Coffee Break Read – Neither English nor a Gentleman

…for a moment the silence was blissful. Then the screaming started…
Writing team Leo and Mike Johnson have their day disturbed when a body turns up near their house.

Leo and Mike would have quite liked to forget the body in the river, and the teenagers with the weird women, but life wasn’t going to let them do that.
The first intimation of this came when they had a visit from a very smooth operator with an educated Transatlantic accent rendered oddly theatrical by more than a whiff of trailer trash in his vowels. He looked like everyone’s mental image of the archetypal WASP from his smooth blonde hair to his horn-rimmed spectacles, and his Brooks Brothers brogues. He introduced himself as the Reverend Amos Summersby, and stated his reason for visiting was to thank them for their care of the girls. But it didn’t ring true. While he drank tea and ate Ro’s excellent fruit cake Mike could feel him watching her from the corners of his eyes. It was a feeling she didn’t much relish. It wasn’t to go on for long, though, because Leo put a stop to it with uncompromising savagery.
‘Keep your eyes off my woman’ he snarled ‘or I’ll pull them out and make you eat them.’
Summersby recoiled in genuine surprise. ‘That is not what I have come to expect from an English gentleman’ he said in a voice of gentle reproof. Leo was scathing.
‘I’m neither English nor a gentleman. And I don’t make idle threats. So just say whatever it is you came here to say and leave while you still have the use of your legs.’
Summersby’s fear appeared to Mike to be the first genuine thing in his visit; all the colour left his cheeks and he floundered about in a morass of half-sentences.
‘Hurry up, man. You are wearing my patience thin.’
‘Very well. I was simply instructed to find out what those naughty little girls may have said about their school.’
‘To us. Nothing’ Leo bit the words off sharply. ‘We noticed they didn’t much care for their keepers but that was just ordinary observation.’
‘And yet the police wouldn’t let the girls return to school in the minibus?’
‘I would suspect that is standard procedure. They had, after all, just discovered themselves to be swimming with a dead body. I’m sure that’s exactly what a group of teenage girls needs to make a camping trip complete.’ Leo’s sarcasm was biting.
The ‘reverend’ stared into Leo’s angry eyes, then sighed. ‘I fear we have been misinformed. Will you accept my apology?’
Leo looked at Mike, who shook her head. ‘No. Now we’d very much appreciate the air you are using.’
Ro appeared as if she had been listening at the door (which she probably had) and escorted the uninvited visitor to where his car waited in the street.

From Shall we gather at the river? a hard hitting murder mystery thriller by Jane Jago which is available for 0.99.

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