Sunday serialisation – Rory (ret’d) 17.3

Rory Rogerson is 67; an overweight, unfit, retired ‘protection officer’ (that’s PC for hired muscle). He is also a prolific and, by his own reckoning, successful author of crime fiction.

Penny (60) is his headmistress wife and Charlie Watkiss is the bloke next door.

Together, they make a formidable team!


Rory (ret’d). Chapter seventeen, part three.

That dinner proved to be a turning point for the Stokes family. Nobby opened up to his bosses the following week and found them sympathetic to his plight. Indeed, in the letter Nobby later showed me, his immediate boss, the Assistant Chief Constable, expressed admiration for the job his DCS had been doing and the way he had handled so much pressure over a long period. He also admitted to mild surprise that Nobby had held out so long without showing any sign of stress. He apologised for the Force’s failure to offer the routine support that every senior officer should expect and which could have prevented things from reaching the stage they did. In recognition of that, the Force agreed to grant Nobby paid leave of absence for as long as was needed, subject to a three-monthly review if it went on that long.

Nobby attended counselling sessions regularly, mostly alone but some with Zosia and a few with Joffrey, too. He was declared fit to return to duty on a part-time basis after two-and-a-half months of counselling, extending to full-time six weeks after that.


After a frank three-way discussion, Penny and Charlie agreed that their relationship should stop. The alternative was to risk a break-up of our marriage and the business, which none of us wanted. Charlie rationalised to himself by saying it left him free to, as he put it, pursue other interests; Penny and I – let’s just say that technology once again came to the rescue.

Whilst we were busy looking after Nobby and his family, Giles of Greene, Gilbert and Partners informed us that Peter Dodd had settled the business with his erstwhile tier-two lieutenants without the need for a court case and that represented the end of his involvement with what Giles was still amused to call the ‘dark side’. Having finally demonstrated to Greene Gilbert and to us that he was now clean, Penny and I agreed that Peter should now join RRW Investigations in a more active capacity. Charlie wasn’t completely at ease with this, he still harboured doubts that Peter was as clean as he claimed and that nothing from his past could come back and bite him and, through association, us.

Could Peter stay clean? And how would his skill set fit in as a permanent full-time director of RRW Investigations? That’s a story for another day.

As is the question of what happened next with Detective Chief Superintendent Norbert Stokes.


Rory (ret’d) is available as eBook or paperback on Amazon UK, Amazon USor search your preferred Amazon store for B088RF9HNW

Starting next week

Andrea cover300

Andrea – in search of space, picks up where Making Merry left off.

Fresh from her work on Project Prodigialis, Rear Admiral Andrea Smithson takes command of the Terra II project.

Mariner II, the largest in-system luxury cruise liner ever built, had been refitted and recommissioned in the Royal Space Regiment fleet as HMDSV Colin Pillinger. Its mission was to identify, locate and survey a habitable but uninhabited planet which can be populated over time to take pressure off Earth and its resources.

For the cast of characters at the start of the project, click here

For a brief list of acronyms and initialisms used, click here

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