The Dead Line by Holly Watt

The Dead Line

The Dead Line by Holly Watt
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB

A Bangladeshi camp. A British ambassador. A Harley Street doctor.

Investigative journalist Casey Benedict is used to working on stories that will take her from the bottom to the top of society – stories with a huge human cost. And her latest case is no different.

A frantic message is found hidden in clothes manufactured for the British high street. They take the girls…

Casey and her team at the Post know they are on the brink of a major exposé but identifying the factories in which the clothes have been made is one challenge, following the trail of those taken is another.

Their attempts to find the girls will take Casey from her London newsroom across the world and into the very heart of families who will be destroyed if what she uncovers is ever revealed.

‘Here.’ She passed one coffee to Miranda and another to Hessa, and stared unenthusiastically at her own computer screen. ‘Has it ever occurred to you that shopping professionally might be more fun than this?’

‘You’d get bored.’ Miranda glanced up.

Miranda was Casey’s boss, technically, but they had forgotten about that a long time ago.

‘Bet I wouldn’t.’

Hessa passed Casey some notes. ‘I got what you wanted on that Manchester project. And I’ll drop that navy top off with Sagah in a bit.’

Sagah – a grumbling genius – would bury an unnoticeable camera in the folds of that beautiful navy top. A tiny microphone would be sewn into place close to the collar.

‘Thanks, Hessa,’ Casey grinned at her, taking an unenthusiastic sip of her coffee. ‘This actually does taste like descaler.’

‘What?’ Hessa glanced up.

‘Nothing.’ Casey waved the words away, and they all turned back to their work; three investigative journalists: a quiet conspiracy.

A few years earlier, Miranda had been poached from the Argus, the Post’s deadly rival.

‘You can set up your own team at the Post,’ Dash, the head of news, had promised. ‘Hand-picked. Whoever you want. And we’ll give you a free rein on whatever you want to investigate.’

‘But I’m in a good place at the Argus,’ Miranda had said. And she was: running their investigations team with a ruthless efficiency. She had just brought down a cabinet minister, for having both his wife and his mistress on the public payroll. The public was indifferent to the infidelity, but furious about the waste-of-taxpayers’-money. It was the cartoonists who destroyed him, in the end.

‘We’ll make you even better, here.’

Miranda caught sight of Casey the first day she arrived in the post. The young reporter was swearing fluently as she rushed to print out Ross’s story list for conference. A flame of energy, grey eyes missing nothing. Casey had glanced across at Miranda, just for a second, scepticism in every line.

But Casey had pounced on Dash later, as he was showing Miranda around the newsroom.

Me. Casey had insisted. I can do it. Please.

‘And this is Casey.’ Dash had waved a careless hand.

‘I can be invisible,’ Casey said. ‘I promise. I can do investigations. I’d be good.’

‘You can’t cross the room without starting a riot.’ Dash was smiling at the junior reporter.

‘I could serve you breakfast, and you wouldn’t notice’ – insisting, half-joking.

‘Casey,’ the news editor had bawled just then. ‘I need that bloody research for PMQs right fucking now.’

And Dash and Miranda had smiled at Casey, and her nerve.

The next morning, Dash had taken Miranda to the Wolseley. Introducing her to the newspaper’s owners, over smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Their new trophy, all polished up.

At the end of the meal, the owners swept off to another meeting. Dash and Miranda had been waiting for the receipt, because journalists always get the receipt.

‘Hope you enjoyed your breakfast, sir’ – a laugh in the voice.

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