Page 1 - Deutschisch
P. 1



   By the time Hauptkommissar Hofmann reached

the second floor he was out of breath.
   Rising after dipping under the tape outside had

given him a moment of dizziness. He didn't show
his infirmity to the media behind him and soldiered
on. On such occasions he was grateful for his no-
nonsense mask. His face was an ancient motorway
pile-up, more crumpled than wrinkled, his skin
rusting, almost flaking, brittle metal. It suited his
fixed bulldog demeanour. More than the media he
relished his ironclad authority over the uniforms.
The lad with the clipboard on door duty almost
cowered as he signed in. And the offer of paper
overshoes and latex gloves could best be described
as meek.

   Hofmann would have liked to use the metal
banister to pull himself up the concrete steps, but
at least one technician was strategically dusting it
for prints. A numbered plastic card on one of the
steps marked a drop of blood.

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