Chapter 31

Inspector Pigshit marched purposefully through the doors of Edinburgh City Council, waving his Police Scotland ID as he brushed past the girl in reception.

“Hey!” yelled a jobsworth security guy who worked for whatever company it was these days who had the contract for security at council HQ. “You can’t park there!”

“I already have, sunshine,” said Pigshit. “Look.”

“No, I mean, you’re not allowed to. You have to use the car park.”

“Bollocks to your car park,” said Pigshit. “I am a police officer on a very important case. If I wanted to use a car park, I’d bloody well use the Park & Ride and come in on a bus.”

“Aye, but you can’t leave your vehicle at the top of the steps.”

“Says who? Listen, mush: I am the fucking law. Any more lip from you, whether it’s about where I choose to park or not, and I’ll have you banged up for obstructing police work. You’re looking at five years, minimum.”

“But …”

“Five years of breaking rocks and sewing mail bags in Saughton. Think about it.”

Pigshit and Steve brushed past the guard and walked over towards the lifts. Steve silently mouthed ‘wanker’ at the guard. Pigshit asked a bloke in a suit where Fowler’s office was. They got in the lift. Inspector Pigshit pressed 3 so that the lift would take them up to the third floor. The doors closed slowly.

The bloke in the suit, who had also entered the lift, stood in stoic silence.

“Small fucking Tardis this,” noted Pigshit.

“I know what you mean, Doctor,” replied Steve. “I blame the Daleks, actually.”

“Yeah,” huffed Pigshit. “Those fuckers.”

The lift gave a big grunt and lurched to a halt at the second floor. The bloke in the suit grinned nervously and got out.

The door closed again and Pigshit and Steve pissed themselves laughing.

Chapter 30

Sirens a-flashing, Inspector Pigshit’s unmarked squad car thundered towards the headquarters of Edinburgh City Council. It was still pissing it down outside with cold, wet rain.

“Looks like the car park’s full,” said Steve.

“Forget the car park,” replied Pigshit. “There’s plenty of space outside the main door. Take the fucker up the stairs.”

“Right-oh, boss.”

Steve hit the accelerator and drove the car up the large flight of stone steps before pulling a smooth handbrake turn and bringing the car to a stylish halt right outside the door.

Pigshit switched off the CD player. They were already on track 10 of Pelican West, the wonderfully catchy Love’s Got Me in Triangles. Pigshit thought about his favourite triangles: Dairylea cheese triangles. He got out of the car and glanced over at some smokers huddled outside the door of the building. They were looking at him funny.

“What are you fuckwits staring at?” he asked.

No-one said anything.

“You lot want to stop smoking. Didn’t you get the memo about how it’s bad for you? And that it makes you stink?”

“Not that easy,” mumbled one of the smokers, shivering in the damp autumn wind.

“Course it’s fucking easy,” said Pigshit. “You take your packet of fags and throw them in the fucking bin. Then you don’t buy any more, ever. Simple.”

“Ye cannae give up just like that,” said another.

“Away and shite,” replied Pigshit. “Use a bit of fucking willpower.”

“Do you want me to arrest these guys?” asked Steve. “We can get them banged up for smoking outwith a designated area.”

Pigshit looked down and saw that two of the group were indeed standing on the wrong side of a line painted on the paving stones indicating where people were allowed to smoke.

“No, it’s cool,” said Pigshit. “A warning will be sufficient this time.”

And with that, he kicked and punched the smokers until they were safely over the line. And then he went inside to continue the investigation.

Chapter 29

They were now on track three of Pelican West, the tragically underrated Lemon Firebrigade. Steve drove the car down narrow side streets like he was Lewis Hamilton. They knocked over cardboard boxes and sent pigeons flapping upwards in bird-brained panic.

Pigshit was still looking at his phone, reading about Councillor Fowler.

“It says here,” he noted with a fair measure of surprise, “she’s only 28.”

“Born in 1985, then,” said Steve, demonstrating his impressive talent for mental arithmetic.

“I didn’t think you could get councillors as young as that,” said Pigshit. “I thought they were all old farts in their fifties and sixties who played golf and were in the Masons.”

“Guess not.”

“I’m going to see if she’s on Twitter.”

“You on Twitter, boss?”

“What do you fucking think? Like I’ve got time to waste writing 140 words about what I’m having for dinner. I’m not Stephen Fry, you know.”

Steve put pedal to the metal as the unmarked Ford Focus RS 2.0-litre turbocharged squad car (with all-wheel drive) zoomed along a busy pavement towards Edinburgh City Council headquarters. Pigshit had told one of his team back at the station to phone Fowler to make sure she’d be there, so he and Steve wouldn’t be wasting their fucking time.

“She is on Twitter,” said Pigshit. “But it’s just political stuff. Retweets of something some wanker said about independence … Some shit about a jumble sale next weekend … A link to another YouTube video by that publicity-seeking astronaut … No clues regarding the murder at all. Fucking useless.”

“Shame,” said Steve.

Pigshit fiddled with the CD player controls.

“It’s time for this,” he said, turning up the volume.

The car shook to the sound of Haircut One Hundred’s 1982 top ten hit, Fantastic Day.

Chapter 28

Sergeant Steve Norman floored the accelerator and the squad car roared out of the station car park. They were on their way to interrogate Councillor Michelle Fowler, the owner of the car in which the murdered corpse of Laura Palmer was found. Inspector Pigshit looked through the selection of CDs in the glove compartment and chose Pelican West, the debut album from the legendary jazz-funk pop combo, Haircut One Hundred.

Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) started up.

“This one’s a total fucking classic,” noted Pigshit as Nick Heyward’s vocals came in over the frenetic guitar riff and the wild congas.

Steve nodded. The rain was still pissing down and the wind was still winding, but at least there were no roadworks to contend with.

Pigshit googled Councillor Michelle Fowler.

“It says here,” said Pigshit, reading from his phone, “that Councillor Fowler is an environmental campaigner.”

“Oh aye?”

“A bit fucking suspicious, don’t you think?”

“Why’s that, boss?”

“What’s an environmental campaigner doing with a car? She should be thinking of the fucking polar bears. She should have a bike. Reduce her carbon footprint and all that.”

Steve spun round a corner, overtaking a bus and swerving to avoid a cyclist.

“Good point, boss.”

“And the other thing,” said Pigshit, “is that women can’t drive properly anyway.”

“I hope they won’t be driving the fucking trams,” said Steve.

They both laughed.

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 26

“Bad news?” asked Pigshit.

“Aye,” said Steve. “Jim’s handed in his badge.”

“What?”

“He quit. While you were off for a slash, some happy-clappy tambourine shakers came in. God-botherers. Anyway, they got talking to Jim and they converted him. He’s now a believer.”

“You’re having me on,” scoffed Pigshit.

“Wish I was, boss,” said Steve, handing Pigshit a flyer and Jim’s Police Scotland ID badge.

“They left some leaflets, look.”

Pigshit gave the religious pamphlet the once-over.

“But he’s from Falkirk! He’s probably got 666 tattooed on his head!”

“Well, they promised him salvation and eternal life so he decided there and then to leave the force and become a follower of the Lord.”

“FFS,” huffed Pigshit. “Did he pay for his baguette before he left?”

“He did, yeah.”

“Thank the Lord for that.”

Pigshit shoved the leaflet in pocket and looked out across the street. He still had a brutal murder case to solve and it was still pissing it down with rain. Eternal life. Yeah, fucking right.

Chapter 25

As he washed his hands in the lukewarm water spluttering out of the hot tap, Inspector Pigshit glanced across at the johnny machine. Back in the day, vending machines in the gents were much more discreet. They’d only say things like “Sheaths 2x50p”. Nowadays, they came emblazoned with all sorts of suggestive imagery. “Fruity Flavour Variety Pack! Apple & Mango! Blackcurrant! Pink Grapefruit!”. Pigshit wondered if there was much of a difference between pink grapefruit and normal grapefruit. Mrs Pigshit was allergic to grapefruit and he wondered if that also meant pink grapefruit, or just the yellow ones.

“You broke my fucking nose,” whined the man handcuffed to the cistern pipe. “I’m going to put in a complaint about you.”

“Yeah? Well, you’ll be doing it on Saughton Prison headed notepaper,” replied Pigshit as he kicked the man hard in the testicles once again.

Pigshit dried his hands on a couple of paper towels. He didn’t like using hand dryers. You either get those wanky Dyson ones that sound like an aeroplane taking off, or an older model that’s about as effective as drying your hands in someone’s fart. The hand dryer in the gents was the latter type, but thankfully, paper towels were available, too. Pigshit used a third towel for good measure, scrunched it up and threw it at the man.

He marched purposefully back out to the main part of the pub.

“Steve. Call the station and get ’em to send a uniformed officer to pick up that guy in the gents. Criminal damage. Six months. Oh, and we’ll need someone round to fix the door, too.”

“No worries, boss.”

The pub jukebox was now playing Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears. Good choice, thought Pigshit.

Just then, he noticed Sergeant Morrison wasn’t there.

“Here, where’s Jimbo?”

“Ah,” said Steve. “Bad news, I’m afraid …”