from an unsolved heist eight years previously. Then the girl had delivered it herself, why not a courier? Why so bold?
For seemingly no reason the girl's hands swam back into Mac's mind as he took is usual route home. She had passed him an envelope from the mail he'd dropped when she bumped into him at the precinct. Mail that lay unopened in the trunk of his car. She had been kind, apologetic and had had the sort of face that put him immediately at ease. Eyes like his late wife's, that must be why his mind brought him back to this image. But why the hand and not the face? He had admired her ring, white gold with diamonds to match her many bangles. They seemed familiar for a reason, but like a tune whose lyrics escape you, the memories were just out of reach. He dug in his pocket for another pear drop. After swinging into his suburban concrete driveway he removed his sunglasses and stashed them in the glovebox.
Once inside the old wooden floor was enough to tell Mac that this wasn't the place. As the last of his pear drop dissolved on his tongue he checked out the almost pristine layer of dust that dulled it's red hues to almost grey. He radioed for all officers to hold position and tracked the disturbed dust with his flashlight to a brand new car battery, the only clean thing in the room. From the top trailed wires that disappeared behind it, obscuring whatever they powered. He ordered a blackout and every flashlight extinguished. There in the blackness was a flicker of red, flashing. "Evacuate, stat, suspected bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb." Six black clad SWAT officers knew that meant "run like hell," and they did. Behind them the old house exploded, old nails became shrapnel and glass cut through air as good as any blade. Wood of all sizes rained down on them and the faux-brick cladding shattered casting red dust and projectiles into the dawn air.
The iron gate was fashioned to look antique but the hinges were undoubtedly new. Of course it could have been rehung but it's making bore the marks of machine tools not available a hundred years ago. The house beyond it was a shell, or so it appeared. So why a new gate? Mac scanned the stone walls for inconsistencies and at first he saw none, just moss and lichen. But then he just caught a familiar noise, a small motor, like one used to move a camera. He radioed in "nothing suspicious" in a deliberately audible volume and returned to his silver Honda Civic, utterly unmarked and ubiquitous within Vancouver, although perhaps not this neighbourhood.
Thick icy sheets of rain obscured Mac's vision. His flashlight died just inches into the wall of water, reflecting off millions of raindrops, each as big as the pear drops in his pocket. They had picked a prime time to move the vials. Any trace of them would be washed right down the storm drains and the city's cameras would be as good as ice-skates in Rio. He stood with the water running freely down his face and into his already soaked clothes. The flash river that ran down the street gushed over the tops of his soft leather shoes. Only after he managed to arrange his face into an unconcerned mask for his officers and superiors did he retreat to his unmarked cruiser and head for the station. Inside his car the rain hammered onto the grey bodywork louder than a kid's drum kit, drowning out his attempt to soothe himself with Handel's Water Music. The wipers were no match for the torrent and, though he wanted to get there quickly, visibility had every sensible driver moving at a crawl.
The glasses were so ubiquitous that Mac didn't think tracing their sale was even possible. They were on every teenager within a three mile radius whether they needed them or not. Still he leant forwards with a gloved hand and placed them in an evidence bag. Who knows, they might get lucky. Somewhere on the black plastic rims could be an epithelial or a partial print. The lack of lenses was curious and irritating, a prescription lens would have been something to go on.
In the half-light of the reluctant dawn lay a shoe. From its size Mac deduced that the bearer was petite, likely no heavier than the average twelve year old. Yet it was sexy, sophisticated and undeniably high-end. Or at least it had been. Now the heel had broken off and it was plastered with drying mud. A short way off lay it's pair, unbroken, kicked off in haste. He moved around trying not to disturb the mud, there were barefoot impressions; not the rolling motion of heel-strike walking, but only the balls of the foot and the toes. She had run, likely for her life. He nodded to the sergeant who got on his radio to order in forensics. They wouldn't be happy to be woken but this scene likely had time sensitive evidence. The clouds were an almost unbroken layer and the air heavy with moisture. In minutes the constables had it taped off and diversions were set.
...satisfied she had the qualities for which he was looking. They were also the ones he admired in a detective: intelligence, courage, discretion and common sense.
He had moved, as if by a concious act of will, into a world in which time was precisely measured, details obsessively noticed, senses preternaturally alert to sound, smell, sight, the flick of an eyelid, the timbre of a voice.
His suspect had bolted from the bar the minute he drew his badge. She had fled across the road not caring for the traffic that screeched, swerved and honked around her. Her direction after that was almost impossible to tell, but Mac had a hunch she was hiding out in the park. She had spent her youth in the countryside, likely the trees afforded her a feeling of safety that the concrete and glass did not. He crossed at the lights and jogged softly to the iron gate. The bushes and trees were almost silhouettes, the blackest of greens. The path was the only pale thing stretching into the wooded gloom. He scanned for movement. None. Then the wind died, the leaves ceased to rustle, even the rumble of traffic was absent. In those frozen seconds he could hear the crunch of dried twigs under boot, just enough to give him the location of his quarry. It was in that moment of absolute stillness that God tipped the balance to Mac. He swung around, pistol drawn, safety off.
In his weather beaten skin was a fine meshwork of red threads. From the depth of his wrinkles Mac put him in his eighties. Even without a blood flow to back it up the skin was tanned. There was fresh dirt under his nails; dark like peat or compost from a gardening centre - certainly not the pale clay around this old junkyard. Presumably he still had been living in a home with a backyard, but it was quite possible he was gardening at an assisted living complex or nursing home. There was dirt on the knees of his pale corduroy slacks, but this was the pale sandy sort from this yard. If he had been wearing a jacket it was gone, in the newly bracing air of fall Mac expected one, it was something else to enquire about. Lying sprawled on his back with the entry wound at his temple no-one could mistake this gent for someone sleeping or a natural death. So many unanswered questions. For now it was a new homicide, an isolated case, but as ever he would be looking for ties to Gregor.