The Ninth Victim – Excerpt 5

Fouchet for want of a better description, was the spy that Valjean sent in advance of himself to find out whatever he could about the suspects and to tap into any local gossip about the crimes they were going to investigate.

Fouchet arrived and Valjean briefed him regarding the case before them. Fouchet was to leave Paris that night and board the train to Carcassone. ‘When you arrive there, book yourself a room, catch up on some sleep, then do your usual. I’m coming by car, so I will see you in a couple of days,’ were the instructions he gave his colleague.

When Fouchet had left the office, Valjean sat down at his desk, lit a Gauloise and proceeded to examine the case files that he had been given by the prefect of Languedoc.

He was a little surprised by the photograph of the prime suspect, instead of the hardened felon that he expected, the man looked intelligent and cultured, maybe he would prove to be a worthy adversary after all?

The thing that Valjean found difficult to comprehend, was how a young offender could serve his sentence and not be mentally and physically scarred by the time he had spent incarcerated. This man appeared to glorify in what he had done and what he had become.

Valjean knew many ex-cons, in fact he had helped to imprison many of them. But this was the first one who had come out and said prison had changed his life for the better Something here doesn’t ring true, Valjean muttered to himself, once again he had the feeling he was being used.

He was either supremely confident or an idiot, but the report on him suggested otherwise, and the woman, where and how did she fit into this equation.

(C) Damian Grange 2020

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