Author’s note: To Franta, if you can’t work out whether Bohen’s curiosity translates into guilt, then I guess I’m doing something right!
Seriously, I think you will have a question or two answered in this chapter. Maybe.
Office of Dean David Graham,
David Graham was waiting for them when they arrived back at the university, a small apologetic smile on his face at their obvious surprise.
“Amon called just a couple of minutes ago,” he explained. “He said you asked him about me while interviewing him. I gathered from what he said that you were probably going to be turning up back here fairly soon.”
Jack, Goren and Eames exchanged quick glances. One suspect tipping off another suspect equalled collaboration in all their books. Graham was looking thoroughly sheepish by then.
“I probably just put my foot very firmly in my mouth then, didn’t I?”
“You might say that,” Jack agreed.
“Well… I suppose that you probably want me to come with you back to the station. I assure you, though, that’s not necessary. I’m quite willing to answer any questions you might have, if I can.”
Jack gave a short, dry laugh.
“Well, if only everyone was so cooperative.”
Graham indicated his office door.
“Shall we go through to my office? I’ll have my secretary bring in tea and coffee.”
“So what would you like to know?” Graham asked as they sat on the comfortable sofas with mugs of hot tea or coffee.
“Erik Mathers is your son,” Goren said bluntly. Graham looked ruefully at Jack.
“Doesn’t pull any punches, does he?”
“We don’t have time for niceties,” Jack said. “There’s a killer to catch.”
“Fair enough,” Graham murmured apologetically. “Yes, Detective Goren, I’m aware that Erik is my son. I did not, however, become certain of that fact until after your previous visit. I recognised the name, of course, when I was contacted by Detective Sergeant Toolan, but I didn’t know for certain until I’d read his file for myself.”
Eames regarded him sceptically.
“So what you’re saying is that your son spent a year at the same university where you taught, and you didn’t even know?”
“Is it really such a stretch of the imagination?” Graham asked. “Erik never made any effort to approach me… At least, not that I’m aware of As far as I know, he didn’t even know I was here. So I’m afraid I’m really not much help to you.”
“You were a member of the archery club, right?” Jack asked. Graham smiled a little.
“Still am, Inspector. I love the sport quite passionately.”
He motioned to the wall, indicating a mint condition long bow that hung there, and a display case filled with arrows. Goren got up awkwardly, and limped across to the wall for a closer look.
“I noticed these when we were in here yesterday. Long bows like these can’t be easy… or cheap to come by.”
“They’re not,” Graham confirmed. “It’s the pride of what is unfortunately a rather small collection. I couldn’t use it to save my life, but I love having it there to admire.”
“It reminds me of the types of weapons described in The Lord of the Rings,” Goren said, coming back to sit down once more beside Eames, deliberately ignoring the look she shot at him as she pushed the walking stick back into his hand. By then, Graham was looking positively delighted.
“Doesn’t it, just? I was tempted to have it engraved, but there’s no one in this area with the skill to do it, and I couldn’t really bear having it out of my sight for so long. But if you don’t mind me asking, how is the subject of archery relevant?”
“Amon Bohen introduced Erik to the archery club,” Goren replied. “From what we’ve been told, he was there a lot… Up to three times a week.”
“Ah. And you’re thinking that if I didn’t meet up with Erik anywhere on the campus, I probably did at the club. I see your logic, but again, I’m afraid I can’t help you. It’s entirely possible that I did meet him at the club, but if he knew who I was, he certainly didn’t let on. And I most certainly didn’t recognise him. Even now, I have no idea what he looks like. Would, ah… that is, if you don’t mind me asking… I know my son committed some terrible crimes, but I’m just not very good at following international news. Where is Erik now? Is he in prison?”
Goren and Eames exchanged grim looks, each wondering how much they should disclose. Graham sighed faintly, reading their expressions accurately.
“I see. He’s dead, isn’t he? May I ask what happened?”
Again, silence met the question. Then, finally, Goren spoke in an admirably even voice.
“Your son was shot dead by a police officer before he could kill one of his last two victims.”
Graham shook his head sadly.
“Tragic. I take it, though, that his last two victims survived?”
“They did,” Eames said firmly.
“Well, thank God for that,” Graham murmured. He paused, then went on thoughtfully. “I assume that you’re hoping to unmask this new killer by learning as much as you can about the twelve months Erik stayed here?”
“Yes, something like that,” Jack said vaguely.
“Well, I’m sorry I can’t be of more help to you. But I can’t tell you what I don’t know. There is something else I can tell you, though. Not about Erik, but about Amon Bohen. Whether it has anything to do with this current business, I couldn’t say, but it would probably be beneficial for you to know. Four or five years back, before my tenure as Dean started, Amon very nearly lost his job. He conducted a highly unorthodox experiment with some of his student, and apparently it went horribly awry.”
“Unorthodox?” Eames asked. “How do you mean, unorthodox?”
“Well, I don’t know the details myself. The record of it was removed before I took over. All I know is that it was approved by his department head, but apparently the experiment got terribly out of hand, and a student was nearly killed. If you want details, you’d best speak to Richard Cobb. He was the department head when it happened. He’s retired now, but I’m sure he won’t mind speaking to you. I know for a fact that he wanted Amon sacked, but the Dean… my predecessor… wouldn’t agree.”
“Were charges ever filed?” Goren asked.
“No criminal charges were laid,” Graham answered. “I know that much, because Amon would not still be teaching here otherwise. Even the Dean couldn’t have saved him his job had that been the case. It did cost him, though. When Richard retired two years ago, Amon threw his hat in the ring for promotion to department head and he was soundly knocked back by the governing board. Quite bitter about it, he was. Came to me one evening and asked if I couldn’t influence things in his favour. I couldn’t, of course. Those sorts of matters are completely out of my hands. Amon went away very angry, I’m afraid.”
“We’d like the contact details for Richard Cobb,” Eames said firmly. Graham nodded obligingly.
“I’ll get those for you before you leave. Was there, ah… anything else?”
“Yes,” Jack said as they got up. “We’d appreciate it if you’d present yourself at the CID precinct before the end of today and submit to a DNA swab. Totally voluntary on your part, of course. For the moment.”
Graham smiled in understanding.
“In other words, Inspector, volunteer now, or you’ll serve me with a warrant later. Fair enough. I have a meeting to attend, and then I shall… present myself immediately after I’ve been home to sort out a few things. All right?”
“Thankyou, that’ll be fine.”
“You’re not really going to trust him to voluntarily turn up at CID to give a DNA sample, are you?” Eames asked incredulously as she, Goren and Jack headed back to Jack’s car. Jack merely smiled, and hit speed dial on his cell phone.
“George…? Yes, we’re just leaving the university now. We have one other person to interview and then we’ll be on our way back… Oh? Yes, of course, tell him I’ll be happy to do that. What I need you to do is give it approximately one hour, then come out to the university and pick up David Graham, and take him back to CID to provide a DNA sample. …No, you won’t need a warrant. He’s already offered to provide it voluntarily. Let’s just say we want to be sure it doesn’t slip his mind. All right?”
“Sly,” Eames commented with a smile. “We like that.”
“Yes, well, you didn’t really think I’d trust someone to show up to give a DNA sample on their own recognisance, do you? By the way, Bobby, your physio appointment has been shifted to one o’clock, courtesy of your captain. He asked if I minded making sure you got there, protests notwithstanding.”
Goren held up his hands defensively.
“No protests here. After last night, I’m glad it’s sooner rather than later.”
“That silly twit of a kid really knocked you about, didn’t he?” Jack asked. Goren winced visibly as he got into the car.
“Yeah… But it could have been worse.”
Jack paused, eyeing Goren sceptically as the big detective struggled to get his injured leg into a position that didn’t grieve him too much.
“Oh really? How?”
“He was warned when his doctor released him from the Rehab Centre,” Eames explained. “If he broke his leg again, especially inside the next six months or so, it would really finish things off. He’d never fully recover from it, and he would probably always need the brace and walking stick.”
“I’d say that’s worse,” Jack agreed. He glanced at the clock. It read eleven-thirty. “If we get out to see Richard Cobb now, we’ll just have time for lunch before your appointment. Unless you’d prefer to wait until afterwards…?”
“I’d rather not eat right before physio,” Goren said apologetically. “Doesn’t go down too well. You two can get something while I’m with the therapist, though.”
Eames reached over and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.
“And let you go through physio on your own? No way, Bobby. That’s not how we work, and you know it. Lunch can wait. Jack…?”
Jack nodded amiably. “Fine by me. Cobb, physio and lunch it is, in that order.”
Richard Cobb turned out to be an elderly man whose body was starting to fail him, but whose mind was still sharp as a tack. He welcomed the three detectives into his small, self-contained unit at the local retirement village, apologising profusely for not being able to offer them tea or coffee.
“Quite all right,” Jack said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “We won’t keep you for long, Mr Cobb. We just had a few questions about Amon Bohen.”
Cobb stared at Jack for a long moment, the friendly smile fading rapidly from his face.
“Amon Bohen? There’s a name I’d hoped I’d never hear again. Sadistic bastard.”
Goren, Eames and Jack all exchanged glances. That was a completely unprovoked reaction. It was going to prove interesting to see just how much Cobb was willing to divulge to them.
“We were told you gave approval for Bohen to perform an experiment,” Eames said. Cobb scowled at the memory.
“Yes, and God forgive me, I wish I hadn’t. But when Amon outlaid it to me, it seemed perfectly reasonable. I never imagined he’d take it as far as he did.”
“Can you tell us what happened?” Goren asked quietly.
“Amon called it Hide and Seek for Adults. I suppose that alone should have tipped me off. There’s an old house… or, at least, there was an old house on the eastern side of Denton… A big place that bordered the Denton Woods. It looked like your stereotypical haunted house. It had fifty or more rooms, and was filled with hidden passages, and the like. So the stories go, at any rate. Amon got permission to use it over the course of a weekend. He hand-picked a dozen students to participate. Half were classed as prisoners, and the other half were the jailers.”
“We know this experiment,” Eames said ruefully. Cobb shook his head.
“Not this particular version, Detective. You see, what Amon conveniently left out of his campaign to me was that the half that were prisoners were to be given three hours to hide, and after that three hours was up, the other students would be sent into the house to hunt them down. He also neglected to tell me that he was going to provide the students doing the hunting with weapons.”
Goren and Eames exchanged grim looks. That was an altogether too familiar scenario. Cobb went on, seemingly unaware of their reactions.
“The students doing the hunting were given a free hand. One of them claimed Amon had told them they were to use whatever measures they felt were necessary in order to ‘capture and subdue’ their prey.” Cobb shook his head in distress. “I never learned the exact details of what went on inside that house, but when those students were released, three of them claimed they’d been tortured physically and psychologically. Out of the other three, two refused to talk about the experience, and one was deemed too traumatised to be able to even remember being in there in the first place. The police looked into it, but in the end they had to drop their investigation. They could not find any evidence of the physical torture that was claimed, and psychological torture is notoriously difficult to prosecute. I campaigned for Amon’s dismissal, but the university had no grounds to sack him after the police ceased investigating. In the end, he was reprimanded, and that is more or less all that came of it.” Cobb paused, then looked at each of them. “I never trusted Amon again after that. I couldn’t. A couple of times he came to me wanting permission to conduct experiments, but I never gave my consent to him again. All I can say is that he’s damned lucky none of those students were killed.”
“Sounds like the professor decided to try doing a bit of Erik’s research for him,” Eames muttered as they headed back to Jack’s car a short time later. Jack shot Goren a dark look.
“Not a sadist, eh?”
Goren frowned. “I still don’t believe that he’s capable of carrying out those acts himself. On the other hand, there is every chance that he is the one psychologically manipulating the person who is doing the actual killings.”
“Oh, that’s great!” Jack exploded. “That is an absolutely brilliant insight, Bobby. What a pity you couldn’t have enlightened us earlier. Say, when we actually had Professor Bohen in custody!”
“I’m sorry, Jack,” Goren said wearily, “but the point is that right now it’s speculation, nothing more. We don’t have any hard evidence pointing back to him. It’s all just hearsay. We couldn’t even hold him for twenty-four hours on what we have so far.”
Jack let his breath out in a rush.
“Sorry, but this is starting to get frustrating. I keep waiting for the next body to turn up. Anyway, my money is still on the professor. I say it’s him, or perhaps one of his students. I might have Hazel get a warrant so we can examine the records of his current students. I don’t know… Maybe we’ll get lucky.”
“Great,” Eames moaned as they climbed back into Jack’s car. “More reading.”
Jack glanced at his watch. “Yes, but not yet. First we’re off to the hospital, and then to lunch.”
Jack awoke with a start to the shrill sound of his cell phone ringing. He sat frozen for a long moment, his mind a muddle before he finally remembered where he was. Specifically, he was sitting in one rather uncomfortable plastic chair in the corridor outside the physiotherapy suite. A glance at his watch told him it was just after half-past one, meaning Goren would be perhaps another twenty or thirty minutes at the most, assuming there really hadn’t been any serious harm done in the knock he’d taken from Adrian Bailey.
Sighing faintly, he answered the call.
Eames looked around in vague surprise as Jack strode into the physio room, his face a mask of anxiety.
Jack hesitated in answering, looking across the floor to where the physio was working with Goren. The detective was lying on a long, waist high table while the therapist massaged and manipulated his right leg. The pained look on his face was enough to give anyone pause.
“Is he all right?”
“He will be.”
“He just seems to be in quite a bit of pain.”
“It can’t be helped. Cope with a little bit of pain now, or suffer the consequences later. Bobby learnt the hard way.”
“Oh? How do you mean?”
“When he was released from hospital back home, he decided to accidentally on purpose forget about his first physio session as an outpatient. When I went to see him a day or so after that, I found him on the floor in his bedroom. He was in so much pain that he couldn’t move. He’d been there on the floor for nearly a day… couldn’t even move to reach the phone to call for help, it was that bad. I had to call an ambulance, and he spent another couple of weeks in hospital. So as much as he hates the physio, he’s never missed another appointment. He knows from experience what could happen if he does.”
Jack continued to watch the physio work with Goren for a long moment before he suddenly remembered what he had come in for in the first place.
“I just got a call from George. Amon Bohen is dead.”
Eames did a double-take, staring at him in shock.
“He was found a short while ago in his office, found by his secretary. Had an arrow, straight through his throat.”
“We need to get out to the university, quickly as possible.”
“All right. Let me go and tell Bobby.”
“Come to rescue me?” Goren asked hopefully as Eames approached. She offered him a half-hearted smile, then looked over at the physiotherapist.
“Is he nearly done?”
“Another twenty minutes or so,” was the bland reply. Goren looked at her questioningly.
“What is it?”
“Amon Bohen was just found dead in his office at the university, with an arrow clean through his throat.”
Goren sat up fast – a little too fast, wincing at the pain that flared through his leg.
The therapist shot Goren a threatening look.
“No, we’re not. Lie back down Detective Goren. You aren’t going anywhere until I’m done, and that won’t be for at least another ten minutes at the absolute minimum.”
“We have to go…” Goren protested, trying to get up only to have the therapist push him very firmly back down.
“Don’t make me resort to admitting you for the afternoon, Detective. You can go in ten minutes. No sooner.”
Goren looked pleadingly at Eames, his expression begging her for help. Eames nodded, and had to fight an urge to laugh.
“We’ll bring him back first thing tomorrow morning. Scout’s honour.”
The look she got suggested the therapist was less than convinced. Finally, though, he conceded with a sigh and stepped back from the table, allowing Goren to sit up.
“All right, but I want to see you back here promptly tomorrow morning, no later than eight. And I mean in the morning! You’re the one who’ll suffer if you don’t keep that appointment.”
“Scout’s honour,” Goren promised quickly as he swung himself off the table. The physio frowned darkly at him.
“I’m not kidding, Detective Goren. You’d better come back tomorrow morning, or I guarantee you’ll be in here as an in-patient before you can make it to your next appointment.”
“I’ll be back in the morning,” Goren insisted. “I promise.”
The therapist still looked sceptical, but conceded with a reluctant nod.
“So that’s one theory blown clean out of the water,” Jack muttered disconsolately as he drove them back to the university. Eames grimaced.
“I don’t know. I’m starting to get a horrible sense of dejavu. This is what happened back home. We had a suspect lined up… We thought we were close to being able to make an arrest, and then our suspect turned up dead, and we found ourselves back at square one.”
“Not to mention it was at about this point that Mathers grabbed us,” Goren added. Eames sighed.
“Yeah, thanks for that reminder, Bobby.”
“Well, we aren’t exactly back at square one,” Jack mused. “Pretty damn close, mind you, but not completely.” I’m liking more than ever now the theory that one of Bohen’s students is the killer. Perhaps they got worried… thought that Bohen was close to giving them up.”
“Maybe,” Goren murmured. “Or, perhaps they were pissed off… Maybe they thought that we were more or less giving Bohen the credit for work that wasn’t his.”
“A jealous killer?” Jack asked. “Wonderful.”
“Well, most killers have a big ego,” Goren said. “Particularly killers like this one. And that might be the way to lure him out.”
Jack glanced quizzically at Goren.
“You mean, leak to the press that we believe the killer is dead? Bobby, that is a very dangerous tact, for three reasons that I can think of. Firstly, we don’t have the same level of cooperation with the press that you probably have back in New York. There is no way we could guarantee that they wouldn’t print something that we don’t want published yet. Like the fact that the story is just a ploy to bait the killer. Secondly, Mullet would have my head if I pulled a stunt like that without his knowledge, and if we bother to tell him, he’ll flat-out refuse anyway. And thirdly, we could just provoke this maniac into committing another murder. And did I mention that Mullet would have a fit…?”
Eames smiled humourlessly.
“As far as Mullet is concerned, leave him to Deakins. And let us handle the press. As far as provoking another killing goes, this guy is not going to stop now. He’s going to kill again, whether we try to push his buttons or not.”
Jack sighed heavily.
“All right, then. Let’s check this one out, and then we’ll get together with your captain at CID and discuss strategy.”
Detective Sergeant Hazel Wallace was waiting at the scene when they arrived. Jack greeted her amiably.
“Hello, Hazel. Mullet stick you with this, then?”
She smiled calmly.
“It’s all right, sir. This is more interesting than picking up that professor for a DNA sample.”
“Oh, right, so that’s where George is now, is it? He’s a little late. I told him just to give it an hour before coming to collect Graham.”
“He did, sir. He waited an hour like you asked, and then he and Captain Deakins came out here to pick him up.”
“Deakins went with him?” Goren asked as he went to get a closer look at the body. Hazel nodded.
“I think he’d had enough of Mr Mullet. George asked him if he’d like to tag along, and he practically jumped at the chance. Anyway, they apparently go here to find Professor Graham had gone home, so they headed off there to get him. Then we got the call about Bohen, and Mullet sent me out here to keep an eye on things until you got here. I expect George and Captain Deakins will be on their way back to CID by now.”
“All right, then,” Jack said. “Well, I suppose we’ll catch up with them back at CID, then. Now, what have we got here…?”
Hazel pointed to the office’s only window, which was half-opened.
“The arrow was fired through that window. They’re still trying to work out how far away the killer would have been.”
Jack frowned as he looked from the open window to Bohen’s body, which was slumped over his desk, the arrow straight through his throat.
“Well, whoever pulled this off had to have been a very skilled archer.”
“I’ll say,” Eames agreed. “Bohen had just been released from police custody after we interviewed him, and a DNA sample was taken. They could have taken a shot at him anywhere between CID and here, and yet they chose to wait until he was sitting here at his desk, and the only shot they had was through a half-opened window.”
“This arrow wasn’t fired from a crossbow,” Goren announced as he examined the arrow. “It’s too long for a crossbow arrow… The shaft is too thick. I’d guess it was fired from aregular bow... or maybe... a long bow...”
Jack turned to Hazel.
“Take a couple of uniforms, and start asking around. Surely a person running around with a bow and arrows would have been noticed by someone.”
Eames took a slow step forward, past Jack and Hazel, noticing the way Goren had suddenly tensed.
“Bobby? What’s wrong?”
“The arrow,” Goren said quietly. “I’ve seen it before… or, at least, one just like it.”
Jack frowned for a moment as he joined Goren by the body. A moment later, realisation dawned on his face.
“The display on the wall in Graham’s office. There was a long bow on the wall, and arrows in a large, glassed-in frame. But are you sure this is one of those arrows?”
Goren straightened up, a grim look on his face.
“There’s only one way to find out.”
“Nothing seems to be missing,” Eames commented after Graham’s secretary had let them into his office. Goren headed over to the wall to peer first at the long bow that was hung high on the wall, and then at the arrows in the display frame. Sure enough, everything appeared to be intact, with not even so much as a single arrow missing.
“If it was one of David Graham’s arrow,” Goren said, “he could have… could have brought it from home. He would have a large stockpile…”
“He did say he was no good at the sport,” Jack mused. Eames rolled her eyes.
“He wouldn’t be the first to lie through his teeth to us.”
“All right,” Jack sighed as he pulled out his cell phone. “Let me call George. Either he or Deakins might have seen something in Graham’s home while they were there.”
A long moment passed, and then Jack pressed the cancel button, looking slightly puzzled.
“No answer. Well, I suppose they may be on the road.”
Goren and Eames exchanged glances. Dejavu…
“I’ll try Deakins,” Eames murmured, hitting speed dial on her phone. Again, the phone rang out without being answered. She looked at Goren and Jack, the first hints of worry creasing her brow.
“Deakins isn’t answering, either.”
Goren looked over at Jack, the threat of panic just visible in his brown eyes.
“If it is Graham, then he’s known who we were all along. Which means…”
“He knows who Deakins is,” Eames concluded grimly.
Jack looked from one to the other, confused.
“How do you mean…?”
“Deakins killed Erik Mathers,” Gorenreminded himin a strained voice. “He killed Erik to save my life. If Graham is the one, then he probably knows that.”
Jack didn’t hesitate then, but quickly keyed in a memorised number. As he did so, he spoke urgently to the secretary.
“What’s Graham’s home address?”
She answered falteringly, her eyes going wide as it occurred to her that something was very wrong.
“Fifty-three, Reilly Avenue…”
“This is Detective Inspector Frost. I need a unit sent out to fifty-three Reilly Avenue, immediately. Proceed with extreme caution, suspect is one David Graham. You are to presume that he is armed and dangerous.”
Jack ended the call, then looked to his white-faced colleagues.
Residence of David Graham
Fifty-three Reilly Avenue
By all appearances, the house was deserted. There was no visible movement anywhere, and all seemed dark within.
“You two, wait here,” Jack ordered them as he turned to head around the side of the house.
“Are you kidding?” Eames asked incredulously. “You don’t even have a gun!”
Jack bit back a groan. “All right, but stay behind me.” He paused, looking at Goren who had his own gun out and was heading for the front door. “Bobby, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Securing the front,” Goren answered in a tone that effectively stymied any protests Jack might have had. Shaking his head, he hurried around to the back, with Eames right beside him.
The back door was wide open, and fresh tracks from the grass onto the paved drive way told them a vehicle had been driven out of the yard not long ago. There was a loud, distinct sound as Goren kicked the front door wide open at the other end of the house. Then, before Jack could protest, Eames stepped inside, gun at the ready.
They followed the sound of Goren’s voice, and found him just inside the front door, by the entrance to the study.
“Please tell me you didn’t kick that door open with your bad leg,” Eames growled, frowning. He shook his head.
“Of course I didn’t. I kicked it open with my left leg. Jack, we need to call for an ambulance.”
Jack looked into the study, swore loudly and strode in, past the two detectives. Lying on the floor inside the door, face down in a small pool of his own blood, was George Toolan.
Jack, Goren and Eames exchanged dismayed looks. None of them needed to search the house to know that Graham was gone, and that he'd taken Jim Deakins with him.
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