Hello from sunny Bristol,
With Chance Encounters, Meredith & Hodge #14, due to be released in a little over a month, I thought you might like a little teaser. As you know, Meredith and the CCRT work more than one case at a time, and in Chance Encounters, they are up to their ears in victims. Patsy opens her first cold case for review. Here’s an (unedited) extract of her introducing the case to the team:
A handsome youth dressed in a top hat and tails for his sister’s wedding smiled at them. A few blond curls rested on his forehead and his eyes shone with amusement as he laughed for the camera.
“Fifteen-year-old Harrison Bendle. Bright, sporty, no known enemies, wealthy background. His father is co-founder of a successful independent film maker, Star Train, based here in Bristol. On Friday the fifteenth of June nineteen-ninety, Harrison had cricket training at school’s sports ground. Afterwards, having given various excuses to their parents, he and a group of friends decided some Friday night fun was in order. They went to Whiteladies Road, bought some chips and cheap alcohol, and went back to the sports ground. There they ate their chips, drank a couple of bottles of cider, smoked a joint, and messed about as young men do. At around nine o’clock, the heavens opened with a spectacular summer storm, and they all headed for home. Harrison never arrived. His parents didn’t raise the alarm until eleven the next morning. They assumed he’d stayed at a friend’s house the night before because of the storm, which had lasted until midnight. Due to leave to visit the grandparents at ten-thirty, Evie Bendle, his mother, called around the group of friends. One after the other, they told her that Harrison hadn’t stayed with them. By eleven o’clock she was worried and insisted the police were called. At that early stage, it wasn’t taken too seriously, but because the father was a well-known and semi-public figure, they interviewed the friends. They each told the same story. The boys left the sports ground and split up on Redland Grove. The boy’s families confirmed that each of Harrison’s friends had arrived home at the time one would expect, having left the sports ground at nine. Five hours later, a dog walker found Harrison’s body. The walker’s dog had been trying to get underneath the veranda of the pavilion and he assumed it to be a fox. He had a look and saw the body. Someone had strangled Harrison with his own tie.”
A simple murder? Of course not. Life for Meredith & Hodge is never simple, and this case becomes more complicated the deeper they dig.