Friday: Week Three


The draining of the lake on the ninth hole at Skovlynd Golf Course began just after sunrise. The manager, who lived in an apartment above the clubhouse, was wakened by Tobias and Eddy at five o’clock, minutes before the arrival of the crime investigation squad. He stood on the terrace in front of the eighteenth green from where he could see the lake on the ninth and the police vehicles driving over the fairway. He was horrified.

“You’re going to drain the lake? We have a competition tomorrow,” he said. “You can’t close the course.”

“You have human remains in your lake,” said Tobias. 

The manager was shocked into silence. 

“Were you here when they created the lake?” asked Tobias.

The manager nodded. “It was the last thing they did,” he said. “It was just after I joined the company. I joined in August 1998. The lake was filled in September or October. I could tell you exactly by looking through the invoices.”

“That would be helpful,” said Tobias. “Were the protests still going on?”

“They were at it right up to opening day,” said the manager. “Then they sort of faded away. Battle lost, I suppose.”

“When did you last drain the lake?”

“July last year. We try to pick a dry spell in the summer, when the water level is low.” His looked and sounded unhappy. “I have to speak to my boss.” He moved away and spoke quietly into his mobile phone. 

Katrine arrived at the Thomsen’s house a few minutes before eight o’clock. She wanted to get there before Astrid Thomsen heard news reports about bones being found in the lake at Skovlynd. Before the inevitable speculation that they might be the bones of her missing daughter. 

She recognized Katrine immediately. Her face brightened. “You’re going to tell me where the emails were sent from. I know it. Have you found Emily? Come in.” She held the door open. They went into the wide hallway. 

“Is your husband at home?” asked Katrine. “It might be a good idea to get him.”

Astrid’s Thomson’s face went white. “It’s bad news, isn’t it? You’ve come to tell me something bad. That’s why you want Marcus here. Tell me. Is she alive? That’s all I want to know. Is Emily alive?”

Katrine was silent. She put out her hand tentatively.

Astrid Thomsen uttered a high-pitched scream, like a rabbit caught in a trap. Katrine caught her as she crumpled. 

Marcus Thomsen came bounding down the stairs. “What’s happened? What have you said to her?” 

He took Astrid from Katrine and helped her into a chair. He stroked her hair with one hand and keyed a number into his phone with the other. “I’m calling a doctor.” 

“We’ve found remains in the lake at Skovlynd golf course,” said Katrine. “We think they could be the remains of your stepdaughter, Emily Rasmussen.”

Astrid moaned again. Marcus continued to stroke her hair.  

“Are you sure? I will be extremely angry if you’ve come here and upset my wife over a case of mistaken identity. Emily has been sending emails. We’re sure she’s alive somewhere.”

“We found a ring with the remains. We know it’s a ring Emily’s boyfriend, Lennart Praetorius, gave to her.”

“She could have given the ring to someone else,” said Marcus.

Astrid lifted her head. “Yes,” she breathed. “That’s possible.”

“The only way to be certain is to take a DNA sample from you for comparison,” said Katrine. 

“How long will it take to get a result,” asked Marcus.

“Two or three days,” said Katrine. “Maybe less. I can take a sample now. It takes only a few seconds. I just need to brush a cotton bud on the inside of your cheek.”

“Do it,” said Astrid. “But I still think Emily is alive. And I will go on thinking that until you prove to me that she’s dead.” 

The doorbell rang. Marcus Thomsen went to admit the doctor while Katrine took a buccal sample from Astrid, who was sitting up but was still deathly pale.

While the doctor busied herself with Astrid, Marcus Thomsen walked with Katrine to the car.

“I don’t want to believe the worst,” he said, “But if this is Emily, do you have any idea what happened? Did she drown?”

Katrine hesitated. “There’s a crack in the skull,” she said.  “The pathologist thinks it was caused by a blunt instrument. Whoever it is was killed by a person or persons unknown.”

“Emily mixed with some unsavoury types,” said Marcus. “Anarchists. Anti-this and anti-that. Have you any suspects?”

“Did Emily ever mention someone called Aksel Schmidt?”

Marcus shook his head. “When my wife is strong enough, I’ll ask her if she’s heard of him. I’ll get in touch.” He shook hands with Katrine. “Good luck, Inspector.”


Kurt Malling arrived at Skovlynd just before nine o’clock. The noise of his car door slamming reverberated around the concrete sides and bottom of the lake, now empty of water. Tobias, crouching near a crack in the concrete and clad, like the Forensic team, in blue protective clothing, knew it was Malling before he looked up and saw him standing behind the tape which encircled the lake and the white Forensic tent. 

Malling had his hand up, as though to call a halt. His mouth opened to speak but closed again as one of the forensic team walked past him carrying a clear plastic bag full of bones. Malling’s hand dropped. He looked shaken. 

Tobias acknowledged his presence with a nod and focused again on what Karl Lund was saying. 

“There was an earth tremor last year. In the early hours of the morning. It would have been enough to crack the concrete basin. Especially if there was already a weakness.”

Tobias remembered someone telling him protesters had drilled into the concrete lining of the lake. Who had mentioned it? Nicholas Hove? Norbert?

“My guess is the body was buried in a shallow grave before the concrete was poured,” said Karl. “With just enough soil to conceal it. When this crack occurred, the bones floated up. When did they last drain the lake?”

“July last year, the manager said.” 

Karl nodded. “That figures. The tremor was in August. The epicentre was south east of Anholt, on the seabed. The seismologists measured it at 4.4 on the Richter scale. That’s pretty strong by Danish standards. And enough to turn a hairline crack into a fissure half a metre wide. We widened it to get at all the remains, but the whole thing will have to be replaced anyway.”

Tobias instinctively glanced up to where Malling was standing, ashen faced. 

He used the iron rungs in the side of the basin to climb out on to the fairway. He went into the tent where the bones had been assembled on a trestle table. Harry Norsk had a paper-white skull in his hands. 

“Hi, Tobias. If you include the bones from the bins and the finger bones you found in the sink, I have accounted for all of the skeleton.” Harry weighed the skull gently in one hand. “This is female. It’s lighter. The forehead is vertical. The vault is flattened. I understand you already know who it is?”

Tobias nodded. “Emily Rasmussen. We’re almost certain. We found a ring with the finger bones. We know it was given to her by our Bogman, Lennart Praetorius.” 

Harry’s finger traced a line on the skull. “There’s a split in the cranium. Probably caused by a blunt instrument. And the mandible is fractured. Possibly with the same blunt instrument, although a fist could have done it. I’ve seen boxers with this kind of jaw fracture. Males, not female.” 

“Is there anything else you can tell me now?”

“There’s one strange thing,” said Harry. “Look at this stuff in the skull, behind the jaw.” He turned the skull upside down so that Tobias could see gossamer filaments, like a spider’s web, behind the teeth. “I’ll get an opinion from Brix, but I think this is the same stuff we found with Bogman. Polyethylene Terephthalate. Did you notice the Linden tree by the lake? Linden trees like alkaline soil. Remember what Brix told us? Alkaline soil preserves bones and rots flesh and natural fibres. You’re looking at polyester fibres which didn’t decompose. But why are these fibres in her jaw?” 

“Maybe she was wearing a scarf, or a cap,” said Tobias. His brain was already scanning his memory for the photographs of Emily in the newspaper, the pictures of her on videotape. All the images which came to mind were of Emily with blonde hair streaming behind her in the wind, or plastered to her face by the rain. 

The Politi team had taken over an office in the clubhouse. Malling, with some grace, sent in a pot of coffee. When Katrine arrived, Tobias and Eddy took a coffee break. Karl joined them.

“I found this.” He tipped a gold locket and chain from a clear plastic bag on to the table. “The seal on the locket was tight. The photographs are hardly damaged.” He opened the locker so the others could see the round photographs of a man and woman. The woman was clearly Astrid Thomsen. 

“The man must be her father,” said Katrine.

“There can be no doubt now that it’s Emily,” said Tobias. “But we’ll wait for the DNA confirmation before formally notifying the Thomsens.”

They sat in silence for a moment. 

“Ok,” said Tobias. “Let’s go over what we know, and more importantly, what we don’t know.” 

“Who sent the emails?” asked Eddy.

“Emily’s killer,” said Tobias. “To prevent her being reported missing. To cover up the fact that he’d killed her.” He adjusted his coffee spoon so that it was aligned with his pen and notepad. 

“He didn’t bother to do that for Bogman, assuming it’s the same killer,” said Eddy. “And we can’t be sure of that either.”

“He didn’t bother because there wasn’t anybody to report Bogman missing,” said Katrine. “Except Emily. And she was already dead.”

“All that time we wasted, thinking she was alive,” said Katrine. “I imagined her leading some kind of nomadic life in the tundra. I thought we’d find her eventually.”

“We did,” said Eddy drily.

They were silent again. 

“We won’t know which of them died first until we know the age of the bones in the lake. Even then, it won’t be exact.” Tobias gazed at the notepad on which he had written two questions: who wrote the emails? where is the ambulance? He felt weary.

 “What about the ambulance? Where is the ambulance?” he said.

“Maybe he disposed of it in a lake somewhere, like Emily,” said Eddy. “Is there another lake on the golf course?”

Tobias shook his head.

“Are we assuming it’s a male killer?” asked Katrine.

“Blunt instrument in both cases. Not a female weapon. And there are no women in the frame,” said Tobias.

“There isn’t anybody in the frame,” said Eddy. “All we can be sure of is that Emily Rasmussen is dead. We don’t need DNA to tell us.”

“That reminds me,” said Karl. “I have the result on those panties. Nada. Nothing. Only Girlie’s saliva, blood, vomit, urine.”

Tobias was suddenly alert. Voices, words, were darting around his brain. Harry’s voice. “Why are these fibres in her jaw?” Pernille’s voice on the phone. Where was that? In the car. What was she saying? He had been fiddling with the sat-nav, only half-listening. Something about panties.

“Pernille Madsen is investigating an assault in Aalborg. She said something about panties.” Tobias shut his eyes to concentrate. “Panties and DNA. I’ll give her a call.” He was wide-awake again. “OK. Either Emily sent some of the emails and the killer sent the rest. Or the killer sent all the emails. Either way, he needed access to Emily’s address book, or he was with her when she wrote emails to her mother. And he dumped the ambulance.”

 “And created the Facebook page,” said Eddy. “That was probably set up at some Internet café as well.”

“I’ve gone through all the cafes and hotspots the emails were sent from,” said Katrine. “I looked to see what was happening near them around the same time. There were demonstrations at the Shell refinery in Fredericia. I can check if Aksel Schmidt was among those arrested. In Norway and Sweden there were protests about oil-drilling near Pitea and Hurtigruten,” said Katrine. “One of Malling’s companies, as it happens. No arrests, so no names. There was a protest about a ship in Hamburg carrying nuclear waste. No arrests. And there was an anti-bullfighting demonstration in Arles, Provence. I haven’t got list of arrests yet. I started with the most recent email. It was sent three weeks ago, April fourteenth, from Hurtshals. There’s a protest camp in the forest near there.”

“Hurtsals is not that far from Aalborg,” said Eddy. 

“I know,” said Tobias. “And Asksel Schmidt has been to the camp.”

They all paused for a moment to take in this information.

“Let’s bring him in,” said Tobias. 


The warrant to search the squat was on Tobias’s desk, along with the long-awaited file on Emily Rasmussen’s complaint against her stepfather. Tobias picked up the folder and put it down again. It was probably redundant. He hesitated. He never liked to leave a stone unturned. He picked it up again and took it with him. He would read it later, if he had a moment to spare. 

They drove to the squat in two cars. Tobias and Eddy in one car, Katrine in the second car. Tobias parked at the front. Katrine parked at the back. Tobias and Eddy went to the door in the side alley. Tobias knocked on the door. Nobody came. He hammered on the door. Still no response.

Eddy shouted, “Open up. Police. We have a warrant to search these premises.” He took his gun from his shoulder holster. 

“Stand away from the door,” he shouted. “I’m going to shoot out the lock.”

A voice from inside cried, “Stop. I’ll open the door.”

Eddy lowered his gun. The door opened. A girl of about eighteen stood there. She wore blue jeans, a red T-shirt and a red bandana. 

“What do you want? Why are you harassing us?”

“We’re looking for Aksel Schmidt,” said Tobias.

“He’s not here,” said the girl. “I’m the only person here.”

Eddy pushed past her into the squat.

“You won’t find anybody,” the girl called out.

“Where is he if he’s not here?” asked Tobias.

The girl shrugged. 

“You can tell me down at headquarters, if you prefer,” said Tobias. 

“They’ve gone to North Jutland to stop developers cutting down a forest,” said the girl. “I don’t know where exactly.” 

Eddy came bounding down stairs behind her. “I’ve had a look around. There’s nobody here.” 

Katrine joined them. “Nobody at the back either.”

“I told you so,” said the girl. “They’re in North Jutland. Saving a forest.”

Tobias hoped Agnes wasn’t there. Had she said she was going there at the weekend? He couldn’t remember. They’d had a scratchy conversation the last time they’d spoken. With any luck, Agnes had classes on Friday and wouldn’t get to the camp until the evening, or the following day. He supposed she travelled with Magnus on the back of the motorbike. He never liked to think about that.  

“Ok, Eddy. Let’s go,” he said.

It was midday when they turned off the main road and on to the track running through the forest to the protest camp. The trees were cloaked in a light mist. The ground was damp and cut with deep tire tracks. It looked as though at least a couple of lorries had taken the same route earlier. 

As they got nearer, Tobias heard what sounded like faint cries. He rolled down the window and heard several loud bangs, like firecrackers. 

“Sounds like a bit of riot, Boss,” said Eddy. 

Two police officers in riot gear jumped out on to the track in front of the car. 

“What the fuck,” said Eddy, braking hard. 

“P E T,” shouted one of the officers. 

Tobias waved his ID at him. 

The officer strode up to the car. “We’re raiding the camp. It’s a pre-empt before a climate change demo next week. Get your car out of the way.” He pointed to a sidetrack into the forest.

“We’ve come to speak to a suspect in a murder case,” said Tobias.

“We’re arresting them all,” said the officer. “You can take your pick. Keep out of the way in the meantime” 

Eddy turned into the sidetrack and parked. He and Tobias got out and headed through the forest towards the camp. The air was filled with shouts and clanking, clinking, rattling noises and more firecrackers. Then there was the sound of vehicle doors being slammed shut. 

They emerged beside a television crew hurrying towards the noise. Tobias recognized the blonde reporter with the red spectacles. She clearly thought he and Eddy were journalists as well. 

“They phoned us an hour ago when the police arrived,” she said. “I think we’ve missed most of the action.”

When they reached the clearing, Tobias saw what looked like planks of wood and power tools – was that an angle grinder? – being loaded into a police van. An officer emerged from the wigwam carrying what looked like fluorescent tubes and a tin of paint. Tobias flashed his ID.

“Peaceful demonstration, my arse,” said the officer. “We found forty riot shields, fifty paint bombs, half a dozen hammers and hundreds of firecrackers in there,” he jerked his head back towards the wigwam. 

The PET officer who’d stopped the car came up to Tobias and Eddy. He pointed to a police wagon where a dozen or so activists sat on benches. 

 “If who you’re looking for is in there, you can have them.”

Tobias and Eddy ran to the arrest vehicle. Tobias felt his stomach tighten. Magnus was sitting, scowling, at the end of a bench. There was no sign of Agnes. Tobias relaxed. 

“Which one of you is Aksel Schmidt?” he asked.


“I want him,” said Tobias, pointing at Magnus. The PET officer reached into the wagon and hauled out Magnus. 

Tobias led him out of earshot. Eddy followed.

“Where’s Aksel?”

Magnus was silent. 

Eddy lifted him off his feet by the collar of his jacket and set him down again.

“Tell us where he is or I’ll toss you back into the wagon.” 

Tobias said, quietly, “We want to talk to him about a murder. The murder of a young activist.”

Magnus paled. He was clearly shocked. “Aksel saw the police vans coming. He ran into the forest with Agnes.” 

Tobias could feel his heart thumping. His imagination raced ahead of him. Stop it. Calm down. Think. He pulled out his mobile phone and called Agnes. 

“Dad?” Her voice shook.

“Where are you? Are you all right?”

“We were raided.”

“I know.”

“You know? How do you know? Were you part of it? Did you know about it in advance?”

“I knew nothing about it. Where are you?”

“I’m on the main road near the camp. Walking to Aksel’s motorbike.”

Tobias began running to the car, talking as he ran.

“Stay where you are, Agnes. Wait till I get to you.” 

He could hear Agnes speaking to Aksel, hear the note of puzzlement in her voice. 

“Don’t go with Aksel,” he shouted into the phone.

Eddy caught up with him as he got to the car. He started the engine. Eddy jumped into the passenger seat. They turned on to the main road and saw Agnes and Aksel, hand in hand, close to the trees, heading for a motorbike parked on the verge. Tobias had his gun in his lap. 

Eddy braked beside the motorbike. Tobias jumped out, gun in hand. Aksel halted. He pulled Agnes around in front of him and held her close with one arm. 

“Move away from him, Agnes,” said Tobias.

Aksel tightened his grip on her. “Don’t move. They’re over the top. It’s just a demo. They can’t even arrest us. We’re just having a walk in the forest, admiring the trees they want to destroy.”

“Move away, Agnes,” said Tobias quietly. Did Aksel have a gun?

Aksel put his other arm around Agnes and clasped her shoulders. No gun. Relief flooded through Tobias. Eddy came up beside him.

“Put your guns away and we’ll talk,” said Aksel. He was still holding Agnes. She was pale and rigid. 

Tobias lowered his gun. Aksel suddenly shoved Agnes, hard, so she almost fell. Tobias instinctively reached out for her. Aksel turned and ran into the forest.  

Tobias shouted, “Get into the car, Agnes.”

He followed Eddy in pursuit of Aksel, running, weaving, almost slipping on wet ground, through the trees. 

Aksel turned to shout at them, “You’re making a mistake.” He tripped, fell, cried out, “Fuck.”

When they reached him, guns at the ready again, he was lying on his back holding up a badge. Grinning. 

“I’m with PET,” he said. “You nearly blew my cover.” 

Eddy grabbed the badge. Checked it. Gave it to Tobias.

Aksel groaned and got to his feet.  

Tobias gave him back the badge. “What were you doing with Agnes?”

“None of your fucking business.”

“She’s my daughter,” said Tobias. 

“I know,” said Aksel. “I’m with PET, remember?”

Eddy put his hand on Tobias’s arm. A signal to take it easy.

“Don’t worry. I wasn’t fucking her. We were on guard duty. Agnes spotted a police vehicle. Aalborg. Fucking amateurs. She shouted a warning but our vehicles were already three quarters way up the track. All we could do was run for it. You should be grateful she hasn’t been arrested.”  

He looked so self-satisfied, Tobias wanted to punch him, put him on the ground again.  

“We’re taking you in for questioning. About Emily Rasmussen.”

Aksel looked surprised. “Emily Rasmussen? That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.” 

“Are you carrying a firearm?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Aksel. 

He looked bored while Eddy patted him down. 

“No gun, Boss.”

“OK,” said Tobias. “Take him in.” 

Eddy and Aksel travelled back to Aarhus with PET. 

Tobias walked back to the road. Agnes was standing beside the car, white-faced, anxious. He thought she was probably still in shock. He held her for a moment before gently pushing her into the car. 

“What’s happening, Dad? Why are you here? Why were you chasing Aksel?”

“He’s wanted for questioning,” said Tobias. 

He started the engine. For the first twenty kilometers neither he nor Agnes spoke. When they reached the motorway, she began to say something.

“I don’t want to discuss your foolishness, Agnes,” said Tobias. “You’re an adult. You make your own choices. I trusted you to make sensible choices. Instead you involve yourself with idiots. That bloody wigwam was full of paint bombs, and power drills, and planks and riot shields and wire cages on wheels.” 

“They’re for building a three dimensional map. To put on wheels for the demonstration. To show what global warming is doing. Denmark will disappear when the ice melts, Dad. And we’ll be responsible if we don’t do something to stop it.”  

“And firecrackers?”

“They won’t harm anyone. They just make a noise.”

“Tell that to the judge,” said Tobias. He overtook the police wagon. Magnus was in it. Good.

“I haven’t been arrested,” said Agnes. “They’ll see I’m in the car with you. Now they’ll all think I’m a police spy. I’d rather be arrested.”

“And get a criminal record? And have that on your CV? Grow up, Agnes.” 

Silence fell again. Tobias felt tired. He’d not had much sleep. He switched on the radio and found P2Klassik. The sound of a symphony orchestra flooded into the car.

“I thought you only listened to police radio in the car,” said Agnes.

“Don’t be smart with me, Agnes.” 

They were forty kilometers from Aarhus when she spoke again.

“What has Aksel done? What’s so important you had to drive all that way?”

Tobias considered saying he thought Aksel might be a murderer. He was tempted to say Aksel was a member of PET. Instead he said, “I can’t tell you. Not yet. Where do you want to go? To the train station? To your Mum’s house? To the apartment?”

His phone rang. Tobias glanced at the screen and saw it was Karren. He punched the loudspeaker.

“Tobias, have you seen the news? That camp in the forest has been raided. They’ve found weapons. Paint, power drills, all kinds of stuff.”

“Police propaganda,” muttered Agnes.

“Has Agnes been arrested? Hans Frederik is beside himself. You have to do something.”

Tobias pulled the phone from its holder on the dashboard and gave it to Agnes. 

“You speak to her.” 

“I haven’t been arrested,” said Agnes. “I’m fine, Mum. I’m with Dad. Bye for now.” She put the phone back in its holder. “Take me to the station, Dad. I’m going to Copenhagen. I have an essay to finish.”


Larsen and Renata Molsing were with Eddy and Katrine in the Investigations Room when Tobias got back to headquarters. 

“You’ve arrested someone from PET,” said Larsen, “Inspector Erik Bak, working undercover as Aksel Schmidt, a freelance IT consultant. He has had this alias for some time. I have Inspector Bak’s service record.” He waved two printed pages. “Why have you arrested him?”

“We haven’t arrested him,” said Tobias. “He’s come in voluntarily for questioning.”

“He’s in the interview room,” said Eddy. “Drinking coffee.” 

“What have you got on him?” asked Renata. 

“He knew Emily Rasmussen,” said Tobias. “He was part of the Skovlynd protest against the golf club. He has moved about from protest to protest since then.”

“That’s his job,” said Larsen.

“We know the hotmail account of Emily Rasmussen was either set up by whoever killed her, or taken over by that person. The emails came from places where there were protests and demonstrations going on at the time,” said Katrine.

“Harry found traces of polyester in the jaw and skull of the skeleton in the lake at Skovlynd,” said Tobias. “Girlie was gagged with her panties. The same perpetrator told a Thai girl he beat up that he was a police officer working undercover.” Tobias paused. “And if you give me a moment to make a phone call, I might have more.”

“I hope so,” said Renata. “Because what you’ve got is all circumstantial. It doesn’t justify keeping him in custody.”  

“Make your call,” said Larsen.

Tobias picked up the phone to called Pernille Madsen as soon as he reached his desk. 

She was in the lab with Magda Johanssen when the switchboard put the call through. 

“You mentioned a case to me,” said Tobias. “The perpetrator had gagged the victim with her panties. You have DNA.” 

“Not yet,” said Pernille. “I’m in the lab now. We’ll have a DNA profile by tomorrow.” She glanced at Magda for confirmation. Magda nodded. “We have a partial thumb print which we’re pretty sure is the perpetrator’s. But it doesn’t match any sex offenders, or anyone else for that matter, in the data base.”

 “We’re questioning someone in connection with two murders,” said Tobias. “The first victim was assaulted a few weeks before she was murdered. Her attacker used her panties as a gag. We think he came back and murdered her. We found the skeleton of an earlier victim, years back. Probably twelve years back. We think it’s the same perpetrator because there were polyester fibres in her jaw. What else can you tell me about your case?”

“There’s a clear modus operandi,” said Pernille. “He uses black strips of cloth, plastic gloves, he gags the victim with her panties, he photographs or films them, and he picks on prostitutes.” She took a deep breath. “I’ve found four similar attacks in Europe in the last ten years. Not counting the latest one in Aalborg.” She recited them. “Esbjerg ten years ago, Pitea in Swedish Lapland, nine years ago, Stockholm two years ago. Arles in France last year. And the body washed up at Lonstrup, the one we think went into the sea at Hamburg a few months ago, had traces of fibres in her mouth as well.” She drew breath again. “What are the dates of the murders you’re investigating?”

“The first one is Emily Rasmussen. We found her skeleton. We think she was murdered in September 1998, or maybe a short time later. The second victim was murdered four days ago in Gellerupparken.”

“And you have a suspect?” said Pernille. “Good work. I’ll send you the thumb print and the files with photos.” 

“Thanks, Pernille.” Tobias hung up. 

He went to the viewing area from where he could see and hear Eddy and Katrine interviewing Erik Bak, aka Aksel Schmidt. 

“You’ve told us you last saw Emily Rasmussen in the summer of 1998,” said Eddy. “Which month?”

“I can’t remember. July or August, I suppose. I can’t be sure. It’s so long ago.”

“Emily Rasmussen was in Sweden during July and August 1998,” said Katrine.

“Then maybe it was later,” said Asksel Schmidt. He sounded irritated.

“So, after January 1999?” said Eddy. 

“I can’t remember. I was moving about from group to group. And the membership of these groups shifts and changes all the time.” 

“Have you been undercover with green activists all the time?”

“Pretty much,” said Aksel. “Except for March and April last year. I was on a Europol training course in Norway.”

“Where were you two weeks ago? April eighteenth to be precise,” said Katrine. 

Eric Bak shrugged. “I’m not sure. Probably in the squat.” 

“Did you sexually assault a prostitute in Gellerupparken on that day?” 

“Definitely not,” said Eric Bak. 

“Did you subsequently murder the same prostitute?”

Erik Bak sat up. He was less relaxed now. “What?”

“Did you also sexually assault a prostitute from Thailand, who worked in Gellerupparken?”

“I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone,” he said. 

“The man who beat assaulted the Thai sex worker told her he was an undercover police officer,” said Eddy.


“You work undercover in Gellerupparken. You were with green activists in places from which emails were sent to Emily Rasmussen’s mother. Emails intended to make her think Emily was alive, when in fact she was dead.”

“What places? What emails?” Aksel was clearly rattled.

Tobias put his head around the door of the interview room and beckoned to Eddy and Katrine. They joined him in the viewing room from where they could see Eric Bak, fidgeting.  

“Here’s a list of sexual assaults, similar pattern, over a period of at least ten years,” said Tobias. He handed the list to Katrine. “Find out where he was at the time of each attack. Have you fingerprinted him, or taken a DNA sample?”

“Not yet,” said Eddy. 

“We should have the DNA profile tomorrow. Pernille Madsen is sending over a print as well. It should be here by now. If it matches, we’ve got him.”

“Go home, Boss,” said Eddy. “Relax. Get some sleep. Skaarup and I can deal with this.”

Tobias was tired. He had been up since before dawn. It was now almost nine o’clock in the evening. 

“See you tomorrow,” he said. 

“With any luck we’ll have it all tied up and we can all take the day off,” said Eddy.

“I’ll take the files home, just in case,” said Tobias.

Sofie telephoned as he was parking the car in the square below his apartment. 

“I saw the news reports,” she said. “The skeleton in the lake at Skovlynd. The speculation it might be Emily Rasmussen.”

“We can’t be one hundred per cent sure until we get the DNA results.”

“You think it’s Emily?”

“I can’t say yet,” said Tobias.

“You know it’s Emily. I can tell from your voice.”

Tobias didn’t contradict her.  

“Astrid is in a terrible state. She telephoned me. She wants to go on believing Emily is alive.”

“Have a drink with me this evening. It’s a beautiful evening.” 

“I can’t. Sorry.”


“I’m going to France tomorrow evening. Kurt is entertaining some potential partners in his chateau business. He wants me there.”

“Why?” Was he sounding jealous? He didn’t want to sound jealous.

“Are you jealous?” Sofie laughed. “He needs me there because I speak French.”

“What’s the name of the chateau?”

“Chateau Sentout. It’s near Arles. We’re flying down tomorrow. Me, Kurt, Marcus and the architect. The usual suspects.” She paused. “I’ll be back on Tuesday evening. We can do something then if you like.” 

Third time lucky? Tobias smiled. “That would be nice. Dinner? I’ll book something.”

“Text me on Tuesday,” said Sofie. 


Tobias sat for a moment before getting out of the car. The files were in the pocket of the door. He picked them up, carried them to the apartment and set them down on the table by the French window. It was dusk. The sky above the rooftops was rose pink shading to indigo. He stepped on to the balcony and inhaled the cool night air scented with lilac and cherry blossom. He left the balcony door ajar when he went back into the room. He chose Scarlatti sonatas played by Mikhail Pletnev to accompany his methodical movements around the kitchen as he assembled a supper of Beemster Very Old cheese, a handful of walnuts and a slice of dark rye bread. He felt relaxed. Was it the music? Was it the sense of a job finished? He looked forward to a good night’s sleep after an exhausting day. 

He woke in the middle of the night. Something was bothering him. What had been dreaming about? He couldn’t remember. An idea, a word, something, was darting about in his brain, eluding capture. What was it? There was air in the room. He slept with the window open. He was neither too hot nor too cold. He tried an old trick for dealing with his rare bouts of insomnia - playing a Bach prelude in his head, imagining the precise fingering, the weight of each note, the tempo. It was no use. He could not concentrate while the gadfly thought was in his head. He got up. 

He poured himself a whiskey, added a dash of water, and stood on the balcony to drink it. The buildings all around were dark, the cafes and bars in the square had closed. The lights had gone out in the buildings all around, even in the cafes and bars in the square. The floodlit spire of the cathedral stood out against the night sky and the moon rode high above it. It was a night for romance, and he was alone. He imagined Sofie in a four-poster bed in the French chateau. Where was it exactly? He sat down at the table and opened his laptop and searched for Chateau Sentout, near Arles. The result flashed on to the screen. 

Chateau Sentout is a castle in the commune of Saint-Desir de Provence in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône in southern France. In 1994 it was listed as a Monument Historique.

The chateau was built in the 1680s by Gerard Peltier who built boats (barques)which transported wine on the river Rhone. His son, Jean-Marc Peltier, planted vineyards on the property and was ennobled by Louis XV for supplying wine to the new light infantry regiments. The chateau was the principal residence of his descendants until the late 19th century when they began using it as a summer residence only. The chateau gradually fell into a state of disrepair.

Wine production declined after the Second World War. The last official harvest was in 1980. In 1990 the chateau, by now almost in ruins, was sold to a construction company which intended to build housing to serve the expanding city of Arles (15km). The plan was opposed by the local commune and the French Heritage Society and the chateau was designated a Monument Historique. The new owners have promised to restore the building and maintain its special architectural character.

There was a link to a photograph in a local newspaper. It showed a handsome baroque style building with turrets and mansard roofs. The walls were standing. The roofs had fallen in. Scaffolding covered half of the building. Nobody could possibly stay there. So where did she stay? The nearest big town, he supposed. Arles. That was the gadfly word his brain had been chasing. He had come across it in the files.

He opened the file and found the list Katrine had compiled, matching the ISPs of the emails to green protests. The Shell refinery in Fredericia; oil drilling in Pitea and Hurtigruten; nuclear waste in Hamburg; the wind farm near Aalborg; bullfighting in Arles. She hadn’t identified anything near Esbjerg and nothing in particular in Copenhagen, but there was always some kind of protest going on in the capital. 

He was sure Pernille Madsen had mentioned Arles. Wasn’t it one of the places where a prostitute had been assaulted? Gagged with her panties, like Girlie and, every instinct told him, Emily Rasmussen.

He searched the file for the list Pernille Madsen had sent from Aalborg. Yes! Arles leapt out at him. Arles, April fifteenth, a year ago. Amina Okonjo an illegal immigrant working as a prostitute had been found by a physiotherapist leading a group of heart patients on an early morning walk. She had two black eyes, broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. She told the police she’d been gagged with her own panties and punched and thumped by a client. He didn’t speak French. Her pimp had driven her to a clinic and dumped her in the grounds.

The cathedral bells rang out. Tobias started. Normally his brain filtered out the constant ringing of the bells. Another, recent, memory was dislodged. Erik Bak: “I was on a Europol training course in Norway.” 

Tobias pulled Erik Bak’s service record from the file. There it was in clear print. April ninth until May eleventh. Bergen: Weapons Training and Surveillance Methodology. Erik Bak could not have assaulted a prostitute or sent an email from an Internet hub in Arles on the fourteenth of April. 

There was one other person who could have sent that email. 

Tobias opened the file on Emily Rasmussen’s complaint against her stepfather. Words sprang at him as he read. Gagged. Blood.  Bruised. Tied up. Vomit. Fear. Dead. 

He poured himself another whiskey and went on reading. 

The telephone call from Emily Rasmussen to the police in Skandeborg was logged at 8am. Emily told the officer who took the call that she had found violent sexual pornography on her stepfather’s laptop. She had gone to her stepfather’s study to consult an atlas. She thought he had gone to work. The laptop was open on his desk. She glanced at it and saw a photograph of a woman bound, gagged, her face covered in blood. The picture changed. Now there was a different woman on the screen. She was gagged and spreadeagled. Her thighs were covered in blood. She appeared to be dead. She clicked through more images: women gagged and bound, their faces beaten to pulp, bruises on their stomachs and inner thighs, vomit in their hair, blood trickling from their noses. 

Emily heard her stepfather speaking to her mother downstairs. She ran from the study to her room. Her stepfather went into the study. Emily went downstairs and telephoned the police. She told her mother what she’d seen and what she had done. The two women went upstairs to confront Marcus Thomsen. He flew into a rage, accused Emily of lying and slammed the study door. Emily and her mother waited outside the room until the police arrived approximately fifteen minutes after the call was made. Marcus Thomsen denied having images on his computer. He said Emily was jealous and delusional. The police checked the laptop, a Gateway Solo 9100, on the spot. They found no pornographic images. Emily said Marcus Thomsen must have switched laptops. The police searched the room. No second laptop was found. Emily was so insistent, the police continued searching, even taking up the floorboards. They then searched the rest of the house. No laptop was found. Emily was interviewed by the police. She stuck adamantly to her story. A police psychologist could find no evidence of schizophrenia or any mental disorder. Marcus Thomsen had no police record. Nor could the Skandeborg police find any reports of assaults on women. 

Tobias closed his eyes to think. Could Emily have invented something which so exactly matched the modus operandi of the man who killed Girlie. And the Russian prostitute he dumped in the sea at Hamburg? Who almost certainly killed Emily?

It was like one of those locked room mysteries by Agatha Christie. The Mystery of the Missing Laptop. Could there have been a second laptop?

Tobias went out on to the balcony and took three deep breaths. The gardens below were early-morning still. A movement caught his eye. The fountain in the lily pond had sprung into life. Where had he seen a lily pond mentioned? He went back inside and leafed through the file on Bogman. It was in the notes on Lennart’s grandparents. His last words to them on the phone: “Bye now. I see Emily coming back from the lily pond.” The call was logged at 21.30 on the twenty-first of September 1998. Tobias frowned. It would be dark at that time in September. The headlights would have been on. Lennart couldn’t have seen who was driving the ambulance. Lily pond. Lily pond. He closed his eyes again and conjured up the house in Skandeborg. Judge Hendrikson’s house, where the Thomsen’s had been living when Emily disappeared. He saw again the gardener gazing into the pond at the side of the house. “The same bloody heron has been taking the fish.” The pond had been there when the Thomsen’s lived in the house. Where had Thomsen’s study been? 

He picked up his phone and called Sofie.

“Tobias?” She sounded sleepy. “Why are you calling me at this time? Is something wrong?”

“I need to know something urgently,” he said. “When exactly did Kurt Malling buy the chateau in Provence? It was near Arles, wasn’t it?”


“When did Malling buy the chateau? Was it in April last year? Did Marcus Thomsen go with him?”

“We all went. I mean the team working on the project. Kurt, Marcus, the architect and me.” 

“When was this? It’s important.”

“Wait a moment. I’ll get my diary.” 

Tobias was aware of his heart thumping. 

“April,” said Sofie. “We went down on April twelfth and stayed until the sixteenth.”

“Where did you stay?”

“In a hotel in Arles.”

“Does Kurt Malling have business interests in Hamburg?”

“I believe so, yes. What is this about, Tobias? Why are you interrogating me at six o’clock in the morning?”

“Does Malling have interests in Lapland?

“I think his company is doing oil exploration up there. What’s going on, Tobias?”

“What flight are you taking this evening?” 

“Kurt shares an executive jet. We’re all going in that.”

“What time?”

“Six o’clock from Aarhus. What is this about, Tobias? 

“I’ll tell you on Tuesday,” he said.

Tobias phoned Eddy.

“It can’t have been Asksel, or Bak or whatever he calls himself.”

“I know,” said Eddy. “It didn't match the print Pernille Madsen sent over. We let him go. What now?”

“I have an idea,” said Tobias. “I need to speak to Larsen.”


This is a web preview of the "Bogman" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App