‘It’s not a pretty sight.’ Even Lydon’s usually laconic style was absent. Jensen had never seen him looking so pale. Lydon shivered, gripping the coffee-cup tight between both his hands.
Jensen smiled at his subordinate. ‘Usually, about now, you say you’ve seen worse.’
Lydon shook his head, looking down at the lid on his coffee container.
Jensen’s smile vanished. He took a deep breath, not sure if he wanted to see something that had shaken the usually unshakeable Lydon.
Jensen eased his way into the forensic tent, hating the rustling plastic and the disposable paper suit he had to wear. Usually, he didn’t like the barriers between him and the crime scene made necessary by modern forensics.
He stood, looking down… then up at the tree… then around the scene. Even the pathologist, Dr Debbie as they all called her, was not her usual black-humoured self. She knelt as pale as the surrounding snow. That snow that wasn’t red and wet, anyway.
Jensen stood transfixed by a piece of… something hanging from a low bare branch of the tree, slowly dripping blood on the snow below it. Jensen had seen many bodies in his time in the murder squad, even some gangland torture killings.
This was worse.
Dr Debbie looked up. She smiled briefly without much warmth. ‘Well, as you see….’
‘Why me?’ Jensen said to her. ‘You know I don’t do murder any more. I left the squad.’
Dr Debbie nodded. ‘Who… whatever did this wasn’t human.’ She stood up. ‘Whatever did this wasn’t natural either. That’s why we sent for you.’