Sand arrived back in Oslo in the early hours of the morning. At the time he was landing three disgruntled tourists were being told they would have to spend another day and night in Alta as their plane had already departed. Pedersen had pulled his weight and the plane company had agreed to fly him back immediately.
When Sand turned his ‘phone on he had a message from Pedersen. He was to head straight to the address of Dag Moen’s love nest apartment in the city. A squad car had been sent to meet him. At Sand’s urging, they tore through the streets with the siren wailing.
He arrived at the block of rundown apartments. Police tape sealed off the door on the second floor. Pedersen was there to meet him.
‘Any word from Gabi?’ Sand asked.
Pedersen looked at his lead detective. His suit was crumpled, he hadn’t slept or shaved, his greying hair was dishevelled. ‘Nothing yet. We have had a piece of luck though. Come on.’
They moved into the sparsely furnished living room. An upset woman sat on the one chair in the room. Detectives Jens and Karl stood over her.
‘Meet Mrs. Gerd Bøe,’ Pedersen introduced her. ‘She turned up last night looking for her young lover Dag Moen.’
Sand looked at the middle-aged woman, who stared at the ground in shame.
‘When did you last see him?’ Sand asked her.
Gerd Bøe looked up. ‘I already told the other detectives.’
‘Tell us again,’ Pedersen instructed her.
‘Two weeks ago. I came to see if he was here because he had stopped calling me for no reason.’
‘You used to meet him here?’
She nodded and looked to the floor again. ‘Does my husband have to find out. I have children.’
‘A detective’s life is on the line. I’m not concerned for the state of your marriage at the moment,’ Sand’s voice grew louder. Pedersen placed a hand on his shoulder.
Bøe answered. ‘We met every week, sometimes twice a week. Always in the evening.’
‘How did you meet him?’
‘He was the delivery driver to the vet surgery I work in. It started as innocent flirting.’
‘How long have you been coming to his love nest?’
‘Six months or so.’
‘You have no idea where Dag Moen is now?’
‘I told you. I haven’t heard from him for a fortnight.’
‘Is there anything unusual you notice here? Anything different since your last visit?’
Bøe shook her head. Sand walked over and pulled her up by the arm. ‘Come on. Take a good look round. We need to find him and quickly. Your lover is probably a murderer and has abducted a police officer.’
Sand dragged the woman into each of the small rooms that made up the basic apartment. She saw nothing until they were about to leave the bedroom.
‘Wait,’ she said. ‘On the back of the door. He always used to have his work uniform hanging there, on that hook. I would leave to go home and he would stay the night and go to work the next morning.’
Sand delivered her back to Karl and Jens, who took the broken woman out of the apartment.
‘We know he has a work delivery van.’ Sand said to Pedersen. ‘We can guess he is wearing his delivery uniform. Odds are he has taken Gabi to one of the places he regularly made deliveries too. Get on to the delivery firm. We need to know his regular work route.’
Pedersen left the room and made the call. Sand stared round the room. There was nothing to give Dag Moen any personality. It was bare and damp-stained. If anything it told him what he already knew. Moen was single-minded and efficient. Nothing superfluous or material would get in his way. He wouldn’t be distracted or allow his plan to deviate. Focus and necessity, that’s what the apartment said to him.
Pedersen hustled back into the room, ‘phone still in his hand. ‘They just found the missing delivery van. Abandoned on the E18 south. Guess what? One of Dag Moen’s regular deliveries was to the Kristiansand Amusement Park and Zoo.’
Sand was running down the stairs before Pedersen had finished speaking.
This is part fourteen of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.