Extract: The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter
When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.
Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching. And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…
Read on for an extract from The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter!
The Whole Truth
At St Aldate’s, Sergeant Paul Woods is spending the afternoon on reception, and is very far from happy about it. He works the giddy heights of the custody suite these days but the civilian desk officer is on holiday and the PC covering her has food poisoning, and Woods drew the short straw. And along with it, a short fuse. It’s far too bloody hot for a start. BBC Oxford said it might hit 30 degrees today. 30 degrees. It’s bloody indecent, that’s what that is. He’s propped open the main street door but all it’s allowing in is fumes. And more people. A good half of them are just looking for some respite from the sun – there’s never been so much interest in the leaflet stand, that’s for sure. It can go weeks without needing to be refilled, but suddenly they’re all out of How to Protect Your Home From Thieves and Things To Look Out For When You Shop Online. There’s a group milling around it right now – tourists clearly, and mostly Chinese.
Woods glances up at the clock. Another twenty minutes before he can take a break. The tourists around the leaflet stand are talking eagerly among themselves now. One is gesturing towards Woods; she appears to be trying to get up the courage to come and talk to him. He draws himself up to his full authority, and at six foot two and sixteen stone that’s a lot of gravitas in every sense. It’s not that he’s trying to discourage her as such, it’s just that he knows from dreary experience that these sorts of questions can almost always be answered by any half-decent map. He really has had his fill of unofficial trip-advising over the years.
He’s saved, as it turns out, by the bell. Just as the Chinese woman starts to approach the desk, the phone goes. It’s the woman on switchboard – another civilian; Marjorie something. She must have got the short straw too.
‘Sergeant Woods – can you take this one please? I’ve tried CID but there’s no one in. It’s Edith Launceleve.’
He picks up his pen, momentarily irritated that he never has known the correct way to write that bloody place. Whose bright idea was it to call a college after someone nobody can spell?
‘OK,’ he says heavily. ‘Put them through.’
He raises his hand grandly to the Chinese tourist as if he has the Chief Constable on the line.
‘Is that Sergeant Woods? Jancis Appleby here, Edith Launceleve College.’
It’s the sort of voice that makes you sit up straight.
‘How can I help you, Miss Appleby?’
‘I have Professor Hilary Reynolds on the line.’
She says it as if even a minion like Woods will have heard that name. And actually, he has, but right this minute he can’t for the life of him remember when –
‘The Principal,’ she says briskly. ‘In case you may have forgotten. Hold on, please.’
Now that does bring him up short. The bloody Principal? What could possibly be so important that the Principal gets on the blower? What is she even doing in the office at the weekend?
The line clicks into life again.
Not the female voice he was expecting and he loses the first few words remembering Hilary can be a bloke’s name too.
‘I’m sorry, sir, could you say that again?’
‘I said I’m afraid I need to report an incident involving a student at the college.’
Woods’ eyes narrow; ‘incident’ can cover a multitude of sins, from the mortal to the extremely mundane.
‘What sort of incident would that be, sir?’
An intake of cultured, well educated but slightly irritated breath. ‘A serious incident, Sergeant. I’m afraid that’s all I’m prepared to say at this stage. Could you put me through to Detective Inspector Fawley?’
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