Jacob was absolutely knackered.
He had been just about to clock off at work when a call had come in from a cop
car who had found a mangled body thrown in a beck by a roadside on a country
lane and he needed a doctor to call time of death so that the forensic team
could move in. He ran his hand through his dark wavy hair and ran his hand
thought his short stubble and set off out to his car. He jumped into his dark
green car in the car park – he punched in the OS grid reference he had been
given into the cars satnav and set off for the crime scene.
He had no idea why the doctor
from the Skelton station couldn’t take the call – he was much closer than Jacob
was based down the road in Guisborough, but oh-well.
So Jacob drove to the scene in an
otherwise idyllic spot in the North Yorkshire moors and when he turned up he
pulled up and got out of the car and had the constable at the scene direct him
to the body. The spot where the body was at was a metre away from the road. The
beck was shallow and from where Jacob was stood he could just about see the
coastline from where they were through a gap in the trees.
When he got to the body he made
sure the victim was dead, not a difficult deduction as he had a gash across his
chest. The body was of a man, white in his mid to late twenties by the look of
him. His hair was black and he had about two days’ worth of stubble covering
his chin. He was so pale from blood loss that he’d seen snowmen with a better suntan
than this guy, and the body was in full rigour-mortis. Just for the sake of
being professional he placed the back of his hand a few inches above the
victim’s mouth and when he had confirmed the man was not breathing by placing
his hand against his mouth he checked for a pulse; first the radial artery in
his wrist and then the carotid artery in his neck – as Jacob expected – the man
was as dead as he looked.
He told the constable at the
scene, a young, tall and strawberry blonde PC called Lisa Garret who he had
worked with a few times before that the forensics lot could move in and got in
his car and drove back to the station.
There he sat behind his desk and
filled out the ridiculously long report and sent it to the relevant people. And
as usual this frustrated him because like always he could summarise what
happened in under thirty words: ‘arrived at the crime scene at 19:45, found the
victim, determined the cause of death as chest wound, probably murder, left the
scene at 19:57, stopped for coffee and scones on the way back, signed Dr Jacob
R. Roberts, M.B.’: if only.
Nothing he ever put in the
preliminary reports ever got read anyway, it couldn’t be used as evidence
unless there were glaring differences between his and later findings, so what
was the point? Everything had to be confirmed by a pathologist at the hospital in
Middlesbrough or at the county coroner’s office so it really was just wasted
As it was it had to be done
however so at half past ten he pulled into his parking space beneath the
apartment block he lived in, several hours later than he had hoped; again, and
once again he was far too exhausted to want to do anything. So he walked
upstairs after taking his shoes off and hanging his bomber jacket on the back
of the front door. His boyfriend was already asleep in the first floor
apartment’s bedroom – and their dog – the jammy little bugger – was sprawled on
Jacobs’s side of the bed. Jacob picked up Roofus and put him on the end of the
bed, climbed in the newly free (and doggie warmed) top end of the bed, and
pulled the covers over himself.
Jacob leaned over to his
boyfriend and kissed the back of his neck, gently and carefully as not to wake
him, and rolled onto his back and tucked his feet under the dog who made a
comfortable and toasty warm foot warmer before dosing off almost immediately.
Unfortunately this was short lived. It was still dark outside and Jacobs’s
pager was going off beside his bed. It lit up and vibrated with its customary
light up and vibrate routine. The vibration was loud enough to wake him resting
on the wooden bedside table, even without the light ringing sound it made which
was way under half of the volume of his mobile phones alarm clock.
Jacob picked it up and pressed
the button to access the message that had been sent.
‘Body Call: report in’ it read.
He wasn’t sure why they couldn’t
just text him the instructions to come into work but he didn’t see much point
in questioning it, it was the same either way to him. He got up and groped his
way to the chair he kept his clothes dumped on and got dressed in the dark for
fear of waking Liam. When he was dressed again he walked down the hall to the
kitchen and put the kettle on and phoned the direct line for the DSI’s desk at
the station in Guisborough.
‘Dr Roberts here; Sally, is that
you?’ he asked while stifling a yawn.
‘Yes it is’ the women on the
other end of the line replied.
‘What can I do for you?’ he
‘I need you to come back in’ she told
him ‘the coroners sick so the hospital has asked for you to do the autopsy. Oh…
Also another call came in – a body has been discovered by the roadside on the
road into Middlesbrough – they’ve asked us to deal with it’.
Jacob sighed ‘I’ll be there in an
hour’ he said, but not before I’ve had a
strong black coffee he said to himself. Jacob managed to throw his coffee
back by filling the mug half way to the top and putting a little bit of cold
water in it to cool it down.
By the time Jacob had nipped to
the toilet and had taken a leak, washed his hands and munched down a packet of
crisps he was able to gulp down his caffeine fix – he grabbed a second packet
of crisps and munched them down wiped his fingers down with the dish cloth by
the sink, felt the inside of his pocket to make sure his car keys were still in
it and walked back downstairs into the basement car park to his car. He got
into his car and turned the keys in the ignition and drove back the way he came
mere hours earlier.
He headed back into work after
leaving his Middlesbrough apartment, driving past the crime scene which Sally
had told him about on his way in. The dark grey private ambulance which was
used to transport bodies wasn’t there as Jacob past, which relived him as it
meant that the body was already at the station and he wouldn’t have to wait for
it to arrive in order to examine it; he might get a little bit of sleep tonight
after all. He kept on driving until he reached the station, after entering
Guisborough and heading straight towards the police station.
Jacob arrived back at the police
station and reported to DSI Williams – or Sally as she preferred to be called:
never one for formal titles, she was always Sally – except on her name badge
and the plaque above her door.
‘Reporting for duty as ordered
Ma’am’ Jacob said as he walked into her office without knocking. He walked
right up to her desk and saluted.
‘We aren’t in the army and they
salute with the right hand, not the left… AND DO NOT CALL ME MA’AM’ she said in
mock outrage. Sally was in her late twenties and had dark brown hair; she
looked to Jacob over the top of her spectacles as she said it.
‘Won’t happen again… Sir’ he said jokingly ‘So, where’s the
‘Being shipped in – the ambulance
arrives in ten minutes’ Sally replied.
‘Right then, I’m going to scrub
up – I’ll have the preliminary report ready for you by two am – is that OK?’ he
‘Great Doc’ Sally said.
It was about one in the morning
and Jacob was thoroughly cheesed off. Jacob was in the autopsy room, a sterile
environment if ever there was one, the furniture was metal and the floors and
walls were a pale green colour. On the far side of the room were a row of
cadaver drawers a few feet by a few feet in size but deep enough to store a
body in. He had sent the last several hours meticulously confirming what he
already knew and collecting samples for other people to confirm it yet again. A
young man had been gashed across his chest and had bled out: The end.
But now another body was in the
cadaver draw which had been brought in from someplace just outside Middlesbrough,
that city (because the people who lived there loved to think of it as a city) where
they had all that groovy forensic science equipment and they wanted a double
homicide to be dealt with in a small barely equipped lab in a station in a
small town that the people of ‘the Boro’ liked to go for walks in the
countryside, have pub lunches and sit in quaint coffee shops.
Jacob noticed that this body
looked almost the same as the man who was killed earlier. A few years older
maybe, he was a little slimmer and without the short facial hair though.
Something tugged at the back of Jacobs mind, like de jâ vu.
A little bit of new data had been
gleamed from this examination. The jaggedness of the wound meant that his ‘patient’
was alive and restrained when the wound was inflicted – doing more thorough
examination he found marks on his arms suggesting that one arm had been placed
on the other and weight had been applied to hold him down and the wound had
been made slowly. Perhaps this wasn’t a
complete waste of time; I must just be grouchy because I’m tired Jacob
thought to himself.
When the second body was out on
the table Jacob examined the wound and found just the same – he betted that the
fingerprints he found on the wrists of the two victims would match – that’s how
partners in crime operated, they always tended to get into a routine and then
they would do it again and again until either they got caught or had a falling
out leading to one partner killing the other before he or she would flee.
That was if they were just a pair
of homicidal psycho lunatics – if they were a pair of organised criminals then
these two were rivals or double crossers,but that was unlikely – sending a message like this made a point, but it
was also a signature – and that made it easier for the police to link them –
organised criminals would be clever enough to make the killing as impersonal as
possible – make it look like a mugging or at the very least wear some latex
gloves as not to leave any fingerprints – this was sloppy – to the extent of
idiocy or two people so lazy they genuinely didn’t care if they went to prison;
the former was more likely Jacob decided.
Jacob wrote up the paperwork
releasing the samples to the forensics lab downstairs and went back upstairs to
the squad room. It was now so late that it could just as fairly be described as
early; so he sent his boyfriend Liam an apologetic text and once again pulled
the sleeping bag he kept under his desk out, deciding that for the amount of
sleep he would get if he went home it would be far better to just curl up here
and get an extra few hours’ sleep for it. He was probably too tired to drive
anyway at this point so he closed his eyes and dreamed of the make-up sex that
would undoubtedly come.
‘Wake up buddy’ came the sound of
Sargent Nick O’Connell’s deep gravelly voice a few hours later. Nick was short
and stocky; he wore a dark beard and had a square jaw. Jacob checked his mobile
in his pocket: 08:27, mere minute’s prior to when his phones alarm had been set
to go. Beginning the all too familiar ritual he got out of his sleeping bag, sprayed
his underarms with a can of body spray from his desk draw and took from his
desks bottom draw the toothbrush and toothpaste he kept in a peach wash bag
with dark green patterns on it, realising how horrifically sad it is that this
happened so often, and he headed for the men’s room to brush his teeth.
After rinsing his mouth out with
tap water and spiting it into the sink he stretched and splashed water in his
face before wiping it dry with paper towels. He looked in the mirror and ran
his hands over the short dark stubble that was growing on his face and
momentarily wondered if he should add a disposable razor to the wash bag he
kept in his desk.
When Jacob got back he found on
his desk a coffee – from Sgt O’Connell he presumed as it was his turn to get
them. Under his coffee was a returned forensic report. Jacob had no idea how
that got processed so quickly – even murders got held back by insane backlog;
he had never, repeat never, got overnight service before. He took the letter
opener he kept on his desk and he tore the seal and looked at the report
Jacobs’s heart skipped a beat as
he saw the report. He read it and re-read it before he could accept what it
‘Bollocks’ Jacob said to himself ‘he’s
The fingerprints on the victim’s chests
had come back with a match for a case Jacob had worked on previously – another
murder 6 years ago particularly gruesome and unfortunately unsolved, so
gruesome that even Jacob, a trained doctor and forensic investigator still lost
sleep over it. The prints on the victims’ wrists were unknown.
‘And then there were two’ Jacob said
to himself putting his head in his hands.
Jacobs’s day took a sharp turn south when just before he was about
to finish work a body turns up. Mere hours later he is horrified to find out
that a murder case that was never solved has just come back to haunt him. With
his relationship with his boyfriend under strain and a homicidal lunatic
killing people left, right and centre all he can do is hope he and his partner
Sally can catch him before many more people die. Set on Teesside, this fast
paced novelette is exciting and has several fascinating plot twists leading to
an exciting conclusion.
Hi everyone, been a while since I’ve
been on here blogging away. Just to let y’all know I’ve arranged a book signing
at the Book Fare in the Forbes Buildings on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough this Saturday
coming probably from about 10:00.
I’ll be signing copies of My Little Blue Book, a work of erotic
(Please beware I will only sell to people over 18)
I think I’ve criticised every party leader in some way or another
after seeing them on telly or reading something about them or what they’ve
done/said, but 1 thing I will not do is treat someone as though members of
their family are fair game to slag off because I don’t like them.
I am me: I am not my dad. Frankly my dad is an abusive arsehole.
That does not mean that I am. It doesn’t mean that I can be expected to inherit
being disliked, I didn’t pick my dad I got the one nature gave me, not my
Fortunately for Ed Miliband he actually has a father worth
defending, and despite their differences I’m glad that the other party leaders
have stood by him in condemning the Daily Mail for claiming Ed’s father ‘hated Britain’
in order to tarnish Ed’s reputation.
Firstly I think Ed is a much better judge of his father’s politics
than a newspaper can be, as they are after all family.
Secondly I think Ed should be judged on what Ed says and does, not
his father’s beliefs; especially as clearly Ed’s father didn’t hate Britain because
he defended this country in the 2nd world war. Yes, I’ve criticised Ed
myself once or twice; but who his father is does not reflect in my view his
ability to run this country.
In fact it would be just as stupid as asking the current Daily
Mail staff to inherit being disliked because of the fact that between 1934 and
1939 the Mail was pro-Hitler (we don’t hold it against you; but don’t think we’ve
In conclusion I would like to say a big thanks to the Daily Mail:
I already said I’m glad his opponents in government stood by Ed in this in
giving you the middle finger - but if they didn’t they could probably have
really used this to damage him and the fact that they stood up for him, and criticised
you fear-mongering guys and girls has left me that little bit less cynical of
British politics than I was yesterday. It proves that they are guided by a
sense of right and wrong and not just self-interest. Not the outcome you were
hoping for was it?
I completely agree with this article: I have the luxury of setting
my own working hours as I work as an author; however I know that a lot of other
people don’t. Firstly working more than 40 hours a week and in my view your
taking work away from someone else, working more than 48 and your being taken
for a ride. A cut down from a 5 to a 4 or 4.5 day week in my view would better
our productivity. We’d be less tired at work, we’d get to spend more time with
friends and family so we’d be happier and to top it all off the unemployment figures
would fall through the floor.
I think that it’s important that everyone who can spare a few minutes
takes the time to read this shocking account of life inside a Russian jail.
I’ve heard this quote attributed to everybody from Churchill to
Ghandi, so I’m not quite sure who first said it but it’s good advice no matter
who said it (evidenced by the fact that some may people seem to have said it):
‘If you want to judge how
civilised a nation is; look at how they treat their prisoners’
And here it is, the final week of
editing before the 27th September release date: out next Friday is
My Little Blue Book which is a collection of erotic short stories I’ve been
working on over the past few months. Can’t Wait.
Will be avaliable from Amazon and other retailers.
Apparently the amount of cash that the MP’s we elected to run our
country are even higher now that before the expenses scandal. Oh dear.
I utterly fail to see how the MP’s can take more from a country
full of broke people when more and more people are having to rely on food banks
to feed themselves when it already blew up in their faces once before, and when
in the past year we have had to listen to the justifications of why MP’s should
be given a pay rise I for one think this is freaking ridiculous.
Frankly a new policy needs to be introduced that not only says
what MP’s can and cannot claim for and sets an upper limit but also says that
if any other public sector worker wouldn’t be given expenses in those circumstances,
just don’t ask for it.
Only a few weeks left until the release date for ‘My Little Blue
Book’ a collection of erotic short stories that I have written for your fantasy
entertainment. Soon you’ll get to meet Tim and find out what he gets up to in
hotel rooms, meet a married couple who manage to keep the romance alive in a
very physical way after being together 10 years and what Kat got up to with
have favourite rock star after a concert.
To be completely honest I have to agree with this: we live in a
drastically overpopulated world, and 1 thing which we do not need is a lot of
people creating a lot of new people.
Never in human history have we ever managed to feed everybody on
the planet and here we are with the largest population we have ever had, which
has been in a constant boom for the past century.
I’m not suggesting anything as drastic as China’s 1 child rule,
but better access to contraceptives and family planning services isn’t just a health
issue any more; it’s a survival issue.
We may have technology to save and prolong life that we never did
before now but we need to start using it responsibly. And 1 thing that that
means is that now we know there’s less chance of children dying in childhood
than before and with the introduction of services for older people we can
afford to have fewer children and know we won’t lose out on help when were
older or our families coming to an end if we have few children.
20% of British workers are
living of a wage below the ‘living wage’, that’s about £7.20 if you live
And I can recall that the government considered things like giving smaller companies
a lower minimum wage and various other things which would save money for companies
such as making it easier to hire and fire which would in this climate probably
mean easier to fire.
I say again what I have
said before and that is that the capitalist system is relent on a comfortably wealthy
workforce to survive, the capitalist system needs money to remain in
circulation in order to function otherwise there is less money going round
being actively used to keep capitalism going. Ergo we need a high minimum wage,
so that people have the spending power to buy stuff, in order to keep businesses
going with the trade from selling stuff. Ergo as long as a large chunk of the
population are in poverty the economic cr4isis will continue.
someone associates Islam with killing in conversation I tell them off; I've
known some very kind and friendly Muslims in my life, people I've done charity
work with and people who've encouraged me in the charity work that I've done.
few days ago I posted a picture on my professional Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AllanMcleodOnline)
of a group on Muslim’s surrounding a church during mass so the Christians
inside could pray in safety and a group of Christians surrounding Muslims so
they could pray in peace. And here it is, the final proof that Islam is not
about killing, violence and patriarchal dominance:
I've never been particularly
religious myself but I will defend people who are if it makes them a better
stupid: of course anybody being allowed to rate themselves highly will do so
especially when they have a public image to maintain. I’ve seen the sorry state
of hospital food on television documentaries and from working in care myself;
and being subjected to that is the absolute last thing that will do any good and
the last thing I would want.
food is a necessity to good health, which means nutritious food, not whatever
can be crammed into microwavable packaging at the lowest cost. Considering the effect
of food on mental health and the psychological aspect of immunity and recovery
a need for good food becomes apparent.
should therefore most definitely have the same right to good food as ‘government
ministers, school kids and prisoners’ as the Campaign for better Hospital Food
are putting it.
being said let’s examine hospital funding and see how they make their money:
rents rather than buys hospitals so as a result private companies which own our
NHS hospitals can;
·Charge for television privileges (£10 per day)
·Only WH Smith stores not to sell books (I can only assume to
pressure longer staying patients into purchasing telly privileges or magazine after
·Car parking fees for people driving themselves in, visitors and
·Only afford to bulk buy microwave meals rather than cook high
quality and tasty food.
can fully sympathise with people thinking the NHS is losing its perspective, especially
when people are at times so bored if they cannot afford to pay for
entertainment that they go out of there mind. I had a mate tell me about a 3
day stint in hospital and he saw on the other side of the ward someone who
looked like he had been in for days: he looked like he was going out of his
mind: well who can afford £70 a week just to watch telly?
say you can’t put a price on happiness, well apparently you can; our NHS may be
free at point of entry but the fee’s start going up as soon as that point is
passed if you actually want the stay in hospital to be a comfortable
Ryanair is preparing to prosecute a pilot they sacked because he questioned the
safety record of the company on television?
it his job to ensure the safety of his passengers while he’s on a plane? I think
that it is absolutely disgraceful that that a company would sack someone for
whistleblowing safety concerns. Unfortunately it happens every day, sacking whistle-blowers.
The air travel company has been accused by pilots of encouraging them to carry a
minimalistic level of reserve fuel in order to save money.
a television documentary a pilot named Goss claims he received a ‘critical
letter’ telling him he was using too much fuel and that a lot of pilots had
safety concerns and little confidence in reporting systems.
standpoint on this matter was clear however: openly admitting you have safety
concerns is defamatory: goodbye. Didn’t we have a similar incident a few years
ago where a doctor was prosecuted for openly claiming a heart disease treatment
was unsafe? I can see a lots changed since then.
think that this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. A British county
council is actually considering charging older children for the care they receive.
I think it is absolutely disgraceful to charge older children for access to social
care, and absolutely stupid to charge parents for the use of social care. Yes
parents have responsibility for children, however social services already has a
certain level of stigma attached to it, parents being supported by them already
feel as though there looked down on as inadequate and if they are going to be
charged for access to services then they will be even more reluctant to seek
know I think it’s absolutely stupid claiming that increasing the minimum wage
would increase unemployment: Which western nation managed to cope with the
global recession the best? Australia; and what is the national minimum wage in
Australia? AU$16 per hour or AU$20 for casual staff. When translated into British currency that equals
£9.42 per hour for contracted staff and £11.79 for those of us on those highly exploitative Zero-hour contracts, quite an increase on the £6.19 we get over here in Blighty. For American readers; there is only about a 10-12% difference
between the Australian and American dollar so after doing a currency conversion
check: if you American readers were living in Oz you’d have the equivalent of a
$14.59 minimum wage if you had contracted hours or $18.25 if you’re a casual
makes a recession worse because in a capitalist system there is a reliance on
spending power to improve the economy, if people don’t have spending power then
the economy can’t grow. So if an economy exists where poor people are allowed
to exist it will always have a fragile economy, subject to crashes and
recessions. This means that the rich need to learn that economic stability is reliant
on money exchanging hands – not being horded in a bank account that is full
beyond any possibility of it ever being needed, yes people should have a
reserve and money for retirement, but not to excess.
that does is take large amounts of money out of circulation, which means it’s not actively being
used to support the capitalist system. This means that there needs to be a
fundamental change in the way we view money: we need to look at money as resource
first and not as private property. Don’t get me wrong people who work hard
should be rewarded for it. But that should mean that NOBODY who works for a
living is living in poverty. It means that keeping excess money once you’ve got
it should be just as hard as earning it in the first place.
think we’ve all heard the phrase that money is the root of all evil, well
thanks to capitalism it’s the lifeblood of western if not global civilisation:
and who ever heard of someone being able to buy and hoard dozens of times more
blood than they could ever need from a blood bank and keep frozen somewhere ‘just
in case’ while clinic operations ground to a halt: well that is what is being
done with low minimum wages and excessive wealth in the hands of the top 1%,
because people are suffering a level of poverty in the west not known for
decades, and there are people going hungry while a very small minority receive
each year more than some earn in a lifetime.
probably about to say something that is going to alienate a lot of my fellow Britain’s:
fact I’m not only pro-Europe I’m openly proud of my European citizenship: Almost
as proud of my European Citizenship as my British Citizenship (I did say almost).
I don’t support further integration of the E.U. and in a lot of ways I think it’s
doing a bad job: I think if it becomes too integrated, i.e. into a United
States of Europe then a lot of the advantages that it can bring will be
nullified, for example if we have a social problem that needs solving one thing
which can be done is to look at other countries which have had similar problems
and think ‘who’s idea worked best’, which if were so integrated we all have to
do the same thing cannot be done.
when it comes down to it we need the E.U. Look what happened a short time ago
when the British government announced a referendum after the next election:
business leaders for British business were on the case condemning it immediately.
Although my political viewpoint is leftist I do recognise the necessity of being
pro-business, especially when the economy is in such a mess – so I cannot take
the populist position of the E.U. as a good for nothing institution of money
does seem ironic, that someone who’s views are often referred to as ‘soft core
euro-scepticism’ seems so adamant that we be in the E.U., I may not like the
E.U. I do not but we do need a E.U., even if it isn’t this one. But yes the
E.U. does have a redeeming virtue, and this is one of the things I’m so proud
of my European Citizenship for: up until the 1940’s saying the nations of
Europe didn’t get on was an understatement: in the last century Europe was the
focal point for the only 2 world wars in human history and for centuries before
that we sailed the oceans shooting from ship to ship – we hated each other. And
in only a few decades we put aside centuries of hate and are now one of the world’s
leading emerging superpowers, a leader in trying to stamp out disease and war
and hunger throughout the globe, which is definitely something to be proud of.
when the pro-Europe arguments from Britain’s political parties start should the
referendum go forward please listen with an open mind to the pro-E.U. arguments
before turning up to vote.
totally agree with what Stephen Fry has written here, Russia over the past few
months has become so militant against the LGBT community that I simply don’t
think that they should be allowed to host any international event which could
allow them to reflect themselves in good light. A message of solidarity on behalf
of the LGBT community from the other governments of the world should most definitely
take place in the form of saying stop by taking the Olympics elsewhere.
this guy should go back to school. That’s where I learned what overseas aid is
used for: A few decades ago we as a species did something we had never done
before and have never done again since: we eradicated smallpox. We are only a
few years away from sending polio the same way with a global vaccination programme.
Should we cut that programme or keep it going? Bearing in mind before you
answer that dear readers that polio is so contagious and the time difference
between infection and the presentation of symptoms is so great that 1 case is
enough to declare an epidemic. As long as 1 person has polio in the world
everybody who hasn’t been vaccinated is at risk.
genuinely frightens me how much support UKIP are getting right now, they’ve had
so much bad press for not vetting there members properly and every so often someone
really crosses the mark and the party has to disavow themselves of him- the
other 3 parties might be out of touch in the UK but idiots like this are by no
means the solution.