- Author: John Dean
Book online «NO AGE TO DIE: The release of a dangerous prisoner leads to murder (DCI John Blizzard Book 9) John Dean (classic books for 10 year olds TXT) 📖». Author John Dean
NO AGE TO DIE
The release of a dangerous prisoner leads to murder
THE BOOK FOLKS
© John Dean
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This book is written in British English except where fidelity to other languages or accents is appropriate.
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NO AGE TO DIE is the ninth book in a series of DCI Blizzard murder mysteries by John Dean. You don’t need to have read the others in the series to enjoy it. Details about the other books can be found at the end of this one.
Table of Contents
List of Characters
Also featuring DCI John Blizzard
The DCI Jack Harris series
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‘It’s no age to die,’ said Detective Sergeant David Colley. He shook his head and gazed out of the car’s rain-flecked windows at the prison. ‘You shouldn’t go at fourteen.’
‘You certainly shouldn’t,’ said Detective Chief Inspector John Blizzard. He was sitting in the driver’s seat and staring moodily at the steering wheel.
‘I mean, you’re supposed to die when your hair has gone white and your joints are creaking,’ said Colley.
No reply. The sergeant sighed. The leaden atmosphere outside was nothing compared to the oppressive silence that had persisted for more than an hour in the inspector’s vehicle, which was sitting in the prison car park.
‘Someone like you,’ added Colley, in an attempt to lighten the mood. He shot a sly glance at his boss, eyeing the flecks of grey in the senior officer’s hair.
‘Yes, thank you,’ said Blizzard.
Colley smiled as he noticed the inspector surreptitiously glance in the rear-view mirror and run a hand across his temples. Probably not even aware he had done it, thought the sergeant. He returned his attention to the scene outside the car. Blizzard’s bleak mood was entirely understandable. It was a typically gloomy winter’s morning in the northern city of Hafton and you never really got used to Hafton’s gloomy winter mornings. It was something about the way the damp wheedled its way into your bones, thought Colley.
The reason for the detectives’ presence outside the prison was doing little to help their state of mind. Neither of them wanted to be there, but orders were orders and they might as well make the best of it, the sergeant had said as they had left the police station. Blizzard was not making the best of it. It was not his style; if he didn’t like something, he’d say so, and on this occasion he had made his dissatisfaction clear, contending that there were better ways of occupying police resources. A suggestion from his boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Arthur Ronald, that those better ways could revolve around the paperwork stacked up on the inspector’s desk had driven a grumbling Blizzard out into the damp morning air. Now, as the two detectives sat outside the prison, he had lapsed into the kind of morose silence which Colley knew only too well.
Staring at the large Victorian prison, Colley felt, as he often did, a strange kind of sympathy for those destined to spend their days inside its walls. Built initially as a workhouse, it had been used for prisoners for more than a hundred years. An ageing, crumbling building, with cramped cells and grubby windows and pervaded by the sickly odour of sweat, stale urine and antiseptic, its atmosphere always struck Colley as dark and oppressive whenever he visited. However, it was not so much the smells and the sights which disturbed him, it was the sounds – the rattling of keys, the clanging of the endless doors and the barking of the guard dogs. The prison had posters warning that anyone straying within eight feet of one of the German shepherds would be bitten. Despite the crimes committed by the men held in the top security prison, Colley could appreciate their relief when they were finally released.
The sergeant’s empathy did not extend to the man about to taste his first freedom in many years and for whom the officers were waiting. Albert Macklin was one of the residents of C-Wing, which housed at-risk prisoners – most of them, like Macklin, convicted of serious crimes against children. He was, in many people’s eyes, the worst of the lot. Now aged seventy-one, he had spent thirty-four years in prison on and off, all for offences against children, starting with flashing at small boys in the park and culminating the wicked night he murdered a teenage boy.
‘How come he’s being let out anyway?’ asked Colley. He hoped that the question would encourage the inspector to engage in conversation. Both men were the fathers of young children and both felt strongly about the decision to let Macklin out. ‘Why not just throw away the key?’
‘The shrinks say that he’s a reformed character,’ said the chief inspector. He shifted in his seat and winced as his bad back gave a twinge – it often did in cold and damp weather. ‘If it was down to me, he would never come out. His type are never reformed.’
Colley nodded; he knew why mention of the name evoked such passions in Blizzard. Macklin had been jailed more than twenty years previously for the killing of Danny