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The pages stood jagged and torn, waving gently in the breeze from the open window. Bloody fingerprints scarred the remaining white pages.

The registry clerk had put up a fight that was clear. Her face still registered the struggle.

Registry clerks work in a world of joy and new beginnings; of hope and happiness. That someone was willing to end a life over two pages from the borough registry was beyond reason. How could two pages with their neat handwritten entries of father, and more recently mother’s occupation; names of the bride and groom; and their witnesses be worth killing over?

As Detective Sergeant Hannah Millwood squatted next to the body of the clerk, she couldn’t understand it either. She’d seen some pointless crimes in her career, kids killed for a pair of trainers; but this felt different, this felt professional. Something was written on those pages which could never be known.

The open window showed the urgency of the crime. A professional should have slipped in while the offices were closed and the place empty. Instead, they had struck during the day, turned a simple theft into murder and risked capture for two pages of a book. What or who could be that important?

The same tingly feeling was there on the back of her neck; her primal senses engaged.

Millwood shivered as she felt the familiar feeling triggered by weddings. All that joy made her sick. Was fear of confetti a thing? ‘Confettiphobia’ perhaps. If it was she had it.

No. Focus on simpler, less painful things, like murder.



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