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Crying Blue Murder
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Crying Blue Murder

Extract

Mavros went out into the street, shouldering his satchel that contained water, tanning lotion, guidebook and mobile phone. He'd also taken Rosa's photo and card, as wells as the diskette and photos he'd found in the chimney. The morning was well progressed and the sun was shining down the east-facing street with plenty of vigour. He put his sunglasses on and walked down the uneven surface. There was a small spray of hibiscus, already withering, lying against a bottom step. He wondered if it had come from the funeral procession as it meandered round the village, someone's offering to the young people who had died. At the corner where the sign pointed to 'Kambos 2km', he turned and walked up the gradually increasing slope.

He was passed by a succession of vehicles - battered pick-ups, white Japanese vans, ancient Rotavators towing mini-trailers and filling the air with their din. But Mavros wasn't hitching. This time he wanted to complete the journey on foot. It wasn't far and he felt it was time that he experienced the island's topography close up. He often did this when he was working on a case. It was one of the reasons that he walked around Athens so much. He reckoned that only by measuring out the place you were in could you begin to decode it - and Trigono was one of those multilayered locations that needed a lot of decoding. He looked southwards to the massif, the bare flanks glowing silvery brown in the morning light and the great ridge standing between the peaks like an impenetrable wall. Beyond it the young couple had drowned in a relatively calm sea. He wondered idly if anyone could have seen what happened from the hills. But a witness would surely have come forward by now.

As he walked on up the thin layer of asphalt to the low ridge that separated the north of the island from the central plain, Mavros looked to his right. The conical hill he'd seen from the cemetery road stood out against the southern extremity of Andiparos across the waves. According to the map that prominence was called Korakas, The Crow. A vision of black birds pecking at corpses rose up unbidden before him. He twitched his head. Trigono was doing disturbing things to his imagination.

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