A FAST-PACED DETECTIVE MYSTERY THAT WILL HAVE YOU GRIPPED FROM START TO DRAMATIC FINISH
A girl’s body is found. Her eyes, ears, and mouth have been sewn shut.
DCI Jack Callum leads the investigation into this gruesome crime which shatters the peace of a sleepy 1950s English town.
Images of three monkeys are sent to the police to taunt them: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Something very nasty is going on and more victims come to light. Who is doing this and why?
DCI Callum looks like he’s closing in on the culprits, but then a team of detectives from London is brought in to take over the case.
In a breathtaking finale, Callum must race against time, and break his own rules, to save someone very close to him.
If you like Robert Galbraith, Rachel Abbott, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer. Full of wonderful period detail and twists and turns
NO EVIL is the first in a new series of crime thrillers set in the 1950s, featuring DCI Jack Callum. He’s an ordinary policeman in an ordinary English town. The crimes he investigates are far from ordinary. Jack Callum has a keen mind and is passionate about his job and family. He doesn’t believe in capital punishment but has caught a few villains whose life has come to an end on the gallows.
The YouTube trailer https://youtu.be/mn5k_cH1qxg
Published by Joffe Books as ebook and paperback.
SUNDAY AUGUST 10th 1958
Frances Anderton planned to be home before breakfast. She let herself out of the Blainey house and took a deep lungful of the warm, summer air. She stepped down the crazy-paving, through the gate and out into the tree-lined street.
She walked briskly along the street, then continued under the trees into Glendale Road. A milkman trundled by, bottles rattling. Nobody else was about. She crossed the road and took the small lane that led to Riverdale Avenue, a few streets away from her parents’ house.
The previous evening her mother had sent her to stay with family friends, and now she was regretting the argument she’d had with her father. He’d never hit her, but last night he had come very close to it. All because of that stupid dress.
She was fourteen, for heaven’s sake! She should be allowed to dress how she liked. She was too old for the gymslips and ankle socks her father insisted she wear. She wouldn’t — couldn’t — remain his precious little girl forever. He should let her grow up. Fiona hadn’t had these problems, she was sure. Her older sister wore what she chose, and she went to parties, mixed with boys. Father didn’t make her life miserable.
She passed a young man, crouching down beside a gleaming motor scooter, in two-tone blue. He appeared to be tinkering with the engine.
“Hello,” he said. “It’s Frances, isn’t it?”
She was taken aback. “Yes. How do you know who I am?” He was smartly dressed in a fawn jacket and cream slacks. His fair hair was short, neatly parted and combed, and he was very good looking. He was smiling, looking straight at her. Suddenly she was aware of her freckles, the wire braces on her teeth, and her unruly shock of ginger hair.
“You’re Fiona Anderton’s sister, aren’t you?”
“Are you a friend of Fiona’s?”
“Oh, yes, Fiona and I go back a long way. Derek Webster.” He held out his hand.
“Very pleased to meet you.”
“Likewise. What do you think of the scooter?” he said. “I’ve only had it a few weeks.”
“It’s very . . . smart.”
“It’s more than smart,” he said. “It’s a Phoenix, designed by the great Ernie Barratt; it’s got an all steel body and a 150cc engine. There’re not many of these around.”
She wasn’t really sure what she was supposed to be looking at, but pretended she did.
“Would you like a go?”
“I . . . I don’t know how.”
He laughed. “Not drive it,” he said. “I’ll take you for a spin, if you like, on the pillion.”
“I’d better not.”
“Don’t you trust me?” he said. “Don’t you think I can ride it properly?”
“No, it’s not that. I’m sure you ride very well.”
“Then where’s the harm?”
She glanced down at her Timex Alice in Wonderland wristwatch. Embarrassed by it, she covered it with the sleeve of her blouse. “I don’t want to be late for breakfast,” she said.
“You worry too much,” he said. “Your sister doesn’t.”
“All right then,” she said, nettled. “Take me for a ride on your wonderful Phoenix.”
“Well done. Just hop on and hold onto my waist. I’ll have you home in time for breakfast.” He straddled the machine and steadied it as she climbed aboard.
* * *
She settled behind him, and he eased it forward off its stand. Moments later they were heading down the street.
“Not too fast!” she called above the engine’s noise.
“Just relax,” he called back, “and when I lean into a bend, follow my lead and lean the same way.”
Within minutes they had left the leafy streets behind and were heading into a part of town she didn’t recognise. The neat houses with their tidy gardens were replaced by warehouses and factories surrounded by chain-link fencing.
“Where are we going?” she called.
“Away from the traffic,” he called back. “I want to show you what this beauty can do.” His hand jerked up, twisting the accelerator. The engine rose in pitch and, thrust backwards, she held tighter onto his waist.
The scent of his hair oil was almost overpowering, and she turned her face aside to take a lungful of fresh air.
“I think I’ve had enough now.”
He didn’t answer. They had entered a long, straight stretch of road and he increased their speed still further.
“I’d like to go home,” she said, but the air buffeting her face whipped away her words.
Moments later they had left the chain-link fences behind. Now there were streets with houses.
“I want to go back now!”
Finally he acknowledged her. “Yes, of course.” They were slowing down. “I just have to make a stop and then I’ll take you straight home.”
“Thank you,” she said with relief.
The avenue was lined with trees. He made a left turn, into a drive leading to a large Victorian house surrounded by high privet hedges, that stood apart from its neighbours. He drew up outside and switched off the engine.
“I just have a call to make,’ he said as he dismounted.
“Should I come with you?”
“No, you wait here. I’ll only be a moment.”
She watched him as he trotted up the steps, unlocked the front door and disappeared inside.
She sat on the pillion and looked at her watch again. It had only been twenty minutes since he had offered her a ride, but it seemed much longer, and she was starting to wish she had never accepted. She wished she was back home, enjoying breakfast with her family, making peace with her father. She wasn’t cut out to be a rebel.
* * *
She had one foot on the ground and was about to go and see how much longer he was going to be when someone grabbed her roughly from behind. A cloth — a rag or a pad that smelled sweet and sickly — came down tightly over her nose and mouth. She had no time to cry out; whoever had grabbed her was strong, and she was hauled backwards off the scooter. She flailed her arms and kicked out with her sandaled feet. One foot connected with the rear fender, gashing her toe.
She was dragged back over the ground, her feet kicking out weakly. Then her eyes closed, and she sank into blackness.
* * *
Webster walked from the house, unfolded the wad of crisp one-pound notes, and slipped them into his wallet. He kick-started the scooter, and seconds later was steering out of the drive and into the street. At the gateway he paused and looked back at the house. The front door was closed and the place looked empty, almost abandoned. A slight pang of guilt caused him to shiver, until he felt the reassuring weight of the calfskin wallet in his pocket, and the thought of the money, so easily made, banished it from his mind.
“Until next time,” he said, and twisted the accelerator, off to begin his Sunday. He was hungry; looking forward to his eggs and bacon breakfast. All this activity had given him an appetite.
* * *
Derek Webster walked into the ABC café. As he approached between the tables topped with Formica, the smaller of the two youths waiting for him rose and went across to the counter. A fat, balding, middle-aged man wearing a creased white shirt and scruffy grey trousers was dispensing tea from a large stainless steel pot into white enamel mugs. “Three teas,” said David Neville.
“Wait your turn,” the man behind the counter said and nodded towards the two people standing there.
“Yes,” Neville said. “Of course.”
Webster went over to the table where the larger youth was sitting, and pulled out a chair. “All right, Pete?” he said.
Peter Lamb folded his face into something resembling a smile and nodded. “Davy’s just getting the tea,” he said.
“I want more than just tea. I’ve had a busy morning.” Webster looked at the blackboard behind the counter, where the day’s menu was written in neat, precise capital letters. “I think I’ll have a full English breakfast.”
Neville returned, slopping tea as he set the mugs down.
“So?” Lamb said. “How did it go?”
“Like clockwork,” Webster said. “Piece of cake.” He poured a stream of white sugar into his mug from the glass dispenser.
“Was Gavin happy?”
“He seemed to be,” Webster said. “But you’d know better than I would on that score.”
“What do you mean?” The smile slid off Lamb’s face.
Neville watched the exchange with interest, “Well, you two are —”
Lamb’s hand shot out from beneath the table and gripped him around the throat, hauling him from his chair.
“We’re what?” said Lamb, tightening his grip.
“Friends,” Webster said quickly, as Neville’s face began to turn crimson. “He meant friends; good mates, that’s all. That’s right, isn’t it, Davy?”
Neville managed to nod his head. Lamb drew in a breath and released his grip. Neville collapsed into his seat, clawing at the top button of his shirt.
“When does he want us to get rid of her?” Lamb said, calm now.
“He said he’d telephone.”
“It’s your job,” Lamb said.
Webster smiled. “I know,” he said. “I know just the place to dump her.”
Neville picked up his mug and took a noisy gulp. It hurt to swallow.
Lamb glared at him. “You get rid of the next one,” he said to Neville. “So put your mind to it.”
“I know, Pete. I know.” Neville wiped tea from his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Good.” Lamb turned towards Webster. “Did he pay you?”
Webster smiled, took out his wallet and set it down on the grey Formica.
When Peter Lamb had first approached him and asked if he wanted to make some easy money, he had jumped at the chance. He’d had his eye on the Phoenix 150 for some time, but the scooter cost too much. These little jobs he was doing for his old school friend Lamb and, by extension, Gavin Southland, had enabled him to put a down payment on the Phoenix and meet the weekly instalments. He’d been reluctant to bring in David Neville but Lamb had suggested it, probably for the reason that Neville had access to his father’s car. When he and Lamb had introduced them, Gavin Southland had seemed to warm to Neville. Webster guessed Neville’s “pretty boy” looks had impressed the older man.
Lamb was staring at the wallet. “Well?”
Webster picked up the wallet and flipped it open. “Same split as usual?”
“Why shouldn’t it be?” Lamb said.
Webster took out the wad of one-pound notes and started counting them into three equal piles. “Money for old rope, this.”
“I told you it would be,” Lamb said, scooping up his cut and jamming the notes into his jeans’ pocket.
Webster picked up his mug and raised it. “Here’s to the next one. May they keep coming.”
Lamb and Neville touched mugs.
No Evil is our first crime thriller. Set in the 1950’s it is Dixon Of Dock Green investigates Hannibal Lector, Fred Thursday of Endeavour meets Se7en.
Joffe Books are an exciting London based publisher.
JACK CALLUM DOSSIER
John “Jack” Callum:
1910: Born, Bulwer Road, Edmonton.
1921: Attends Tottenham Grammar School.
1928: Goes into training at Hendon Police College. Starts work at Edmonton Police Station in Fore Street, rising through the police ranks to Detective Sergeant
1939: Joins the army at the start of the war and is seconded to Military Intelligence where he reaches the rank of Captain. Serves with them during the war, but doesn’t like to talk about it.
1946: On demob rejoins the police, rising rapidly through the ranks until –
1956: Becomes Detective Chief Inspector and really feels he’s reached his level.
1939: Marries his childhood sweetheart Anne just before the outbreak of war.
1939: first daughter, Joan is born
1941: Gets Annie pregnant during his leave.
1942: Daughter Rose (Rosie) born.
1944: Son Eric born.
1948: Transfers to the North Herts constabulary, preferring a less demanding and dangerous job, to see more of his wife and children. Buys a house just outside Letchworth.
Height 6 foot 1 inch.
Weight 13 stone (182 pounds)
Learned to box in his time with both the police and the army. Doesn’t box now but keeps himself fit with daily runs, and with cycling.
Doesn’t smoke cigarettes but enjoys the occasional pipe.
Likes a drink but not to excess.
Likes plain English cooking.
Doesn’t like fancy foreign food
Drives a Morris Oxford Series III, two-tone green.
Fiercely loyal to Anne. Loves her deeply and believes marriage is for life. Calls her Annie. She calls him Jack, or Dad in front of the children.
Loves his children equally and has a firm but fair style of parenting.
Both parents still alive and they live in retirement in a small village in Dorset.
Loves his garden. Grows vegetables and Dahlias.
Has a dog – a golden Labrador retriever Lassie whom he takes for walks and she accompanies him when he goes running.
LIKES: Gilbert and Sullivan, John Hanson and other good singers. Ealing comedies and Alfred Hitchcock films (thinks Rear Window is one of his finest, but in general prefers Hitchcock’s English films). Variety theatre – favourites Max Miller and the Crazy Gang. Doesn’t read newspapers except for the football results and the crosswords but is always defeated by them so usually doesn’t bother, but he likes books. Graeme Greene, John Buchan, but has no time for Agatha Christie, feeling her books are too tidy with neat endings, and thinks her portrayal of the English police is vaguely insulting.
Listens to his records and the radio, mostly the Home service and Third program. His idea of a good night out is to take Anne up to London to see a show or to go dancing, He’s not a particularly good dancer but is light on his feet thanks to his boxing training, but Anne loves dancing and is very good, so he likes to please her.
He has a keen mind and is passionate about his job. Doesn’t believe in capital punishment but has caught a few villains whose life has come to an end on the gallows.
MAYNARD SIMS www.maynard-sims.com Len Maynard & Mick Sims are the authors of sixteen novels with more scheduled, in the genres of supernatural horror, the Department 18 series, crime thrillers and erotic romance. They have written screenplays, and one, based on the first two Department 18 books, won the 2013 British Horror Film Festival Award for Best New Screenplay. Numerous stories and novellas have been published in a variety of anthologies and magazines and Death’s Sweet Echo is their tenth collection. They worked as editors on Darkness Rising, they co-edited and published F20 with The British Fantasy Society, and as editors/publishers they ran Enigmatic Press in the UK, which produced Enigmatic Tales, and its sister titles