By Christopher Fowler
It’s a criminal offense tailored for the odd Crimes Unit: a arguable artist is murdered and displayed as a part of her personal outrageous deploy. No suspects, no reason, no evidence—but this time they do have an eyewitness. A twelve-year-old claims the killer was once a cape-clad highwayman atop a black stallion. Whoever the killer relatively is, he turns out reason on killing off adequate minor celebrities to develop into one himself. As “Highwayman Fever” grips London, Bryant and should, in addition to the latest member of the Unit, May’s agoraphobic granddaughter, April, locate themselves checking out a case regarding creative rivalries, sleazy intercourse affairs, the Knights Templars, feuding highway gangs, and a decades-old crime spree that cut up up their partnership as soon as before—and threatens to finish it again…with murder.
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Stroke. We buried her on Tuesday. i attempted calling your cellular, yet there has been no resolution. ’ ‘There wouldn’t were. I traded one, and dropped the opposite in a gap i used to be digging. this is often lousy information. terrible previous Dorothy, what a poor disgrace. i assume she had a very good run, notwithstanding. provide me the identify of her nearest relative and I’ll ship a few pears. ’ ‘She had no family left alive, Mr Bryant. i used to be the nearest to her. Er, pears? ’ ‘Golden scrumptious. She enjoyed them, and so they can plant the pips. ’ A terrible notion struck the detective. ‘What’s going to occur to the Huxley assortment now? ’ ‘It’s in secure hands,’ Frank guaranteed him. ‘She handed the construction over to me at the situation that its objective as a library remained unaltered. ’ ‘Could she do this? I suggest, you’re now not her subsequent of family. ’ ‘Actually, i'm. ’ Frank stroked the facet of his lengthy nostril thoughtfully. ‘She legally followed me 4 years in the past. ’ ‘Dorothy by no means advised me that. ’ ‘That’s since you simply ever got here to determine her if you happen to sought after info. ’ Bryant wasn’t used to a person answering again, and used to be momentarily stumped for a answer. ‘She did it in order that Greenwich Council wouldn’t manage to contact the construction. They’ve been sniffing round, sensing a true property killing to be made, yet we’ve foiled them. ’ ‘Good for her. She was once continually a artful outdated chicken. ’ ‘I consistently desired to ask you—did you exit together with her as soon as? ’ requested Frank. ‘I heard she used to be a bit a goer in her time. ’ ‘That’s none of what you are promoting, whether you're her son. ’ Bryant bridled. ‘Really, this prurience is such a lot distasteful. I’m convinced she may have sought after us to proceed as common, so I’m right here to avail myself of your utilities. ’ ‘You suggest you’re trying to find a ebook. ’ ‘Precisely so. ’ He seemed round, smacking his lips, doubtful. ‘Dorothy constantly knew the place every thing was once . . . ’ ‘And so do I, Mr Bryant. It’s not easy to proportion a room with a person for 20 years with out studying every little thing they recognize. What are you after? ’ ‘A canting dictionary. you recognize, an English code of thieves and cutthroats. I remember that highwaymen and outlaws used their very own language to go away messages for every different, in a lot a similar manner that burglars nonetheless mark homes this present day. I puzzled in the event that they had ever devoted their code to print. ’ ‘Such a booklet might, by means of its very nature, were illegally released, yet I’ll see what i will be able to locate in our inner most Reference part. ’ Thunder rolled lazily around the roof of the library, rustling the damp pages of forgotten periodicals and polishing the air with static. ‘I’ll have to get a light,’ Frank defined. ‘The electrics don’t paintings again the following. ’ Bryant extracted an extended steel usherette’s torch from the voluminous folds of his overcoat. ‘Don’t fear, i've got my partner’s Valiant. ’ They made their means among stacks of books, like divers negotiating coral reefs, until eventually they reached a row of rusting cupboards. precise to his note, Frank knew precisely the place to appear. He lifted down a heavy leather-based quantity with mouse-chewed corners and laid it at the desk.