Carl smiled when he read the chief’s email and thought of his wife, DS Nina Strong, the other member of DI Reid’s team, at home on maternity leave, expecting their first child in about six weeks, if their dates were right.
He gazed out of his office window across the rooftops of the southern side of the city and wondered how she’d managed to talk him into becoming a father. His own father had been killed in Vietnam before he’d been born, so he’d had no modelling of what a father was supposed to be like. He’d been reluctant to take on the role, not sure that he would make a good father but, somehow, she’d persuaded him that he’d be good at it, pointing out how he’d mentored Harry and Peter James before him, and how his cousin’s children thought the world of him.
His thoughts turned to his maternal grandfather, who’d been like a father to him after his mother had taken ill and they’d moved in with her parents when Carl was in his early teens, and was the main reason Carl had become a policeman. Carl knew his grandfather would have encouraged him if he’d still been alive; he’d believed in him.
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