Mrs. Corrina Salbanna was woken from a deep sleep by the sound of the front door banging in the wind. She squinted at her bedside clock; it was almost two. Swearing in her native Spanish, she threw off the bedclothes and stuffed her plump feet into her slippers.
She shuffled up the steps into the hall and towards the still-open front door, wrapping her dressing-gown around her against the chill. The naked light bulb gave the seedy hallway a yellowish hue that did nothing to enhance the peeling wallpaper and brown, flaking paint. Pursing her lips, Mrs. Salbanna slammed the door hard. There was no reason why anyone else in the house should be allowed to sleep if she couldn’t.
As she turned again towards her warm bed, she noticed a light beneath Della Mornay’s door on the first-floor landing. She put two and two together; it must be that little tart who had left the door open. Della owed three months’ rent, and had been warned about bringing men back to her room. Now was the time to catch her red-handed. Moving as fast as she could, Mrs. Salbanna returned to the basement and collected the master keys, then panted back up to the first floor.
“Della, I know you’re in there, open the door!”
She waited, with her ear pressed to the door. Hearing nothing, she rattled the door handle. “Della?”
There was no response. Her face set, Mrs. Salbanna inserted the key, unlocked the door and pushed it open.
The large room was as seedy as the rest of the rundown Victorian house, which had been divided into efficiency apartments long before Mrs. Salbanna and her husband had taken it over in the sixties, and many of the rooms still had the feel of the hippie years. Only the posters in this room had changed; Jimi Hendrix had given way to more modern rock and movie heroes. The first thing Mrs. Salbanna saw was a large photograph of Madonna, lips pouting, which dominated the squalid, clothes strewn room from above the head of the old-fashioned double bed. A red shawl had been draped over the bedside lamp; in its glow Mrs. Salbanna could see that the pillows and red satin eiderdown had been dragged to the far side of the bed, revealing the stained ticking of the mattress.
There was no sign of Della. Shivering, Mrs. Salbanna looked about her with distaste. She wouldn’t put it past the little bitch to be hiding; she’d been devious enough about not paying her rent. She sniffed: stale body odor and cheap perfume. The smell was stronger when she peered into the mahogany wardrobe, but it contained only dresses and shoes.
The wardrobe door, off its hinges, was propped against the wall. Its full-length, fly-blown mirror was cracked and missing a corner, but reflected enough to show Mrs. Salbanna a leg, protruding from beneath the bedclothes on the floor.
“You little bitch! I knew you were in here!”
For all her weight, the landlady moved swiftly across the room and crouched down to grip Della’s exposed ankle. With her other hand she threw the bedclothes aside.
PRIME SUSPECT. Copyright © 1993 by Lynda La Plante. Reprinted courtesy of Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
A Club exclusive not available in stores, Prime Suspects collects for the first time in one volume Edgar®-winner Lynda La Plante’s three Prime Suspect thrillers, based on original episodes of Britain's hit television series.
Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison's sharp instincts and hard work made her one of the top cops at Scotland Yard, but she's still an outsider to the station house boys' club. In Prime Suspect, Jane is determined to catch the madman stalking young women on London's streets. But her passion for justice—and obsession with proving her worth—might just destroy her relationship with the man she loves and push her over the edge.…
In A Face in the Crowd, the body of a young black woman in one of London's poorest communities ignites tensions in an already divided city, embroiling Jane and her team in a maelstrom of racial strife, political scandal and explosive violence.
Investigating the murder of a "rent boy" is all in a day's work for the metropolitan Vice Squad. But in Silent Victims, this time it's different: An influential philanthropist is prime suspect—making the case a ticking bomb that threatens to tear the city apart and destroy Jane's career.
Hardcover Book : 576 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ( January 17, 2012 )
Item #: 13-537751
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.327inches
Product Weight: 19.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)