As a little ‘taster’ from the first book in the Cumbria Police Novels series, here is an excerpt about a domestic dispute:
“We arrived in less than five minutes and found Sergeant Clarke already there, standing beside the police van, clearly entertained by the loud fracas that could be heard from inside the house.
‘How many more men are you going to screw around with while you’re meant to be my wife?’ bellowed the man.
‘What are you complaining for?’ the woman screamed back. ‘At least I get paid for it. At least it means that I bring a damned sight more money home than you, you bone-idle lump. And what little you make you pour back down your neck at the bar in the Labour Club!’
The crashing and yells hit a new pitch while we were going up the path to the front door.
‘Let me go first,’ said Carol. ‘They know me. But mind yourselves, they can be unpredictable.’
The door wasn’t locked. We walked straight in after knocking just once. The sight as we entered the kitchen was something to behold. At the far side of a small pine table, in the middle of the floor, was Mrs Smith. She was wearing an unfastened synthetic fur coat over a grubby, rather short old nightdress, curlers in her hair, cigarette drooping from the corner of her mouth, and she was brandishing a battered but large copper-bottomed saucepan in her right hand.
At our side of the table, stark naked and wielding nothing but a small wooden spoon by way of feeble self-defence was the overweight Mr Smith, facing his fearsome wife and clearly more than a little bit apprehensive. Three chairs lay on their sides on the floor, one of them minus a leg, which was lying broken alongside it.
The bold Sally never took a blind bit of notice that there were now three police officers in her house but instead just flung the pan as hard as she could at her husband, even though we were standing behind him. He dodged left, Carol dodged right and I had time to duck, but poor Kevin, who was still in the kitchen doorway unable to see exactly what was going on, took it square in the middle of his forehead and went down as though he’d been shot. For what seemed like ages we all just stood there in total silence, staring at the motionless form lying in the hallway.
Then Sergeant Clarke said ‘Right, Sally, you’ve done it this time. I’m arresting you for assaulting a police officer.’
As Carol cautioned and handcuffed Mrs Smith, I checked that Kevin was still breathing. Thank God he was. I rolled him over into the recovery position and then ran to the van and used the VHF radio to tell the force control room what had happened and I requested an ambulance…..”