Chapter 36

Councillor Michelle Fowler was not having a good afternoon.

“Guys? Can you forget about the horses for a minute? It’s just that I’ve got a lot to do today, and if I have to help with your investigation, I’d rather we get this done now. Plus I don’t like being handcuffed.”

“Not what I’ve heard,” whispered Steve, under his breath.

Pigshit picked up Fowler’s pad of Post-It notes and scribbled down his bets.

“Right,” he said, turning to Steve. “Get on the phone to Fat Jim. Tell him I want fucking good prices for that lot.”

“You’ve gone for Wanted: Monty Mole in the 5.50?”

“Fuck yeah.”

“That one’s only got three legs,” said Andy.

“He’s a good runner on soft ground,” argued Pigshit. “And he’s got Clive Gibbons on board. That guy only rides good horses. He doesn’t fuck about with donkeys.”

“I still prefer Saint and Greavsie,” said Steve.

“Your money,” huffed Pigshit. He turned to Fowler. “You putting on a bet, love?”

“No,” huffed Fowler.

Pigshit was about to call her a grumpy lezzer, but – remembering his diversity training – stopped himself from causing unnecessary offence. He tried to recall one of the politically-correct labels that they were allowed to use.

“All right, keep your knickers on, you annoying rug-muncher.” He turned to Andy. “Is there a coffee machine round here? I’m parched. Here’s 20p. Milk and sugar. Fuck off and get me a cup.”

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Chapter 27

Inspector Pigshit marched purposefully back through the station and straight into his office. He had a few things to figure out. First of all, he had to return Jim’s badge to HR. He told Steve to take it over, but Steve pointed out that the HR department had downsized itself and that personnel matters were now dealt with via a call centre based in Clackmannanshire. The part of the building that used to be occupied by HR now housed the Social Media department, but there was, apparently, an 0800 number you could phone, or a website with a form you could fill in. Pigshit couldn’t be arsed with that, so he delegated the whole business to one of his underlings.

In fact, the whole fucking procedure reminded him of the time he had to take a day off because of a bad curry he had from a place near the Cowgate. He woke up that morning to find he could shit through the eye of a needle, so he texted Daniels to say he wouldn’t be in. But then he received a text from someone higher up the food chain telling him he had to report his absence to some office somewhere, and when he phoned them, he had some stupid prick on the other end of the line asking him about his symptoms and the frequency of his bowel movements. Pigshit tried to explain that he had the splats – no more, no less – but the bloke was obviously reading from some flow chart, as if he would be able to reach a more knowledge-based diagnosis. After about a minute and a half, Pigshit hung up and texted Daniels again to say he wouldn’t be in. And then he switched his phone off.

Sergeant Steve Norman entered the office with two bad 20p cups of coffee.

“It’s a bit strange how Jim saw the light and went off to join the God-botherers,” he said.

“It’d be a lot more fucking strange if I’d joined them,” replied Pigshit.

They both laughed.

“So, what about this murder, then?” asked Steve.

“I didn’t do it,” said Pigshit.

“No, I mean, what do we do next?”

“Well,” began Pigshit, thinking about what Morse or that Swedish woman in the woolly jumper would do, “I think we ought to track down the fucker who owns that car.”

“Ace,” said Steve, finishing his coffee.

Pigshit poured the rest of his in the water tray of the geranium he had on his desk.

“Let’s go.”

Chapter 16

Reinvigorated by another bad 20p coffee from the machine in the corridor, Pigshit marched purposefully along to Mitchell’s office. He still had The Power to Forgive by Kajagoogoo echoing round his head. Nick Beggs at the absolute peak of his powers. Perhaps the meeting wouldn’t be that uncomfortable, he thought. With a bit of luck, she might want to discuss the case. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door. He walked in without waiting for a reply.

DCI Mitchell – an attractive woman in her early fifties with an odd, but nonetheless rather pleasant Aberdeenshire accent – was sitting behind her desk, reading a book.

“Ah, Pigshit. Excellent. Take a seat. How’s the investigation coming along?”

“We’ve made a start, ma’am.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, don’t call me ma’am. Juliet Bravo hasn’t been on TV since 1985.”

Champion!, thought Pigshit. She wants to talk about the investigation!

“But I didn’t drag you back here to grill you about some murder case you’ve only spent five minutes on.

Bollocks, thought Pigshit.

“Have a look at this.”

She passed the book to him over the desk. The first thing Pigshit noticed was a large illustration of a naked couple in flagrante.

He flipped the book over to see the cover. Successful Sexy Sex. Damn, he thought. Another awkward conversation about her sex life.

“What do you think of that, Pigshit?” asked Mitchell, pointing to the big photo of the naked couple.

“I don’t know.”

“Does Mrs Pigshit ever do that to you?”

“Well,” Pigshit hesitated. “Sometimes …

“And how stimulating would you say that is? On a scale of, say, 1-10, one being ‘not very arousing’, 10 being ‘absolute OMG’?”

“Don’t know. Six or seven?”

Mitchell stared at Pigshit.

“Well?” asked DCI Mitchell firmly.

“Well what?”

“Which is it: six or seven?”

“Oh. Seven.”

“Always seven?”

“Maybe an eight sometimes.”

“All right.”

Mitchell took the book back and flicked through some pages until she found the part she wanted. She pointed it out to Pigshit.

“Mr Mitchell hasn’t been giving it to me for a few months. I’m thinking we could maybe try this.”

Pigshit squinted at the photograph and tried to make sense of the accompanying text.

“Have you ever done it to Mrs Pigshit like that?”

“Er, no.”

“What about with an earlier sexual partner?”

“No. Afraid not.”

“Oh. You see, the problem is, Mr Mitchell, when I can get him interested, doesn’t spend enough time stimulating my breasts. I was thinking this might be worth a try, to encourage him to work on my erogenous zones a little bit more. Maybe start with my thighs, I don’t know.”

Pigshit found himself lost for words. He glanced up at the clock. He knew from bitter experience that it would be a long time until lunch.

Chapter 14

“You outrageous thieving bastards!” yelled Inspector Pigshit as Sergeant Morrison dragged him out of the mortuary building and back to the car. “I’m going to call Watchdog! I’ll get Nicky Campbell onto you!”

Just a few minutes previously, Pigshit had borrowed a pound off Morrison for a cup of coffee out of the vending machine. As he put the coin in, he noticed a little sign with ‘allergy advice’ on it:

White coffee contains MILK
White tea contains MILK
Cappuccino contains MILK
Café Latte contains MILK
Hot Chocolate contains MILK SOYA

… And so on. Of course white coffee contains MILK, thought Pigshit. What kind of fuckwit would need to be told that? There was, he thought, something mildly ironic about the coffee machine in the foyer of a mortuary having such detailed allergy advice. It was the kind of irony Alanis Morissette could write a song about. At the end of the list it said that Bovril contained celery. Now that was proper information, not the Earth-shattering revelation that white coffee has milk in it.

Pigshit studied the options on the high-tech touch screen interface. He could have an Americano (£1) or, on the next page, a ‘fresh Americano’ (also £1). This seemed genuinely odd. Why was one ‘fresh’ and the other not? If you didn’t order the fresh one, would you get a coffee that had been brewed yesterday or the day before? But of course, it was a vending machine and the coffee would be awful no matter which option you selected. Pigshit hit the button for a fresh Americano and waited for his drink.

The machine made a couple of spontaneous splutters and farts, then a brown disposable plastic cup dropped down into the little tray bit at the front. It was exactly the same type of brown disposable plastic cup that the machine at the station had. Some dark steamy liquid filled the cup. The words ‘Enjoy your quality coffee’ appeared on the screen in front of a stock image of coffee beans and a large, indulgent latte with a swirly pattern in the foam.

Pigshit sipped his coffee. It was the same bloody stuff they had at the station, only five times more expensive. That’s when he lost it.

When he calmed down, Pigshit scowled at the teenage goths who were still huddled outside the mortuary. He knew he and Morrison had a job to be getting on with. But then, a red mini pulled up. It was Maggie Watson, that annoying investigative journalist from the Scotsman.

Chapter 13

“I’m away for a slash.”

It wasn’t even eleven o’clock and already Morrison had to go for a Jimmy Riddle.

“Don’t be all bloody day in there,” barked Inspector Pigshit.

He decided to wait in the foyer rather than go straight out to the car. Apart from anything else, Morrison had the keys.

There wasn’t much in the foyer: the bit where the receptionist sat, a few uncomfortable-looking chairs for visitors to sit in, a coffee machine and a display rack containing various pamphlets and leaflets. Pigshit wandered over towards the coffee machine. All drinks were £1. Fucking hell, he thought, when did vending machine coffee go up to a quid? He ought to have been thankful that the machine at work still only charged 20p, but he was more outraged that some bandit must be coining it in, charging £1 for the kind of piss-poor coffee you get from a vending machine.

Then the display rack caught his eye: stuff about Edinburgh castle, the National Museum, the zoo, the botanic gardens, the Royal fucking Yacht. Some yacht. Massive great ocean liner, more like. He didn’t care for the castle, either. In all his years in the city, Pigshit had never once been to the castle. It just didn’t interest him, all that historical shit. Dudes in kilts and tartan bunnets slicing each other up with swords because of one king or another. Fucking stupid. Pigshit took pride in the fact he’d never visited the castle. It showed he was a free thinker, someone who didn’t have to follow the crowd if he didn’t want to.

Suddenly, the door leading to the gents swung open up and Morrison came out.

“All right, boss?”

“Yeah,” replied Pigshit. “Got a pound coin on you? I want a coffee.”

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.”