Chapter 5

They were now on track five, Of Crime and Passion, and they still weren’t much nearer the crime scene. Thanks in part to roads in the city centre being dug up for the new, exciting and very, very popular tram project, the Monday morning traffic seemed worse than ever. Despite putting on the sirens and the flashing blue lights to get past a few cars and buses, Pigshit and Morrison were now well and truly stuck. They hadn’t moved for about three or four minutes. Ahead of them they could see two bin lorries, several cars and a couple of double-decker buses. Pigshit felt the need to go out and bust a few noses so people would get the hell out the way, but it was raining and he’d get soaked.

It was obvious Sergeant Jim Morrison didn’t really like Of Crime and Passion, but eventually it faded out and Union of the Snake came on.

“This got to number 3 in the UK charts,” said Pigshit proudly.

“Did it?” replied Jim, doubtful of whether reaching number 3 in the charts in the early 1980s was any guarantee of quality.

The hard, unforgiving autumn rain danced off the windscreen in big wet droplets like they were in that film, Se7en.

“At least all this will be sorted out after your #indyref.”

“What’s that, boss?”

“Congestion. All this bloody traffic! Once Scotland becomes independent, all this shit will be a thing of the past. We’ll all be able to drive wherever we like, when we like, without worrying about hold-ups, or one-way streets, or rain. And we’ll have as much free haggis and shortbread as we can eat! It’ll be ace, won’t it?”

Pigshit knew Morrison was a bit of a nationalist and he liked to wind him up about it.

“It’ll be a positive change, I’m sure,” murmured Morrison diplomatically.

“Sounds like a bunch of arse, if you ask me. All these politicians. Fucking hell. Get on with your work and stop poncing around.”

Pigshit felt his pocket buzz. He could just about make out the muffled sound of Shout by Tears for Fears. It was his mobile. He took it out of his pocket and answered it.

“Steve, what’s happening? … Uh huh … It’s all snarled up here, too … No, don’t fucking go to Roy’s! … I don’t care if it’s closer, you know what that guy’s like. One fucking rasher of bacon, and it’s usually all rind … And he doesn’t butter the rolls … Look, just stick on the sirens and the flashing blue lights, and get your arse over to Bridge Street like you’re supposed to. And tell Ali I want more sauce this time!”

He hung up. The car still hadn’t moved.

“What was that about?”

That was our esteemed colleague, Sergeant Steven Norman, informing me he’s stuck in traffic, and asking if it would be better to get the bacon rolls from Roy’s instead of Ali’s, because Roy’s is closer and he didn’t know how long it would take to get to Bridge Street.”

“I don’t like Roy’s,” said Jim unenthusiastically. “His rolls are always a bit doughy.”

“I ought to shut that place down,” mused Pigshit. “One rasher of bacon, indeed. I’m sure I could get that fucker locked up for something.”

The car crawled forward about three metres.

Pigshit dealt with his frustration by hitting the back button on the CD player several times until he got back to The Reflex.


Chapter 4

Inspector Pigshit marched purposefully across the car park. It was a bloody cold day. Still raining; still quite windy. He could see Jim sitting in the car, waiting. That was good. What wasn’t good, however, was the fact that Jim would be sitting there listening to Radio fucking Local, and at this time of the morning, that would mean the breakfast show guy and his fucking mystery voice competition, or worse, cheery adverts for double-glazing and car insurance done by some complete nobshiner of an actor who probably thought he was going to be the next Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but ended up doing voice-overs on radio ads for double-glazing and car insurance.

Pigshit opened the passenger-side door and got in.

“Turn that twat off.”

“Yes, boss.”

Jim switched the radio off. Pigshit put on his seat belt, rummaged around in the glove compartment and took out a CD. He put it in the CD player.

“Come on, you tart. Get going.”

Jim drove off.

“Who are we listening to today, boss?” asked Jim as the disc started to load.

“Duran Duran. Classic album called Seven and the Ragged Tiger,” said Pigshit.

The twangy, upbeat intro of the album’s opening track, The Reflex reverberated around the car. Pigshit turned up the bass.

“What’s he singing about? I can’t make out the lyrics.” asked Jim.

“Just listen,” advised Pigshit. “Proper song, this.”

“‘Why don’t you use it?’ Use what?”

Pigshit didn’t answer. As the unmarked police car sped along the wet, congested thoroughfares of Edinburgh city centre towards the crime scene, Pigshit took out one of his new notebooks. He was intrigued that the paper was 81.4 gsm. How odd that a figure for something most people couldn’t care less about was given to a precision of one decimal place. Like, 80 gsm would be a sufficient guide; 81 gsm sounds a bit strange, not being a nice round number like 80; while 81.4 gsm seems amazingly exact, perhaps unnecessarily so. Maybe it was the manufacturer’s way of getting one over on their competition: look, you bastards – we can do notepaper that’s 81.4 gsm. Yeah, point four, you wankers. Beat that.

“Did you get what you needed from the stationery cupboard, boss?”

“Yeah.” He wasn’t going to mention the paperclips. “Top quality notebooks and a few pens.”

“That’s good,” said Jim. “I think we’re going to need them.”

Chapter 3

By his own admission, Inspector Pigshit was not a superstitious man. That said, he always considered it unlucky to bet on horses that were trained, fed or jockeyed by anyone called Chris; he would never eat crisps on a Sunday; and he always made a point of getting himself a brand new notebook at the start of every new investigation. He marched purposefully along the corridor and downstairs to towards the admin department, where the stationery cupboard was. The fact there was yet another brutal murder to investigate really pissed him off.

Pigshit opened the stationery cupboard and scanned the shelves. He took five small boxes of paperclips and shoved them in his pockets. It wasn’t because he needed paperclips, but he felt that low-level pilfering of office stationery was good for one’s self-esteem. And good for one’s morale, too. He stuffed an assortment of cheap biros into his coat pockets and was just about to choose a nice new notebook when WPC Diane Lawton appeared.

“Hey, Pigshit. Stopping by the stationery cupboard again?”

Pigshit ignored her, and continued his assessment of the available notebooks. Did he want a spiral notepad, or one with ring binding? And who was the arsebucket that ordered those thin staple-bound notebooks? Honestly. Waste of fucking money.

“Do you get it? ‘Stopping by’?”

Pigshit took a deep breath. “I can see you’re trying to make some sort of feeble joke, but I think you’re confusing the word ‘stationery’ with ‘stationary’”.

“Never heard of play on words?”

“It’s Monday morning. Just fuck off.”

Lawton turned and walked away. Inspector Pigshit wasn’t in the mood for her cheeriness, and in any case, Lawton reminded him of someone he once slept with on a Club 18-30 holiday in Spain back in 1986. Same height, same hair, same deep brown eyes. He often wondered if it was indeed the same woman. Lawton must be, what, late forties? Age profile would fit, certainly.

Returning to the selection of notepads, Pigshit narrowed it down to a couple of B5-sized notebooks. The first was similar to what he used on his last investigation (and had proved to be fairly reliable), but the other had a nice purple cover and the paper seemed thicker: 81.4 gsm, compared to the other one which was only 70 gsm. Pigshit was one of those old-school coppers who liked to write on both sides of the paper, so obviously, the thicker stuff was better. The book had a decent number of lines per page, properly spaced out. Good solid lines, too; none of those stupid faint dotted lines. That settled it. Satisfied with his decision, he took six purple notepads and closed the cupboard door.

Chapter 2

“Bollocks,” said Inspector Pigshit. “I was hoping for a quiet morning. Are you sure?”

“Yes, boss.”

“No, are you really sure? Have you checked the flow chart?”

Sergeant Jim Morrison walked across the office towards a cork noticeboard. There, pinned up was a sheet of lined A4 with a crudely-drawn flow chart. Morrison studied the chart. Pigshit muttered something about not even getting the chance to check the Racing Post website.

“Yes, boss. It’s definitely a murder.”

“There’s actually a body, then?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“And it’s not suicide?”

“From what I’ve been told, boss, that would be very unlikely. Apparently, the victim’s heart was removed with some kind of saw.”

“Fucking hell.”

“Yes, boss.”

“Can’t Rebus take this one?”

“He’s on another case.”

“So? Could be a serial killer. Could be the same guy he’s after.”

“I really can’t say, boss.”

Rebus!” scoffed Pigshit. “What a fucking tart he is.”

“DCI Mitchell wants us down at the crime scene asap.”

“All right. Should I check my email first? See if she’s sent me anything?”

“She cc’ed me. I’ve printed everything off. Save you the bother.”

“You and your fucking printer, Morrison.”

Inspector Pigshit finished his 20p coffee and left the empty plastic cup on his desk for someone else to clear away.

“Where we going?”

“West End.”

“Right. Get the motor running,” said Pigshit, throwing a set of car keys to Morrison. “I’ll see you in a couple of minutes, I’m just going to the stationery cupboard to pick up a few notebooks and some spare pens. Tell Steve to meet us there with some hot bacon rolls.”

“Yes, boss!”

Chapter 1

Outside, the wind and the cold Edinburgh rain battered the window. Inspector Pigshit sat at his desk thinking about the coffee he’d just bought from the coffee machine out in the corridor. It was horrible and sweet and just a bit too hot. It wasn’t proper coffee – or proper milk or proper sugar, either – but he drank several plastic cupfuls a day. It cost 20 pence each time, most of that, he assumed, was to cover the cost of the disposable plastic cups. He hated the coffee, but at the same time, he needed it to get him through the day. In any case, it was a good way of getting rid of 20p pieces. Inspector Pigshit hated 20p pieces. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have another fucking seven-sided coin? The fifties were bad enough, but the twenties were smaller and, of course, worth 30 pence less.

He took a tentative sip of the scalding hot liquid and switched on his laptop. Monday morning again. A quiet Monday, hopefully. He hoped there wouldn’t be another murder to investigate.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. It was Sergeant Morrison. Jim, to his friends and the guys he played squash with. Sergeant Jim Morrison, not Jim Morrison out of the Doors, obviously.

“Boss, there’s been a murder.”