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CALM WATERS

CALM WATERS


Nine people have died in the exclusive retirement community of Calm Waters in thirteen months. Inspector John Sentinel is called in when Nathan Parker, a retired private investigator, is found dead in his unit after a fire started. Nathan had turned up some interesting facts before his demise.

A post mortem revealed that his death was suspicious. Is it the only one or are the others in any way related?

John Sentinel and his team have to untangle a web of lies and deceit to find the perpetrator.

 

In Store Price: $23.95 
Online Price:   $22.95

ISBN: 978-1-921731-20-4   
Format: Paperback
Number of pages:182
Genre: Fiction/Crime

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Also by Carole Roscoe:
Seven Minutes

 

Author: Carole Roscoe
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2010
Language: English

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AUTHOR PROFILE 

Carole Roscoe qualified in General Nursing, Midwifery, Maternal and Child Welfare as well as Psychiatric Nursing.

While undertaking psychiatric nurse training at Mount St Margaret Hospital in Ryde her tutor advised that she was gifted in that area. 

She worked as the Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Prince Henry Hospital at Little Bay in Sydney while completing BA (Honours) in Psychology. She then completed the Master of Clinical Psychology (M. Psychol) degree also at the UNSW. 

Before taking up a research position with the Commonwealth Government in Canberra, she worked as a Clinical Psychologist at Bondi Junction Community Health Centre.

She returned to Queensland to be close to her sister and her family in Brisbane. 

Carole is now writing full time which fulfils a life-long ambition. 

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CHAPTER ONE

 

H

e’d had a very disturbed night. He’d dreamt that he was being buried alive. There was a heavy weight pressing on his chest and he was having difficulty breathing. There was also a sharp shooting pain in the middle of his chest radiating up to his left shoulder.

As he struggled to wake he realised that he was having another attack of angina and reached for his nitro-glycerine tablets which were on the bedside table. He put one under his tongue and waited for it to work but the pain kept increasing. Starting to panic he took out a second tablet and put it into his mouth. His hand was shaking but he finally managed. There was still no relief and the weight pressing on his chest seemed to increase as he fought for every breath.

He had to get help and quickly. He reached for the call button which would summon a nurse to come to his unit. He pressed it repeatedly and waited for the immediate response which had been promised but no one came. He started to sob in fear. He knew that he was helpless and his strength was fading.

He tried to call out hoping that someone would hear but no sound came. His fingers clutched futilely at the sheet. Finally he knew that he was choking as the weight on his chest pressed unrelentingly and he could no longer breathe. The sound of his heartbeat which had been drumming in his ears became more and more irregular and finally ceased. The bottle of tablets dropped from his nerveless hand. At last he was still.

Just before dawn a dark figure slipped into his unit, picked up the bottle of tablets and replaced it with another, reconnected the alarm which would summon nursing staff then quickly left the unit.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO     

 

T

he residents of Calm Waters woke to a fine autumn day and assembled for their breakfast in the community dining room at half past seven. They milled around collecting their cereal, toast and tea or coffee and eventually all were seated. By the time they were enjoying their cooked breakfast Syd Tucker’s absence was noticed.

Nola Sorby, one of the domestic staff, went to his unit to tell him to hurry up and found his body. She notified Marion Hershler, the Director of Nursing. She in turn phoned Joan Kilpatrick, the owner and Chief Executive Officer. Both then went to his unit to see what needed to be done. As it was clear that he’d been dead for some hours, Joan Kilpatrick contacted Dr William Golightly, the General Practitioner who serviced Calm Waters. He finished his breakfast then went to examine Syd Tucker’s body.

“Not much doubt is there, Joan? Poor chap died of a heart attack. I saw him about a week ago and he said that his angina had been bothering him lately. I’ll complete the death certificate. You’ll contact his relatives?”

“I don’t think he had any close relatives. I’ll check his records and notify whatever contacts we’ve been given. They can make arrangements for the funeral or cremation. Marion, would you tell the residents please?”

Sister Marion Hershler entered the dining room for the residents who lived in the independent-living units just as they were finishing their breakfast. There was a hush as she walked in.

“I have some very sad news for you. Syd Tucker passed away peacefully in his sleep during the night.” They all started talking at once and over the top of the noise Gladys Palfrey, residents’ representative and general busybody, called out in her stentorian voice.

“I’ll take up a collection for a wreath.” She turned to Marion Hershler. “You’ll let us know about the funeral service?”

“Thank you, Gladys. I’m sure he would have appreciated the thought. Miss Kilpatrick will be contacting his relatives and they will make the arrangements. We’ll put a notice up on the board as soon as we hear what they wish to do.” She returned to the nursing home.

Gladys turned to the two other women sitting with her, Beryl Keat and Sylvia Revell. “I suppose there’ll be two other deaths to follow. Everything comes in threes, doesn’t it?” They looked around the tables at the other residents mentally assessing the ones who didn’t look too well.

Gladys was a big woman, overweight but usually cheerful. She’d been a doctor’s wife until he’d died of cancer 20 years ago. Their two sons, also doctors, lived overseas. She expected to be accorded the respect she felt was due to her and usually got it.

Gladys ate everything that was put in front of her and kept some snacks in her unit as well to keep her strength up. On a few occasions she’d tried to lose a bit of weight but didn’t last too long on any sort of diet. The only thing she found kept her feeling well was hormone replacement therapy.

She’d started this to control menopausal symptoms and had continued taking it because she’d been told it would stop her developing osteoporosis and narrowing of the arteries. Her previous General Practitioner had suggested that it was time she stopped taking it, but she’d resisted and pleaded with him. Dr Golightly didn’t argue with her. He said if she needed it he would order it.

Dr Golightly was tall, suave and in his early 60s and usually didn’t argue with anyone. He liked a quiet life. If what the patients wanted wasn’t too extreme, he thought there was no harm in giving it to them. They liked him because he usually had a good supply of various medications he’d obtained as free samples from the representatives of drug manufacturers and that saved them a bit of money.

What they didn’t know was that he also carried out some informal research on the various medications for the drug firms. He kept statistics on his computer on the duration of treatment, side effects and reactions and forwarded these to the manufacturers on a regular basis over the internet. The drug firms in turn rewarded Dr Golightly with at least one all expenses paid overseas trip per year ostensibly to some conference or other for his efforts on their behalf.

Gladys was still holding court. “I thought Syd had been looking a bit seedy lately. I suppose it was his heart. I know he’d been very worried about his investments with all the money that he’d lost with this financial crisis that’s been going on for the last six months.”

Beryl, the plain speaker who called a spade a spade and prided herself on her ability to face facts, broke in.

“He told me that he’d lost almost half of all he had put by. He thought that his little nest egg was dropping too quickly and he’d asked someone at the local bank to look into it for him.” Sylvia, the quiet one with the reputation of being a deep thinker, nodded.

“He spoke to me too. Do you know the bank told him that the firm he was with had put most of his money into shares so the risk was very high. I’ll bet they got a better commission for doing that. It was too aggressive an investment for someone of his age.” She laughed. “They call it retirement planning but they fail to mention that the retirement they’re planning is their own.” Beryl took over.

“The woman at the bank told him that he’d been paying a lot of commissions. The firm that he went to was taking a commission and also the one they’d invested with. As if that wasn’t enough he was paying seven different fund managers as well. Poor old Syd didn’t know that nine different lots of people were taking some of his money and he didn’t have a lot.” Gladys had to have the last word.

“Snouts in the trough, that’s what it is! It’s no wonder that he had a heart attack, is it? That’s enough to give anyone a heart attack. Some people have no conscience! They’d take an old person’s money and leave them destitute. They don’t care that you have no way to recoup it.

“It’s not as if it’s cheap to live here, is it? We may own the lease on our units but we still have to pay the ongoing monthly costs for meals, rates, care of grounds and use of amenities and then on top of that there are the deferred fees that accrue. It all adds up!”

Beryl interjected before Gladys could continue. “What are the deferred fees for anyway? I’ve never understood this. Is it a government thing?”

“It’s so the owners of retirement communities like this can upgrade and repair their facilities and keep everything in good order,” replied the all-knowing Gladys. “But it’s still a lot of money. We paid around $300,000 for the lease on our units. I know there is some variation in price. The ones on the top floor get a better view so they pay more and the units at both ends have an extra room so the price is higher.” They were still discussing the subject as they left the dining room.

At the request of his relatives Syd Tucker was cremated four days later. A number of residents attended the service at the local church and his ashes were put in an urn in a columbarium in the memorial garden.

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