Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 7 January 2013

Parallel Lives chapter 42

Alfred Makeson, the Coroner covering the death of the worker, was not amused. That much he had made Alan’s boss aware of, absolutely.
‘This report has thrown the whole case into disarray,’ he ranted, ‘and is putting the inquest into doubt.’ Alan’s boss, his senior by two grades, made noises and grunts throughout the phone call, promising to investigate and report back as soon as humanly possible. The problem was, he had been unaware of the re-submitted report until the Coroner had called him at home. Departmental protocol insisted that a substantial change to such a report should be run by him as a matter of routine: that this one hadn’t wasn’t in itself a major surprise, as most of his senior investigators would point to the obvious subjectivity of the ruling.
Alan had, of course, caused his boss a certain amount of concern over the years. Hardly a team player, his drinking and lecherous attitudes being well known, his generally dishevelled appearance coupled with the pervading smell of stale alcohol, garlic and whatever Alan had fallen in the previous night were all issues that he had had to contend with. In mitigation the high standard of reporting when he could be persuaded to actually write something, Alan’s renowned ability to spot the cause of an accident, his ability to identify companies that were hiding evidence and his generally successful rapport with those in industry who he worked with made him the star of the enquiry team despite his shortcomings.
The original report, the one he had read the previous week, had detailed how one person had been actively involved in the maintenance of critical safety components for the past two years, and that there were strong indications that the components may not have been changed over this period despite documentary evidence that the person claimed to have done so.
The new report, it appeared, implied that there may have been some mis-reporting of the components changed, but failed to confirm that the same person had been solely involved over the suspect period. In fact the report now could be read to imply that the person previously considered to have been under suspicion may not have acted irregularly at all. So much wasn’t an issue, except perhaps for the fact that the report was so badly rewritten the Coroner had needed to make assumptions all the way through. What had riled the Coroner was that the inquest had been brought forward on the basis of the first report. In fact he had reluctantly agreed to bring it forward some weeks ahead of normal schedule, exploiting a gap in the programme that had presented itself, as a matter of urgency. Alfred did not like the smell of this and would have liked to postpone the inquest on principle, if for no other reason. It was only the distress it was likely to cause the family of the dead worker, who would be unlikely to understand the protocols involved in these matters, that had stayed his hand.
Climbing back into his bed, Alan’s boss decided that tomorrow would be the day he and Alan had serious discussions. Stroking the hump made by his wife’s inert hips, he turned off the light and rapidly slipped back into his slumber. As he drifted he determined to himself that he would tackle Alan immediately following the inquest scheduled for the following morning.


Copyright Ray Sullivan 2011

The characters, places and events described in this novel are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, places or events, past or present, is coincidence.  All rights reserved

Parallel Lives is published in paperback and as an eBook

I can be followed on Twitter too - @RayASullivan
or on Facebook - use to find me

Why not take a look at my books and read up on my Biog here

Want to see what B L O'Feld is up to?  Take a look at his website here

Worried/Interested in the secretive world of DLFs?  Take a look at this website dedicated to DLFs here, if you dare!

No comments:

Post a Comment