Post Mortem, Kate London – book excerpt

Kate London 1 credit Tim FlachTHERE IS a lot of crossover between crime TV and books – Vera, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Morse and many more started life on the page and transferred brilliantly to the screen. Because many of our followers enjoy both forms of entertainment, we’re taking a break from TV for a moment to offer this exclusive extract from an exciting new crime novel – Post Mortem by former police officer Kate London.

Kate graduated from Cambridge University and trained in theatre in Paris. In 2006 she joined the Metropolitan Police Service, first working in uniformed response and then moving to the CID. She qualified as a detective constable and went on attachment with the police nationale in France. Kate finished her career working as part of a Major Investigation Team on SC&01 – the Metropolitan Services’ Homicide Command. She resigned in August 2014 to write full time. Post Mortem is her first novel…




The ambulances and fire engines had gone and Collins had moved her car up into the outer cordon. She sat in the front seat working through the printouts of the linked dispatches that were the police records of the incident. Head down, she scribbled in her counsel’s notebook.

There was a tap on her car window. Detective Chief Inspector Baillie was leaning down looking at her. His thin, intelligent face was dusted with freckles, and above his pale blue eyes was a shock of flaxen hair. He smiled, pleased to have caught her off guard. She flicked open the door lock so that he could join her on the passenger side. As he crossed in front of the car, she saw how his dark pinstriped suit hung off his coat-hanger shoulders. He slid the seat back to its full extent and stretched his legs into the footwell.

‘Bit of a problem, Sarah. Don’t know whether you are aware? We’ve been looking at informing the families. Turns out that Younes Mehenni, the father of the dead teenager, is currently in police custody on remand to court tomorrow.’

Collins felt immediately wrong-footed: she should have known this. ‘I’m sorry, sir…’

‘It’s OK, you’ve been a bit busy. I’ve appointed Alice as family liaison. She’s at Farlow nick now, organizing bail on compassionate grounds. We’re going to escort him to court in the morning and see if we can sort it out quickly. The advice is that legally there’s no other way round it. It doesn’t look like it’s a particularly serious matter – criminal damage with a linked malicious communications. We’re just getting to the bottom of it now. What do you have about the dead officer?’

‘PC Hadley Matthews, sir. Fifty-two years old. Three years to go before retirement. Inspector Shaw, Matthews’ line manager, is informing his family. Shaw was the duty inspector today.’

Baillie nodded. ‘Yes, I’ve come across Kieran Shaw.’

‘You’ve worked with him?’

‘No, not at all. Don’t worry, no conflict of interest there. But from what I’ve heard, he’s a good man.’ Baillie stretched his arms behind his head. ‘All right, Sarah, I’ll let you get on. We’ll use Farlow nick as our base for the initial response. I’ll see you back there for a more detailed briefing. How much time do you need? Shall we say twenty hundred hours?’

‘Yes, boss.’

Baillie nodded reluctantly towards the outer cordon, where the bank of press were loitering. ‘And in the meantime, I need to face that lot. Any suggestions as to what I might say to them?’

Collins turned in the direction he had indicated and saw a thicket of zoom lenses pointed towards the scene.

‘As little as possible as far as I’m concerned. We are still investigating. All lines of inquiry still open, that sort of thing?’

There was a brief silence. Baillie palmed his car keys and flicked the door lock open.

‘Well,’ he said. ‘Our first job together, you and me, and it’s a big one. I hope you’re a safe pair of hands.’

Read more about Post Mortem here…

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