Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband.
Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.
Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.
No one except Doc.
Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.
When she came around it was business as usual. She knocked on Chris’s door in a designer dress and raced away the next morning wearing a dry-cleaning bill. That had been the schedule through the week and on Saturday morning another email appeared. By now Chris was checking his email account five or six times a day.
Thanks for last night. I’ll have to throw those stockings away (naughty).
The cleaner put crisp new sheets on the bed. Want to cum over and help soften them up?
Hubby left an hour ago and won’t be back until Monday.
Chris had duly ridden over on his Suzuki. The weekend followed the same pattern as the previous one. Chatting and watching films on Peter Keller’s home-cinema TV, then up to his bed to screw his wife.
“This is when she goes really weird on me,” Chris told Doc.
They’d had a longish evening together. Chris was splayed out on a massive sofa skimming the endless channels, Jan was curled up with his arm around her reading a magazine. Surprisingly domestic given the situation. One of them, and Chris couldn’t say which, had suggested they go to bed.
Jan had pecked his cheek.
“Give me a couple of minutes to get ready. Then come up.”
She’d flipped the switch from contented domesticity to sexual jungle in the blink of an eye. Made her way from the TV room shedding clothes as she went. Chris gave her ten minutes before following.
He found her sat at the head of the marriage bed. She’d changed into a black velvet dress that fastened down the front, the Big Guy reckoned about forty tiny pearl buttons held it together. Jan had one foot on the floor and the other on the edge of the bed with the dress rucked up around her hips. She told him it was hard to get the dress off and she needed help with the buttons. Then she’d pulled the knife out.
“The one you’ve been carrying?”
“Yeah. She opens it and nips off one of the little buttons. Then she offers the thing to me and says cut away lover, open it up, some shit like that.”
Chris had taken the knife and closed it. He was going to put it on the night stand but thought again and slipped it into the hip pocket of his jeans.
“Not my scene, Doc, not by a long fucking way,”
He’d told Jan much the same, though less bluntly. Added a few tips on personal survival and the wisdom of handing men knives then asking them to start cutting.
Doc and Chris lapsed into silence. Chris must have been deep in thought because he jumped when Doc spoke.
“How did she take it?”
“Me not playing knife games? She was okay about it. I think she was glad I wasn’t up for it.”
Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.
Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.
Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.