- Author: Phillip Strang
Book online «The Hero's Fall (DCI Cook Thriller Series Book 14) Phillip Strang (microsoft ebook reader .TXT) 📖». Author Phillip Strang
The Hero’s Fall
BOOKS BY PHILLIP STRANG
DCI Isaac Cook Series
MURDER IS A TRICKY BUSINESS
MURDER IS ONLY A NUMBER
MURDER IN LITTLE VENICE
MURDER IS THE ONLY OPTION
MURDER IN NOTTING HILL
MURDER IN ROOM 346
MURDER OF A SILENT MAN
MURDER HAS NO GUILT
MURDER IN HYDE PARK
SIX YEARS TOO LATE
THE SLAYING OF JOE FOSTER
THE HERO’S FALL
MURDER WITHOUT REASON
DI Keith Tremayne Series
DEATH AND THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE
DEATH AND THE LUCKY MAN
DEATH AT COOMBE FARM
DEATH BY A DEAD MAN’S HAND
DEATH IN THE VILLAGE
THE BODY IN THE DITCH
THE HORSE’S MOUTH
Steve Case Series
PRELUDE TO WAR
THE HABERMAN VIRUS
HOSTAGE OF FEAR
Copyright © 2021 Phillip Strang
Cover Design by Phillip Strang
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed by a newspaper, magazine, or journal.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
All Rights Reserved.
This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service.
Author’s Website: http://www.phillipstrang.com
For Elli and Tais, without whose support and encouragement, I would never have discovered the infinite joy of crafting stories.
Angus Simmons, the host of a popular television programme, a house in Chelsea, a beautiful girlfriend and an expensive car in the garage, had it made – up until the moment he fell.
He had been thirty-nine years of age, a wiry physique in his teens, a natural athlete, graced with an irrepressible need for adventure and challenge, the ultimate belief in self.
At the age of eighteen, he had climbed the three tallest buildings in London, the first two with ropes and a partner, the third, and more difficult, solo and with no safety gear. His exploits had shot him to national attention.
Seven years later, he had made the first of three ascents of Mount Everest, and he was regarded as one of the leading mountaineers of his generation. On the last climb, six years after the first and leading a group of climbers, one had died of asphyxia, and another had fallen to his death on the descent back to Camp Four. Simmons was emotionally upset at the tragic waste of good men’s lives. A subsequent inquiry exonerated him.
Detective Chief Inspector Isaac Cook had seen death before, but not a body that had fallen over eight hundred feet, hitting the building as it plummeted, before finally impacting on the roof of a parked truck.
Usually unemotional, he had to admit to surprise at seeing the man dead on the truck.
‘And you were filming this?’ Isaac Cook asked a film crew that stood to one side, separated from the body by crime scene tape and a couple of uniforms.
‘We had permission,’ an upset woman said.
‘I was Angus’s co-host,’ the attractive and on-screen ebullient co-host of the weekly programme that showed obscure and unusual news stories from around the world, said.
‘Permission from who?’ Isaac asked. ‘Climbing the Shard, London’s tallest building isn’t usually allowed, sensitive about the bad publicity when some fool falls off.’
‘Not my area.’
‘I assume you took advice, informed your legal team?’
‘I followed procedure, not that it matters now, does it? Angus is dead.’
The woman was right, Isaac knew. The reason for the man being there, for his climb, and the situation’s stupidity weren’t important. It was that there was a suspicion as to why he fell.
Isaac could only imagine the panic at the television station: the fire-fighting, the pointing of fingers, a scapegoat to find.
‘A friend of yours, Angus?’ Isaac asked. ‘Were you close?’
‘My co-host, I’ve already told you that. We got on well enough, but we weren’t dating, not lovers if that’s what you’re implying.’
‘The truth’s best in situations such as this,’ Isaac said. He wasn’t going to push the point.
‘He fell, killed himself. Why ask these questions now?’
‘For one good reason, and regardless of the stupidity of you and your television station’s stunt, he didn’t fall through losing his grip.’
‘Someone took a shot at him. Anyone you might know, enemies of his?’
Isaac felt that he was hard on the woman, but it was the early stage of an investigation, and quick action was essential. The person most likely to know some of the innermost secrets that everyone carries, and the dynamics of the programme that she had co-hosted was Tricia Warburton.
‘Are you saying he was murdered?’
‘Yes, elegant in its execution.’
‘Elegant? That sounds as if you admire the person who did this,’ Tricia said.
‘Not admire, but it’s original, and all because of a stunt. Good for ratings, was it?’
‘It would have been. It was Angus’s idea. The man was fearless.’
‘And dead,’ Isaac added. ‘Whoever took the shot knew when he intended to climb.’
‘Before I became a television presenter, I studied nursing. I didn’t see a gunshot wound on the body.’
‘You saw it?’
‘What I could. Isn’t it instinctive to check if the person’s alive? Besides, it was surreal; none of us could comprehend what we had seen happen.’