THE COMMUNITY: CID CASE #2
HE DIDN'T WANT TO KILL THEM.
A couple with a nefarious secret are brutally murdered in their London art gallery. Their bodies cleaned. Their limbs dismembered. And the word LIAR inscribed on the woman’s chest.
THEY FORCED HIM TO.
For rookie detective, Jake Tanner, it soon becomes apparent that this is not a revenge killing. There’s a serial killer loose on the streets of Stratford. And the only thing connecting the victims is their name: Jessica.
BUT NOW HE'S GOT A TASTE FOR IT...
With pressure closing in from the powers above, forcing Jake and his team to contain the case before it goes viral, Jake learns that the team are willing to do anything to put an end to it all.
...HE CAN'T STOP.
Jake’s pushed to his mental limits as he uncovers The Community, an online forum for singles and couples to meet. But there’s just one problem: the killer's been waiting for him... and he’s hungry for his next kill.
CHAPTER EXCERPT - EPISODE 1
Steven and Jessica Arnholt weren’t afraid to share the darker, seedier side of their relationship with others. In fact, it helped. When it came to the bedroom – and what happened behind the four walls – there was nothing that they kept hidden. Tonight, however, was different. Jessica wasn’t ready for what was about to come her way, and when her husband asked whether she was, she lied. In his hands he held two glasses of red wine, the liquid as dark and deep as blood. One glass for him, one for her.
‘Thanks,’ Jessica said, taking the glass from him and placing it down on the desk beside her. She rolled up the sleeves of her blue tartan shirt and sat on the chair, tying her long, auburn hair off her face and into a ponytail. ‘What time’s he coming?’
Steven checked his watch. A long, sinewy forearm and skeletal fingers extended through the red tartan shirt he wore – the same brand and material as hers. His skin looked a ghostly white against the red.
‘In about five minutes,’ he replied.
‘Is the room set up?’
The sides of Steven’s mouth flickered. He took a sip of wine and licked his lips, wiping the excess from his skin. ‘I finished it earlier. Let me show you.’
Jessica took his hand and travelled with him through the gallery. On the left wall was a new piece of artwork that she didn’t recognise – which now explained where Steven had been disappearing to for the past three days. Jessica paid it little heed though, as there were more important things to focus on than admiring his work and realising he wasn’t having an affair. Her mind was too distracted. She felt apprehensive. Nervous. Afraid. She’d experienced a night like this before – countless times, in fact – but she had a feeling that tonight was going to be different; the full moon was on show and she knew, particularly for Steven, it would awaken the beast. His beast.
Steven came to a stop by a heavy black door that led to the basement. He lifted the handle and pushed. A black wall stared back at them, lit only by the dancing light of the candles that hung intermittently on the wall. Jessica went first. Her feet landed delicately on the steps and she held on to what holdings she could find on the brick, using it for guidance. As she reached the final step, a deep red swathed her.
What had, hours ago, been her husband’s art room was now his dungeon. Along the back wall was a row of what Steven liked to call ‘his toys’. Dildos. Whips. Beads. Spankers. Blunt objects. But there was a new addition. To the right of the other objects were a set of kitchen knives. She daren’t ask what they were for… not yet anyway; she was too absorbed by the magic of the entire room. Her body tingled at the sight of it all.
In the centre of the space was a large table, with four chains placed in each corner. It had been crafted to her exact measurements, and they allowed no room for manoeuvre: once she was locked in, she was locked in until released. On the right-hand side of the room were two poles, and at the top of them, another set of chains; one for each hand – or foot, depending on Steven’s preference.
Jessica took another sip of wine.
‘What do you think?’ Steven asked.