DEAD & BURIED a gripping crime thriller full of twists

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Authors: Helen H. Durrant
friend he might be staying with?” For the informant’s safety, she did not want to broadcast the fact that she was police.
    “No, love. I can’t help.” She looked at Eliza suspiciously. “I don’t know what this is about, or who you are. But my advice is to stay away.”
    “This is really important,” Eliza said.
    “The last time I saw him he was with a crowd of his mates on the Hobfield. Try there. He’ll be shacked up in some dump of a flat, high as a kite.”
    The Hobfield. Calladine territory. She might have no choice but to ask the DI for help.
    * * *
    Kayne Archer gave his mate a chilling smile and held the gun aloft. “This useful piece of kit will give us the edge we need. A present from our new benefactor. With his help we’re going to run the estate. Any aggro from Costello’s mob, and this little beauty will help us sort it. There’ll be no more shootings on our patch unless it’s us pointing the gun.” He passed it to Mick Garrett. “You need to learn how to handle it.” His mate examined the weapon tentatively and he laughed. “Don’t worry. It’s not loaded.”
    “You’re not serious, Archer?” said Mick. “I didn’t get into this to do no killing. What happened to Wayne shook me up. The drugs are one thing, but guns . . .”
    Archer smiled back. “Think of it as protection, then. Wayne getting it like that has shown us how much we need to stay on our toes.”
    “What do we do for bullets?” Mick asked.
    “I’m seeing someone later. All arranged by the new big boss. For a trade, he’ll provide all the ammo we need.”
    “What trade?”
    “The weed. We supply him and in return, he’ll supply us.”
    “Where did you get it — the gun?”
    Archer tapped the side of his nose. “Told you, I was given it. We’re not on our own anymore. We have friends who will provide.”
    “Come on. Where did it come from? Folk don’t give guns away.”
    “Think of it as payment in advance,” Archer told him.
    “In advance of what?”
    “The work we’ll be doing. Work we’ll get well paid for. Leave the questions, Mick. You knew what we were getting into.”
    “There’s something written on here.” Mick was examining the barrel. “I think it’s a name. The letters are worn and old. Can this be traced?”
    “No, fool, of course it can’t.” Archer snatched the weapon from Mick.
    “If it belonged to someone else, it could get you into trouble.”
    Archer sneered. “You really are going soft. I reckon this baby will keep us out of trouble. The bloke who gave me this guaranteed it was clean.”
    “What bloke? Why don’t I know him? You didn’t nick it, did you?”
    “Stop asking stupid bloody questions. I told you. We need the gun. This isn’t a school playground. It’s down to us to watch this patch.”
    “You must be mad. We can’t take on Costello with one empty pistol. Is this new boss you’re on about for real?”
    “Look, Mick, he knows what he’s doing. He’ll make sure Costello has other things to worry about until we’ve got the estate sewn up.”
    “Used guns can be traced. It might have killed someone. We don’t want the blame for that.”
    Archer pushed his face into Mick Garrett’s. “I didn’t pinch this and no one is coming looking. No one is getting blamed for anything. Understand? The people we’re working for will watch our backs.”
    “As long as you understand that having that thing in your pocket puts us in a very different game.”
    “We’ll talk later. I’ve got someone to see now.” Archer checked the time on his mobile. “You’ve got work to do, haven’t you? The weed won’t sell itself.”
    “Who are you meeting?”
    “Better you keep out of it for now.”
    Archer was reluctant to tell his mate too much. On one hand he could do with the back-up. Wayne Davey being shot like that was a blow he hadn’t anticipated. But on the other hand there was money to be made and he didn’t fancy sharing.
    “Sure you don’t want me to

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