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The Undertow by Peter Corris

The Undertow by Peter Corris

Author:Peter Corris [Corris, Peter]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Mystery
ISBN: 1741147484
Google: hvibyO2xRIMC
Amazon: B005IQX94U
Barnesnoble: B005IQX94U
Goodreads: 17327872
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: 2006-04-15T04:00:00+00:00


part two

14

Acouple of days later I went to see Catherine Heysen and told her the results of my investigation.

‘It’s just possible an aggrieved client for illicit plastic surgery arranged to frame your husband, but the only credible candidate is either dead, overseas or totally hidden.’

She was her usual super-composed self. ‘I see.’

‘Even if that was true, your husband doesn’t emerge as an innocent victim and your son’s not likely to change his evaluation of him or himself on that account.’

‘What if he learned that his father was actually a senior and highly respected policeman?’

‘That’s another matter. Have you decided whether to go ahead with the DNA test?’

‘No.’

‘May I ask why not?’

‘I don’t choose to tell you.’

There was no coffee this time and an even cooler atmosphere. I got up out of my chair. ‘Your privilege. That’s all I have to say.’

The composure shattered then like a fragile glass ornament dashed to the floor. She buried her face in her hands and sobs racked her body. I stood there, feeling useless. She wasn’t the kind of woman you patted on the shoulder and said, ‘There, there,’ to. When she lifted her head, the carefully arranged hair was a mess and the perfect makeup was smeared and clown-like. Years of keeping up a façade had taken a toll and when the façade collapsed, it collapsed completely. She looked every day of her age, and tired.

Through her sobs she said something in Italian. Then she collected herself and I assume she translated: ‘I want my son, I need him.’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I can see that you do.’

‘I’ve been a vain and foolish woman, Mr Hardy. I’ve done nothing useful with the advantages I’ve had. If I could just save my boy from the awful life he is in, that would be something.’

‘Is he Frank Parker’s son?’

She moved her hands around her head to smooth her hair and dry her tears. ‘I don’t know. Does it matter?’

‘It doesn’t matter to Frank, as you know. Might matter a bit to me.’

She said again: ‘I don’t know. Will you try to find him for me?’

It wasn’t the time to tell her the little I’d teased out about William Heysen so far, but I liked her more at that moment than previously. Her distress was genuine and I’m a sucker for it. But not a soft touch. It’d be a paying job and I could count on Frank’s help. I told her I’d try to find him, no matter whose son he was. I said I’d mail her a contract form.

I got the usual stuff together and opened a file with a recent photograph, the names of friends, contacts at SBS—his last place of work—car registration, details of credit cards he used and as close a physical description as his mother could provide. It didn’t go much beyond ‘tall, slim and handsome with dark hair’. She guessed his height at about six feet and his weight at eleven stone, call it 180 plus centimetres and 70 plus kilos.



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