Monday: Week One


Chief Superintendent Jens Larsen, Head of Special Investigations, and the prosecutor, Renata Molsing, were examining photographs spread across a table in Larsen’s office, when Tobias and Eddy Haxen arrived for a briefing.

Larsen looked up from the photographs. “So what do we know about this bog body?” 

Not at lot so far,” said Tobias. “Forensics are still at the crime scene.” 

“If it is a crime scene,” said Eddy. “We might end up sending the bones to a museum.”

“Well, at least we’ve shortened the process by giving them to Johann Brix,” said Larsen. “He’s good. We called him in to help after a multiple pile up a few years ago. He can send the remains to the museum if it turns out they’re from the Iron Age.” 

“It only becomes a matter for us if the death occurred within a time frame which means the perpetrator could still be alive,” said Renata. 

“So we could be looking at a ninety year old perpetrator? Assuming the death wasn’t accidental,” said Eddy.

“That split skull didn’t look like an accident to Harry Norsk,” said Tobias. “Nor to me.”

“We could be looking for killer who’s been dead for a thousand years,” said Eddy.

“Let’s wait to hear what Brix has to say,” said Renata Molsing.

“In the meantime, I suggest you get back out there, Lange,” said Larsen. “And keep me informed. Right?” He nodded his dismissal.

Katrine Skaarup was at her desk in the Investigations Room.  

“So where do we begin?”

“We’re waiting to hear how old the bones are,” said Eddy.

“We could start searching for missing persons in the area,” said Katrine. Her face shone, she flexed her fingers as though ready to strike the keys of the computer and summon up names, dates and circumstances. 

“We could be wasting our time,” said Eddy. “I’ve got a report to write up for Renata.” He settled himself at his desk.

“I’m going back to Roligmose,” said Tobias. He glanced at Katrine. Her face had fallen. “But it’s a good idea to be up to date on missing persons, just in case. Start ten years back and make a list.” 

He thought he might enjoy being around Katrine for a while. Before her enthusiasm turned to cynicism and she lost the romantic notions he guessed had made her want to be a detective. 

The sky was the colour of slate when he drove out of the city. Drops of rain spattered the windscreen. By the time he bumped down the track into the bog, a drizzle had become a downpour. He cursed a climate that even at the end of April could turn from sunshine and a light breeze to sleet and high winds in the space of a day. He parked between the forensics van and a solitary police car. The officer in the car lifted his head from the newspaper. Tobias gestured to him to stay where he was. The officer looked relieved. He returned to his newspaper.

Tobias pushed the car door open against the wind. Rain whipped his face. He put his head down, pulled up the hood of his jacket and squelched across the rough grass towards the tent. The model airplanes had vanished. The sides of the tent ballooned in the wind. Just as well they’d got it up when the weather was calm. He was glad to get inside it. 

“Hi, Tobias.” The head of the forensics team, Karl Lund, raised a hand in greeting. 

“I reckon we’ve got every bone and fragment of bone,” he said. “As well as this lot.” He pointed to a row of see-though plastic bags on the trestle table. “We found fragments of metal and four metal buttons, a silver buckle and a bracelet which feels like it could be bronze or silver. We’re still looking,” he nodded at two white-suited technicians on their knees combing through the grasses. 

The rain stopped beating on the canvas. The wind softened. Tobias looked around. The ground sloped almost imperceptibly. A trickle of water had entered the tent. He followed it with his eyes to where it ran out under the opposite flap. 

“The aerial photos showed a pond,” he said.

“Yeah. About ten metres away,” said Karl. “It’s cordoned off. We haven’t searched there yet.”

“I’d like to take a look at it.”

Karl handed him overshoes and orange plastic gloves. “At least it’s stopped raining.” 

He led Tobias to a small oval of dark water concealed by tall reeds and grasses. 

“It’s unlikely a body would be dumped on open ground, however remote,” Tobias said. “I wonder if this pond was bigger at one time.”  

He crouched beside a tiny stream trickling through black earth into the pond. 

“We can drag the pond,” said Karl.

“Hardly worth it until we know what we’re dealing with. I was just curious.” Tobias stood up. His foot dislodged a section of turf. He looked down and saw a thin round object, like a coin or medal. 

“Have you got tweezers, Karl?”

Karl pulled a plastic bag from his pocket, ripped it open and handed Tobias a pair of tweezers. 

“Looks like you’ve found another specimen for Professor Brix,” he said. 


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