So, the question that popped into Harry’s mind in that instant was ‘what the devil?’ along with a shudder when he remembered what had happened. He didn’t think he was going to get over that near-death experience in a hurry.
Harry knew his father knew about the plot of land, but Harry didn’t think he had continued his investigation. But, if he was going to put two and two together and come up with four, it would certainly also tell him this was the reason for his sudden departure.
“We should move this to a more secure location,” Harry said, walking towards one of the conference rooms.
“Why?” She seemed perplexed by Harry’s reaction.
“I’ll tell you, in the room.”
She followed him in and Harry closed the door.
“Now, she said as she sat down, “What’s the big secret?”
“After I visited the block, which, by the way, has nothing on it but an antiquated shed, I was kidnapped, tortured, and left for dead.”
“No. Lucky to be found still alive, barely in fact. I’m surprised my father didn’t tell anyone.”
“He didn’t. Nor did he mention anything about the block. I only found out when a file came downstairs to be filed, no action is taken.”
“Did he check it out?”
“No. He sent me an email to find out who owned it, but that was it. Apparently, he was representing a party who were looking to buy it, but then the deal went cold. Something else I noticed; your faithful assistant checked those details too.”
“How could you possibly know that?”
“Because she asked me for help. Your father told me that you might need some assistance, and to give it. That wasn’t the reason, by the way, the girl is a friend of a friend’s daughter. I might have encouraged her to apply for the job.”
“So, my father could spy on me?” It would be typical of him, Harry thought.
“No, so I could make sure you didn’t get into trouble. It seems I failed badly on that score.”
Right then Harry was annoyed with his father, and nearly made the decision to let him go off on whatever foolhardy mission he’d set himself and forget about finding him. If he didn’t want to be found, who was Harry to bring him back? And, after all the pain he’d put his mother through, he was surprised she wanted him back.
“Did you ever investigate it any further, even though he dropped it.”
“Or didn’t, as I suspect. The file he sent down has gone missing, presumably with him. In answer to your question, yes, I did, though I didn’t add it to the file. I dug further into the previous owner, one of those shell corporations that live in the Cayman Islands. On the surface, the company was not easy to trace, much less the principals behind it, but I did get one name, and it wasn’t a name I would shout out loud, or even whisper in a quiet corner, Jason Prenderville.”
Harry was not surprised. A man suspected of so many crimes that his rap sheet expended across multiple pages and was literally the No 1 hunted man in this country. The problem was, he was thought to be dead, killed by his brother Mason, who was serving about twenty life sentences for basically the same crimes his missing brother was supposed to have committed.
Even though the two ring leaders were indisposed, the sister Mandy Prenderville was allegedly running the business, but she had shielded herself behind a very thick veneer of respectability, handing over millions to charities of all types. It would be a very brave person to investigate her.
“Which is why you made sure Ellen didn’t find out about him. But it makes sense now what had happened to me, and who was behind it.”
“One brother is missing presumed dead, the other in jail, and the sister is allegedly squeaky clean. I hardly think your cop friend Sykes would go after any of them. The last one who did is still missing.”
“Could that be the reason why my father is missing?”
“It’s a possibility. But, even if he isn’t, I would implore you not to go sniffing around them. Any of them, and especially the sister. That woman is serious trouble.”
“If she’s respectable as you say…”
Alicia shook her head. “Just keep away from them.”
“And if my father is involved with them?”
“Then he’s made his bed, and there’s nothing you can do for him.”
© Charles Heath 2020
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