It was an uncharacteristically sunny morning in Bournemouth when Detective Nick Sterling strolled into his office. Bournemouth, a place known for its stony beach and Victorian architecture, was a tourist hub. But in the crisp morning air, it felt far from that. The morning sun spilt through the bay windows, casting a warm glow on the worn-out mahogany desk. Piles of unfinished case files lay scattered, the result of last night’s overtime.
Nick leaned against the door frame, a mug of hot coffee in his hand, his eyes scanning the room like an eagle surveying its territory. His gaze landed on the desktop calendar – July 16. He frowned; there was something about the date.
“Mornin’ Nick,” a voice echoed from the doorway. Rebecca Walsh, his partner. She was sharp as a tack and relentless as a hound. Her fiery red hair always tied up in a high ponytail, symbolising her determination. A well-needed presence in the bleak, often chaotic world of criminal investigations.
“Rebecca,” Nick responded, forcing a half-smile, “Ever get the feeling that a day is going to be—”
The phone on his desk rang. Nick picked it up, listening for a moment before his face hardened. He hung up without a word, his blue eyes clouded with a serious intensity that Rebecca recognized.
“Emily Foster,” he started, pulling up a file on his computer. A picture popped up on the screen; a young, pretty woman with blonde hair and twinkling blue eyes. She looked like a woman who knew how to enjoy life, the kind who’d dance barefoot in the rain or laugh a little too loud at a joke. But the timestamp on the file was from two years ago. “She’s gone missing.”
Rebecca’s eyes widened. Emily Foster. She remembered the name. Wife of Jack Foster, a reputed entrepreneur, and a famous local face. Jack had been all over the papers, of course, but Emily preferred to stay away from the limelight.
Nick pulled up another file with a picture of Emily and a man who was certainly not her husband. Paul Michaels, Jack’s best friend. A rumour had circled around town about Emily and Paul, but it had died down after a few weeks. “This makes things complicated,” he murmured.
Rebecca nodded, her mind racing. She was putting together the pieces, already trying to form a timeline. Emily, Jack, and Paul – the love triangle was a motive, a strong one. But who would be desperate enough to abduct Emily?
“Let’s not jump to conclusions,” Nick warned, reading her thoughts. He had a knack for that. “Could be she just took off. It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s decided to escape this small-town drama.”
The room fell silent as they both studied the photograph. The two detectives knew all too well that things were never as simple as they seemed in their line of work.
Their peaceful, sunny morning had just turned into a stormy hunt for truth, a twisted maze of love, deceit, and possibly, crime. They exchanged a glance; it was time to get to work.
“Welcome to a sunny day in Bournemouth,” Nick said with a tight smile. Rebecca nodded in agreement, her eyes once again on Emily’s picture.
Little did they know, this was just the calm before the storm.
First Chapter from Stan Kids in a Crime Thriller. Let me know your thoughts.