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PD James

Death of an Expert Witness

Faber 1977
Jacket design Terry Trott

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The call had come at 6.12 precisely. It was second nature to him now to note the time by the illuminated dial of his electric bedside clock before he had switched on his lamp, a second after he had felt for and silenced the raucous insistence of the telephone. It seldom had to ring more than once, but every time he dreaded that the peal might have woken Nell. The caller was familiar, the summons expected. It was Detective-Inspector Doyle. The voice, with its softly intimidating suggestion of Irish burr, carne to him strong and confident, as if Doyle's great bulk loomed over die bed. 'Doc Kerrison?' The interrogation was surely unnecessary. Who else in this half-empty, echoing house would be answering at 6.12 in the morning ? He made no reply and the voice went on. 'We've got a body. On the wasteland—a clunch field—a mile north-east of Muddington. A girl. Strangulation by die look of it. It's probably pretty straightforward but as it's close...' 'All right. I'll come.'

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