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    Harcourt
    Geoffrey johnstone
    Senior Constable Wayne Kelly is a small town policeman with a mid life crisis. One day a mysterious leather bound folder lands on his desk.

    Suddenly Kelly has the answer to a sensational murder and the promise of fame and glory.

    But who is the author and what does he want?

    aprox: 20,000 words

    Price:  $2.00

    book excerpt

    The victim is in the boot of a 1969 Valiant. There is a single stem rose beside the body. Take it with you when you confront the husband. You will need a camera. Be sure to take plenty of close ups. Dr Haley combed her hair. This information is important. Follow my instructions to the letter if you want a successful outcome.

    “… what do you think?”

    Kelly suddenly realized he hadn’t heard the question.

    “Sorry mate.”

    They were now standing beside the Valiant. The tyres were flat, perished with age.

    “I said we should try Port Campbell again.” Harcourt tried not to sound frustrated.

    “Yea. Whatever.”

    Kelly focused on his friend who was waiting for his door to be unlocked.

    “Let’s check out the bomb.”

    Its seats were torn and the floor had rusted away exposing the ground underneath.

    “I hate to say it but snakes live in those things.”

    Harcourt was obviously in no mood to stay.

    Kelly brushed the bricks from the boot and placed his hands, palms down, on the lid. Taking a deep breath the policeman tried to control the sense of dread that was rising inside of him.

    The first thing he saw was the shock of blonde hair. Then he looked into her lifeless eyes.

    “What’s the matter?”

    Harcourt moved towards his friend who had recoiled in horror. The man of God had seen death before, but not like this?

    “Oh no,” he blurted. The pastor searched for something to say. Finding nothing he said, “you poor thing.”

    For several seconds both men stood there stunned until Harcourt spoke.

    “Mate, what’s going on?”

    “What do you mean?”

    Something is terribly wrong, Harcourt opined. This isn’t a fishing trip.

    “Who is she?” he asked.

    Kelly gingerly peered inside the boot and recovered an expensive handbag. He found a drivers licence and handed it to Harcourt.

    “Susan Haley,” he read the details, “from Wangaratta.”

    Handing it back he said, “What do we do now?”

    Kelly had retrieved his camera and was taking photos of the victim.

    “There’s a police station at Jamieson. We’ll take her stuff there.”

    Leaning over the body he found the single stemmed rose. It was dry and a couple of petals fell away when he picked it up.

    “Let’s go, mate.”

    Harcourt opened his mouth but changed his mind. He turned to look at the body.

    Shouldn’t we close the lid, he wondered? Give the poor girl some privacy.

    Kelly spun the wheels as he turned to face the direction he had come from. A cloud of dust billowed as they raced toward the main road.

    Something isn’t right, Harcourt thought.

    Beside him Kelly looked positively ill.

    Something is definitely wrong, he thought.
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