Thursday: Week Three


Eddy adjusted the viewing screen in the Incident Room and checked a set of images on his laptop. He looked around. Katrine was pinning photographs to a board on the wall. They were all copies of the images Eddy was going to show on the screen. 

Chief Superintendent Larsen, Tobias, Karl Lund, Harry Norsk and Renata Molsing filed into the room and took chairs in front of the screen. 

“Everybody here? Right? Let’s see what you’ve got, Haxen,” said Larsen.

The first image flashed on to the screen. A round face with regular features, bright eyes and smoothed back hair. Katrine thought it a face full of hope. She felt a rush of compassion for the young woman who thought she was on her way to a well-paid job and a better life, and found instead a sordid job and a brutal death. 

“Girlie Corazon Sanchez,” said Eddy. “Thirty-one years old. Victim of a scam that lured her to Denmark six months ago. When she had this photograph taken for her passport, she believed she was coming to a job at UNICEF in Copenhagen. The job didn’t exist. She paid a fake agency thousands of dollars – we don’t know the exact amount. The scam is still being investigated both here and in the Philippines. As far as we are aware, no one has been arrested.” 

Larsen uttered a short, sardonic bark. 

The next slide showed Girlie’s expressionless face in death; her bruised eyes, mercifully shut.  

“Girlie became a sex-worker in Gellerup,” said Eddy. “Her pimp is a Turkish man who is also an informant for PET. Two weeks ago, she was dumped at the hospital. She’d been badly beaten. Skaarup and I interviewed her at the Sexual Assault Centre. She wouldn’t say anything about her attacker. She seemed frightened of him. We thought, wrongly, it was her husband, her partner or her pimp. Unfortunately she left hospital before she could be interviewed again by us or by Immigration.”

Larsen grunted. “Unfortunately is an understatement, Haxen. But I’ll say no more. Immigration must take their share of the blame.” He gestured impatiently. “Get on with it.” 

“She went to an advice centre and spoke to a volunteer called Irene Voss. She told Irene Voss she’d been attacked by a client. She was afraid if she went to the police, she’d be deported. Irene Voss gave Girlie her telephone number.” 

A third image flashed up. A faceless, bulky shape that almost filled the screen. 

“Girlie sent this photo to Irene Voss. She must have taken it seconds before she fell, was pushed, from the balcony of the flat.”

The balcony now appeared on the screen, followed by a close-up of the balcony ledge showing a wisp of yellow cotton snagged on the grey brickwork. 

 “We think the abusive client came back. Girlie recognised him and managed to take and send this photo. We surmise he realised this. He wrestled the phone from her. There’s evidence of a struggle.” 

Eddy clicked on the next image, the interior of the flat. Overturned chairs, plates, cutlery, the remnants of chips on the floor, the unmade bed, the sofa. 

“Is that blood?” asked Renata.

“Ketchup,” said Eddy. “We think she was eating when her attacker arrived.”

“The meal was still in her stomach,” said Harry Norsk. 

The final image – Girlie’s body, splayed on the concrete path - appeared on the screen.

“The immediate cause of death was a broken neck,” said Harry. “She had broken ribs and multiple bruising from injuries sustained two weeks earlier. She would not have had the strength to fight back.” 

“And there’s no possibility she could have jumped from the balcony to escape her attacker?” asked Renata.

““The fragment of cotton is from the back of her T shirt,” said Karl. “An exact match.”

 “What about contacting her next of kin?” asked Renata.

“I’ve told the Philippine’s Embassy,” said Katrine. 

“Is Irene Voss in danger?” asked Tobias.

“We don’t think so,” said Katrine. “The perpetrator deleted all the numbers from the phone. Plus he’ll have looked at the photo she sent. He’s unrecognisable. It’s not much help to us, unfortunately.” 

“I don’t want to hear that word again,” said Larsen. “Tell me something useful.”

“We can play around with the image and get some sense of his height and weight,” said Karl.

“This is one clever bastard,” said Eddy. “He wiped the phone.  My guess is none of the prints in the flat will be his. He probably wore gloves. He’s done this before. Irene Voss said another sex worker, also an illegal, was attacked a few months back.”

“Same perpetrator?” asked Larsen.

“We don’t know at this stage, Sir. We’re trying to trace the sex worker. Apparently she moved to Copenhagen afterwards. We’ve alerted Immigration, and Vice.”

“Needle in a haystack,” said Larsen resignedly. 

He thought for a moment. “Alsing’s team is still tied up waiting for the Danske gang to assemble. He thinks they can bag the lot. I don’t want to jeopardise that. You’ll have to handle this on your own, Haxen. Skaarup can work with both you and Chief Inspector Lange. What I want to know is this – are the bones that keep turning up anything to do with this case? Are they the bones of sex workers murdered by this same perpetrator?”

They all considered this possibility silently for a few moments.

“We don’t have duplicate bones,” said Harry. “If we had two ulna, for example, instead of just one, we could see if they’re a match, if we’re dealing with one body or more. We should get the results of carbon dating by next week. Brix is trying DNA amplification. That should tell us if there is more than one victim. It can’t help with identification, of course, unless we have DNA to compare it with.”

“I don’t want even a whisper outside this room that there could be multiple victims,” said Larsen. “Got that? I’ll brief the media centre about the Filipina. I’ll have a word with Immigration as well. Keep me informed of developments. Right?” 

He turned to Tobias.

“What’s the latest on Bogman?”

“I’ve got an address for a green activist who knew Emily Rasmussen,” said Tobias. “He might know where she is.”

“Pigs might fly,” said Larsen. “Let me know when you find her.”

The meeting broke up. 

Tobias, Eddy and Katrine headed for Gellerupparken. Eddy and Katrine in one car. Tobias in the other. 

Eddy and Katrine went to the flat five doors down from the one Girlie had used on the night she died. Eddy rang the bell.

A statuesque woman in a yellow kimono opened the door. She yawned. 

“Hi, honey. I’m Augustina.” 

Eddy tried to keep his eyes from her bust – it was as high as her cheekbones and shone like polished mahogany. He produced his ID.  

“You’re up early,” said Augustina, with a slow smile. “You’re looking for a special price? You guys are always looking for a discount.” Eddy decided to let the remark go. He didn’t much care if his colleagues bought sex. “You want to arrest me?” She flashed her teeth at him and was halfway through a rapid recital of her repertoire and prices before she noticed Katrine behind Eddy. She backed away from them. They followed her into the flat. It had the same layout and furniture as the one from which Girlie had fallen, except the table and chair weren’t overturned and the sofa boasted two pink velvet cushions. Augustina picked up a cushion and held it to her like a shield.

“What do you want? I told you, I’m legal. You want to see my papers?” 

“One of your friends was pushed over a balcony last night,” said Eddy. 

“I don’t know anything about that. What friend?” 

“Her name is Girlie,” said Eddy. “You worked together, Augustina. She’s dead.” 

Augustina clutched the cushion more tightly.

“Did you have a cat fight? Did you push her?” 

Augustina stared at Eddy. She was clearly unnerved.

“Where were you last night, Augustina? Didn’t you hear the commotion? Didn’t you hear the sirens? Didn’t you see the flat taped off? The men in blue suits collecting evidence? Five doors down, Augustina. Where were you when all that was going on?”

“I had an appointment,” Augustina said. “Downtown.” She swallowed. “I didn’t come back until a few hours ago. I didn’t see anything. What happened?”

“Somebody pushed Girlie off the balcony five doors down. Who might have done that, Augustina?”

Augustina was silent for a few moments. Her voice hardened. ”You have to compensate me for all the business I lose because you guys are around,” she said. “You understand?”

Eddy turned to Katrine. “I think we’ll take Augustina down to Fredensgade right now as a material witness. Tell her what rights she has.”

Katrine opened her mouth.

Augustina said quickly, “What do you want to know?” 

“That’s better,” said Eddy. “Have you or any of the other girls had an abusive client?”

“Not me,” said Augustina. “I’m too big and strong.” She threw the cushion at the sofa. “And I’m legal. He picks on the smaller girls. And the illegals.” 

“He?” said Eddy and Katrine in unison.

“Who is he? Give us a name,” said Eddy.

“I don’t know his name or anything about him. I just heard about him. There were rumours. He beat up Girlie a few weeks ago. Before that I heard he beat up a Thai girl from another block.” 

“What’s her name? Where does she live?”

“I don’t know. She moved away.”

“Where did she move to?”

“I told you, I don’t know her name. I don’t know where she went.” Augustina shrugged. “People move around. She didn’t work with us. She was in another block. I told you.”

“Do you mean she worked for a different pimp?”

“I don’t know who she worked for. She didn’t work with me.”

“How does this guy know which girls are illegal?” asked Katrine.

Augustina looked uncomfortable. “I heard he told the Thai girl he was a policeman working undercover to find illegal immigrants. He asked for documents. He said he wouldn’t report her if they had sex for free.”

“Aw, fuck,” said Eddy. 

“Did Girlie tell you that?” asked Katrine.

“I just heard, that’s all,” said Augustina. “Word gets about.”

 “You took Girlie to the hospital. Is that when she told you?” 

“I don’t know anything about that. It wasn’t me took her. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’re on CCTV.” This wasn’t true, but Katrine guessed Augustina was the woman the ambulance driver had seen in the van which unloaded Girlie at the Emergency Room. “You can tell us about it here, or you can come with us to Fredensgade and tell us about it there. You found her, you called someone. Both of you took her to the Emergency Room,” said Katrine. 

“You called your boss,” said Eddy. “The Turk. He doesn’t like his girls getting involved with the police, isn’t that right, Augustina?” 

“Just tell us about the time you found Girlie and took her to the hospital,” said Katrine. She exchanged a glance with Eddy.

“Maybe we should take you down to headquarters after all,” he said.

“I’m sure that won’t be necessary if Augustina talks to us here,” said Katrine.

“I never saw who hurt Girlie,” said Augustina quickly. “I never saw him. He was gone when I got there.” 

“So what happened exactly? Just tell us how you came to take Girlie to the hospital,” said Katrine in a patient tone. “Take your time.” 

Augustina’s shoulders dropped. She flopped down on the sofa and leaned back resignedly. “OK.”  

Eddy and Katrine sat down at the table. Katrine took out her notebook. Eddy set his phone to record the interview. 

“I came back early and the door wasn’t locked,” said Augustina. “We usually lock the door when we have a client. Girlie was tied up on the bed. She was choking. The bastard had stuffed her panties into her mouth so she couldn’t call out. He tied her hands with her bra. She was lucky I came back early. I took the gag from her mouth and untied her. I called somebody. We took Girlie to the hospital.” 

“What did Girlie tell you about this client? What did he look like? Where did she meet him?” 

“He picked her up down by the docks. He said he was from Immigration checking on illegal workers. He wouldn’t report her if they had sex. They came here.”

“To this block,” said Eddy. 

“To this flat,” said Augustina. “Girlie moved into the other one after she got attacked. She was frightened he’d come back.”

Katrine put down her notebook and looked at Eddy. “We’ll have to get Forensics here.” 

He nodded. “Is there somewhere you can go, Augustina? We need to check this place for evidence.” 

“Forensics have finished in the other flat,” said Katrine. “Can you go there for a while?” 

Augustina nodded wearily. She moved around the flat picking up her things and putting them into a holdall. She zipped it up. She was still in her yellow kimono.

“Do you want to change your clothes? We can wait outside,” said Katrine.

“I’m dressed for work,” said Augustina. 

Katrine had a sudden thought. “What did you do with Girlie’s clothes? Where are the bra and panties, Augustina?” 

She looked blank. “I didn’t do anything. Maybe I threw them on the floor. I don’t remember.”

“What was Girlie wearing when you took her to the hospital?” 

“I put a robe around her, like this one.” Augustina touched the neckline of her own garment. “That’s all.”

“The bra and pants must be somewhere,” said Eddy. “Maybe the Turk knows. Maybe he threw them away. Or did Girlie pick them up when she came back from the hospital? Was she wearing them when she fell? I’ll ask Harry.” He took out his phone. 

“I don’t think she’d want to wear panties he’d handled, he’d stuffed in her mouth,” said Katrine, recoiling in disgust. “I bet she threw them in the bin.” 

An image flashed into her mind - Eddy dangling pink silk panties from an orange-gloved hand. 

Eddy froze, phone in hand. He stared at Katrine. 

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” she said.

He nodded. “Let’s go.”

As they got into the car, Eddy said, “It’s the last thing we need. A suspect from Immigration, working undercover.”

“We don’t know that, Eddy. It might just have been something he said, so he’d know who was unlikely to go to the police.” 

“And I’m the Emperor of Japan. Plus, if we need to talk to the Turk, there’ll be a fucking great argument with PET because he’s one of their touts. Larsen won’t like any of this.”

“My turn to tell him,” said Katrine.

Eddy patted her knee. “We’ll do it together.” He switched on the engine and pulled away from the kerb.


Tobias walked around the tower block nearest to City Vest Mall looking for the squat described to him by the blonde girl at the protest camp. Was Magnus having a fling with her? Tobias hoped so. If it meant Magnus had switched his attention from Agnes. It would be hard on Agnes but she was young and resilient. He wouldn’t, couldn’t tell her about Magnus and the blonde. But he could keep his fingers crossed.

He identified the squat easily. It was at the end of a block, on the first floor, exactly as the blonde had said. Banners hung from the balcony. Save the Whale. Save the Planet. Save our Trees. Action on Climate Change! Whoever You Vote For The Government Gets In. Capitalism Kills! 

Tobias walked across the road to get a better view of the flat. The door to the balcony was closed. Curtains were drawn on the windows. There was no sign of life. The flat beside it was boarded up. Further along the block, a dog barked briefly, its paws up on the balcony ledge, before dropping down out of sight. 

There weren’t many people about. Two men in turbans sat on a bench in a small park opposite the flats, enjoying the May sunshine. Sunshine, like snow, improved Gellerup, thought Tobias. The trees were in full leaf. A young woman wearing blue jeans, a long black tunic and a black headscarf, cycled unhurriedly along the pavement. A battered silver-grey Volvo, parked across the road from the flats, gleamed in the sunlight. The brand-new black BMW beside it shone like coal. Drug dealer’s car, thought Tobias automatically. Agnes would say this was police prejudice. He could hear her saying, “Why shouldn’t someone in Gellerup have a new car?” He smiled. 

He climbed the stone staircase to the first floor. The doorbell on the flat dangled uselessly from wires. The letterbox was blocked by a short plank nailed to the door. Tobias thumped the door. Nobody came. He put his ear to the wood and listened. He thought he could hear voices faintly. Male and female voices. Could Emily be there? 

He went back down the stairs and walked to the back of the building. A row of garages with grey steel shutters ran along the back of the block. Graffiti covered most of them. On the one below the squat, Tobias could make out two words, recently added he thought: Police scum. 

Tobias tried to lift the shutter. It was locked from inside. He banged on it. There was no reply. He walked to the front of the building and looked up at the flat. He thought he saw a curtain move. He went back to the door and hammered on it again. 

He heard the distant rattle of a steel shutter. An engine revved. He ran back down the staircase, in time to see a white van career around the far corner of the block and accelerate towards one of the principal roads through the estate. 

Tobias sprinted back to the garage. The shutter was down. He could detect no recent tire marks, but it was a dry day. Damn. Rain would have made tire marks visible. 

He went back to the door of the flat and hammered on it. He waited five minutes, put his ear to the door again and heard distant voices, laughter. He shrugged. If they wanted to play silly buggers, he would return with a search warrant. 

When he emerged from the building, the grey Volvo and the two men in turbans had gone. The road was empty. He walked back to his car.  

He was about to start the engine when his phone rang. He dug it out of his pocket and glanced at the screen. Agnes.

“Hi, Pumpkin.”

“You don’t trust me, Dad. You didn’t trust me to ask Magnus to call you.”

“I trust you, Agnes. I don’t trust Magnus.”

“He would have called you. Things that seem so urgent to you are not so urgent to Magnus.”

“I have to follow my own timesheet, Agnes. I couldn’t wait for Magnus to get around to calling me about a vital piece of information.” 

“Why don’t you trust Magnus?”

Tobias thought of four reasons simultaneously. He has studs in his ears, nose and mouth; he hates the police; he hasn’t got a job; he’s screwing another girl.

“He doesn’t like the police,” he said.

“He told me he was going to call you. He would have called you. You didn’t give him a chance.”

“Some things can’t wait, Agnes. I’m on a murder enquiry.”

“You just don’t like him. You’re prejudiced because he’s a full-time activist.”

“Quite so. I’d prefer he had a job.”

“He doesn’t need a job,” said Agnes. “He inherited money. He works for the planet.”

So Magnus was a rich boy. Agnes hadn’t told him that before. It didn’t make Tobias like him any better.

“I need to talk to Aksel,” he said. “Does he have a job?”

“Magnus says he’s some kind of IT specialist. You see? I did talk to Magnus about him. I asked him to call you. He said he was going to. But you couldn’t wait. You had to go up to the camp.”

“Where does Aksel work?” 

“He’s freelance. He can work from home.” 

“Even if home is a wigwam?”

“The wigwam is for storing stuff, Dad.”

“And you don’t know Aksel’s surname?”

“It’s Schmidt,” said Agnes. “Magnus told me that as well.” 

“Thanks for that, at least.”

“But no thanks for going up to the camp, Dad. Now they’ll all know my Dad’s a policeman,” said Agnes. There was a bitter note in her voice. “We have an informer in the camp. We went to block the road to stop some equipment getting into the forest. The police were waiting for us.”

“Don’t you think the police might have guessed you’d try to block the road?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Agnes sounded bitter now. “They’ll all think I’m the informer because my dad’s a policeman.”

“Does Magnus think that?”

“He trusts me. He knows I’d never betray the group.”

“Why don’t you give it all a rest for a while,” said Tobias quietly. “There are plenty of others to protect the forest and the otters.”

“If we all thought like that, nobody would protect anything. We’d go on destroying the planet. And it’s not otters, Dad. It’s bats. Bechstein’s bat. And the trees as well. They’re the lungs of the earth.”

Tobias sighed. “So where are you now?”

“In Copenhagen. But I’m going up to the camp this weekend.”

“I thought you had an essay to write?”

“I can write in a tent too.” The smile was back in her voice now. “Relax, Dad. Smell the flowers. I’m fine and everything’s cool.”

Tobias sat for a while pondering how anyone could suspect Agnes of being an informer. Agnes who couldn’t tell a lie, who hated dishonesty. Perhaps he should, after all, tell Agnes he thought Magnus was sleeping with the blonde girl at the camp. Maybe she knew already. The young seemed to share everything these days. Best not to interfere. All he could do is hope for the best. Which for him would be for Agnes to fall out of love with Magnus and into love with somebody else. 

He put the key in the ignition. He paused. He picked up his phone and read again the text Sofie had sent him in reply to his apology.  

“You owe me. Reception 7pm Royal Hotel. Be there.”

He texted, “And dinner afterwards?” Maybe coffee at Sofie’s place as well. He turned the key and drove back to Fredensgade in high spirits.

Eddy and Katrine were in Larsen’s office when he went to arrange a search warrant for the squat. 

“More trouble I suppose,” said Larsen when he saw Tobias. “It usually comes in threes. I’ve just had Haxen tell me someone from Immigration might have killed a prostitute. And one of the key witnesses is a tout for PET.”

“I need a warrant to search a squat in Brabrand, Sir,” said Tobias. 

“It can wait,” said Larsen. 

“I’m close to finding Emily Rasmussen, Sir.” 

“And I’m close to boiling point. Right?” Larsen’s eyes were bright with anger. “I’ve had journalists on the phone for the last hour. More bones were found at the recycling depot. Someone tipped off the press.” He spoke through gritted teeth. 

“It must have been someone at the depot,” said Eddy.

“Of course it’s someone at the depot.” Larsen glared at Eddy. “If I thought it was a member of the force I’d have them demoted on the spot.” He drew a breath. “They’ve stopped the conveyor whatsit until this is sorted. I don’t want any more complaints about men being paid to stand around and do nothing. I want this bones business cleared up, pronto. Right? Get up there straightaway, Lange.”  

Tobias knew it was useless to argue with Larsen when he was in a temper. 

Larsen turned to Eddy. “I don’t want anyone, apart from Chief Inspector Lange, to know someone from Immigration might be involved until I’ve spoken to Renata Molsing and Internal Affairs. And I mean anyone. Right? Now get on with it.”

“What about PET, Sir,” asked Eddy.

“I’ve already had them on the line wanting assurances you won’t pull in this Turk for questioning. They don’t want to upset him. Hah! Upset away, Haxen if you have to. I won’t have PET swanking all over us.” 

Tobias thought he sounded almost cheerful at the prospect of a row with the notoriously self-regarding Intelligence Service. 

“A fine kettle of fish,” growled Larsen. He had calmed down. “We can sort out the warrant in the morning. Off you go.” He waved them away. 

“Good luck, Boss,” said Eddy, when they were safely outside Larsen’s office. “If you find any pink panties in the rubbish, let me know.” 


Tobias drove through three police checkpoints on his way to the city waste disposal depot. Larsen was clearly determined to keep the media at bay. A television crew had managed to get through to the third checkpoint. Tobias ignored their pleas for information. He drove to the recycling area, parked beside the Forensic van and went into the shed. 

Harry Norsk and Karl Lund were standing over a static conveyer belt looking at six white bones and a small olive green canvas bag. It looked like the kind of bag a fisherman might use for bait. The supervisor stood about a metre away, looking anxious. Half a dozen men in yellow overalls sat on the ground, their backs to the wall, looking bored. 

Tobias raised his hand in a general greeting and went to join Karl and Harry. 

“What can you tell me?” he said. 

“Not much,” said Harry. “Except I’m fairly confident these are human bones. I’ll run the usual tests, of course, but,” he picked up a long thin bone in his gloved fingers. “This is the humerus, the bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow.”

The supervisor’s eyes were as round as saucers. His jaw visibly dropped. 

“The bones that turned up ten days ago were the ulna and the radius,” said Harry. “They’re the bones that run from the elbow to the wrist. I can’t say yet whether this bone,” he waved the humerus like a flag, “was attached to them, but my guess – and it’s only a guess – is that it was.”

“Meaning all the bones are from the same body,” said Tobias.

“I think so,” said Harry. “I’m sending them to Brix.” He paused. “There’s one strange thing. These bones have been cleaned.”

“Cleaned? What with?”

“Probably hot water and detergent,” said Harry. “That’s what I use. There’s hardly a trace of dust on them. They can’t have been in the skip for long.” He picked up the second bone and dropped both bones into a clear plastic bag. “There’s not much I can do here. I’m taking them back to the lab.”  

“They were in a skip at Viby,” said Karl. “Building materials for recycling mostly.” He waved at the assortment of cupboard doors, plastic shelves, window frames, bricks lying further along the belt. “And some other stuff, as well as the bones.”

“People are always dumping things in skips,” said the supervisor. He was composed now. “The Viby skip had two broken bicycle wheels, crisp packets, cigarette butts, old videotapes, you name it. A busted beach ball. Even a couple of golf balls. But as soon as I looked in the bag and saw the bones, I stopped the belt straightaway.” He fidgeted. “When do you think we can start up again?”

Tobias looked at Karl and raised an eyebrow. 

Karl picked up the canvas bag. “We’re done here. All the other stuff, the bicycle wheel etcetera, is in the van”, said Karl. 

Tobias turned to the supervisor. “You can start up again whenever you like.”  

The supervisor grinned. “My boss at city hall will be happy.” He put two fingers into his mouth and whistled. The men in yellow helmets got to their feet.

Tobias and Karl left the recycling shed and walked to their vehicles. Behind them, the conveyor belt jerked into life. 

Eddy and Katrine were in the basement garage looking for the bag they hoped contained Girlie’s panties. 

 “They were in the same bag as the jacket with the swastika,” said Eddy.

“I think this is it.” Katrine held up a bag. She put it on the ground, opened it, plunged her gloved hands into the contents and pulled out the pink panties. She sat back on her heels and grinned at Eddy.

Katrine dropped the panties into a plastic bag. She and Eddy went to the Forensic lab. Karl wasn’t back from the recycling yard. Eddy attached a note to the bag and left it on Karl’s desk. 

They met Renata Molsing on their way to the Investigations Room. She waved a sheet of paper at them.

“I’ve had a reply from Hotmail. They’ve sent me a list of the IP addresses and the ISP host sites for the Emily Rasmussen emails, along with the geolocations. Plus the date when the email address was set up. Here you are.” She handed the paper to Eddy. “Good luck.”  

Eddy glanced at it. He whistled. “She gets around,” he said. “Sweden, Norway, Germany, France.”

When Tobias got back from the recycling centre, he found Eddy and Katrine going through the geolocation list.  

“Emily’s email was set up at an IP address in Skandeborg on the twenty-fourth of September 1998, the date of the first email to her mother. The twelfth of April emails are all from Internet cafes or open broadband hubs in public places,” said Eddy. “Seven of them are in Denmark, including the most recent one: three from Copenhagen, one each from Odense and Fredericia, two from Aalborg. Two are from Lapland. Pitea in Sweden Lapland and Hurtigruten in Norway, to be precise. One is from Hamburg. One is from Arles in France. Two are from Stockholm.”

“I’ll check to see what was happening in those places around the date the emails were sent,” said Katrine. “If there were green protests. Something that might have attracted Emily.” 

“Larsen has sorted out a search warrant for the squat at Brabrand,” said Tobias. “We’ll go in tomorrow morning. Let’s do catch-up on everything else.”

He led the way to the Investigations room. The photographs of Girlie were still pinned to the board. Her round features, bright-eyed, alive. Her bruised face, eyes-closed, dead. 

 Tobias straightened a chair and sat down. Eddy perched on a desk. Katrine stood gazing at the photographs. 

“We spoke to a prostitute who worked with Girlie,” she said. “Her name’s Augustina. She and the Turk took Girlie to the hospital after the earlier attack. Same perpetrator. According to Augustina, he gagged Girlie with her panties. He beat her up. He filmed her.” 

“We found the panties,” said Eddy. “At least we think they’re her panties. There could be DNA as well.”

“Probably only Girlie’s,” said Katrine. “He wore gloves.”

“If we’re lucky, he wanked all over them,” said Eddy. 

Katrine made a face. 

“Even a DNA match is no good unless we have someone to match it to,” said Tobias.

“Larsen said if we got DNA he could ask all the males in Immigration to take DNA tests,” said Eddy. 

“Lets talk about the bones,” said Tobias. “This last lot were dumped in a skip at Viby. They were in a canvas bag. An olive green bag, with a shoulder strap. The kind of thing a fisherman might use. We’ll put a notice up near the skip, with a picture of the bag. Did you see anyone put this bag in the skip? That kind of thing. It’s a long shot, but someone might have seen something. Can you arrange that, Katrine?”

She nodded. “I’ll do that right away.”

“I’ll see you both in the morning,” said Tobias. 


Tobias disliked receptions but he had to attend them from time to time. Award ceremonies, visits by the National Commissioners, visits by members of the Royal Family, foreign police delegations, meet-the-press evenings – he loathed them all equally. He had developed a strategy for coping. He made a mental list of the people he had to converse with in case Larsen asked him what he thought about so-and-so, or what so-and-so had said about some aspect of policing. He worked his way through the names. When he had ticked off everyone on the list, he went home. 

Tonight’s reception was different. It had nothing to do with work. It was a corporate social affair. Sofie and Hannah were entertaining potential clients of a manufacturer of golf equipment. Tobias didn’t need to ask himself why he was going to the kind of event he would normally avoid. The reason was standing beside a hefty bag of golf clubs, her high heels digging into a thick mat in a near-luminous shade of green with a small white circle on it. The mat was attached by a cord to a large screen showing a well-known Danish professional golfer continuously sweeping a golf ball into the blue distance. Sofie was surrounded by men. She was smiling, gesticulating, nodding her head in answer to questions Tobias could not hear. 

A man stepped out of the audience and stood on the mat. Tobias saw that it was Norbert, loyally supporting Sofie’s demonstration of what appeared to be a machine to measure? – Improve? – the golf swing. Sofie stepped off the mat and handed Norbert a golf club. He swung the club. A set of numbers replaced the golfer on the screen. Sofie clapped her hands. Another man stepped out of the crowd. Tobias recognised Marcus Thomsen. Sofie gave him a club. He swung it. Another set of numbers flashed on to the screen. Marcus Thomsen looked smug. Sofie said something. There was general laughter and applause. 

Now Sofie saw Tobias. She smiled and called out to him. 

“Come and have your swing analysed.” 

Tobias hesitated. If he refused she would think him churlish. She would accuse him of false modesty. A space opened for him. He stepped on to the mat, took the club, swung it. Another set of numbers. More applause. Tobias didn’t wait to decipher the numbers. He retreated into the crowd. Someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned. It was the Commissioner. He was asking if Tobias was a member of the East Jutland Police Golfing Society. 

“I’m keen for someone from the district to play on the national team. You could be that person, Lange. Good PR today.” He clapped Tobias on the back before going to join Kurt Malling, who was talking to the golf professional whose image was still on the screen, hitting balls with the regularity of a metronome.

Tobias scanned the room for familiar faces and saw Inge. He made his way to her side. They were joined by Astrid Thomsen. She greeted Tobias in a friendly manner but he detected an underlying nervousness.

“Are you still trying to find Emily?” she asked in a half-whisper. “Have you any news?”

“We are in the process of tracing where the emails are coming from,” said Tobias. He hesitated. “You know that if we find Emily, we can’t make her contact you? Or even tell you where she is without her consent.”

Astrid nodded and bit her lip. “I just want to know that she is well and happy.” 

Inge put her arm around Astrid’s shoulder. “I know Tobias is doing everything possible,” she said. 

Marcus Thomsen approached. “I hope you’re not upsetting my wife. This is hardly the time or the place.”

“He’s not upsetting me,” said Astrid. “He says he’ll soon be able to tell me where the emails are coming from. But I know he can’t make Emily contact us if she doesn’t want to.”

Marcus nodded. “She’s an adult.” He added, in an aside to Tobias, “Even if she still behaves like a child.”

The Thomsens moved away.

“Norbert and I are going to Rigoletto next week,” said Inge. “Thank you again for the tickets.” She smiled. “I thought you hated this kind of corporate thing, Tobias. You’re a keen golfer, I know.” Her smile broadened. “But I suspect that’s not the main reason you’re here.” She glanced across the room at Sofie, now ushering people towards rows of chairs at the far end of the room. “She will keep you on your toes, Tobias. Good luck.”

Music burst from loudspeakers. Two models, a man and a woman, in golfing clothes, pranced along a catwalk. Inge said she hated standing for a long time. She was going to sit down and watch the fashion show. She signalled her intention to Norbert. 

Tobias stayed on his feet and backed slowly towards the exit, hoping to sit in the foyer until the fashion show was over.  

“Hi Tobias,” said a familiar voice. Tobias turned and saw Christer Alsing. 

“Thanks again for your advice about the frogman stealing the balls in our pond,” said Christer. “He hasn’t been spotted since. We’ll know roughly how many he stole when we drain the pond.”

“How often do you do that?”

“Once a year in the summer, when the water level goes down naturally. That’s what most clubs do. I reckon Frogman took about fifty balls every time. He could probably get fifteen kroner each for the top brands, and ten kroner for the others. It was a nice little earner for him. All he had to do was clean off the mud and weed out a few duff ones.”

A light shock ran through Tobias. He saw again in his mind’s eye the frogman flapping across the grass, the net filled with golf balls, the tire tracks, the white van roaring away from the driving range, the bend in the road, the sign: Lake Balls. Heard again the words of the waste depot supervisor - “people are always dumping stuff in skips. Even golf balls."

“I have to go,” he said. “I’ve just remembered something. It’s important. Sorry.” 

“No problem,” said Christer pleasantly. “I’m going to sit down and watch the show.” 

Sofie must have sensed something. Tobias saw her turn and stare. She got up from her chair. 

“I have to go,” Tobias said when she caught up with him. 

“Don’t play games with me, Tobias,” she said. Her eyes were like stones.

“No games. This is urgent.” His mind was already elsewhere. He had the phone to his ear. He had walked to the reception. He needed a car. Eddy was saying, “What’s up, Boss?”

“I have to get to a driving range,” he said. “Pick me up at the Royal Hotel. It’s about the bones.”


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