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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Crime
  • Language:English
  • Pages:210
  • eBook ISBN:9781452342825

Second Bite

by Don Donovan

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Based on a true crime that has never been solved, 'Second Bite' explores the warped sexual fantasies of the prime suspect and the extreme stresses on the murder team which nearly result in the death of leader DCI Paul Perry; the early use of DNA profiling; police entrapment; romance and a continuous search through a labyrinth of luck and dogged detection that takes us from England to Australia to New Zealand to arrive at a shocking and violent conclusion.
It begins on Monday 11 November 1985. Sally Kirwin, and her toddler son, Tom, are murdered at Thames Glebe a small riverside park in Chelsea. Running from the site of the killing, the suspect, Clive Vesey Hart, collides with a woman walking her dog in the park; she then discovers the body. She calls the police who arrive in time to arrest the suspect. Subsequent interviews by DCI Paul Perry and his assistant DS Phil Knight of the Met’s Murder Squad, fail to sheet the murder home to Hart although, through examinations of his home and background, they are convinced that he is the killer. Part of this conviction is brought about both by Hart’s apparent obsession with Jack-the-Ripper (he has a considerable library of books about him) and their discovery of a series of bizarre and increasingly overtly crude and suggestive letters that Hart has exchanged with ‘Candy, a ‘mail-order’ correspondent whom Hart has contacted through a magazine ‘Connexions’ but has never met - much as he has tried. Perry, without sufficient evidence to charge him, has to release Hart. New lines of investigation must be adopted. With the aid of a psychological criminal profiler, Dr Angus Albion (brought in by Perry’s boss) it is decided to tap into the correspondence and, by eliciting Candy’s help through the editor of ‘Connexions’, to embark upon a process whereby in exchange for promised sexual favours from her he will be inveigled into admitting that he killed Sally Kirwin. Over a long period the interchange of letters is manipulated by Albion, using acquiescent Candy as the writer, to a point where she agrees to meet him at Thames Glebe. Having never met her, he has no reason to suspect the policewoman who actually turns up for the assignation. He, sexually roused by her, boasts that he killed Sally Kirwin whereupon he is seized by Perry and his men who have lain in wait. Perry, a seasoned and dedicated officer, was always uncomfortable about the letter traps but against his better judgment, was coerced into the stratagem by his superior. But despite his scepticism he is mortified when the CPS refuses to allow the prosecution to proceed. In opening up further lines of enquiry the new technique of DNA analysis is used to examine Hart’s ‘body fluids’ and it is found that he was not, after all, the murderer. The police have been wrong all along. A fresh start has to be made, but without Perry. He takes all of the criticism and bears the blame for the failures, he is moved sideways, subsequently suffers a stress heart attack and retires from the police in his mid-fifties. Perry is a wealthy widower, independent of police pay and pension, because his wife left him a sizeable fortune. He works hard at his recovery and grows fit and strong. Determined not to submit to a life of blank bleakness in middle-age he decides to make a complete break with London and to go as far away as possible. Having earlier in the story seen a display in a travel agent’s window extolling Ayers Rock and The Olgas as destinations he travels to the heart of Australia. In the dry, brash, alien desert town of Alice Springs he meets a New Zealand woman, Daphne Adams, (‘Mrs Adams’ as Perry instinctively calls her) a surgeon’s widow, from Christchurch, New Zealand who is visiting with friends. Perry and she strike up a friendship and thereby make up a foursome, exploring the MacDonnell Range attractions, Ayers Rock and The Olgas, but the time comes for her to return home, leaving Perry with a few days in Australia before he, too, will return to London. Before she goes she gives him a paperback book, one which her daughter had given to her to read on holiday and which she’s finished with. He puts it aside but later, at a loose end, he picks it up. Reading through it desultorily he comes across a description of a murder which has unique aspects of the Sally Kirwin murder about it. The book, written by a woman, has been published in Christchurch, NZ. He realizes that whoever she i
About the author
I was born on 20 January 1933, nine days before Hitler came to power in Germany, I grew up in south London. Although evacuated during the phony war and the quieter times I lived in and out of air raid shelters during the blitz and experienced both V1 and V2 attacks on London. Left grammar school in 1948 aged 15 substantially undereducated. I wanted to go to art school but because of family ‘poverty’ joined a commercial art studio in the West End. I was, thereafter, variously a messenger boy, commercial artist and typographer. I was in the Royal Air Force from 1951 to 1953 when the only useful thing I did was to take part in King George VI’s funeral parade. In 1955 I married Patricia O’Donnell, a RADA graduate, at that time playing opposite Derek Nimmo, they were juvenile leads in a touring repertory company. He went on to great success because he had a funny voice. We came to New Zealand in 1960 where I worked in advertising. At length I became managing director of one of the companies of whose holding company (the largest domestic advertising complex in New Zealand) I was also a proprietor and shareholder. I left the industry in 1990 when my company was bought out by American interests. My timing was brilliant, at that point my first book had been published and the next was on its way. We have two daughters and four grand-children. Now, apart from writing, I function as a self-educated grumpy old man; as such, from time to time, taking part in Radio New Zealand's 'Afternoons' programme panel with Jim Mora. Books & Writings ‘New Zealand Odyssey’, with Euan Sarginson, Heinemann-Reed, 1989. ‘One Man’s Heart Attack’, New House, 1990. (A special edition of this book was purchased by CIBA-Geigy for distribution to NZ doctors). ‘Open 7 Days’, Random Century, October 1991. ‘The Good Old Kiwi Pub’ by Saint Publishing in 1995 followed by: ‘New Zealand House & Cottage’ in 1997. ‘The Wastings’, my first novel was published in July 1999 by Hazard Press. (Colin Dexter wrote to me: 'I enjoyed and admired "The Wastings"... a beautifully written work... a splendid debut in crime fiction...) Also the texts of photographic books:‘Auckland’‘Colourful New Zealand’‘New Zealand in Colour’‘Top of the South’ ‘Aoraki-Mt.Cook’‘Above Auckland’'Hauraki Gulf Destinations’‘Otago‘Bay of Plenty’'Wellington' and a compilation of photographs and quotations titled ‘Anzac Memories’ 2004 all published by New Holland. My written and illustrated book, ‘Country Churches of New Zealand’ was published in October 2002 by New Holland, who also published ‘Rural New Zealand’ 2004 (photographs and text), and a series of four humorous books of photographs and quotations in 2004 and 2005 titled ‘Woolly Wisdom’, ‘Chewing the Cud’, ‘Fowl Play’, and ‘Pig Tales’. My most recent book, published in August 2006 by New Holland, is titled ‘Political Animals’. 'Second Bite', a crime novel based upon a true, unsolved case, was self-published in July 2007 and again as an e-book in 2010 A number of my works featured with 29 other artists in ‘New Zealand in Watercolour’ published by New Holland in October 2008. More appeared in a new book about Christchurch and Canterbury published in 2012 following the to big earthquakes. I have recently published ‘Antipasto’, a series of writings, photographs and illustrations about trips to Italy; and ‘Little Donny’s Bedside Book’ an anthology of work gathered from twenty years of writing. I have also published Great Works Re-visited, En Plein Air and Milestones: Poems from Life. Over the years I have written for NZ Herald, Heritage Magazine, Next Magazine and various local and overseas travel and general interest media.