What is the truth worth when hope is already dead?
Innocent Lies is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
Reader reviews of Innocent Lies
"The central, tragic love story is by turns heartbreaking, shocking and deeply touching. Told partly in the present, and partly in flashback to earlier events in the lives of a teenage couple who are vulnerable, streetwise, in love, and in terrible danger from a human trafficking gang."
"Colin Ward has created a compelling and credible DI in Mike Stone. A hard-bitten but intelligent detective who knows who his friends are, as well as his enemies. As gripping and compelling a read as you are likely to find from any up and coming new writer. It gets top marks for my money."
"So shocking and brutal in content, I love the gentleness and warmth of the thread of innocent teenage love weaving its way through the violence. Touches of humour between Detective Mike Stone and sgt. Pearson give a lightness to this dark tale, a necessary read in today’s society.
So thought provoking, could not put it down until that final line of truth."
Ice-cold wind rocked the girl as she sat on the railing, clutching the lamppost with one hand.
Her other arm cradled the newborn.
Tears rolled down her face as misty rain drenched her from head to toe. She stared down at the tiny, wrinkled face wrapped safely in the makeshift sling.
Flickers of blue danced from each edge of Galton Bridge. Radios crackled and worried voices muttered. Everyone was keeping back.
‘I know it seems scary now, but you won’t have to face this on your own.’
The girl didn’t look up from the baby cradled in her arm. Her tears cut through the rain on her cheeks.
The officer crept closer. ‘We just want you both safe.’
‘There is no safe,’ the girl replied, with a strong Albanian accent.
‘Whatever you need me to do, I will do it. For you, and that little one.’ The officer fought to keep her voice confident.
‘Please, leave me. Let us go.’
The girl’s sobbing grew stronger, rocking her more on the railing nearly one-hundred-and-fifty feet over the canal water.
Her grip on the post was unsteady.
The officer edged forward, speaking in softer, maternal tones. ‘You’ve wrapped the little one up safe and warm. So beautiful.’
‘You don’t understand.’
‘I want to.’
A radio crackled demands, and the girl shuddered. The officer flung it behind her with a single whip of her arm. It clattered to the ground. A dark figure in the distance slammed a hand on a car roof.
Taking another cautious step, the officer lowered her voice.
‘It’s just me and you. I don’t know what’s happened, but I want to. Please, let me help you. Both of you. Beautiful baby, beautiful mummy.’
‘I am beast.’
‘Look at your beautiful baby.’
‘I cannot live this more.’
‘You can. Listen to your heart. You both have a whole life ahead of you, together.’
She looked into the officer’s eyes. ‘It too late. Everything is gone. Hope is gone.’
The officer moved another step, shifting to balance her weight as she took a deep breath to steady her voice. ‘Let’s talk? You and me. Your arm must be aching. We can hold baby. Keep her safe.’
The girl looked at the officer and something changed. Her whole body sagged, and a sigh deflated her entire being. Her long, dark hair framed a deathly white complexion in the moonlight. Her lips were almost blue from the icy wind.
She moved her shoulder, turning on the railing to point the tiny baby bundle towards the officer.
Taking the cue, and waving over to another to assist, the officer moved closer. ‘Let’s get baby into the warm.’
The officer reached towards the girl and had to make a split-second decision. She wanted to lurch and pull them both back to safety but had to keep everything calm.
It was too wet for sudden movements.
There was no way she could take any risks with the baby in the girl’s arms.
A uniformed officer approached and waited for the infant to be passed. She was keeping a close watch of the girl, whose grip on the lamppost was getting looser with every second. There was a glance between the two officers who shared the plan with just a nod.
The baby was passed between them like a porcelain doll.
The girl reached up to her neck and gripped a crudely made leather necklace. A tiny half-heart shape glistened in the flickering lights.
She kissed it.
The officer turned back with a smile. She reached out a hand. It was a mother’s hand, held out to a child in danger. A child in pain.
The girl looked deep into the officer’s eyes and reached
out, speaking softly through her tears.
She dropped the necklace into the officer’s hand as she
let go of the lamppost with a gentle push.