>NEVER A FRONTWARD STEP, PART TWELVE

>My hire car came complete with sanitary crepe covers for the plastic pad that covered the floor where the pedals were. My foot swished the stupid papery thing every time I pressed the brake. Although I could see no houses, the yellow pulse of streetlights was my constant companion. In my head, it felt like I was searching for international waters, somewhere safe and isolated from everything. Then the first signs of higher civilisation: the billboards of local upcoming industry. The houses came into view soon after: row upon row of beachfront mansions and towering apartment blocks. I turned and drove the hire car into the deserted carpark of an office block, parking it in the comfortable anonymity of the building’s night shadow.

The house with Roman columns and bodyguards was across the road and down the beach. This was where I told my wife I would be investigating some shady character. The house, in fact, contained a prominent member of local business with whom I’d had some dealings in the past. He was shady, there was no doubt of that, but I would not be the one investigating him. Beyond the house with my shady friend was a wharf where Yvette Henry would be fishing. This is where I knew my breath would give way. This was a complete compromise. This was a complete mistake. My feet started walking.

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