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The Golden Silence

Extract

Mavros ducked under the tape and walked between an ambulance and a police van. A track had been trampled through the new grass and spring flowers that were growing around the rock. He could see Nikos Kriaras standing with his head bowed as he examined something on the ground. As Mavros drew closer, he saw it was a body.

‘So, Alex,’ the commander said sternly. ‘You should be interested in this. You’re the only person I know who admits to being at the Silver Lady nightclub last night.’ He smiled coldly. ‘That makes you a suspect.’

Mavros tried to keep cool.

Kriaras squatted down and pointed to the naked body lying on its front. ‘Male, aged between thirty and forty, time of death approximately six a.m. this morning, cause of death shock and/ or loss of blood. An anonymous caller directed us here at eight a.m. There was a wallet placed between the dead man’s buttocks. The photo on the ID card matches. His name is Angelos Lazanis, accountant.’ Kriaras laughed drily. ‘How many accountants wind up like this? The wallet also contains a book of matches with the Silver Lady’s logo on it.’ He signalled to a technical officer in white overalls. ‘Turn him over.’ He watched Mavros as the front of the body came into view. ‘What do you think of that?’

Mavros blinked. He’d seen more bodies than he wanted to in his professional life, and viewing them didn’t get any easier. People did sickening things to their fellow men. He forced himself to run his eyes down the victim. The head was undamaged apart from lacerations and dried blood on the lips. It seemed the victim had bitten through them in his agony. There was a major wound to his upper left arm, as if a sharp object had almost passed through it. But it was the groin that made him gag. There were small metal shafts protruding from the penis, scrotum and surrounding flesh. Short lengths of line were attached to the eye at the end of each one.

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