Detective Inspector Carl West gazed at the mansions, set in extensive gardens and shielded from prying eyes by high fences and hedges, as Detective Sergeant Harry Fuller drove them deeper into East Park. The ambience of the suburb, created by galleries of overhanging street trees and the foliage of the urban forest growing in the park that gave the area its name, did nothing to lift Carl’s sense of unease. He’d never enjoyed dealing with the self-important people that lived in East Park and wasn’t looking forward to having to do it again.
Harry turned their silver Ford onto the roadway leading into the park and drove between the trees. After a few minutes, they came to a parking area next to one of the playing fields hidden within the forest, where several police vehicles and the coroner’s grey van were parked.
‘Ever been in here before, Boss?’ said Harry, as he parked next to the patrol cars.
‘Not for a long time,’ said Carl. ‘Not since I played football for the academy.’
‘That sounds like ancient history,’ said Harry.
‘I’m not that old,’ said Carl, ‘but, to be honest, I don’t remember the trees being this big.’
Harry laughed as they got out and walked around to the rear of the car to slip on their protective clothing.
‘Sure is quiet in here,’ said Carl.
‘Hard to believe the city’s just out there,’ said Harry, pointing back towards the road they’d followed into the depth of the forest.
They walked over to the constable controlling access to the crime scene and signed themselves in.
‘Who’s in charge?’ said Carl.
‘Senior Constable Head, Inspector,’ said the constable, lifting the crime scene tape for them.
They walked across the vacant parking area beyond the tape to where the scene of crime team had erected their blue tent.
Carl looked through the open side of the tent pitched in the grass on the edge of the parking area. The lifeless blue eyes of a white-haired man, dressed in a dark grey suit, soft pink tie, and a torn white bloodstained shirt, stared back at him. He wondered what a man dressed in a suit and expensive looking black shoes was doing in the middle of the East Park forest on a Saturday morning.
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