Cases 7 & 8 in the DCS Palmer and the Serial murder Squad series
In Burning ambition an organised crime gang leader wants one last big heist as a signature to his career. He chooses the Royal Mint in Wales. But other criminals have learnt of this planned heist and want ‘in’. The answer is ‘no’ but the arguments develope into murders which brings in Palmer and his team. Will they be in time to stop the job and prevent any more murders?
In Takeaway Terror two organised crime families fight over the lucrative London West End drugs trade. Are the fast food delivery lads on their mopeds delivering more than takeaways? Why have three been killed by a hit and run driver? Old school gangsters go to war with an incoming foreign drugs lord family. Palmer needs to get inside, but once inside will he get out? alive?
From Takeaway Terror.
DCS Palmer, DS Knight from Organised Crime and DS Gheeta Singh ( DCS Palmer’s sergeant) are going to fly a drone over drug dealer Sammy Wellbeck’s scrapyard in Hackney to try and find a vehicle involved in several hit and runs of street-level drug delivery people. They are incontact with their people outside the yard by radio.
They pulled into the same car park Knight and Gheeta had used the day before. Being Sunday it was empty so they were able to set up the drone and the controller without raising any interest, or any inquisitive noses being poked in by passers-by.
Palmer spoke into the comms handset.
‘This is Palmer. Who’s on duty at the scrap yard?’
‘I am sir, DS Patel. DS Russell was on the night shift and is getting some sleep.’
‘Okay, any signs of life?’
‘No, all quiet. Can’t be totally sure nobody is in there though, as Wellbeck’s Range Rover went in earlier and left after about half an hour. But it’s got reflective windows so couldn’t count them in and count them out.’
‘Okay. We are going to send up a small drone to take a look at the parts of the yard that we haven’t been able to see from ground level, so don’t be surprised if you see it hovering.’
‘Shouldn’t be able to see it from here, sir – I am about a hundred yards away, parked off the access road. I can see the entrance but not much else.’
‘That’s fine, I’ll come back to you when we are finished. Over and out.’
He nodded to Gheeta.
‘Okay, let’s go.’
‘Right, here we go then. Fasten your seat belts.’
Gheeta clicked a switch and sat in the back seat of the squad car with the door open, manipulating the two joy sticks.
‘Why two sticks?’
Palmer was intrigued. Any new technology that could help his squad to do their job was to be embraced, and he liked to keep his non-technical brain in the loop as far as he could.
‘One for direction – that is forward, backwards or sideways – and the other for up and down.’
Under her control the drone lifted into the sky – above the tall walls that separated the car park from the local houses – and moved silently out of sight towards the Wellbeck’s yard. Gheeta stood up and put the controller and screen on the bonnet of the squad car so they could all see. The picture was clear, bright and in colour as the drone flew steadily over houses and empty streets, until Gheeta held it hovering over the Wellbeck’s yard at about a hundred feet. She rotated the camera as they looked for signs of life.
‘Looks empty,’ said Knight.
‘Somebody could be inside the office, or in the warehouse.’
Gheeta moved the drone down and focused on the warehouse. The doors were closed. She took it back up and directed it along the yard to the front of the office. That door was closed too. She brought it down to about twenty feet and focused on the office. No sign of life, the window blinds down.
‘Get it round the back of the office to the part of the yard we couldn’t see from your button camera yesterday,’ said Palmer.
The drone moved up and over the tiled roof to the rear of the office, where Gheeta hovered it and used the camera to survey the back area. A row of old scrap lorries were lined up with their cabs against the perimeter wall. She swung the camera round to the back of the office. No windows, just a steel door.
‘Pretty basic, nothing unusual there.’
Gheeta took the drone down to about twenty feet and turned it so that the camera pointed at the open backs of the line of lorries, and it travelled along them.
‘Bit like an elephants’ graveyard,’ Palmer observed.
‘They’re lorries, guv. Elephants have four legs and a trunk – big gray things they are.’
Palmer looked at her with half-closed eyes.
‘A figure of speech, sergeant.’
Knight leant into the screen.
She reversed along the line.
Knight pointed to the image.
‘That old removal lorry with the back-loading slope down, can you get a better picture of the inside?’
Gheeta altered the focus and the dim interior of the vehicle became clearer; and the clearer it became, the more in focus came a red Transit van parked inside.
‘Well, there’s our hit-and-run van. I’ll put money on it,’ said Palmer confidently. ‘The clever buggers, what a place to hide it.’
‘Still circumstantial guv, unless we can get in and get Forensics to go over it and match the paintwork with the mopeds’ damage.’
‘Mmm, have to figure that out – but the circumstantial is strong enough for Bateman to get a warrant, got to be. Take a look at the rest of the… elephants.’
Gheeta turned the drone’s camera to look along the backs of the other lorries.
‘Shit!’ she exclaimed, as the camera turned and Sammy Wellbeck came into view thirty feet away. He was looking straight at the drone, and so was the sawn-off shotgun he was aiming.
Thank you, B.L.Faulkner and Random Things Tours.
About the author
Barry Faulkner was born into a family of South London petty criminals who ran with the Richardson’s Crime Gang in the 60’s-90’s. Being the youngest his mother, a top fashion model, was determined he would not follow in the criminal footsteps of the rest of the family and enrolled him into the Morely Academy of Dramatic Art to pursue a career in acting. Sadly young Faulkner was asked to leave after three months when no acting ability had surfaced. He went onto become an advertising copywriter with the English branch of the US Agency Erwin Wasey Ruffraf and Ryan where he got lucky with some scripts he sent to the BBC TV and became a scriptwriter and editor for them and several ITV companies. During this time the DCS Palmer plots were amassed in various notebooks and three years ago Faulkner finally found time to write and publish them. His early insight into the criminal world of his family has added authenticity to the characters and plots that makes them credible and the pace keeps the reader glued to the end. His signature end twist will always surprise you. Check out his top rated crime blog at geezers2016.wordpress.com