“Oh no!” Beryl rushed back to the kitchen where a high pitched hissing indicated her scrambled eggs had already become a thin omelette and were well on their way to becoming a small dark frisbee.
White took a sip of his tea and grimaced at the lack of sugar. He had to admit she had a point. Whatever life he'd imagined for himself when he was a lad, or even when he was a young constable, he had Beryl to thank for keeping his head for all those years. If he hadn't met Beryl he'd have joined the Met when he left Manchester, perhaps worked his way through the seedier side of police duties with the theme music from The Sweeney dogging his career until it ended abruptly at the end of some blagger's shooter.
Moving to Laverstone had allowed a quieter career, and while his rank had pretty much been capped by his unwillingness to travel – he could have made Chief Superintendent if he'd been willing to transfer to Birmingham or Liverpool – he'd at least managed to have a career filled with interesting cases. Laverstone, it turned out, was an outlier in the graph of population against number of murders and though there were fewer here than in the cities their average of two or three per annum worked out as a greater percentage per capita than even Nottingham or Manchester.
He took another sip of tea. It still tasted foul, but he could foresee a time when he'd be used to it, just as he foresaw a time when he'd be used to the site of a bloated body being pulled out of the canal. It was surprising what became commonplace.