On his return to Police Headquarters, Carl learned that Mike Jonas had confirmed that the DNA profile of the rapist matched that of Dale Reed, and Chief Inspector Rankin had closed the case.
When Carl entered Chief Inspector Rankin’s office for his return-to-work briefing, there were two other people in the room with the chief inspector. A young man dressed in a dark grey suit, much like the one Carl was wearing, and a woman with short dark hair, a captivating smile and long slender legs.
‘Welcome back, Inspector,’ said Chief Inspector Rankin. ‘Take a seat.’
Carl sat on the only unoccupied chair in the office, dying to find out who she was and what she were doing there.
‘Before we discuss the cases I want you to take on, Inspector, I’d like you to meet your new team. This is Detective Sergeant Nina Strong, she’s come to us from Northern Region.’
The chief inspector waited while Carl got up and shook hands with DS Strong.
The smile that flickered in her eyes when he took her hand was accompanied by a flow of energy that took Carl by surprise. He had expected a cold, formal hand shake with a new colleague, not the electrifying surge of tingles that shot up his arm.
‘I hope you’re as good as your reputation, Inspector. I’m looking forward to working with you,’ said DS Strong.
‘Nice to have you on the team, Sergeant.’
‘And, this is Detective Constable Harry Fuller, he’s fresh from the graduate program.’
Carl shook hands with DC Fuller, and was relieved to feel a strong, manly handshake.
‘Welcome aboard, Harry.’