The Cuckoo Murders

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Chapter 28

Kubric had called together four of Maric’s men and explained what he wanted them to do. He was certain Boucher would make a run for it. It was the natural thing to do when your life was on the line. They were to take two cars, wait outside his house until he appeared, and then cut him off on the road and bring him back to Kubric. Unharmed if possible but do whatever was necessary. Kubric provided them with guns and knives in case they needed them.

Boucher was almost ready to go. He had packed a case and chosen a newish passport in the name of Victor Bouin. It was a good fake; one he was confident would pass border checks. He had not yet decided where to go but was thinking somewhere where there was no extradition like the Far East or South America. He intended to catch the first suitable flight out of Heathrow. He looked out of his front window. The light was fading but he noticed the small blue car parked one hundred yards away just short of the bend in the road leading to Wellingborough. In it sat two people. Boucher was sure it had been there earlier in the day. Recognising danger, he reached into the top drawer of the cabinet beneath the window and pulled out a Sig Sauer P320 handgun. He put it in his jacket pocket, checked he had his passport, phone, and money, and began a final sweep of the house before leaving.

Shannon had positioned his men in teams of two to cover all exits. Dressed in ballistic helmets and body armour, they were waiting in their hold positions from where they were not visible, but once the ‘Go’ was given they were instructed to break cover, move in, guns raised, safety’s off.

Kubric’s men pulled up in a Land Cruiser a few seconds later. They parked outside Boucher’s house and strode purposefully up to the door, leaving the car doors open. Each was armed with an automatic pistol. The lead man knocked on Boucher’s door. His three comrades stood either side of him, two to the right, one to the left. The top half of Boucher’s front door was glazed and the response to the knock was a bullet zinging through it into the chest of the lead man. He fell to the ground with a scream, blood pumping out through his white shirt.

His three friends reacted by pulling out their own guns and firing through the glass. Close to a hundred rounds exploded inside in the space of a few seconds. One of them began smashing the glass with the butt of his pistol, hoping to reach inside and undo the latch.

Shannon heard the shots and shouted ‘Go!’

His men crouched forward side by side at marching pace, guns raised. Meanwhile the three men had managed to open the front door and entered the house in single file. By the time Shannon’s men reached the grounds, Kubric’s men were already inside. Shannon ordered three teams to surround the front door, and the others to continue blocking exit points from the grounds. One of the teams disarmed the injured man and began first aid. Shannon called for an ambulance.

Inside, the three men spread out and began to search. Calls of ‘Clear’ rang out as they moved from room to room. Shannon cautioned his men to stay where they were. Puzzled at being unable to find Boucher the three men inside the house gathered in the front room. Deciding he must be in the back garden they moved to the back door and flung it open. Another shot rang out and the front man fell, blood gushing from a throat wound. ‘He’s in the shed!’ one shouted and fired a burst into the thin wooden construction at the rear of the garden. His companion did the same. The side of the shed collapsed under the hail of bullets, Boucher lying dead on the flimsy wooden base. They moved in cautiously, guns raised. When they reached him one kicked away his gun before kicking him. Raising no response, he knelt beside the bullet ridden body and felt for a pulse. ‘He’s gone.’ He said, standing up.

‘Shit.’ His friend said, ‘Kubric wanted him alive.’

Slowly they made their way to the front door, dragging their dead comrade behind. At the front door they noticed their wounded friend was not in sight and stepped out, thinking he had perhaps crawled away towards the Land Cruiser. It was as they stepped forward that the police surrounded them with guns raised, shouting ‘Police, drop you weapons!’ Shocked and disoriented by the sight and screams of the officers they let their guns fall to floor. ‘On the floor, face down!’ Came the order and the two men quickly obeyed. Shannon breathed a sigh of relief and called Giordano.

It took Shannon and his team two hours to clean up and seal the house and grounds. Meanwhile three ambulances took away the dead and injured, and SOCO’s began their forensic investigations.

After about an hour Foal arrived in his ten-year-old Fiesta, rust patches showing on the wheel-arches and rear bumper. Inside the filthy cabin, littered with McDonald’s wrappers and empty coke cans, Foal was armed with a fully loaded German World War 11 Browning pistol. He was bent on revenge for his aunt and lover. His plan was to approach as a friend and kill the French bastard when he least expected it, but as soon as he entered Church Lane he noticed the line of police cars and ambulances and guessed he was too late. Not wishing to attract attention he slowed down and turned into a side street before driving away from the scene.

Giordano reported the incidents to Thomas. Her arrest team had been unable to save Boucher but had arrested his killers. They were being processed downstairs in the holding cells.

One interesting fact; the Land Cruiser was registered to Maric.

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