Archive for November, 2012

Chapter 23

30Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] Ludovic was plunged into darkness and silence. The after image of Miriam Flatt and her computer screen faded white on his retina. He didn’t feel anything move. He didn’t feel anything change. His heart was thumping. Gradually his eyes […]


Chapter 22

29Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] Professor Flatt and Ludovic both turned to look at the chair on the wooden plinth. The machinery behind flickered and hummed. “I’ve got lots of questions,” said Ludovic. “Where do the people go?” “It’s only one person so far,” […]


Chapter 21

28Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] They stepped out of the lift into a short corridor in the basement. The dark vinyl floor was scuffed but the walls seemed freshly painted under the bright strip lighting. There was a faint smell of disinfectant. On either […]


Chapter 20

27Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] As he approached the Osborne Reynolds Institute Ludovic looked around in the gathering dusk. He could see nothing unusual about the street or the building. Pushing back the hood of his new coat he looked up into the drizzle. […]


Chapter 19

26Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side]   Ludovic could see that Belacar wasn’t convinced. The detective had sat back in his chair and folded his arms as the archaeologist tried to explain. “It’s all very circumstantial,” interrupted Belacar eventually. “You are saying that the Osborne […]


Chapter 18

25Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] Luke’s name flashed up on Ludovic’s phone. He hadn’t seen his assistant from the dig for several days. “Luke, hello. How are you?” “I’m ok, thanks. I’ve been busy. I’m back in Oxford, trying to write everything up.” “That […]


Chapter 17

22Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] “We need to see Professor Flatt again,” Belacar had announced in the car on the way back from Uxbridge. “At the moment the i.d. card is the only piece of evidence that connects to anything. The proximity of the […]


Chapter 16

21Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1, click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] When Belacar told him that they were going to visit the country’s foremost outdoor equipment manufacturer, Ludovic had not expected to end up in Uxbridge. The company’s advertising was full of mountains, forests and beaches populated with rugged models, […]


Chapter 15

20Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1 click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] Looking at the white oak reception desk, the leather seating and the modern art on the walls, Ludovic reflected that the only thing that a private scientific research facility and the university archaeology faculty had in common was a […]


Chapter 14

19Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1 click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] The police car was a disappointment. Ludovic had been expecting one of the unmarked BMWs that he sometimes saw roaring through the City with concealed lights flashing in the front grille and a wailing siren. Instead Belacar had to […]


Chapter 13

18Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1 click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] Ludovic sat at his desk in the Archaeology Department at the University. Like many of the academic departments it had a prestigious central London address, but the interior was old and untidy. The daylight was fading beyond the flaking […]


Chapter 12

16Nov12

[New readers: to start at chapter 1 click Archives / November 2012 on right hand side] The archaeologists and students stood reproachfully together in the church porch in the autumn sunshine. It was now two weeks since they had done any digging. At least three of them had found other jobs and would not be […]


Chapter 11

15Nov12

Wood Street police station was crowded and noisy. Ludovic arrived there exactly 15 minutes late. He hoped that Belacar was too busy to notice. By the time he had spoken to the officer on duty behind the desk, signed his name in a reassuringly low-tech visitor register and been buzzed through the double security doors […]


Chapter 10

14Nov12

The Victoria and Albert Museum was some distance from Ludovic’s flat on the Kingsland Road. He decided to jog. The team had not been allowed back to the dig for nearly a week and he felt that he needed the exercise. It still seemed unusual on a weekday morning to pull on his running shoes […]


Chapter 9

13Nov12

“Once upon a time this would have been a good excuse to go to the pub, but now it’s just a chance for us to get to our evening jobs a bit early,” said one of the more experienced archaeologists, stroking his plaited beard and shaking his greying dreadlocks. “Yes, I’m sorry about this,” apologised […]


Chapter 8

12Nov12

The Osborne Reynolds institute was one of the few 1950s buildings left in that part of the City. The white stone facade and parquet floored offices were built to replace a row of  houses that had fallen to high explosive in the blitz. It now looked incongruous amongst the glass and steel towers on either […]


Chapter 7

11Nov12

In the fug of the site office overlooking the development Martin Stevens sipped his tea. He had just noticed the leader of the archaeological team hurrying towards him up the walkway at the edge of the site and was preparing a sarcastic greeting when there was an abrupt knock on the door and a police […]


Chapter 6

09Nov12

“I don’t know why we didn’t notice sooner,” said Luke as he stood with Ludovic looking at the jumbled remains of the two skeletons still partially encased in mud. “I suppose it’s all a bit of a mess, so the extra bones didn’t stand out until we had done the fine clearing around the pelvis.” […]


Chapter 5

08Nov12

In the silent reading room of the British Library Ludovic carefully turned the pages of an ancient pamphlet. He didn’t like spending time in the library. He preferred the gritty labour of the dig, but he had to admit that the modern facilities and polite staff were much better than the library in Vilnius where […]


Chapter 4

06Nov12

The rain fell softly and continually. The archaeologists had laid scaffolding planks across the mud to make it easier to wheel barrows across to the spoil heap. There was a one way system to keep the five barrows in constant motion. The students were taking turns with the digging. As they neared the bottom of […]