It’s sharing Sunday! Here’s a excerpt from The Note, meet suspect #1 Chelsea Jackson.
De ja Vu
Chelsea lowered herself onto the sofa opposite Dunne and McDonald, then covered her face with her hands.
“Not this again. I thought we were done. I’ve not done anything. I have no idea—”
“Look, Chelsea, we understand that,” replied Dunne. “His murder was closed and left as a cold case. But we have a few more questions for you. Something else has come to light.”
Chelsea’s gaze flashed back to meet Dunne’s dark brown eyes in an instant.
What? She gripped the hem of her skirt, then smoothed the fabric over her thighs.
Dunne’s words caused her pulse to race for a second, but she recovered and focused on getting her body language in check. She remained cautious, not wanting to appear on edge by the unexpected news.
Chelsea remembered all too well how observant Dunne and his little side kick were, especially during the last investigation into Tony’s murder. The last thing she needed was to be in the spotlight, again.
She didn’t relish being under the thumbs of the detectives or for Tony’s family to examine her life under a microscope.
Her mind briefly moved to Manisha—Tony’s estranged but very legal wife.
This can’t be happening! I bet she’s behind all this, she thought.
She tossed the situation around in her mind as if to try and place exactly what could have come to light that would send Dunne back to her doorstep. Her fear turned to rage.
A steady heat pooled in her stomach and made its way through her body, invoking her anger. The mere thought of Tony’s family, or anyone else for that matter, messing up her plans again didn’t settle well.
Chelsea took a deep breath, smoothed over her hair, then fixed the most innocent face for Dunne and McDonald she could muster.
She placed a hand over her heart and got into character as if to resume her delegated role to remain off Dunne’s radar.
“What do you mean something else has come to light?” She widened her eyes and glanced from Dunne to McDonald. “Do we have more information on who killed Tony?”
Her hand fell to her cheek, then she strained out a few tears. “I still can’t believe it. Who would have done such a thing?” Her words slipped past her lips through false sobs and tears. “He had no enemies as far as I knew.”
“We need to talk to you at the station.” McDonald scooted to the edge of the sofa, his knees pressing against the coffee table.
“Wait.” Chelsea shifted her wide-eyed gaze back to him. “Are you arresting me again?”
She wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand, playing the hurt, vulnerable lover, yet, inside, she seethed. The heat of anger threatened to explode and mess up the hard work she had done throughout the last investigation to claim her innocence.
Dunne’s stare roamed over her as if he were studying her carefully.
Chelsea ignored him, sniffled, dabbed at her tears, and then met McDonald’s ice blue eyes.
“More like an interview—under caution.” McDonald held her gaze.
“But I’ve not—”
“Just come with us to the station, Chelsea, then you’re free to enjoy the rest of your day.” McDonald moved a decretive pillow, setting it at the end of the couch.
Chelsea rose and looked around her home. She took in the luxury surrounding her and kicked herself for not booking a one way ticket to Australia sooner. Big plans were in the work that required the money sitting in her account. And they didn’t involve Lance, these detectives, or any of Tony’s surviving family members.
Holding back a smile, she felt it bubble within her. The thought of the vision board she had made and displayed in her bedroom kept her focused on the task at hand. Her goal was to set herself up with a nice little place near the beach somewhere in Australia, forget about working, and do something she enjoyed with her life. Like painting, it was her one true talent other than number crunching as an accountant. Numbers paid well, but not well enough for the life she wanted. Plus, London’s weather was nothing exciting. She figured she could more than afford to take some time out, work on her tan, and find herself a nice Australian hunk to pass the time.
She glared at McDonald and tried to steady her breathing. “This isn’t fair. We went through all this before I—”
“Let’s go.” McDonald rose to his feet, followed by Dunne.
Both men stood towering over her.
Peeking from under her lashes, she looked at them. They didn’t scare her. She only hoped her innocent act would wash with one or both of them. Sure, she had a motive for Tony’s death, but so did his wife—she reminded herself of this.
Focus on the here and now, she thought.
The heavy gaze of Dunne and McDonald thickened the air.
“Why can’t you ask me whatever you want here?”
“Interviews under caution need to be recorded—you know this,” Dunne said.
Chelsea sized him up, moving her eyes over his lean frame. Dunne seemed impatient to her, she sensed it. And if she wasn’t mistaken, he wanted to hurry up the process.
Only one issue made her skin crawl. At the station, the detectives could cross examine her, then playback her responses, searching for holes. She was well aware of this, and that made her nervous. The thought of her personal life put on display again, brought a sense of dread to rest heavy on her chest. But she didn’t want them to know how she felt or that she was trying to stay one step ahead. She must remain careful with all that she said and did, including her mannerisms and facial expressions.
“Recorded, yeah.” Chelsea threw her head back and laughed. “How can I forget. Give me a second, I’ll grab a jacket.”
Chelsea knew then that her hunch was right. He did want to speed up the process.
“Make it quick.” Dunne let out an impatient breath and shot a side-glance at his partner.
She turned to leave the room, contemplating what to wear—a coat, cloak, or wool wrap.
Footsteps tapped against the wooden floor behind her. Chelsea glanced over a shoulder just in time to catch sight of McDonald peeking into her kitchen.
Pausing for a moment at her bedroom door, she listened to the men’s conversation. Their voices remained low, floating out of the main living area.
“This is gonna be a headache, I can tell,” whispered McDonald.
“Yeah, but if we don’t at least follow up on the evidence, who knows what we’ll miss.” Dunne stepped into view. “Or what we’ve already missed.”
She crept forward, slightly, then watched Dunne, who now stood in front of the circular mirror, smoothing his tie.
Evidence? She covered her mouth to stem the gasp that almost escaped. What evidence? Her mind raced back and forth over the last investigation. There was no evidence, well not enough, anyway. Otherwise, they never would have closed the case, marking it unsolved.
She mused further over the information flowing through her thoughts, then backed into her room, gently closing the door. Back against the frame, she wrapped her arms around herself. A frown of frustration hit her lips.
She sighed deeply, chewing on the skin around her thumb nail.
Chelsea headed over to her dresser, grabbed her phone, then checked for messages—there were none.
On autopilot she pulled up Lance’s name and typed out a message. She thought twice about it, and then deleted the message.
Slowly, she turned around from her dresser and pondered her next move.
“Chelsea,” Dunne’s voice called out.
She jumped to attention. “Just give me a second, I’m coming.”
Tension tightened the muscles in her neck and back. She made her way over to the large wardrobe stuffed with designer clothes and shoes and freed a black jacket from a hanger. Quickly, she slid it over her frame and closed the door.
In the mirror on the back of the wardrobe’s doorframe, she looked herself in the eye. “You’ve got this!”
Prep talk over, she grabbed her handbag from beside the bed, shoved her phone inside a corner pocket of the bag, then made her to the door. She placed a hand on the knob, then paused a moment. Her shoulders sagged, rolling forward. A grieving expression masked her face, and she let out a calming breath, preparing for her role. Once in character, she made her way out to Detective Dunne and McDonald.
ohhhhhh what happens at the police station in the next chapter?? Find out The Note is out now on pre-order for just 99 cent until release day! (Then full price 3.99) after release on the 14th February 2021. Check out Amazon here!
Everyone has a motive for murder when there’s money on the table. But whose story is more plausible?
In seventy-two hours, Detectives Idris Dunne and Josh McDonald close in on an unsolved murder case with the help of mysterious notes.
One of London’s wealthy entrepreneurs was diagnosed with cancer, and became estranged from his wife of thirty years Manisha. Unknown to her, his mistress Chelsea Jackson was slowly sinking her claws into her husband. But that’s not all his mistress was up to. Unexpectedly Tony’s mutilated body is found dumped in a park. Everyone has a motive especially when money is on the table, and his wife Manisha, and their adult children were cut out of his will and replaced by his mistress Chelsea.
Was this an act of kindness from Tony, toward his carer and mistress? Or was there foul play and pressure to change his will by Chelsea? What about his murderer? The case was left unsolved, with lack of evidence.
Mystery notes are sent by an anonymous tip off, Detective Dunne and McDonald re-investigate and piece together the mystery surrounding the entrepreneur’s death, and what led him to change his Last Will in Testament. The question is, from all suspects whose story is more plausible?