DCI Morgan Chester Series: The Cover of Darkness

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He was not always a killer. But the itch needed to be scratched. Two young prostitutes lay beaten and stabbed at the bottom of The Stables market in Camden. One dead, the other holding on by a thread. Deeper in the market is an abandoned container etched with Satanic symbols used for a ritual. A baby lays on the sacrificial table. As Detective Chief Inspector Morgan Chester and her colleague Detective Inspector Cole Dawson race to capture the violator. Their hunt brings them to a brothel in Kings Cross where the dead girl worked. The surviving victim is found dead in her hospital bed days later. With leads going cold and her witness dead. Morgan makes a hard decision as she enters HMP Belmarsh.

Age Rating:


“Chester.” She answered the call with a clipped tone.

“Hello Detective. I have missed the sound of your voice.” A deep voice spoke. Detective Chief Inspector Morgan Chester froze in her chair. Her knuckles white as she gripped the phone. The voice sent shivers down her spine and Goosebumps broke on her arms.

“Can’t say the feeling is mutual, Gracy.” She muttered. He chuckled.

Theodore Gracy - nicknamed the Butcher of London by the media. Killing spree that lasted twelve years until he was caught by Superintendent, Oliver Bruce. Three years ago, he escaped HMP Belmarsh and had been laying low. Until now.

“Have you heard from Bruce lately?” He asked. Morgan’s eyes darted up to his office in the back to see it empty. She pressed her lips together tightly and muted the call before she turned to Detective Inspector Rowan Anderson.

“Where’s Bruce?” She asked calmly. Rowan gave her a puzzled look and shook his head. A dark deep pit brewed in Morgan’s stomach as she unmuted the call. Gracy was cackling.

“Do I have your attention now Detective?”

“Yes, what do you want?” She bit back.

“I wonder if your team know you’re a bent copper. You see Detective, I have been paying the upmost attention to your daily routine.”

“Stalking me now are you Gracy? Didn’t know you cared so much.” She mocked.

“How is Rafe by the way?” The question stunned Morgan.

“You son of a bitch.” She cursed. Gracy laughed and coughed violently down the receiver. Morgan crinkled her nose in disgust.

“Don’t worry Detective, I haven’t gone anywhere near your pretty boy.” He paused. “I popped over to the Superintendent’s home not too long ago. His wife and children were very welcoming.”

Morgan’s eyes grew wide and she almost dropped the phone. “I swear if you do anything to that family, I will personally hunt you down and end you!” She spat violently.

“Petty threats won’t get you far Detective. Did daddy dearest not tell you that. I see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” He mocked.

“What are you hoping to achieve from this call? Angering my team will not be happy ending in your story.” She warned.

“In thirty seconds, Detective Inspector Cole Dawson will receive a phone call. Better listen carefully, as you know, I never make it easy for you Detective.”

The shrill ringing from Cole’s desk made her jump. Cole looked at Morgan and she nodded for him to answer. He held the phone close to his ear and the colour drained from his face.

“I want you to meet me Detective. I feel like we have a lot to talk about.”

“If I meet you, will you let them go?”

“Cross my heart and hope not to die.” He sung before he gave her the location of the meeting place.

Livid, Morgan slammed the phone down. She jumped up from her chair and marched to Cole’s desk. The caller had disconnected but Cole stayed frozen in his chair.

“What was said on the call?” She asked. Cole did not respond. “ANSWER ME!” Her voice boomed as she slammed her hands on the desk making him jump.

“There was crying. It came from a female.” He whispered and looked down at the floor. Morgan cursed.

“Call Danny in the Armed Force Office, tell him Superintendent Bruce and his family are in danger. I want you all to prepare yourselves and I will meet you at Bruce’s home.” She barked her orders as she grabbed her gun from the top desk drawer and slipped her leather jacket on with ease. The office door swung open and a gasp came from Detective Inspector Rowan Anderson.

“Good morning team.” Superintendent Oliver Bruce chirped but paused as he stared at the shocked faces that fronted him. “Is everything okay?”

“We had a call. We thought you was in danger.” Cole muttered as he stood up.

“Where is your family right now sir?” Morgan asked.

“Sherri’s at work. Miles and Abby are at school.” He answered.

“Have you recently talked to them?” Morgan pressed.

“I dropped the kids off myself to the school. Sherri called me about two minutes ago to see how it went.” He paused. “What’s going on?”

Morgan and Cole explained briefly that Theodore Gracy had called them, implying he had made a visit to his home. Cole told him about the phone call he received.

“He’s playing a game.” Bruce eventually muttered and ran his hand over his dark beard. “And he asked you to meet with him?” he asked Morgan who nodded.

“Yes sir. I have to go alone.” She responded.

“No, it’s too dangerous.” He warned her. Morgan bit her lip and ran her hands through her auburn hair, causing a knot between the lose curls.

“He will be expecting back up. If I go on my own it could stun him.” She argued as she stalked towards the door and pulled it open. Bruce followed her down the narrow hallway.

“You’re a right pain in the arse Detective Chester!” He bellowed as they entered the staircase. Morgan turned to him and glared. “If you think I am going to allow you to put your life at risk you are damn wrong.”

“But you’ll allow an innocent girl to get tortured and killed?” She chuckled dryly and leant against the railing. “I thought the purpose of this department was to save lives.”

“Our department is to profile criminals and help other departments, not go into the line of fire.”

“I’m not going to sit around and do-nothing Oliver. I’m going to save this girl and bring Gracy in – dead or alive!” She told him sternly.

“Stop trying to be a hero Chester! If you walk out this building, you’ll be as good as fired.” He warned her. Morgan grit her teeth and reached for her badge and gun in her jacket pocket. She forcefully placed them in his hands.

“Then I quit.” She muttered and descended the stairs. Oliver cursed under his breath and kicked the railing.

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