The Crime Tsar
Police Chief Constable Tom Shackleton is ambitious to reach the top of his profession, but no one is more ambitious for his future than his wife. Jenni Shackleton looks every inch the consort to a powerful man. Striking and groomed to gleam in any crowd, she is connected through her own job in journalism to the right people to further Tom's career - or so she thinks. She is also unscrupulous: Jenni Shackleton will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Next door and down on her luck is Lucy, whose husband Gary is physically failing with MS, so that she finds it necessary to act as housekeeper to Jenni, formerly just a friend but now also an employer, who somehow can't help patronising Lucy for wielding the household duster. What Jenni is too vain to see is that her comparatively frumpish housekeeper friend has everything that her husband actually finds desirable in a woman. In Jenni's view of her horizon, the only blot is Tom's natural rival, Geoff Carter, a man with just too much Oxbridge polish and connection with the government to allow her to sleep well at night. But as Jenni soon discovers, there is a drug for everything. Threads of classical tragedy run through this modern drama of power, cunning sex and ambition. Nichola McAuliffe directs it all with style, skill and at a thunderous pace.
disarming would have. The ring leader couldn’t stand Shackleton’s steady, unblinking look any more. ‘What the fuck do you want? Fucking pig.’ ‘My name’s Tom Shackleton, I’m your Chief Constable and this is my colleague Geoffrey Carter. He is Chief Constable of our neighbouring area.’ His expression softened almost imperceptibly. ‘We want to know what your grievances are. What’s made you feel this strongly? We want to know what we can do to help.’ A pause. Then a voice at the back, made
fingers as far as the tightly resistant lace of her knickers between main course and coffee but nothing else. Had Jenni not been so used to the change that came over some men when faced with the prospect of sex with a stranger, the schizophrenic Gnome might have intrigued her. But she knew, before her age was in double figures, a standing cock knows no conscience. She lay in her gently rounded bath in her sunken bathroom conjuring the future. Her husband would be in the Lords. A working peer.
and snatch the fighting cocks. As another streak of lightning lit the estate her lads went in to grab their lads. The two crowds of youths were now one mob united against the police. Paving slabs were ripped up and thrown. In the supernatural thunder and lightning bodies smashed by the stones fell and were dragged away with no sense of reality. The only reality was the rain. Best policemen in the world. But not tonight. The energy of the raging elements seemed to have entered the bodies below
But Jenni wasn’t stupid, she’d decided to go to college – she barely scraped the necessary exams – and she’d decided to get married and get away from the minty women who’d found a lifetime’s hairstyle and sprayed it with Locktite. Those disapproving wives for whom possession was nine-tenths of a marriage. Unfortunately there was no one left in the village who didn’t know her reputation. None of the ‘nice boys’ would marry her; she’d had sex with most of them in almost every place except a bed
cathartic confession. No. Lucy wanted to share it with her husband as she would with a brother or a close girlfriend. She had never been in this situation before so didn’t know if it was normal to regard her husband as a repository for the joys and miseries of an affair. The pause between them had gone on too long for her to deny the accusation. She just made a tiny movement of her head. Guilty as accused. Gary felt strangely calm, as if he was just an actor in a well-rehearsed play. ‘Are you