Monday 10 April 2017
‘Bloody hell, I can’t believe you found it, Tweedledee.’ Fraser was ecstatic. The information he and Ali Corbyn had been so desperate to discover had been uncovered by Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
‘Guv, can you please, for the love of God, stop calling us Tweedledee and Tweedledum. It’s humiliating. Not to mention that because you’ve done it for so long, it probably comes under the HR department’s harassment policy.’ Fed up with his mocking, Pendleton threw the file at Fraser’s chest and walked off.
‘Come back, Pendleton,’ Fraser called. ‘You did well to uncover this information. Really well. And I appreciate the work you did to get it. Thank you.’
Pendleton returned to his desk. ‘Thanks, Guv.’
‘What about me, Guv? Does this mean you’ll stop calling me names too?’ DC Ivan Burkett asked.
‘Well now, let me see. What did you do to find this?’ Fraser held up the file Pendleton had thrown at him. Burkett’s expression of hope dropped from his face as quickly as he’d put it on. ‘I’m kidding, Burkett. Yes, I’ll stop calling you Tweedledum.’
Ali snatched the file from Fraser’s hand, inflicting a deep paper cut as she did.
‘Ow, shit, Ali. That hurt. Now I’m going to bleed all over the place. Someone get me a band aid, please.’
‘Toughen up, princess,’ Ali fired back as she opened the file and began to read the information Pendleton and Burkett had gathered. ‘Shit. This is big, Jack.’
‘Yes, it is,’ Burkett said.
‘What, Ali? What is it?’ Fraser licked the blood from the paper cut.
‘Benjamin Rowe is really Roy Mackey?’ Fraser was confused.
‘No, you numpty,’ Ali replied. ‘Benjamin Rowe was in witness protection because he testified against Roy Mackey.’
‘That explains why he’s been so difficult to identify. What’s his real name?’
‘Don Mackey. He’s Roy Mackey’s nephew,’ announced Ali. Fraser shook his head as frustration overwhelmed him again.
‘We’re screwed then,’ Fraser said.
‘Why, Guv?’ asked Burkett.
Fraser lowered himself into Burkett’s chair, as the detective constable perched himself on the edge of his partner’s desk. Ali paced back and forth behind Jack, running through scenarios on how to deal with Benjamin Rowe’s death.
‘Well, Burkett, we have a problem because our victim is the nephew of Roy Mackey.’
‘And who’s he?’ Yorkshire born and bred, Burkett had no idea of the organised crime families in London.
‘The Mackeys go way back in London crime folklore, Burkett. Three or four generations of them ran the streets. Originally worked their way up from runners and bag boys to soldiers, all the way through to managing the business end of the Milton-Moore crime gang.’
Burkett and Pendleton were hanging on every word Jack Fraser spoke. Ali was still in a world of her own, trying to figure out how their victim had ended up with his head smashed in.
‘So, Guv, how did these Mackeys get to run the streets?’ Pendleton wanted more.
‘Desmond Milton-Moore died. He was bumped off. The coppers at the time thought it was Roy Mackey who ended the Milton-Moore dynasty, but no one could prove it. Always kept himself clean as a whistle, Roy Mackey. The official records state that Des was murdered by person or persons unknown, and conveniently, Roy Mackey and his band of merry shysters, murderers, and arseholes were able to take over the Milton-Moore crew without any opposition. He’s run the streets ever since.’
‘Guv, if this Roy Mackey’s run the streets for years, how come I’ve never heard of him?’
Fraser shook his head. ‘Burkett, I’ve just finished explaining that Mackey keeps himself clean. For all intents and purposes, Roy Mackey runs a clean, a legitimate business. He has legitimate business interests, always appears to operate within the law. He gets his boys to do all the dirty work.’
Burkett nodded his understanding.
‘What’s the next step then, Guv?’ Pendleton joined the conversation.
‘I don’t know, DC Pendleton, I don’t know.’
‘I do,’ Ali spoke with confidence. ‘We question Roy Mackey, find out why his nephew ended up dead. Find out if he knows his nephew’s dead. Put some pressure on him, see what he knows, and when he found out.’
‘Yeah, good plan, Marple,’ Fraser said. ‘The trouble is, Roy Mackey’s not going to let us anywhere near him. And, if by some stroke of good luck, we do get to speak to him, anything he tells us about Benjamin Rowe or Don Mackey is going to be tainted because of the fact the guy testified against Roy. He’s not going to be sympathetic towards us trying to solve this murder.’
‘We still have to try, Jack.’ Ali stopped pacing and looked at Fraser.
PC Dave Anderson watched the enclave of detectives discussing strategy for the Benjamin Rowe case. Sooner or later they’d discover the real identity of the murder victim, then they’d make the link between the victim and Roy Mackey, and that would inevitably lead back to Anderson himself. Mackey would drop him right in it if they questioned him over Rowe’s death.
* * * * *
Raised champagne glasses chimed against each other in a toast. Roy Mackey smiled at his guests, only three of whom knew the real reason behind the impromptu celebration. With the guests returning to their conversations, Mackey wandered through the dining room and out onto the back patio. His three minders followed. Roy casually checked to ensure no other guests followed his lead. Happy that no one else was joining them outside, Roy gave his orders.
‘PC Dave is my new problem. Don’t think he’s capable of keeping his mouth shut, so it needs to be shut permanently. I want it done quickly, but it needs to look like an accident or a suicide. Anything that detracts attention away from me. Now that Don’s out of the way permanently as well, PC Dave is the last loose end. Sort it, boys. And don’t come back here until it’s done properly.’
Mackey’s minders left by the side gate, on their way to Dave Anderson’s home.
. . . To be continued . . .