"Oh, anything but!" He paused, head slightly cocked to the left. "Well, perhaps just a little. But just imagine how much easier your job would be if you could just ask the victim what had happened."
"I'd hardly be needed at all."
"Just put the victim on the witness stand at the inquest and bob's your uncle."
"It wouldn't be quite that simple. We'd still need evidence to corroborate their testimony. I'd be willing to bet there are plenty of ghosts who'd be quite happy to falsely accuse someone of a crime, either mistakenly or maliciously. Suicides, for one. How many of them would point a finger at their erstwhile lover and claim it was their fault?"
"You have a point. I hadn't really thought of it like that."
"There you go. That's why I don't trust psychics in an investigation."
"I thought they helped find missing people and bodies?"
"In books, maybe. In real life they're more likely to hinder an investigation than help it. It only takes one 'vision of moorlands' to send all the search and rescue teams off in the wrong direction." White took a deep breath and shook his head. "There's no place for the supernatural in a modern police force, Mr. DeVille."
"Fair enough. Better off without ghosts, then."
"I'm not saying they wouldn't be valuable additions to an investigation. Far from it. We'd just need to verify the information, same as we would with any witness."
"Fair enough. Good to see our taxes are spent wisely." DeVille looked up. "Ah! Here's Harold at last."
"White looked to the top of the stairs where Waterman and his young daughter had appeared. The man was so laden with bags it was a surprise he could even see where he was going."
"That have you got there, Harold?" DeVille made no move to assist his friend, who came down each stair one at a time. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot.
"Just the essentials." Waterman's voice was muffled by a bag in front of his face. "A bag of clothes, a bag of toiletries, a bag of toys, a bag of books, another bag of books and the contents of the documents safe. You can't trust coppers, you know."
White scowled and the accusation. "Actually, Mr. Waterman. I think you can."
"Oh, sorry inspector. I didn't see you there. I meant, 'You can't trust coppers, except for DI White, who's honest as the day is long'."