Sarah Hatfield has gotten her life back under control. The Espial is undergoing a structural change and she’s finally found suitable accommodation for her disabled sister. All is running smoothly until she hits a snag – she’s pregnant. Suddenly, her world is turned upside down once more and the pregnancy isn’t the only problem. Karen Gribbin calls the Espial when her daughter, Beth Teffry, runs away from home. It should be a straightforward case of lost and found but, as Sarah and the Espial agents discover, Beth doesn’t want to be found. In fact, she’s threatening to kill herself if her mother ever finds out where she is. Things aren’t as they seem and Sarah soon begins to realise what being a mother is really all about …
There was a great rush as Lyn and Julia struggled to take charge of the agents while Sarah and Mike were sorting out their speeding problem. Everyone knew that they had to find Beth before Gribbin and Kraben and wasn’t about to argue with Lyn’s leadership. They had even decided to drag Adam along in case they needed his medical expertise if something went wrong. As they sped towards the destination, Julia ventured to query about the problem Sarah and Mike had found themselves to be faced with.
‘Don’t tell me Sarah was driving,’ she quipped, glancing at the speedometer.
She remembered the last time she was in the car with Sarah at the helm. It had been a rather hairy experience.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if she was,’ Lyn returned drumming her fingers on the dashboard nervously. ‘Then again, Mike’s not the world’s best driver either.’
A car suddenly cut in front of them, causing Julia to brake abruptly. She blasted her horn and continued on her way. Adam shook his head but otherwise remained silent. The journey to Treffry’s residence took less than fifteen minutes. As they drove up the quiet suburban street, they noticed a white car speed out the driveway and down the street. All three of them looked at each other. Only one thought was speeding through their minds at that precise moment. Julia sped up towards the driveway of Treffry’s house and all three of them scrambled out of the car. Even from the street, they could see the destruction of the house interior through the front windows. Lyn took out her mobile phone and dialled Sarah’s number while the other two raced into the house, careful not to disturb any evidence.
‘Sarah, you’re not going to like this but Gribbin’s just left.’
‘You’re kidding,’ Sarah returned.
Lyn was about to say something in return when she heard Julia called from somewhere within the house. ‘Adam!’
‘Hang on. Julia’s found something.’
With Sarah on hold, Lyn made her way into the house and found a man in his mid-forties on the kitchen floor with a bullet wound though his chest. Adam felt for a carotid pulse but shook his head in vain. Lyn took a deep breath and closed her eyes briefly.
‘Treffry’s dead,’ she told Sarah.
Sarah could do the only thing she could think of to do at the time – she swore.
‘What about Beth?’ was her question.
‘We haven’t found her yet.’