The Ninth Victim – Excerpt 23

Valjean placed the newly delivered file on the desk alongside the ones already there, he began to scrutinise them carefully. One thought struck him immediately, although there were differences in ages, from mid teens to early twenties they all had more than a passing similarity to each other.

They were all brunettes, all had shoulder length hair and brown eyes, none of which was unusual for this area. He carefully examined each photograph in turn, then smiled and returned to the first one, de Peysac’s only proven victim.

It had all suddenly fell into place, he stared intently at the photograph now he realised why he had thought that he had met Marie Deschamps before, you can change the hair colour and the make up but the shape of the face remains the same. The Deschamps woman was a part of the plot to discredit de Peysac.

But, there had to be others involved, he didn’t see her as the killer. Maybe Bruno, who was her creature, but what of Raoul Dupin, what was his involvement with her. Maybe it would all come together when her received Fouchet’s report.

The following morning at just past eleven a.m. Fouchet called with his findings, Valjean knew that by the excitement in his voice he had discovered something of relevance to their case.

‘Tell me, Fouchet, what have you discovered?’

‘I have spoken to the ex-husband of Marie Deschamps, and guess who she turned out to be?’

‘The girl that was beaten and raped by Pierre Dubois.’ stated Valjean.

‘But if you knew that, why send me to Paris?’

‘It was just a hunch, I had to be certain and now it all begins to make sense. de Peysac is all set to become the ninth victim, I’ve suspected it for sometime.’

‘I have some other information?’ said Fouchet, ‘Bruno is her cousin, that should finalise our case.’

‘Thank you, Fouchet, everything has fallen nicely into place, now all we have to do is bait the trap!’

(C) Damian Grange 2021

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