Coffin Knows the Answer
With his wife, the acclaimed actress Stella Pinero, away on a movie shoot in Scotland, Chief Commander John Coffin is at a bit of a loose end with just the cat and dog for company. But one morning, as he checks through the mail for his wife, he gets a rather unpleasant surprise: horrific pictures of badly abused children sent anonymously to Stella. Rather than worry his wife, he vows to track down the culprit and calls in a trusted colleague, DCI Phoebe Astley, to assist him in his inquiries.
As they investigate Stella's stalker, another serious problem faces the detectives of the Second City of London. Several young girls have been murdered in Spinnergate with distinct and brutal similarities between the cases. Is there a serial killer on the loose? What is the connection to Stella Pinero, or is it all coincidence? As the investigations get closer to each other in focus, Coffin starts to feel that there are very personal motives at play as his wife's tormentor racks up the tension. When excavations near St Luke's unearth a chilling secret buried in the grounds of Stella's theater, John feels the net closing around those nearest to him and must act quickly or risk losing all that he holds dear.
A gripping exploration of hidden desires and terrors, Coffin Knows the Answer poses some disturbing questions about identity and relationships in the modern world.
champagne? Or the hard work she had done in Scotland? All acting together, perhaps. ‘You are going to see a doctor,’ said Coffin firmly. ‘I’m never ill,’ Stella could be firm too.’ Actresses are never ill, they can’t afford to be.’ ‘No, I know that. But you had a blow to your head.’ ‘My feet hurt a bit but not my head.’ ‘Did you walk here?’ ‘I did. Once I worked out the way home … the park where I hid … not sure now why I hid, but it seemed distinctly the right thing to do at the time.’
can be in trouble. Besides, he feared the Chief Commander. Stella knew all this and did not resent his behaviour. They ate in the large dining room, at Stella’s usual table in the window. ‘I like what you are offering me.’ Tony said as they ate. ‘Oh good, I thought you would.’ What was on offer was the part of a sharp-tongued but charming detective who always got his man. There was a certain humour there which all parties recognised. It would run for six weeks, not long, but the productions
amounts. Varied.’ ‘Of course, I knew that Phillida had been robbed,’ said Winnie Ardet with some irritation. ‘Robbed and the police were no good at all. I was one of the investigating team and know that we failed.’ ‘Oh go on,’ said Miller. ‘They tried.’ ‘If you’re the victim and you lose your grandmother’s pearl and diamond earrings that you have just inherited then trying is not enough: you want them back.’ Winnie had got the force of Phillida’s tongue so she knew how the victim felt. ‘Not
coming. You want in, Sir John? Well, you’re welcome. ‘Do you want me to come with you, sir?’ ‘A couple of men, do you think?’ Coffin was thoughtful. ‘Taking a woman officer with you, might be wiser,’ volunteered the Super. You always jump the way he wants, he thought, and that must be why he has the position he has and you are where you are. ‘Chief Inspector Phoebe Astley might be a good choice.’ But before John Coffin had a chance to do anything, another woman came onto the scene. She was
that tweed jacket … Still, I never liked it, it wasn’t worthy of you.’ She tidied the jacket away. ‘What about the paedophile cases? You haven’t mentioned them.’ ‘Not much progress there, but we’ll get there.’ Stella thought she had heard that before. She smiled and shook her head. ‘End of story, my love.’ Except that, as Coffin knew all too well, there were always questions at the end of each case. Probably it had been Joe who had planted the mannequin. But Coffin knew it was Josephine who