Sand sat at his desk. Three days had passed since the televised press conference. Dag Moen had disappeared. He hadn’t surfaced or shown himself, he hadn’t messaged or threatened. He had simply vanished.
After the plea for the public’s help, the police had been inundated with reported sightings, leads and information. A special unit of officers was set up to sift through the hundreds of calls. One by one they were ruled out or dismissed. Not one of them turned out to be a solid, usable lead.
Brit Moen and Gerd Bøe had been released, they had nothing to hold them on and no more to learn from them.
Gabi had been discharged from hospital the previous day after a couple of nights under observation. She wanted to return to work straight away. Pedersen refused to let her. She had agreed to take the rest of the week off before being allowed to come back for desk duty only.
Sand leaned back. He had poured over the reports from the old Eckberg file, from Dahlia Solberg’s murder and even the case files on Bjarne the dead cat. He knew them all back to front and off by heart. There was no clue as to where Moen could have gone to ground. No hint at what he would do next in order to get to Sand, his ultimate aim.
Sand removed the wedding ring from his finger. It was a habit he had always had whenever he was thinking. He looked at it now. He hated that Camilla’s death had been brought into this investigation. He knew she had died from bowel cancer. It had been a painful last year watching her battle at first, then accept her fate and wither away. After Dag Moen had mentioned her death, Sand had gone over her medical files to satisfy himself there was no chance of anything suspicious in her death. He was becoming paranoid. Dag Moen was getting to him, needling under his skin, burrowing into his conscience.
He put the ring back on his finger. No. He wouldn’t let Dag Moen do this to the memory of Camilla. Grimly, he opened the Eckberg file again. There had to be something in there.
Eckberg was a fisherman. Sometimes he worked on whalers. He had spent months at sea each year. When he was not at sea he lived in Oslo with his sister, whom he subjected to a life of terror and abuse. Gabi had said Dag Moen had mentioned he had been told his father had been swept overboard while at sea. What else? There was something in there. Bergen. That was it. If you worked as a fisherman and you lived in Oslo, which had it’s own large port and industry, why would you travel across land to the smaller port of Bergen to get work? It was a seven or eight hour drive at least.
Bergen. That was it. Sand had a hunch. It always started with a hunch. This one felt right. He searched on the computer. Unsolved murders in Bergen from twenty years ago. Two. A sixty year old man found bludgeoned in his bed. Sand ruled that one out. The other, a teenager, a fisherman. Found floating in the harbour. His abdomen slit open. Not strung out like Bjarne Johansen had been, but still, enough similarities. Another search. The dead teenager had been working on a whaler called ‘The Queen of Bergen.’ Dag Moen had given Sand the Queen of Spades playing card as a message. It had to be deliberate.
Sand took it to Pedersen. Too close to be a coincidence he thought. There was a flight that afternoon. Pedersen called his counterpart in Bergen. An officer would be at the airport to meet Sand and assist him in anyway he needed.
Sand was on the aeroplane a little over two hours later. It was just a feeling but he trusted his intuition. Dag Moen was obsessed with his father. If he needed to hide, to get out of Oslo and his normal life, he would do the same thing his father had done, and that meant he was in Bergen.
This is part eighteen of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I have published a section of the story a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which makes up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.
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