Street 37

A Crime novel based around Alfred Hurst, a former Royal Marine Commando who is still suffering from the after effects of war. Following his enrollment in the Police Force, he is faced with his harsh memories from the forces and the harsh reality of crime.

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1. Cross: A Stab In The Dark

"Get me Hurst." The low Scottish slur rang out across the dank courtyard. Gordon Cross held the Nokia to his ear and waited. He hated waiting. It was waiting like this that cost precious seconds. Precious minutes. Precious lives. Finally he heard the scuffling of someone handing over a phone on the other end of the line.

"What the hell do you want?" Snapped the rough, throaty tones of Alfred Hurst. He was clearly tired. Gordon smirked.

"Another lie-in, Hurst?"

"It's five in the bloody morning!" Came the reply. Gordon licked his lips, reveling in the anger of the man on the other end of the phone.

"Crime doesn't rest, Alfie," Gordon spat into the receiver. "And nor should you. There's been a murder on Quay Street and they need you at the scene ASAP." Gordon hated telling Hurst when he was wanted. It made him so full of himself.

"What about the Perp?" Hurst asked. All the tiredness had left his voice. He was in work mode. Gordon could tolerate him now. No banter, no comparisons. Just the job and the detectives.

"The caught him about half a mile away. Off his head on Crack Cocaine and covered in blood. The bosses said that you could give us a hand down here, even if  you're not on duty." Gordon scowled. He could handle the case by himself.

He liked it better that way. Just him, the forensics blokes and the corpse. He didn't need some depressed ex-forces nut job to lead him by the hand. They were equals, it wasn't like Hurst was his superior. But no, it was always "Let Hurst deal with this" or "Leave it to Alfie." Judgmental old sods, Gordon thought maliciously. He could hear Hurst pulling his jacket on and picking what sounded like car keys jangling in his hand.

"See you in ten." Grunted Hurst. He hung up. Gordon turned to face the crime scene. it was a grizzly sight. Forensics specialists were scattered around the courtyard, their white suits reflecting the dull light from a nearby streetlight. Flecks of blood peppered nearby cars and houses. A blue and white police tape stopped the approaching cars from staying on the road, so they swerved to another and continued on their way. Gordon shivered. The body wasn't going to be moved until it had been checked over by Hurst, but the pool of congealed blood around the victims midriff made him want to puke. Stabbings were not rare in Manchester. For that matter, murder was practically an everyday occurrence here. Anywhere else and Gordon would have expected journalists to be lining the streets and people pressing their noses against the police cars.

An engine roared behind Gordon and he spun on his heel to see a red and grey Audi R8 skidding to a halt twenty meters away. Out leaped Alfred Hurst. He was tall and broad shouldered, with close cropped greying hair and a square jaw. He had a slight limp and wore a grimace across his scarred face.

"Bloody hell!" Exclaimed Hurst. His eyes were on the victim, who had several stab wounds in his stomach. He limped across to Gordon and looked him up and down. Gordon was lean and wiry. He was slightly hunch backed and looked intrinsically sour. He looked weak compared to the straight backed Hurst, so he drew himself up taller and started to speak.

"The victim's got six stab wounds and died of blood loss. No sign of a struggle b-"

"What?"

"I said there was no sign of a struggle." growled Gordon.

"No sign of a struggle? No sign of a bloody struggle?" Demanded Hurst, "If there is no sign of a struggle here then I'm an estate agent." and with that he marched forwards, ducking under the police tape and leaving Gordon to traipse sulkily in his wake.

"Look here," Hurst exclaimed, crouching next to the victim, "You see the red marks on his wrist? He was grabbed from behind and spun around to face his attacker. He Must have connected with a punch or two, look at the floor here."

Sure enough, there were splatters of lighter blood here and footprints in the muddy road showed that the victim had obviously been able to adopt a defensive position.

"How do you know that that is not more of the victim's blood?" asked Gordon. He was determined to uproot Hurst's plans, however logical they were.

"Look at the way the blood has fallen. A stab would send blood flying everywhere, but a punch like this would have sent it all one way. Assuming the victim was right handed, I'd say this was a damn good attempt at a fight back." Hurst looked around, as if trying to find another piece of evidence to cement his theory. Sure enough, he turned and stabbed his finger at the floor about ten feet away from the body. Gordon turned his head sharply and cricked his neck. Cursing, he crouched down to see what Hurst was pointing at.

"A tooth?"

"The Perp's tooth, the victim has all of his."

"You reckon it was a punch then?"

"No, I thought it was a bloody gunshot wound! Of course it was a punch!" Hurst exchanged a scandalized look with one of the forensics team. Gordon stalked away to let them get on with it. He despised Hurst, and hated him even more when he made a fool of him in public. He snatched his Nokia from his pocket and punched in a number.

"Get the bloody Coroner, I'm done here."  

 

 

 

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