Inspector Graham’s mystery

In my Radwinter books as well as Thomas’s family who appear to a greater or lesser extent in all the books there are some recurring characters. One of them is David Hollis who bullied Thomas when he was at school but now through various shared experiences they have become friends. Another is Monica who runs a homeless hostel, and Val who has a veg shop. When Thomas began to buy roses for his wife, he became friends with the enthusiastic young flower shop owner, Kim, and when he had to liaise with a department at the university, he met Dr Erica Crowne, and she bobs up in various books now.

In the very first novel, Radwinter, Thomas comes int contact with a police inspector… in my next novel, Saltpans, Thomas sees rather more of the Inspector as he commissions him to solve a mystery…

Inspector Graham’s mystery

If I had to tell you what Inspector Graham looked like I’d struggle… he’s got brownish greyish hair, a normal sort of handsome-ish  face, brownish sort of eyes, not particularly tall but not particularly short. Inspector Graham isn’t fat or thin, just sort of, well, normal… he wears smart grey suits… well, every time I’ve seen him he does, and he has a pleasant but ordinary voice with no particular accent, or funny way of speaking… he’s just ordinary… and I guess for a policeman that’s an advantage… I guess you don’t always want to announce your profession…

I don’t get any sense of his character either, but I have the feeling he knows a bit about me… we first met when I was a witness to a man attacking someone,  and since then I seem to have got myself in various pickles which ended up with me making statements and being interviewed by the police…

But the task he has set me – commissioned me, this task, I think, is something outside his police work… so is it something personal?

Inspector Graham’s file was all about a girl known as Shelly… including documents from the police, which I’m sure he wasn’t meant to have… what a great deal of trust he was placing in me…

So when he was telling me about Shelly Beach, she was a person not place where the kids and I play by the sea… For a moment I thought how unfair her parents, Mr. and Mrs Beach had been to call her that, but as I began to unpick the files, all became clear.

There were newspaper cuttings, seemingly every item in the local press, the Strand Argos and the Castair Courier, plus there were loads of printouts from the national newspapers too…

You see, a local woman who had been out early walking her dog, had come across this young woman lying washed up on the beach at Strand. She was unconscious, but when an ambulance came and she was whisked off to hospital, thankfully she was found to be unhurt, although suffering slightly from the cold.

There was a Sunday paper magazine article about her, which was told in a rather dramatic way, and it mentioned similar people who had been found with lost memories… Yes, you see, this girl had completely lost her memory. She didn’t know who she was, where she had come from, or even her name… hence Shelly.  Most of the people in the other stories seemed either to be frauds, or have some other mental affliction… some of it was jolly interesting, I can tell you, but these days I don’t have time to deviate and wander off.

I only skimmed through the reports, they all gave the same details. Shelly had been found unconscious on the beach, soaking wet, no form of ID, no possessions, and the woman who’d found her, the one who Graham had mentioned, Sylvie Monnet, who owned the hotel, had let her stay in her daughter’s room.  Her daughter was at Uni, and I wonder how the daughter felt about that?

Here is a link to my Radwinter books so you can catch up with the before Saltpans is released!!


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