A little treat on my blog today! I had spent the best part of three months with some of the most amazing bloggers and reviewers, promoting one of my most favourite book series: Graham Smith’s #DIHarryEvans – first up was the fantastic novella, Matching The Evidence and then the superb novel I Know Your Secret. Hats off to all of you who have been a part of this…you really do rock! Oh, and I will be chasing you for any missing reviews! #JustSaying *cracks whip* 😜
Mr Smith has written a creative, funny and true #DIHarryEvans style guest post which I am THRILLED to share with you all ..over to you Mr Smith! Oh, and if swearing offends you….well don’t read the post! 😉
Character Assassination by Graham Smith
My watch tells me I’ve been here for a half hour. I’d been pulled over by traffic cops and while they’d made no comments about my driving, they had got me into their car and brought me back to the police station.
Their insistence my car was a ringer wasn’t something I believed. I had driven it out of the garage with nothing more than delivery mileage on the clock. That was more than ten years and a hundred and fifty thousand miles ago.
The fact I was waiting in an interview room with a cup of vending machine coffee and not a cell was my only crumb of comfort.
I look up when the door opens. Two dishevelled men walk into the room followed by a stunning blonde.
One of the men sits beside me. I can’t look at him. It’s the other guy who has my entire attention.
He’s familiar but I know I’ve never met him. My mind reels as I make the connection, dismiss it. Make it again with more certainty.
The man’s face looks as if he’s trying to keep it implacable. He’s failing. Try as he might he can’t hide the anger and pain in his eyes.
I shake my head. Wipe a hand over my face. Use the other hand to pinch my leg.
If this is a dream, why won’t I wake up?
I stifle the urge to laugh. This whole situation is too surreal.
The blonde elbows past the man and makes sure she’s between me and him.
‘Graham Smith I’m arresting you for the murder of Janet Evans and the continued harassment of DI Harry Evans.’
I’m sure she finishes reading me my rights but every part of my being is stunned into a shocked disbelief.
Again I pinch my leg in an attempt to wake myself up. I achieve nothing more than a sore leg.
This can’t be happening. This is not possible. It cannot happen.
Evans starts to speak in a voice quivering with emotion and hatred. ‘Interview commencing September seventh. Those present, DC Lauren Phillips, DI Harry Evans, Geoffrey Ponsonby and the bastard who killed my wife.’
I see DC Phillips put a hand on his forearm. It could be there to restrain or comfort him. Either way, I don’t care.
Both of the people across the table from me are dangerous. He’ll tear me limb from limb given half an excuse and she’s nothing more than a bag full of tricks designed to get me to say something stupid.
‘By the way, Smith.’ Evans snarls as he speaks. His head gives a nod towards Ponsonby. ‘In case you’re wondering, he’s the duty solicitor. He’s not just any duty solicitor though. He’s the shittiest, most corrupt, lazy bastard, to ever study law. He owes me a big favour and today is the day I’m cashing it in.’
Ponsonby doesn’t say anything. I try to catch his eye but see nothing more than a flash of my own fear. I decide that whatever happens, I mustn’t let Evans’ anger or Phillips’ tricks get the better of me.
‘Don’t waste your time looking at him, Smith. For all the use he’s gonna be to you, there might as well be a picture of him there.’
I look at Evans. Take in the details of his face. Examine them intimately for the first time.
Meeting his eye is a mistake.
The anger I can handle.
But the pain.
That’s something else.
I caused that pain. I know I did. I caused it deliberately and with calculated aforethought. I just never expected to see it.
I swallow, try to compose myself. Make a bad job of it.
‘You killed her. You killed my beautiful, caring wife for your own ends.’
Phillips takes over as Evans glowers at me. ‘Mr Smith, we know you are responsible for the murder of Janet Evans. We also know you are responsible for a series of vicious emotional attacks on DI Harry Evans. You are solely responsible for the fact DI Harry Evans is being retired out of the Major Crimes Team. I suggest you do everyone a favour and confess to your crimes. Mr Ponsonby may not be the best lawyer but even he will agree that your best hope is to confess and hope for a shorter prison sentence.’
‘You forgot the bairn.’ The level of grief in Evans’ voice tears at me. ‘He also killed the bairn my Janet was carrying.’
‘Well, Mr Smith? What have you got to say for yourself?’
I can’t help myself. Can’t stop the laughter that rolls up from my stomach and bursts out of my mouth. The whole situation is too surreal for me to take it seriously anymore.
Evans and Phillips are fictional. Not real. Figments of my imaginations. Characters created by my desire to entertain readers.
The open-handed slap Evans delivers to my cheek snaps my head round and silences my laughter.
It shouldn’t have done that.
My cheek stings. The pain should have woken me.
It didn’t. Therefore I’m not dreaming.
This is real.
Fucked up, but real.
‘Listen to me you piece of shite. I know you killed my wife and the baby she was carrying.’ Every word is an anguished snarl. ‘I know you set Janet up to be raped. That you’ve been fucking with me every chance you get. That you’ve had me driven out of the police and replaced with that long streak of Scottish piss called Campbell.’ He pauses. Draws a breath. ‘I don’t give a flying fuck about your confession. With or without it, we’ve got more than enough evidence to get you banged up until the end of time. All I want to know is why?’
I see Phillips’ hand retake its place on his arm but I make a point of not looking at her. I know all about the way she uses her body to distract people into incriminating admissions. It’s a trait I gave her.
‘Can I call you Graham, Mr Smith?’
‘Please yourself.’ I’m dismissive because I know it’s one of her tactics.
‘DI Evans has a good point. Why have you systematically set out to torture him by taking everything he loves away from him?’
I look at Lauren, that’s how I think of her when I’m writing, and decide only the truth can save me. ‘To make him interesting.’
‘What the fuck do you mean, make me interesting?’
A raised hand from me halts Evans before he can have one of his rants.
‘You’re fictional. Nothing more than characters in the books I write.’ I point at Evans. ‘You are a clichéd DI with a drink problem, an overbearing boss and a compelling urge to deliver justice. What I did to Janet and you was for no other reason than to entertain my readers.’
‘Entertain your readers? You killed my wife and unborn child to entertain your readers? What kind of sick bastard are you?’
I look at the ceiling. At the floor. Anywhere but at Evans. The pain in his eyes has become agony and bewilderment. He may understand what I’m saying but he can’t comprehend the intent behind my words.
His body shakes with suppressed fury as anger takes over his body. I need to get his focus elsewhere, shift his attention to a place where he doesn’t envision launching himself over the table and beating me to death with his bare hands.
‘Where did you go to school, Harry?’
His face goes blank. Not only have I thrown him with a total subject change, I’ve asked him a question he can’t answer.
‘I’ll ask again. Where did you go to school?’
He doesn’t answer.
So I tell him.
‘The reason you can’t answer it is because you don’t know about that part of your life. You don’t know about it because I don’t know and I created you.’
‘Graham.’ I make the mistake of looking at Lauren. Feel my pulse quicken. ‘Are you seriously telling us that we can only know the parts of our life that you’ve written?’
I drag my eyes away from Lauren. Focus them on a chip in the formica covering the table. ‘I’m afraid so.’
Lauren places a copy of Lines of Enquiry, Snatched from Home, Matching the Evidence and I Know Your Secret on the table. ‘So you admit that you are the author of these books?’
‘That’s right.’ There’s no point denying it. My name is on the cover, I’m officially recognised as the author and my picture is at the back of them.
‘Never mind that bollocks. Let me get this straight. You made my life a waking nightmare just to entertain your readers and because I’m fictional it’s alright?’ Evans points at Ponsonby. ‘What about him? Why not make his life shite instead of mine?’
I cast a glance at the duty solicitor. ‘I didn’t create him. You brought him with you. He’s yours, not mine.’
Evans shrugs. ‘Fair enough. Tell me something. If Totty Tits and I are fictional, how come you’re here talking to us? This conversation can’t really happen can it?’
‘Of course it can’t.’
I see his hand flash across the table, but I’m not quick enough to stop him delivering another slap to my cheek.
‘Does your cheek hurt from that slap?’
‘Then you’re talking shite about me and Lauren being fictional characters. If that was true there’s no way your cheek would hurt.’
I point to the books on the table. ‘Read them. They tell you everything.’
‘We have. They are our proof of your guilt.’
Evans stands. His fists clenching and unclenching. ‘Have him charged, DC Phillips. That’s one trial I look forward to attending.’
OMFG! How awesome was that!!!!! Woohoo! #TeamEvansRocks!
Check out all of Graham Smith’s books and the #DIHarryEvans series via the link below!