The Ninth Victim – Excerpt 9

He washed, shaved and generally smartened himself up for the meeting. It was important that he gave the impression of a somewhat eager journalist. Possibly with a little charm and flattery he might unearth the real de Peysac. Would he find Pierre Dubois, had he graduated to become a serial killer, or was he just a pawn in someone else’s game?

Valjean enquired at the hotel reception for directions to de Peysac’s residence, apparently it was a short drive by car and quite easy to find. Within a short time Valjean was pulling into de Peysac’s driveway. His luck had definitely taken a turn for the better if his home was anything to go by. Valjean was impressed.

Valjean pressed the doorbell and the door opened within seconds, he sensed de Peysac had been waiting for him. This was goods news for it meant that de Peysac has fallen for Valjean’s ploy about being a journalist.

de Peysac ushered him inside, introduced himself, shook hands then led Valjean to a chair and then sat down himself in the one opposite. Valjean studied the man facing him, he was dressed casually in an open neck shirt and slacks, casually but not sloppily. Valjean placed him in his mid-thirties, although he knew he was slightly older. he had a good head of dark wavy hair, greying slightly at the temples, regular features and a welcoming smile. Natural or a tribute to a good dentist, but on all counts he looked the successful author. It was not just a character that he had invented for himself.

‘May I offer you a drink, Alain?’ Valjean was distracted from his thoughts by de Peysac’s voice. ‘Not for me, thank you, but do you mind if I smoke?’ queried Valjean.’Not at all, may I beg one off you, I quit months ago, but I’d be a liar to say I wasn’t tempted. Valjean extracted a crumpled packet of Gauloise from his trouser pocket, offered one to de Peysac and lit it for him, then selected one for himself, he lit it, feeling the familiar pleasure as he inhaled.

‘Where would you like to begin, have you any preferences? enquired de Peysac.

(C) Damian Grange 2020

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