The Suspects by Katharine Johnson

The Suspects by Katharine Johnson

Author:Katharine Johnson [Johnson, Katharine]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Published: 2019-05-09T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Twelve

It was a Thursday night and we had half an eye on the television during a game of Scruples. Imogen had drawn a question along the lines of if you saw your best friend’s partner cheating on them would you tell them, and the debate was getting quite heated. And suddenly there was Bob’s face on the screen, staring right out at us.

You could almost feel the air being sucked out of the room. My heart crashed against my ribs. Xanthe’s arm jerked involuntarily and her drink spilled over the board.

“Watch out, look what you’re doing!” said Imogen.


“Don’t shush me.”

It was a holiday snap – some boys backpacking in the Greek Islands. The face could only have only been on the screen for seconds, but it seemed like forever. It must have been taken a few years before our New Year’s Eve party. He was a bit fuller in the face and his hair was longer. He was wearing a black t-shirt with tour dates, holding a can of something and standing in front of a taverna. You couldn’t see his crooked teeth because he was smiling with his mouth shut. His expression was heart breaking – so happy, so unaware. He must have thought he had a whole life ahead of him. But how in the world had the police identified him?

Imogen crunched her crisps throughout the report. I wanted to grab them off her, but I took the remote instead and turned up the sound, ignoring a glare from Stuart.

“For God’s sake, what’s wrong with your ears?” said Imogen between crunches. “It’s like an old people’s home in here.”

They showed a reconstruction. Someone who looked a bit like Bob was shown working behind a bar in Leeds. An interview with his mother cut in, saying what a lovely son he’d been, and the ex-girlfriend talked about how he’d been through a rough time when his parents divorced but he seemed to have got over it. She got tearful, recounting how they’d split up a few months before he disappeared. He’d lost his way, got into drugs and hooked up with some bad people. His name was Oskar Bramley. He was twenty-four.

Xanthe gave a whimper. Stuart stiffened. Imogen looked at her strangely, then went back to crunching her crisps.

There was no mention of getting a train to Bristol or any connection with Stuart’s car. The police were concentrating their investigation on Cornwall and Leeds. Perhaps we’d be all right after all.

But the problem now was that we had details. Bob now had a real name, an age. Parents, a brother. An ex-girlfriend. He was a human being.

“I think I might know him.” Imogen was pointing her crisp packet at the screen.

I felt something die inside me. I caught Xanthe’s eye. She made a play of looking out of the window before asking, “How?”

Imogen was frowning. “Don’t know. He just looks a bit familiar. I feel like I know him from somewhere. I wonder if Rick’s watching this. He might know who he is.


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