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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene eight


‘The prick’s been lying to me, Ryan,’ said Maggie, as soon as she sat down. ‘What?’ ‘The Prosecutor’s Office called as I was leaving the office. The police have cracked the password on his phone and accessed his photos.’ She stared at me, primal rage written all over her face.  I wondered if she was going to explode but she took a steadying deep breath and let out a sigh. ‘He took a photo of the body after he’d strangled her.’ I laughed. Clive had been framed alright. By himself. Peter Mulraney is the author of the  Inspector West  and  Stella Bruno Investigates  crime series. Original link
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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene seven


WhenI got back to Adelaide, I called Heather Knight and asked her about the girlsthat smoked on the balcony. ‘Oh,that would be Mandy and Anna,’ said Heather, ‘but they weren’t working thenight Ellen was murdered.’ ‘Doyou check those doors when you lock up, Heather?’ ‘Thealarm won’t set unless they’re locked, Ryan.’ ‘Thanks.’ Things were not looking good for Clive unless I could come up with another angle. I wondered who owned the building and who actually owned the brothel. After all, Heather had told me she was the manager, not the owner. Iremembered the photo I’d taken of the sign on the wall of the brothel. I openedthe photo app and peered at the image. I zoomed in on the fine print. Theb...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene six


Hamilton was a six-hour drive from Adelaide. I spent the night in a motel and went to see Ellen Ford’s parents at ten on the morning after I’d arrived. I guess I could have telephoned but I thought they deserved a face to face interview, seeing I was batting for the opposing side. They were wary of me from the get-go. ‘Areyou trying to prove he didn’t kill her? The police told us he did it,’ said MrFord. ‘Theycould very well be right,’ I said, ‘but I’m trying to find out if there’sanother explanation just in case they’re wrong.’ ‘Likewhat?’ said Mr Ford. ‘Tellme about Mick Daley,’ I said. ‘Whotold you about him?’ said Mr Ford. ‘Thewoman Ellen was sharing her apartment with.’ ‘Sally?’said Mrs...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene five


Accordingto the brief the police had given Maggie, Ellen Ford had shared an apartment inStanley Street, North Adelaide, with Sally Gretchen, who also worked in thebrothel. Idrove to North Adelaide and knocked on Sally’s front door. I was about to leaveempty-handed when the door opened. ‘Hello,gorgeous. What are you selling?’ Shewas all legs, and her parts that weren’t, were barely covered by a large whiteT-shirt. It was just as well Miranda wasn’t there to witness my reaction. I hadto remind myself she was a potential source of information to get my mind tofocus. ‘Areyou Sally Gretchen?’ I managed to ask. ‘Whowants to know?’ she said, with a smile designed to melt hearts. Ihanded her one of ...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene four


WhenI stepped onto the stairs to head down to the ground, a woman dressed in abusiness suit appeared at the bottom of the staircase. ‘Can I help you, youngman?’ Ibounded down the stairs and introduced myself. I showed her my PI licence andtold her I was working for the lawyer defending the man charged with the murderof Ellen Ford. She told me her name was Heather Knight and that she managed thebrothel. I gave her one of my business cards. ‘Whatare you doing here, Ryan?’ she asked. ‘Havinga look to see how many ways someone could get into your building.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Ourclient reckons he’s been framed.’ Heatherraised an eyebrow. ‘The police think he did it.’ ‘Iknow, and they might very well be rig...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish Short Story-scene three


Idecided to visit the brothel to get a feel for Ellen Ford’s world. Well, I wentto have a look at the building. It was ten in the morning when I parked in thestreet in front of the building housing the brothel and got out to have a lookaround. Thebrothel was closed. A sign on the wall in the shade of the front verandainformed me the establishment opened nightly at six, and advised potentialpatrons to make an appointment online. I snapped a photo of the sign with myphone. Theplace looked like it had once enjoyed a life as a pub. It was a two-storeybluestone building, with an impressive wrap around balcony, dating back to theearly days of the twentieth century, when there was a pub on every co...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish Short Story-scene two


Thefolder Maggie gave me was full of information on Clive. He’d told her his lifestory and named everyone he’d ever had a relationship with: business andotherwise. He’d even confessed to being abusive towards his ex-wife, andclaimed she’d alienated his children from him. Maggiehad interviewed his brother, Charles. He’d told her Clive was a hard-headedbusinessman who’d upset a few people but no-one had ever threatened him, apartfrom his ex, who’d actually carried through with her threat and divorced him. Thepolice had interviewed his ex. She had an alibi for the night in question andno obvious motive. She’d received a generous settlement. His kids weren’t oldenough to be visiting a brothel to...
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Framed: A Ryan Parish PI Short Story-scene one


Ispend a lot of time watching people cheat on their spouse or insurance company.Sometimes, I get involved in looking for missing persons. This assignment,though, wasn’t going to be anything like my usual cases. CliveRichards had been charged with murder. According to the charge sheet, he’dstrangled a young woman named Ellen Ford, a sex worker, after an engagementwith her in a brothel in Brompton. Thepolice had lifted Clive’s fingerprints from the crime scene. They had a DNAsample extracted from semen left in a discarded condom found next to the body,which matched Clive’s DNA profile, and CCTV footage of him entering and leavingthe brothel. And,just to top off the case against Clive, his bank...
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The Cobalt Sky


The Cobalt Sky is book 10 in Keith Dixon’s Sam Dyke Investigations series. The story is driven by the theft of an artwork and the dysfunctional relationships of the artist’s family. The more Sam looks into the people associated with the artist, the more dysfunctional the family appears, and the less likable the artist becomes as a person. The investigation is hampered by a lack of honesty in several key players, one of whom is the thief. No surprise there, but there are a few surprises in the telling of this tale. A good read. You can get a preview and purchasing details at: The Cobalt Sky . Original link
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The Bank Inspector


The Bank Inspector is the first book in a trilogy of crime stories, featuring Detective Sergeant Brian Shaw, set in the banking world of 1950’s South Australia by Australian author Roger Monk. The world of the 1950s is a place most of us only know from television shows, and the intricacies of its banking and police worlds have slipped from our working memories. Although I lived through most of the 1950s, as a small boy I had no idea how things worked in the adult world. This story is an intriguing look through a window into that world. The tale is one of an almost perfect crime and an attempted murder that, at first, does not seem related to the main story. However, as the story progresses t...
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What it’s like being a teacher.


Here’s another social issue I slipped into After . This snippet comes from chapter two, where Sgt Marie Wood ponders why Josie Ford may have decided to take some time out. She turned her thoughts to Josie. Why would an apparently happily married mother of two teenage boys disappear first thing in the morning? Well, she was a teacher. The things they had to put up with would be enough to push anybody over the edge. Teachers didn’t get much respect these days and it was becoming fashionable to blame them for everything that was wrong with today’s young people. So much for parental responsibility. Now it was all some teacher’s fault for not disciplining little Johnny or not teaching him properl...
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Are you a slave?


A thought-provoking extract from After , book 1 of the Inspector West series. The bus arrived at his stop in the city. He got off and ambled towards the bank. No point in rushing in for another routine day in the world of banking. Paul started his day, like he did most mornings, sharing a cup of coffee with Henry, his team leader for the last two years. It was an opportunity to sort out the day’s priorities and discuss the state of the world before they got down to the serious stuff. ‘I look at the people working here, Paul, especially the ones that have been here for twenty years or more, and wonder how anyone can work in a place like this for that long and be satisfied with a basic clerica...
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Racked by Sue Coletta


Racked is the fourth book in Sue Coletta’s Grafton County series, based on the lives of crime writer Sage Quintano and her husband, Niko, the Sheriff of Grafton County. I imagine being the wife of a sheriff would be trying enough but, somehow, Sage Quintano manages to bring more excitement into her life by attracting people intent on doing her or her family harm. The story in Racked centres around the unsolved disappearance of five boys and Sage finding out they were all given a similar item prior to their disappearance – a stuffed animal like the one someone has mysteriously given her two-year-old son, Noah. There is plenty of tension, much of it generated by the actions of Sage, who takes ...
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Your Journey to Becoming Unskippable


This is sort of a business book. It’s full of business case studies and marketring advice. But, it’s also a book about encouraging you to think bigger. Kukral sings the praises of what he defines as unskippable people and businesses. These are basically people you can’t ignore and firms you want to do business with. The purpose of the book is to inspire you to become someone who can’t be passed over or to transform your business into one that attracts people. I found the book both inspiring and depressing at the same time. The inspiration comes from the stories and the advice on how to go about becoming unskippable. All good motivational and personal growth stuff. The depressing part is Kukr...
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Writing Mystical Journey


The initial working title for this book, when it was still an idea, was Field Notes for Pilgrims. At that stage, I thought I’d be taking a similar approach to sharing information as I’d followed in Field Notes for Writers.   But, as the idea transformed into the book and the content started to fall into place, the title morphed into A Mystic’s Toolkit before finally becoming Mystical Journey: A Handbook for Modern Mystics. By the time I’d finished writing, the book was more than a collection of tools for modern mystics. It told the story of how I became a mystic and explained how being a modern mystic was different to how mystics were in the past. That required a few reflections and a modern...
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Scrublands


If you’re looking for a good read, take a look at Scrublands by Australian author Chris Hammer.  Scrublands is set in Riversend, an isolated town in regional Australia, where people are barely holding on through a prolonged drought and coping with the after-effects of a tragedy. The story follows Martin Scarsden, a journalist coping with his own problems, who has been sent from Sydney to write a feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy.  What sounded like a fairly straight forward assignment to Scarsden, soon develops into a complex, twisted adventure as the truth slowly leaks out and events overtake his story and the people of Riversend. You’ll meet some interesting characters, get a...
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Reading Twisted Justice


There are times when it feels like taking the law into your own hands is the only option you have for obtaining justice. Fortunately, most of us resist the temptation to act on that impulse and put our trust in the justice system. Sometimes, though, people take the other option. The opening story in Twisted Justice explores what happens when Trent Mitchell takes that option and administers the justice the system refused to give him.  I’m sure very few people take that option lightly, and Trent is no different. He’s agonised over his decision for years but there are only so many sleepless nights and tormented dreams a man can endure. If you keep going over the same story in your head, it’s li...
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Computers and Crime


Have you noticed that every time a device comes along to make life easier someone always finds a way to us it against us?  Electronic banking was supposed to make moving money around easier and more secure. Now there’s more theft – and it’s not only money they’re stealing. Although, ultimately, it’s always money they’re after. It might not be your money but it could be your identity they want to use to get someone else’s money. Relax. It’s not my intention to deter you from shopping online. There are plenty of safeguards in place. You know the drill – keep your internet security software up to date, shop on secure sites, and don’t click on links or open attachments from suspicious emails. Wh...
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Life or Death – Michael Robotham


Why would a man break out of prison the day before he was due to be released? This is the question driving the story of Audie Palmer in Life or Death by Michael Robotham. It’s certainly a question that kept me turning the pages in this well-constructed riddle, and I was a long way in before I picked up the clue that exposes the reason behind Audie’s apparently mindless act. Life or Death is an intriguing story with an interesting cast of players, including Moss Webster, Audie’s only friend when he was in prison, who gets dragged into the hunt, and FBI Special Agent Desiree Furness, who wants to get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Of course, there is another group of characters who o...
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Reading Whistleblower


Whistleblower: someone who informs on a person or organisation engaging in unlawful or immoral acts.  We hear about the more sensational whistleblowers, like Edward Snowden, who take their stories to the media. Most public service whistleblowing is nothing like that. It’s routine and done behind closed doors far away from the media spotlight. Whistleblower starts with the routine reporting of a suspicion that something is not quite right in the Office of State Supply. However, the whistleblower makes a mistake that alerts those involved and puts him in harm’s way. The story explores a simple premise: the whistleblower has his own secret that leads to his death after he lifts the lid on the s...
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