Cassian Pewe was sitting in his office, in his shirtsleeves, reading through a policy document, when his door burst open and Roy Grace came in, his face contorted with rage. He slammed the door shut behind him, then put both hands on Pewe’s desk and glared at him.
Pewe sat back and put his hands up defensively. ‘Roy,’ he said. ‘Good morning!’
‘How dare you?’ Grace yelled at him. ‘How fucking dare you? You wait until I’ve gone away and you do this? You fucking humiliate me in front of my neighbours and the entire force?’
‘Roy, calm down, please. Let me explain-’
‘Calm down? I’m not going to fucking calm down. I’m going to cut your fucking head off and use you as a hat stand.’
‘Is that a threat?’
‘Yes, it’s a threat, you creep. Go run to Alison Vosper and ask her to blow your nose while you sit her on her lap and blub your eyes out, or whatever it is you do with each other.’
‘I thought with you being away – it would be less embarrassing for you.’
‘I’m going to have you, Pewe. You are going to really regret this.’
‘I don’t appreciate the tone of your voice, Roy.’
‘And I don’t appreciate SOCO officers crawling all over my home with a search warrant. You fucking stop them right now.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Pewe said, getting a little more courageous after realizing Grace was not going to hit him. ‘But following my interview with your late wife’s parents, I’m not comfortable that every aspect of your wife’s disappearance has been investigated as thoroughly as it should have been at the time.’
He smiled in conclusion, and Grace did not think he had ever hated anyone in all his life as much as he hated Cassian Pewe at this moment.
‘Really? Just what did her parents say to you that’s so new?’
‘Her father had quite a bit to say.’
‘Did he tell you his father was in the RAF during the war?’
‘Yes, actually, he did,’ Pewe said.
‘Did he tell you about any of the bombing sorties his father went on?’
‘In some detail. Fascinating. He sounds a character. He flew on some of the Dambusters missions. Extraordinary man.’
‘Sandy’s father is an extraordinary man,’ Grace confirmed. ‘He is a complete fantasist. His father was never in 617 Squadron – the Dambusters squadron. And he was an aircraft fitter, not a gunner. He never flew on a single mission.’
Pewe was silent for a second, looking slightly uncomfortable. Grace stormed back out, crossed the corridor and marched straight into the Chief Superintendent’s office. He stood in front of Sker-ritt’s desk until his boss had finished a call and then said, ‘Jack, I need to talk to you.’
Skerritt ushered him to a chair. ‘How was New York?’
‘Good,’ he said. ‘Got some good information – I’ll circulate a report. I’ve literally just got back.’
‘Your Operation Dingo team seems to be making some headway. I see there’s a big operation going on today.’
‘Yes, there is.’
‘Are you letting DI Mantle run with it, or are you taking back command?’
‘I think today we’re going to need everyone,’ Grace said. ‘It’s going to depend on the geography to some extent who else we involve.’
Skerritt nodded. ‘So, what did you want to talk about?’
‘Detective Superintendent Pewe,’ he said.
‘Wasn’t my choice to bring him here,’ Skerritt said, giving Grace a knowing look.
‘I realize that.’ He was aware that Skerritt disliked the man almost as much as he did.
‘So what’s the problem?’
Grace told him.
When he had finished, Jack Skerritt shook his head incredulously. ‘I can’t believe he did this behind your back. It’s one thing to have an open investigation, and that can be a healthy thing, sometimes. But I don’t like the way this is being handled at all. Not one bit. How long has Sandy been missing now?’
‘Getting on for nine and half years.’
Skerritt thought for a moment, then looked at his watch. ‘Are you going to your briefing meeting?’
‘Tell you what I’ll do, I’ll speak to him now. Come and see me straight after your meeting.’
Grace thanked him, and Skerritt picked up the phone as he was leaving the office.