The Ninth Victim – Excerpt 10

‘You, as an author, have written eight best-selling novels all about girls missing from this area who have either been found dead or are still missing. There is a certain train of thought that believes that you personally know a little too much about these girls, so you must therefore be the perpetrator.’

De Peysac, much to Valjean’s surprise burst out laughing, once he had calmed down, he explained, ‘I am sorry but I have heard that same story or variations of it, that I can only treat it with humour or contempt.’

‘So, why do you choose to write about this area, and in particular, the missing girls?’

‘The person who encouraged me to become a writer, said write about what you know, things and places that you are comfortable with. I was born in this area and have lived all my life here, so what would be more natural than to translate that into words.’

‘Put that way, I can make a certain sense of it, but what is the significance of the wild boars, they feature in the title of every book you have written, why?’

‘You are city bred, so you would not understand, in the forests of this area, the wild boar is for want of a better description, our local refuse collector. They will eat virtually anything that to my way of thinking is why no whole bodies have been recovered, only bones.’

‘During the research for your books, did you discover any connection between any of the victims, did they know each other, did they have anything in common with each other?’

‘They were all aged between seventeen and twenty-three and they were all brunettes. Why they were alone in the forest I have no idea? but someone in this area knows, maybe I am getting close to discovering the culprit, hence the smear campaign. One thing I will state categorically is that if the killer is working to some sort of sick schedule, at anytime now there should be a ninth victim!’

(C) Damian Grange 2020

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