Vince Conway looked up from his desk as Ruth entered the office. “Any luck with the Morgans?” he asked brightly.
Ruth shook her head. “Not a lot to be honest.”
“What did you find out about their relationship with Frances Donovan?”
“Well,” Ruth said, seating herself opposite Vince. “It sounds as if Cathy Morgan and Frances were quite good friends up until a few months ago. Then they had a bad falling out.”
Vince sat forward in his seat, his azure blue eyes glittered with interest as he lightly tapped his Parker pen on the desk. “Any idea why they fell out?”
Ruth nodded. “Yes. It appears to be over some bingo win. Frances won fifteen thousand pounds at that Castle Bingo Hall in the town. According to Cathy, the pair always shared any winnings between themselves, it was an unwritten rule. Though this time…”
“I’m guessing Frances became greedy and refused to share her winnings?” Vince studied Ruth’s face as if it held some clue to what might have gone on.
Ruth nodded. “You’ve got it. Mostly their winnings were small over the years, the odd hundred quid here or there, but now this was in the thousands, the goal posts changed. Apparently, Frances claimed all the money for herself.”
“Any idea what she spent it on?” He placed his pen down on the desk in front of him and stroked his stubbled chin.
“Aha,” Ruth nodded. “She jetted off to Las Vegas for a fortnight and spent the rest on a new conservatory.”
“Hardly seems worth losing a friend over, though…” Vince said, lifting his pen once more and twiddling it thoughtfully between his fingers.
“Yes, I agree. And Cathy is very bitter about the whole thing. Very bitter indeed. In fact, she said she thinks it was partly to blame for her recent breakdown.”
“Breakdown?” This was the first he’d heard of any mention of a breakdown. Then he remembered how she’d dithered about calling into the station to see him almost as though she were afraid to leave the house.
“Yes, she’s been off from work for some time now as a result, she was nursing at Prince Charles Hospital, a ward sister. A good nurse by all accounts, dedicated to her profession.”
“That’s extremely interesting. That young woman who was murdered in Cyfarthfa woods a few years back worked there. Can you get onto the case and find out if there’s any link with her and Cathy?”
“Will do, boss. So no one has picked this guy up as yet?”
“Nope. The Woodentops have been searching outhouses and sheds that kind of thing but it’s my guess he’s gone to ground. What we’re dealing with here is a very clever individual. He strikes, retreats, strikes, retreats. His form of defence is attack and he works with a military precision. I think it might be worth getting him profiled.”
Whatever or whoever this man was, there was no doubt in Vince’s mind that he would strike again, the question was, ‘but when?’