The Detective's Daughter
It was the murder that shocked the nation. Thirty years ago Kate Rokesmith went walking by the river with her young son. She never came home. For three decades her case file has lain, unsolved, in the corner of an attic—until Stella Darnell, daughter of Detective Chief Superintendent Darnell, starts to clear out her father’s house after his death.
where he snatched up a ham roll from the chiller cabinet, hesitated, then made it two; he had missed supper. He grabbed a can of Coke. He broke into another sweat and, swaying, put out a staying hand. He needed to eat, that was all. He waited in the queue, pressing the cool can to his cheek; only one checkout was open and the cashier was slow, examining each item as if it was foreign to her. Jonathan had thrown away the green crayon because he had not wanted the colour in the box. He had drawn
[J. J. Rokesmith, 13 September 1981] When Jonathan returned, Walker the teddy bear was on the detective’s knee. He saw this immediately because Walker is his benign witness. Before he begins an activity he turns the bear to face where he has decided to be so that he is observed by him. In this final session I began by giving Jonathan a task, one I have broached before. The adults: the detective and female sergeant, the female social worker and father were silent while I reiterated how Jonathan
the administrative assistant, an eager woman of twenty-two, would set to making coffee for the three of them. This was Stella’s favourite part of the day; the world was clean and tidy and there was all to play for. But this morning, despite the sunshine, she was in an unfamiliar landscape stalked by the demons of Terry and Paul. If a potential customer faltered on the lino-covered staircase, their mood would lift on entering the bright, immaculate office, with shelves of storage boxes and
resumed. Michael walked over and shut the cupboard door properly, slipping the catch into place. Jack could see him, looking about the room, before he too returned downstairs. Jack felt his own phone vibrating. He did not recognize the number. ‘Hello?’ He cupped his hand over the mouthpiece. ‘Stella Darnell.’ Stella Darnell. Her voice was tremulous; she must be on her way somewhere; working even when she was walking. She would hate dead time. ‘Can I call you back?’ he whispered. ‘I’m on a
grave.’ He walked in long strides, bouncing on his heels. ‘I’ll pay you what I owe you.’ Stella was gruff. They went down the ramp into the subway. Jackie would tell her not to trust this scruffy man; he was too full of himself. His next words underlined this. ‘I’m the best cleaner you’ve ever had.’ ‘No one is indispensable.’ ‘We both know that is not true.’ In the tunnel Stella had to take extra steps to keep up with him, their footsteps echoing. ‘We match perfectly. Your Paul sees that. I