Sunday, January 31, 2016

GUEST POST: Missing by Roger Rapel

Missing by Roger Rapel

Title: Missing
Author: Roger Rapel
Genre: Crime/Suspense Thriller
Length: 324
Release Date: January 30, 2016
ISBN: 978-1523276943 & 1523276940
Imprint: Black Hawk
Synopsis: Michelle Jones went out on the town with friends, days after her eighteenth birthday. Unfortunately, she never returned home. Her story became every parent’s nightmare; a teenage daughter gone missing. As for Michelle’s parents, the passing time since her disappearance doesn’t bring good news. And with their investigation underway, the police have informed the two to expect the worst.
However, the Criminal Investigation Department requests a reluctant–as well as retired–Detective Sergeant Jim Broadbent to take the case. Jim has a reputation for solving similar disappearances.  And in this case, he uncovers a sex trade operation investigated by military intelligence. One in which somehow links to the vanished Michelle.
Jim’s investigation takes him into the world of arms trading, where sex trafficked girls are a form of currency. And the further Jim digs, the wider his investigation spreads globally. Eventually his case leads him to Spain.  It's here that Jim reignites his affair with his once-lover, Sonja. The rekindling of their affair is not under the circumstances he would have liked. Yet, to unveil the connections in his investigation, this affair becomes a surprising resource.

Read the first chapter of Roger Rapel's Missing...


Chapter One

‘Where’s Michelle her beds not been slept in, she couldn’t have come home last night, who did she go out with?’ ‘I don’t know, when I dropped her off she said she was meeting Katie; this isn’t like her she would have rung by now if she was okay.’ ‘I’m going to ring Katie she will know where she is.’ 
This is every parent’s nightmare when their children albeit teenagers start going out on their own into the big wide world with all the dangers that exist out there. Children believe they are invincible with the; I know it all attitude; using common phrases such as ‘oh you worry too much mum I’ll be fine, I can take care of myself.’ Being picked up at night by mum or dad isn’t seen as being cool, not in front of mates anyway; especially with all the banter that would follow regarding apron strings still attached and worse. 
Caroline and Brian Jones were no different, they adored Michelle their only child, she was a very pretty girl, just turned 18 with many friends; she was not loud or brash; well not at home anyway, but she did let her hair down when out with the girls. 
Michelle on this night was not feeling too great but to keep face with her friends especially Katie her best friend, she agreed to go out; her dad dropped her off in town. He said as often before ‘ring me if you want me to pick you up?’ ‘I’ll be fine dad, but thanks anyway.’ 
‘Hello Katie its Mrs Jones have you seen Michelle, was she with you last night?’ ‘Yeah she was, but she said she wasn’t feeling well and went home early; why isn’t she there?’ ‘No Katie she isn’t, we’re worried sick, did she leave alone?’ ‘As far as I know, I offered to walk her to the taxi rank but she said she was okay.’ 
‘Oh Brian I’m so worried I’m going to call the police, oh my poor baby where is she, oh my god please let her be alright?’ 
The nightmare was creeping up on them; their teenage daughter had gone out and failed to come home, which was completely out of character. The frantic phone calls turn up nothing. The only avenue left is to call the police. Caroline’s face was wracked with anguish her hair straggled having not been brushed, her eyes now drawn sunken into their sockets with black worry rings under them. Her anguish turned to anger blaming Brian for not picking her up. Her eyes stared daggers at him. The she broke down sobbing deeply into his shoulder her mouth contorted with grief; all he could do was pat her and try to console her, but he had a lump in his throat as well; he had to be strong and hold it together or at least try. Caroline pulled away wringing her hands then went upstairs to change before the police arrived. She looked into Michelle’s room and sobbed as she knelt down at the bedside fluffing up the pillow’s, then placing one of Michelle’s toys on the top pillow; her eyes were bloodshot from the streaming tears; she had a continual lump in her throat from the emotional turmoil of her presume loss, ‘there my love all tidy for when you come home.’ 
The police eventually attended, the officer didn’t look much older than Michelle. He went through the normal questions taking down details; what she was wearing, jewellery, then an up to date photograph was added to the paperwork. He requested a quick glance in her bedroom then that was it. The officer stated that he would circulate her description and visit her friends to obtain any further information.  
Caroline sat wringing her hands together; her eyes reddened from crying; she made Brian a cup of tea to try and keep busy, but broke down as the tears cascaded down her cheeks, her mouth contorted with the emotion of not knowing where her baby was. ‘She’ll turn up’ was all Brian could say as he tried to comfort her but nothing he said could console her, he was trying to be strong but was churning up inside. He hugged Caroline trying not to break down as well, but it was all he could do to keep it together.  
To the police this was just another missing person; she probably had a boyfriend and got carried away and was nervous about coming home.  To the police nothing to sinister just another issue to add to the growing list of overdue jobs for that day.  
That was it nothing more to do for that day, no real urgency not yet anyhow.  
But then the days and the weeks went by with no news as to her whereabouts.  
The police then began to take matters more seriously; they called for a press conference where an emotional plea was made by Michelle’s mum and dad. The press began to get interested in a potential morbid story; nothing sold papers more than a missing person presumed dead; some of the reporters made things up; the feelings of the parents didn’t come into it; just headlines. Most of the reporters and photographers were freelance, selling stories to the highest payer so the juicier they made it the more chance of a sale.  
The police obtained similar clothing Michelle had worn the night she went missing; then arranged with a local TV crew and papers to record and report the reconstruction of her last known movements when she left the night club to go home. 
Caroline and Brian couldn’t watch the TV; the girl the police used was almost identical to Michelle. It would have been too much for them to handle seeing the girl so similar wearing identical clothes looking so much like their baby.


Author Bio: Born in the late 40’s only a few years after the second world finished with all the hardships of rationing, cold houses windows running with condensation with frost forming on the inside as well as the outside, living in one room for heat. Growing up in the 50’s with little or none of the modern comforts of today’s modern world, my brother and sister were happy well as happy as you could be. I worked in various organizations including PO as a steward on cruise liners (I must write about that) then on the buildings picking bits of skills here and there and became a jack of all trades certainly master of none. Then joined the police stayed for 30 years mainly as a detective Sergeant dealing with all manner of criminal cases including child abuse rape cases and murder.

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