Você está na página 1de 15

About the Author

Norah was born in Banbridge in 1935 and was an

experienced Nurse Tutor, being responsible for Student
Nurses within three major hospitals in Northern Ireland.
Her main teaching programme was A.I.D.S. and H.I.V.'
She is married with two children and six grandchildren.

I wish to dedicate this book to my mother Ellen, who
gave me such a love of English literature. She
encouraged me to read from an early age and she herself
was an avid reader, particularly of crime novels. I
believe this book my first crime one is an appropriate
one to dedicate to her.

Norah Humphreys


Copyright Norah Humphreys (2015)

The right of Norah Humphreys to be identified as author of
this work has been asserted by her in accordance with section
77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the
Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to
this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil
claims for damages.
A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the
British Library.
ISBN 9781786124203 (Paperback)
ISBN 9781786124210 (Hardback)
First Published (2015)
Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.
25 Canada Square
Canary Wharf
E14 5LQ

Printed and bound in Great Britain

I wish to thank all my family for the support and
encouragement they have given to me since I started
writing. Particularly I want to thank my grandsons Tim
and Mark for their invaluable help with cover ideas.
Many thanks to all my friends for their continued
support and a very special thanks to the Creighton family
for their support in the promotion of my work.

Main Characters

Ellen Hampton
Ellen is the widow of Rob Hampton and mother of
Matthew, Charles, Thomas and Lucie. She is now married
to Tom Greenlees who is Pauls Father.

Tom Greenlees
Second husband of Ellen and stepfather to her children.
Also Lucies father-in-law.

Rob Hampton
Shot dead by I.R.A. Father of Matthew, Thomas, Charles
and Lucie.

Matthew Hampton
Detective Inspector in R.U.C. Married to Julie. Has son
Jason and daughter Emily.

Julie Hampton
Julie is married to Matthew.

Thomas Hampton
Is Ellens son. Is married to Jenny.

Charles Hampton
Is Ellens son. Married to Sheila.

Lucie Hampton/ Greenlees

She is Ellens daughter. Was married to Patrick Mullan
who was involved in I.R.A. Now married to Paul

Maggie nee Hampton

Is a widow and sister of Rob. Returned from Canada with
daughter Rachel and granddaughter Lynn.

Rachel Finlay
Daughter of Maggie. Was divorced when in Canada.
Adopted Lynn following Lynns parents death in Canada.
Rachel is now married to Gavin Finlay and is Lewis

Lynn Hampton
Is Rachels daughter and mother to Lewis, her son to
Arnold Simpson.

Arnold Simpson
Married Lynn bigamously while married to Iris. Is the
biological father of Lewis.

Iris Simpson
Wife of Arnold.

John Finlay
Widower. Was married to Dorrie, sister of Rob, Maggie
and Eve.

Gavin Finlay
Nephew of John Finlay. Married to Rachel.

Patrick Mullan
Ex-Husband of Lucie. Served a prison sentence for
involvement in murder of Rob Hampton.

Now married to Patrick Mullan.

Lewis Hampton
Son of Lynn and adopted son of Jason.

Emily Hampton
Daughter of Matthew and Julie. Sister of Jason.

Chapter 1

May 1983
The first building Patrick Mullan saw as he stepped out
through the gates of the prison and into freedom was the
courthouse, where he had been found guilty all those years
ago of the most foul of crimes betrayal of family. The
building, with its cream coloured walls and imposing
faade, was a stark reminder of that day eight years ago
when he had pleaded guilty to collaborating with the IRA.
Since that time, hed had many hours to relive the events,
which had eventually led to his incarceration in a prison
cell for so many years. Over time, he had come to believe
that some kind of temporary madness on his part had made
him a participant of a foul crime, which had led to the
horrific murder of a totally innocent man. When he had first
agreed to collaborate with the McCaughey brothers in the
pub that fateful evening, he had never envisaged the murder
of anyone, much less a family member. Now, as he stood
relishing his freedom, with the May sunshine on his face
and warming his body, he vowed that no matter what, he
would never be party to such subversive activities ever
Even as he walked down the steps of the prison onto
the footpath, he saw the real, true reason why he was so
resolved to overcome his past and become the honourable

man his family had originally believed him to be. She was
standing on the pavement across the street and the pale blue
dress she was wearing complimented her slim figure and
highlighted her fair hair and complexion; Helena, his
friend, his confidante during the last two years, the girl who
had given him such hope for the future. She alone had
managed to lift him from that deep pit of depression and
hopelessness he had been in since his committal to prison.
And now, to add to his happiness, she had promised to
marry him on his release.
He had first noticed the fresh-faced girl during one of
the prison visiting sessions; she had been visiting her
father, who had been committed for some minor mishap or
other, which Patrick could not remember much about. His
mother had been visiting him on one of her many loyal
visits; during these visits she always insisted he should
continue to pray to God for his forgiveness and even
equally as important, that of the Hampton family. Patrick
reckoned that he was highly unlikely to ever receive
forgiveness from that particular family. As his mother
talked to him, he noticed the girl smiling at him in a
friendly manner even as she talked to her father and
somewhat vaguely, Patrick smiled back, too preoccupied
with his mothers presence to take much notice of other
Then, he had received an official notification from one
of the prison officers that a young lady by the name of
Helena Swain daughter of Mr Edward Swain, an inmate
of the prison would like to visit him on a regular basis.
More intrigued than flattered, Patrick agreed she could talk
to him for five minutes during next visiting day. Perhaps
she was yet another nosy journalist, eager to quiz him in
order to find out something of his motives for assisting
albeit indirectly in the murder of his father-in-law. But on
the afternoon of her visit and her obvious sincerity in his

welfare, he quickly realised, this pretty, sensitive,

intelligent girl was not really interested in how he had
ended up where he was; she just seemed genuinely
interested in his well-being and she soon made it clear she
was there on a purely personal level.
Helena Swain knew the whole circumstances of
Patricks sentence and imprisonment, and she fervently
believed he had never considered the possibility of anyone
getting hurt. He had understood buildings would be
demolished and cars stolen and blown up., but it had never
crossed his mind that anything more sinister was ever
planned. He had even admitted to Helena that he had come
to hate his brother-in-law, Matthew Hampton, but would
never have contemplated actually carrying out any vile,
barbaric act against him or indeed, against any of the
Hampton family.
Now, Helena was confident Patrick and she could soon
put all that behind them and look forward to the future.
Besides, Patrick Mullan would soon have disappeared
completely as he had been given a new identity on his
discharge; he was now Philip Mercer and in a months
time, Helena thought happily, she would become Mrs.
Philip Mercer.
The security services had decided some six months
before Patricks release that he needed a new identity,
because he was an ex-policeman and having also been
involved in an attack on one of his own colleagues, he was
considered to be at high risk from paramilitaries, or indeed
other forces intent on revenge. Not only had the security
services given him a new name, but they had also found
him a new occupation, which although it only offered
Patrick a modest wage, he believed it was a role he would
enjoy. When he had told Helena on her last visit to him,
that the social worker had informed him that very morning
he had been accepted as a clerk in the council offices in the
city of Armagh and would be commencing work there two

weeks after his discharge, she was overjoyed. Those who

had been responsible for Patricks welfare must surely have
known that Helena lived and worked in Portadown, which
was within easy commuting distance of Armagh city.
Now, as Helena stood in the arms of Patrick, the man
she would soon marry, and whose new name, Philip
Mercer, she must keep repeating over and over again until
she did not know him by any other, she believed they were
about to embark on a safe, happy future.

Chapter 2

November 1984
Matthew Hampton looked at the message some wellmeaning colleague had placed on his office desk earlier that
day. Although Matthew read the words, his brain could not
bear to register the reality and meaning of those words. He
lifted the page from where it lay under his paper and,
although keen to throw it into his waste paper bin, he felt
compelled to read on. The message was all quite detailed
and obviously, whichever one of his colleagues had left it
there, they had no idea how Matthew really felt. His
colleague no doubt had felt that he needed to know from a
professional point of view, but when Matthew read that
Philip Mercer and Helena Swain had had their daughter
Alice baptised in the Presbyterian Church in Armagh, he
felt an awful rage fill his chest. How could the man dare to
enter a Protestant Church of any kind to say any vows
before God, when he had so resolutely refused to do so all
those years ago in order to marry Matthews sister? Yes,
Matthew found all the information he had learnt about
Patrick Mullan over the last eighteen months hard to deal
with. The knowledge that security had found it necessary to
give the man a new identity and a new job had been hard
enough to deal with, although a new identity came with its
own serious disadvantages. He did wonder how Mrs.
Mullan, Patricks mother, would deal with the knowledge

Interesses relacionados