Two murder victims. One is brutally stabbed, the other barely touched. No witness, no proof but a long list of suspects with motives. Who was the real victim and who just an unfortunate bystander? A gripping suspense and second in series of detectives Supriya & Rahul murder mystery by Natasha Sharma. Must read for whodunit fans!
Chapter 1: Backstabbing leads to wounds.
The bodies were found in different locations in the house. The man was in the bedroom, lying on the bed on the blood soaked sheets, whereas the woman was found in the hallway. They were both stabbed, though the man took the brunt of it. He was stabbed repeatedly, in comparison, the woman was pierced with just one fatal wound, in her chest. The murder weapon wasn’t found on the premises or the areas around it. The house was located in a quaint, quiet street, in a cul-de-sac, surrounded by green, leafy foliage. It reeked of money, and loads of it. The driveway was cobbled, and several high-end cars were parked in front of it. In front of the main door, there was a landscaped garden, where a marble statue stood tall, though without its feet, surveying the land around it. It was the bust of Hippocrates, with the quote, ‘Everything in excess is opposed to nature.’ It felt like an oxymoron, looking at the opulence around it. Supriya and Rahul entered through the main door, into the long hallway, their shoes clicking against the gleaming, waxed, wooden floor. They looked around, expensive art was hung on the walls, each frame, exquisite. They climbed the expansive, curvaceous staircase, into the bedroom where the murders took place. Supriya opened her notebook, noting the date and time, ‘17/05/2003 0800 Victims’ House’. They observed the bodies, coming across the women first. She lay on her side, hand stretched out as if reaching out to something or somebody. A broom and dustpan were placed at a short distance from her head. Her eyes were closed; her mouth opened in a moue. Blood had pooled around her, soaking the carpet beneath her. She was dressed in a nightgown, originally white, now patterned with her blood. It had ridden up till her thighs, she was barefoot. The wound was clean, a confident stab, almost clinically medical in its approach. They entered the room where the man lay, a mayhem in the bedroom. His blood was splattered on almost every conceivable surface. The night lamp, the book on the side table, the head board, even the ceiling! The entire circumference around the bed was affected by the murder that happened on it. “The murderer must be really furious; the rage is directed at the man. The wounds show a lot of force, maniacal even. He or she has thrusted the sharp blade several times in the abdomen. I can see at least 17 puncture wounds in his abdomen, but could be more or less, it’s difficult to make out, right now. The woman outside has one clean wound, a serrated knife was used, looking at the area around the wound. It appears to be a regular kitchen knife. We’ll know more later when we finish their autopsy.”, Dr. Suresh, the coroner said, as he stood up from crouching over the man’s body. “Can you determine the time of their death? Or even the order of deaths, doctor?”, Supriya asked. “Time could be around 2.00 – 4.00am last night. I can give you a tighter range when I get them in the laboratory. About the order, I think the man was killed first, and the woman may have surprised the murderer. By the intensity of the wounds, the murderer had some personal beef with the man, the woman was happenstance. But then, you’re the investigator, not me. Though, I would like to comment that women are partial towards knives as a weapon of choice.”, he said as he doffed his invisible hat and stepped out of the room, after instructing his team. “Their names were Shravan and Shalini Surve. Both were doctors, and had their own clinic. He was a gynaecologist, and she was a paediatrician. They ran their clinic, ‘Inside and Outside’, where they had a staff of five, two nurses, one receptionist, one cleaning lady and one watchman. They had informed their staff about taking the long weekend off, and spending it at their farmhouse. They were planning to leave on Saturday. The clinic was closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and this information was available in the public domain. I have already spoken to the receptionist, Varsha, and she has requested the watchman to open the clinic, so we can take a look at the register. They started their day on Friday at the clinic at 9.00am, where they saw patients till 12.30pm. Breaking for lunch, they returned by 4.00pm and were busy with their patients till 7.00pm, after which they did some paperwork. The entire clinic emptied out by 7.30pm, and the watchman locked it. Their staff didn’t see them afterwards. I have spoken to their driver, he dropped them home on Friday by 9.00pm, after their meals at a restaurant, ‘The Wok’. I am yet to speak to the restaurant staff. After wishing him goodnight, he left. They received a call on their landline by 9.30pm, we are yet to ascertain who the caller was. We don’t know what happened after that but their maid found them dead in the morning. She’s had a complete breakdown, and is waiting for us in the garden. That’s it for now, Supriya.”.