Wednesday: Week Two

North Jutland Police District


“So how are you this afternoon, Jolene?” Pernille Madsen dragged a chair towards the hospital bed in which Jolene sat propped up with pillows. “Have you remembered anything more about your attacker?”

Jolene shifted position and groaned. “I’ve been trying. I’ve been going over it all again in my mind. Why didn’t I realise he was pervy? He must have been wearing the plastic gloves when he picked me up. I never saw him put them on. They were clear plastic. Hard to see. I couldn’t tell he was a perv. Even when he said he just wanted to see me naked. Some clients are just strange.” She shook her head. “They only want to gawp at you. Harmless voyeurs. Pathetic really. I thought he was one of those. I thought the briefcase was because he was a businessman. I wasn’t expecting the punch.” She put her hand on her stomach and winced. 

“Did you notice anything about him? Had he any distinguishing marks? Think about it. Take your time,” said Pernille.

“He didn’t say much,” said Jolene. “He just asked me to take my clothes off. He didn’t take off any clothes himself. Only his jacket. That’s why I thought he was just a looker. Although most lookers are a bit older. The kind that can’t get it up anymore. They don’t want you to see their pathetic little dicks so they keep their clothes on. He had an ordinary kind of face. No beard, no moustache. Blondish hair.” Jolene lay back, closed her eyes, put her hands to her ears and screwed up her face in concentration. 


“Hard to tell.” Jolene opened her eyes. “After he punched me, he pulled on a mask.”

“Was he Danish?”

“I think so. He didn’t say much. Just grunted. Especially when he was hitting me.”

“Did he get blood on his clothes?”

“There was blood on the gloves,” said Jolene. Her head snapped back as though she was re-living the assault. “I don’t know if there was blood on his clothes.” 

“Did he take his clothes off before he went into the bathroom?”

Jolene thought for a moment. “I don’t know. I must have passed out for a few minutes. I heard the shower running. I turned my head. I saw he wasn’t in the room. I just tried to get myself free as quickly as possible. I fell in the alleyway. I could hear him coming down the stairs. I thought I was going to die. Then I heard the police siren. He stamped on my hand. She held out her bandaged hand, like a great white paw. I heard the bones crack.” She shuddered. “Then he ran off. I think I passed out again. The next thing I knew, I was in the ambulance.”

“But you managed to hold on to the hairs you pulled out of his head,” said Pernille. “That’s what will put him away for a long time.” Under her breath she added, “but we have to catch him first.” 

None of the sex offenders whose prints were on file matched the partial thumbprint found on the badge or ball marker – Pernille still wasn’t sure which it was – found at the crime scene. And it was possible the print was from one of Jolene’s earlier clients. DNA was a better bet. If Magda succeeded in extracting it. 

Pernille went to see the department’s profiler, Matt Erikksen. 

“I’ve looked at the file,” he said. “You’re right, Pernille. He’s done this before. There’s a clear modus operandi. The black strips of cloth, the plastic gloves, gagging the victim with her panties, taking pictures. Picking on prostitutes. He has a pattern. I’ve had a look through the database for Scandinavia. I didn’t go back further than ten years. Look.”

He handed a printout to Pernille. “Same pattern. Prostitutes, plastic gloves, panties, taking pictures. Except ten years ago, he was using a camera. In the last two attacks he used a Smartphone.” 

“Three attacks in the last ten years,” said Pernille. “But only the first one in Denmark. A year later, Swedish Lapland. Then a gap of seven years before Stockholm, two years ago. Norway last year. He’s been getting about recently.” 

“I bet there were more attacks,” said Matt. “I doubt if he waited seven years between attacks. The kind of rage he shows can’t be suppressed for long. He’s done this more often. My guess is not all the victims went to the police.”

“It’s possible,” said Pernille. “Illegals wouldn’t go to the police.”

“He may be posting the pictures on Internet porn sites,” said Matt. “Or he could just be wanking over them in private.” 

“I’ve sent Jolene’s photo to the porn squad,” said Pernille. “In case they come across a film of her attack. I’ll send them photos of these other victims as well.” 

“You might get lucky,” said Matt, in a tone which implied the opposite.

“Jolene managed to grab some hairs when she fought back,” said Pernille. “When we get a DNA profile I can check it against known offenders. But…” she shrugged.

“…he’s unlikely to be someone we already know about,” said Matt. “And we need to find him before he does it again.”

“So what’s the profile?”

“He gets about. Probably for work. He’s angry, but conceals it. He’s very controlled in everyday life.”

“We know most of that already,” said Pernille impatiently. “What else can you tell me?”  

“He’ll do it again,” said Matt. “And one of these days he’ll go too far and kill someone.”


East Jutland Police District

Eddy Haxen was staring at his computer screen when Tobias got back to the office. 

“Hi Boss. Take a look at this.” Eddy clicked the mouse.

Tobias peered over Eddy’s shoulder at what looked like part of a rib cage. Eddy clicked the mouse. The bones swam closer.

“Two ribs. Definitely human, according to Harry,” said Eddy. “They were found at six o’clock this morning in a litter bin. It’s the second lot of bones in as many days. Some sicko dumped two arm bones in a bin at Gellerupparken on Monday night. Harry confirmed they were human. We shut down the city waste disposal for twenty-four hours. The rubbish collectors are all on special alert. One of them spotted these bones this morning in a bin near the harbour. We’re going to have to shut the whole damn system down again.”

“That will please Larsen,” said Tobias. 

“He doesn’t want the media to get hold of this,” said Katrine. “He’s thinking maybe Bogman was killed by a psycho and the bones are from another victim. He doesn’t want any panic about serial killers.”

“I assume we have the bin and the rest of the contents,” said Tobias.

Eddy nodded. “They’re in the lab. Forensics are swabbing everything for prints and DNA.” 

“Let’s have a look then,” said Tobias.

They found Karl Lund in the laboratory steadying a pipette over a glass jar containing a cigarette butt. “It’s all over there,” he said, pointing to a random display of the contents of the rubbish bin. Each item had been bagged, labelled and laid on a table. There were five more cigarette butts, two cigarette packets, the remnants of a hamburger, three beer cans, four torn envelopes, a parking ticket, four bus tickets, three polystyrene coffee cups, half a croissant and a golf ball, cracked open. Tobias arranged the bags in two straight lines and alphabetical order.  

“We should get prints from the cans, cups and cigarette packets, and maybe the golf ball,” said Karl, “and DNA from the hamburger, the croissant and the cigarette butts. If nothing urgent comes in before the end of the day, I should have the results in time for tomorrow’s briefing.” He bent his head over the glass jar and released a drop of liquid from the pipette. 

“Strange to find a golf ball in the city centre,” said Eddy.

“It’s a duff ball,” said Tobias. “Maybe thrown out with rubbish from a car.” 

“There’s parking not far from the bin,” said Eddy. “I reckon it’s about two kilometres as the crow flies between the bin in Gellerupparken where the arm bones were dumped and the bin at the harbour. Katrine is checking the bus routes.” 

“A bus goes past both bins,” Katrine told them. “Maybe the perpetrator lives somewhere along the route. He takes the bus because he has no car and he’s carrying stuff that’s too heavy or awkward for a bicycle.”

“The bones aren’t that heavy,” said Tobias. “What about CCTV?” 

“Nothing near either of the bins,” said Katrine. “Whoever is dumping the bones is choosing his spot.”

“It could be a woman,” said Eddy. “Remember Freja Frimand? She poisoned her husband with paraquat then cut up his body and dumped it, one piece at a time, in the canal?”

Katrine shuddered. “Before my time,” she said. “How was she caught?”

“She hadn’t put enough weights on the bits. They floated to the surface. We identified him from a tattoo. ‘Freddy and Freja forever’. She’d chopped through it but we found both pieces. We traced Freddy and Freja to an address in Randers. We found minute traces of his blood on a meat chopper. She hadn’t cleaned it properly, the slattern.” 

“One other thing,” said Karl. “We’ve scraped dirt off the bones. It’s mud. Acidic mud.”

“The same as the pond where we found Bogman?” asked Tobias. 

“The PH is different,” said Karl. “Maybe some kind of wet environment. Soil near a river, or a lake. There were salt traces as well.” 

“So the bones could have been in the sea?”

“Maybe near mudflats. But I think some kind of wet soil is more likely.” 

“Rivers, lakes, mudflats. The whole of Jutland,” said Eddy. “The whole of bloody Denmark. Thanks a lot.”

Tobias, Eddy and Katrine went back to the office. 

“How was Lapland, Boss?” asked Eddy.

“Interesting,” said Tobias. 

“What was the sergeant from Vilhelmina like?” 

“Competent and intelligent.” 

“Not your type, then, Eddy,” said Katrine.

Eddy made a face at her but couldn’t stop it turning into a smile.

“We interviewed Berit Hansdatter,” said Tobias. “The bracelet was a specially commissioned gift for a young Danish national called Lennart. She didn’t remember his surname. The bracelet was ordered by his girlfriend, Emily Rasmussen, also Danish. According to Berit, they were devoted to each other. She gave him the silver bracelet. He gave her a ring.” 

“Even more strange she didn’t report him missing, then,” said Katrine.

“Maybe she killed him,” said Eddy. 

“What were they doing in the bog?”

Eddy grinned broadly and bounced his pelvis against the desk. Katrine’s face reddened. She felt like an idiot again. 

“A bog seems an odd place to choose,” she said. 

“Not if you were parked there for another reason,” said Tobias slowly. “Didn’t the flyers send a petition to the regional council? About not restricting access to Roligmose? There was a reason for the restriction. Protecting something. Bats or something. Remind me.” 

“Otters,” said Katrine. “There was a threat to the otter population.”

Tobias snapped his fingers. “That’s it. They were protecting the otters. Just the kind of thing Emily and Lennart would get mixed up with. That’s why they were there.” 

He now saw in his mind’s eye the blue ambulance parked in the bog. Emily and Lennart walking through the reeds in moonlight. Getting into an argument.

“Why would she have a rock or a blunt instrument in her hand?” Tobias spoke this last thought aloud. “Imagine they were in the bog because they wanted to save otters. Imagine they were walking in the bog. You’ve seen the file. The pond where Lennart was found is a kilometre from where you could park a vehicle. Lennart was killed by a blow to the head with a blunt object. Why would Emily go walking in the bog with a blunt instrument?”

 “Because she intended to kill him?” said Eddy.

“A blunt instrument is not the usual weapon of choice for a woman,” said Tobias. 

“Maybe they put up a tent in the bog,” said Eddy. “They had an argument in the tent. She hit him with a hammer. The kind you use to drive in tent pegs.”

“She’d have had to dismantle the tent, carry it all the way back across the bog to the van. Plus drag Lennart’s body to the pond,” said Katrine. “And why would she kill him?”

“Maybe he attacked her and she killed him in self-defence,” said Eddy.

“Then why wouldn’t she go to the police?” 

Eddy shrugged. “People act stupidly all the time.”

“I think if she killed him, she’d have needed help to move a tent, if there was one, and move the body as well,” said Katrine. 

“That’s two people who need a motive,” said Eddy. 

“We’ll know more when we’ve spoken to Emily Rasmussen’s mother,” said Tobias. “I’ve got the address. “He sat down and brought a map up on his screen. Larsen loomed behind him. 

“I’ve been looking for you, Chief Inspector. I hear, from the National Commissioner no less, that you’ve been disturbing politicians on holiday. I hope it was worth it.”

“The Hendriksens live at the address I’d been given for Bogman’s girlfriend,” said Tobias. “I had to speak to them to get the correct address.”

“Oscar Hendriksen was elected to the Folketing last year,” said Larsen. “He’s a former judge. He’s tipped for Justice Minister.”

“It was crucial information, Sir.” 

“I have enough people on my back,” said the chief superintendent. “Thanks to Skaarup and Haxen letting that illegal at the hospital slip away, I’m still dealing with Immigration. I’ve got the City Council complaining about the cost of holding up refuse collections. I don’t need politicians as well. I expect progress by the end of the week. Ten o’clock briefing, Friday.” He gave a curt nod and strode off. 

“No pressure, then,” said Eddy. 


Tobias took Katrine with him to interview Emily Rasmussen’s mother. Her former neighbour in Skandeborg, Mrs Jacobsen, had talked about tears and arguments. He thought Katrine would handle tears better than Eddy. Better than himself, for that matter.  

They approached the house along a stately avenue lined with poplars. The house was modern and built on a grand scale. The lily pond at the side of the house was the size of a tennis court.   

“She must have married money both times,” said Tobias.

“That’s sexist,” said Katrine. “She might have earned the money herself. Seventy per cent of women in Denmark work.” She glanced around as they waited at the oak and glass-pannelled front door. “I wouldn’t mind living here.” 

“You’ll have to marry a rich man, then,” said Tobias. “And that’s not sexist. I know what a detective earns.” He straightened his cuffs and grinned at Katrine. 

A thin, smartly dressed blonde with dark eyes opened the door. Her face was matt smooth, her hair shone. Her coral lipstick exactly matched her shirt. Those immaculately manicured hands never did a day’s work, thought Tobias. Mrs thirty per cent. 

“Mrs Thomsen?” he said.

The woman nodded. “I’m Astrid Thomsen.”

“I am Chief Inspector Lange and this is Inspector Skaarup. We are trying to contact Emily Rasmussen.” 

Astrid Thomsen’s hand flew to her mouth. 

“I understand that she’s your daughter,” said Tobias.

 “What has she done? Has she been in some protest? Why do you want to speak to her?” 

“We think she can help us with an investigation,” said Tobias.

“What kind of investigation?” 

“A murder investigation,” said Tobias. 

The colour drained from Astrid Thomsen’s face. Tobias thought she was going to faint. He put out his arm to catch her. She clutched at it, steadied herself and said in a hoarse whisper, “Has something happened to Emily?” 

“We have no reason to think so,” said Tobias. “We would just like to speak to her. Do you know where she lives?”

Astrid Thomsen shook her head slowly. “I wish I did.” She hesitated. “You’d better come in.” 

The house smelled of lavender and beeswax with a hint of cigarette smoke. The rugs in the vast sitting-room were thick and silky. The sofas were deep and soft. Katrine had never seen such a luxurious interior.

“Take a seat,” said Astrid. 

Katrine and Tobias perched on the edge of a sofa to avoid sinking into it. Astrid stood pulling at the sleeve of her silk shirt. She picked up a packet of cigarettes and a silver lighter from the coffee table. Her hand trembled as she lit a cigarette. She inhaled deeply before offering the packet to Tobias and Katrine. “Do you smoke?”

They shook their heads. 

“I haven’t seen Emily for nearly fourteen years,” she said. ”It eats me up, not knowing where she is.” She drew nervously on her cigarette. “She sends me an email, once a year, on 12th April. I always reply, begging, pleading with her to get in touch, but she never answers. I sent her this address. We were living somewhere else when…..” Her mouth trembled. “It’s been thirteen years and seven months since I saw her, or heard her voice.” 

“Why the 12th April?” asked Tobias.

“It’s the anniversary of my first husband’s death,” said Mrs Thomsen. “And Emily won’t let me forget it.” She ground her cigarette into an ashtray. “Wait here.” She hurried out of the room. Minutes later, she returned carrying a box file. “All I have of Emily is in here.” She sat down and cradled the box. 

Katrine waited a moment before saying, “Do you have a photograph of Emily?”

“I have plenty,” said Astrid. “And I have not enough.” She opened the box and spread its contents on a glass table. Photographs, papers, a pink ribbon, a brown velvet rabbit, a necklace of red beads. Astrid touched the rabbit, almost surreptitiously, before she picked out a photograph and gave to Tobias. It showed Astrid with a blonde teenager - a younger version of herself, but with a stronger jaw line - sheltering under a golf umbrella on a beach near the water’s edge. They were both smiling.  The wind crumpled the sea behind them. The girl had her hand up to stop strands of hair blowing across her face. 

“That was at Skagen,” said Astrid. “We went there for Emily’s 21st birthday. Just her and me. She loved the seaside. We asked a tourist to take the photograph.” 

“What’s her date of birth?” asked Katrine. “And we need a photograph of Emily. Can we keep this one? We will have it copied and sent back to you.” 

Astrid shook her head. “That’s my favourite.” She selected another photograph from the box. “You can have this one instead.” It was a head and shoulders photograph and looked as though it had been shot professionally in a studio. “Emily was born on 23rd March 1976. This was taken on her eighteenth birthday. Three weeks before her father died.” She handed the photograph to Katrine and lifted a sheaf of papers from the table.

“These are print-outs of the emails she sent me. They’re all the same, except for the first one.” 

She gave the pages to Tobias. They were fastened together with a paper clip. The most recent one was on the top. 

“Hello Mum. I’m thinking about Dad and you and the wonderful life we had together.” 

Tobias leafed through the emails. They were exactly the same, except for one dated 24th September 1998.

“Dear Mum, I’m going away with Lennart. It’s for the best. Sorry for all that’s happened. I love you, Emily : ((“

“That’s the first one she sent me. Just after she went away,” said Astrid. “I thought the colon and brackets were a typing error but my husband said they meant something.”

“They’re an emoticon,” said Katrine. “Meaning sad, very sad.”

Astrid began to cry. Katrine hunted in her pockets for a tissue. Tobias produced a neatly folded, clean white cotton handkerchief and handed it to Astrid. She dried her eyes, sniffed, and composed herself. 

“Thanks.” She moved to give the handkerchief back to Tobias. He shook his head. 

“Keep it. I have another.”

“I’m sorry,” said Astrid. “It just brings it all back to me. It was a horrible time. Completely horrible.” She twisted the edge of the handkerchief. “Emily said unspeakable things about my husband. They were all lies. Terrible lies. The police said so.”

“The police?”

“They came to the house and they took away his computer and his laptop.” She paused and took a deep breath. “Emily told the police he had pornography on it.”

Katrine exchanged a puzzled glance with Tobias. “Pornography is not illegal in Denmark,” she said.

“That kind is,” said Astrid. “The kind Emily accused him of having.”

“Can you be more specific, Mrs Thomsen?” said Tobias.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Astrid. “It distresses me even to remember it. Anyway it wasn’t true. The police said so. It was a wicked thing to accuse him of. Wicked. They arrested Marcus and took his laptop.” She beat her fists together. Her shoulders shook. “And there was nothing on it,” she shouted. “No pornography. Just his business stuff.” She grabbed another cigarette and lit it. “I was so angry with Emily.” She jumped to her feet and began pacing the room, alternately puffing and waving her cigarette about. “We had a terrible argument. The police were going to charge her with wasting their time, but Marcus persuaded them not to. He said Emily was disturbed and possessive about me. He was kind and tolerant to her. She was horrible to him. She made those dreadful accusations. And he made excuses for her. And what thanks did he get? Not a word. It was the same when she and her friends were protesting about the golf club. Marcus persuaded the owner not to charge Emily with criminal damage. Even when she drove a mechanical digger into a wall.” Astrid collapsed into an armchair.

Tobias remembered his golf day with Norbert. The day Bogman was found. Hadn’t Norbert said something about green activists and a digger being driven into a wall at Skovlynd? Was that Emily?  

“Do you mean the clubhouse at Skovlynd?” he said. “Owned by Kurt Malling?”

Astrid nodded. “Emily and her boyfriend said it was the habitat of some rare otter or something.” She shook her head wearily. 

“Where was Emily living?” asked Katrine.

“In our house in Skanderborg. She had her own room and study. But she didn’t like it when Marcus moved in. It was only for a short time. Until this house was built. A year, maybe a bit longer. But she spent more and more time with her boyfriend. They were always travelling and protesting. Here, there and everywhere.” She waved her cigarette dismissively. “Sweden, Estonia, Germany, you name it. He had some kind of mobile home.” Astrid gave a little shudder.

“What was his name?” asked Tobias.

“Lennart. I thought he was quite a nice boy when I first met him, despite his being left-wing and always protesting about something. Marcus thought he was a bad influence on Emily. It turned out he was right. Emily put off going to university. She had this ridiculous idea that she could make a living as a musician.” Astrid jumped up and began to pace the room again, sucking on her cigarette. She swirled around to face Tobias and Katrine. “Why exactly do you want to speak to Emily?”

“We found the remains of a young man at Roligmose,” said Tobias. “We traced a bracelet found with the remains to a jewellery designer in Sweden. She told us the bracelet was ordered and paid for by your daughter.”

Astrid went rigid. “What happened to him? How did he die?”

“We think he was murdered,” said Tobias.

Astrid gasped. “Why was he murdered? Was it about drugs?”

““We are trying to find out,” said Tobias. “We hoped Emily could tell us if he had any enemies. If anyone had a motive for killing him.”

“What was his surname?” asked Katrine. 

Astrid put her hands to her temple and shut her eyes in concentration. She opened her eyes and shook her head. “I can’t remember. I don’t know if I ever knew it. I only met him a few times. Emily told me his mother was a drug addict. She was banned from Christiana for selling hard drugs. Imagine. She died when Lennart was young. I don’t think he ever knew his father. I felt sorry for him. But Marcus thought he was after Emily’s money.”

“Emily had money?”

“Her father, my first husband, wrote jingles for advertisements and was very successful. Emily will inherit his money when I’m gone. Maybe she’ll come back to Denmark then,” she added bitterly. “When I’m cold and in my grave.”

“You say ‘come back to Denmark,’” said Katrine. “Do you think she is in another country?”

“I know she is,” said Astrid. “She’s in Sweden. It says so on her Facebook page.”

“When did you find out she had a Facebook page?” asked Katrine.

“Last week.” Astrid brightened. “It made her seems closer somehow. I know that’s absurd. But it gives me hope.” 

“How did you find out?”

“A young friend suggested it. I don’t know about that sort of thing. I don’t do much on the computer, except receive and send emails.”

“Have you tried to contact Emily through Facebook?” asked Katrine. 

“I asked my friend to help me. She said the way the page was set up meant I couldn’t send Emily a message.” 

The door opened and a broad-shouldered, balding man in a well-cut business suit came in. “I saw you had visitors,” he said. “I hope I’m not interrupting something.”

“My husband, Marcus. Back from Stockholm,” said Astrid. She jumped up to greet him. “How was it?”

“Fine, fine.” He kissed his wife on the cheek and shook hands with Tobias and Katrine.

“Our visitors are from the police,” said Astrid. “Chief Inspector Lange and Inspector Skaarup.” She took her husband’s hand. “They’ve been asking about Emily.”

He stiffened. “What has she done?” He patted his wife’s hand. “Don’t get upset. We’ll sort it out whatever it is.” He sighed. “Tell me what she’s done.”

“Nothing,” said Astrid. “She’s done nothing.

“We’d like to speak to her,” said Tobias.

“So would we,” said Marcus. “Do you know where she is?”

“We were hoping Mrs Thomsen could tell us,” said Tobias. 

“We’ve had no contact with Emily for a long time,” said Marcus. “Apart from an email once a year. But we don’t give up hope, do we, darling?” He patted Astrid’s hand again. “Why do you want to speak to Emily?”

“We’re believe a body discovered in a bog at Roligmose is that of Emily’s former boyfriend,” said Tobias. “His first name is Lennart. We were hoping Emily could tell us his second name so that we can inform his next of kin.” And find out who murdered him, he added silently to himself. 

“That’s terrible,” said Marcus. “I can’t say I liked him. I thought him a bad influence on Emily. But all the same…” He shook his head. “What happened to him?”

“He was murdered,” said Tobias. “Beaten to death.” 

Astrid gasped and hid her face in her husband’s shoulder.

“My wife’s upset,” said Marcus. “This is a great shock to her. She’s naturally worried about Emily.” 

“Just one or two more questions,” said Katrine quickly. “I understand Emily is on Facebook.” 

“I don’t know much about that kind of thing,” said Marcus. “The daughter of a friend said Emily might have a Face page or whatever it’s called.”

Astrid raised her head. “Sofie was a great help.” 

“Sofie?” Tobias had spoken before he realised it.

“Sofie Fisker,” said Astrid. “Marcus plays golf with her father.” 

Tobias was briefly flummoxed. Katrine voiced the question he was about to ask. 

“Was Sofie friendly with Emily?” 

“Not really,” said Astrid. “But she knows how much I’d like to find her. She was trying to help. I’m grateful for that.”

“But you discovered you couldn’t contact Emily via Facebook,” said Katrine. 

“Sofie said Emily had arranged it so that no one could contact her unless she asked them to.” 

“You’re certain it’s Emily’s Facebook page? I assume you recognised the photograph,” said Katrine. 

“There’s no photograph,” said Astrid. “But she’s the only Emily Rasmussen in Lapland. It says Sapmi, but I know that’s Lapland. Emily liked Lapland. She told me she liked it. I think she went back there with her boyfriend. I think she’s there now.”

“You think, but you don’t know,” said Tobias. 

“I know it in my heart,” said Astrid. “I know it in my bones.” 

Marcus Thomsen accompanied Tobias and Katrine to their car. He glanced back at the house. Astrid was at the window, white-faced, puffing on a cigarette.

“My wife is distraught about all this,” said Marcus. “I have to say, given all the grief Emily has caused us, if and when she gets in contact, I’d cheerfully wring her neck.” He held up both hands and smiled. “I don’t mean that seriously of course. But between you and me, she was difficult. She was jealous of me and possessive about her mother. Came and went without telling us. Used the house like a hotel. Astrid would go to make dinner and discover Emily had raided the fridge and the cupboards.”

“Emily made some accusations against you,” said Tobias.

Marcus waved the unspoken accusations away. “I forgave her,” he said. “She suffered from depression after her father died. He died suddenly. It came at a bad time in her life. Frankly, she didn’t like me taking her father’s place and her mother’s attention. I could understand. I did my best, but,” he shrugged, “my best wasn’t good enough.”

“Was Emily ever violent?” asked Katrine.

Marcus thought for a moment. “There was a bit of door banging. Some sulks. Nothing more. I’m sorry we can’t be more help. There’s nothing Astrid and I would like more than to see Emily again.” 

“We might be able to trace her through Hotmail and Facebook,” said Katrine. 

“I hope you find her,” said Marcus.

“So do we,” said Tobias. 

He was silent on the way back to Aarhus. If Agnes went away and never said where she was, his heart would break. How did Astrid Thomsen bear it? When he brought the car to a halt in the car park at headquarters, he took his phone from his jacket and gestured to Katrine to go ahead. He called Agnes. There was no reply. He texted her. “Thinking about you, Pumpkin. Hope all well.” He got out of the car and stood for a moment gazing at a small patch of blue in an otherwise grey sky. What was it his father used to say? Enough blue for a sailor’s trousers? A message flashed up on his phone. “Hi, Dad. All well. X.” His heart lightened. He put the phone back in his pocket and switched his thoughts to Emily Rasmussen and the fastest way to find her.

When he got back to the office, Katrine was searching for Emily on Facebook. 

“There are dozens of Emily Rasmussens,” she told him. “But I think this is the right one.” 

She swivelled the screen so that Tobias could see a postage-stamp sized, faceless, head and shoulders image, and the name Emily Rasmussen. The only other words on the screen were “Emily lives in Sapmi.”

“The privacy setting is high,” said Katrine. “It’s one way traffic. Emily can find friends and get in touch. But they can’t contact Emily.”

“Get me the file on Emily’s complaint about her stepfather,” said Tobias. “There might be something useful in it. But I’m not holding my breath.”

“I’ve checked the National Register,” Eddy called out to them. “The only address for Emily Rasmussen, date of birth 23rd March 1976, is the Skovlynd address where she was living with her mother and stepfather, before they moved.”

“Ask the best people-tracer in Denmark,” said Tobias. “The taxman.” 


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