GilesScott would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review


By GilesScott All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Other


“Hindsight” is a detective novel with all the elements of that genre. It tells, in parallel over the course of one week, two stories: resolving both a seemingly insoluble murder and – as far as it is possible – an agonizing situation in the private life of the leading character. What makes this story unique and compelling is that it is set a few years in the future, in a world which is entirely familiar except for one thing: the development of a fascinating new technology, which makes it possible to ‘Retro-View’ events which occurred in the recent past. When there is a murder in the retro-viewing offices of the London Metropolitan Police this incredible technology should make the enquiry extremely straight-forward, but it will not be that simple. The unexpected solution to the case brings together, in a credible and satisfying way, the people and the technology that are central to the unfolding tale. “Hindsight” (72000 words) Copyright: Giles Scott

Chapter 1: Wednesday Morning

The irony of the situation was not lost on Chief Inspector Derek van Vuuren. He had lost count of the number of times he had requested assistance from the Specialized Witnessing Division of The Metropolitan Police Force for cases he was working on, but without success. Now it seemed the tables had turned; they were asking for his assistance, to solve a rather nasty murder of their own.

The practical possibilities of looking into the recent past had been discovered in 2020 and Retro-Viewing, as it became known, was immediately adopted by The Metropolitan Police, who could see the extraordinary advantages this technology would bring to crime detection. A Specialized Witnessing Division had rapidly been set up to acquire the equipment and train the staff, so that they could provide a retro-viewing service to the police force of London. It was the intention that, once this had been proved successful, it would be rolled out to all the police services of the United Kingdom. Similar developmental action was being taken, under license, by the police forces of most of the developed world.

For nearly two years van Vuuren, and his fellow officers in the Thames Valley Police, had watched as retro-viewing technology had spread through The Met, radically changing the way investigations were carried out. The Specialized Witnessing Sections (SWS) were recording success after success in homicide and missing children cases, which were naturally judged to be the highest priority, and it was clear that the nature of police detective work was being changed forever.

The Thames Valley Police had recently started training selected officers in the new techniques and Superintendent Robinson had in fact asked van Vuuren if he wished to consider applying for a transfer into the newly formed SWS programme. Van Vuuren had declined, claiming that he was too old to learn a whole new bag of tricks – though in fact the real reasons for his decision were far more personal and painful.

He was however a good enough policeman to see how extremely valuable retro-viewing must be in any police enquiry and in all their recent cases he had applied for R-V services to be made available to his officers. Though so far none of these requests had been successful, he knew that it was only a matter of time before he would be routinely receiving help from an SW Section.

Now it seemed that, far from coming to help him, an SWS was asking for his help with a case of their own. Unbelievably a police officer had been murdered in the North London SWS offices and they wanted to bring in an experienced homicide officer to head up the investigation.

“It’s an extraordinary situation, Derek,” Superintendent Robinson told him, “and I’m damned if I know why they want our help. Surely a murder within their own department must be considered enough of a priority to use their blasted R-V thingy and solve the case immediately? And even if they can’t, why are they coming to us?”

“What have they told us, sir?” asked van Vuuren.

“Bugger all,” growled Robinson, “At least that’s what they’ve told me. The head of that SW Section, Chief Superintendent Hanley, spoke to the Commissioner, who passed it on to me. All I know is that a police constable has been murdered, in their offices, and the Commissioner wants me to put our most experienced officer on the case. Can you clear your desk and go round there immediately?”

“Of course, sir. There’s nothing I am working on that can’t be fairly easily shifted onto someone else. If I may I would like to take D.I. Meikle and D.S. McNaught with me. If we need further support I assume we will use their people. Does Chief Super Hanley know I am coming?”

“No,” replied Robinson, “at least not unless they are watching this conversation. Who knows who knows what these days? I’ll never get used to the idea that there might be someone looking over my shoulder.” Looking behind him, he proclaimed, “If you are bloody well listening then hear this; I am sending you D.C.I. van Vuuren and two of his best officers. And I hope you tell them more than you’ve told me.”

“Are they able to pick up audio now, sir?” van Vuuren expressed his surprise. “I thought it was purely a visual signal?”

“God knows,” Robinson was a year from retirement and becoming steadily more outspoken. “Mind you, it’s all so bloody hush-hush even God may not know. But those lads at The Met act as if they have a direct line to Him, so I presume He has been kept informed. I’m glad it’s you not me who has to deal with this, Derek, as I’ll bet the R-V staff are even more arrogant than the rest of their colleagues in The Met.”

“Yes, sir,” said van Vuuren, who knew better than to think his boss’s outspokenness was an invitation to respond equally informally.

The Super looked at him. “You don’t give much away, Chief Inspector, do you?” he said. “Nevertheless I get the impression that you are less than totally enthusiastic about the coming of R-V. Are you OK with this assignment?”

Not for the first time van Vuuren was reminded that no one who rose to the rank of Superintendent could be as crass as Robinson sometimes seemed. “Yes, sir,” he said again, “No problem.” And he meant it; he was sure he could keep his private life exactly that – private.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

snowview03: This is the first book I have read on this app and I loved it! When I read the title I thought about the hunger games, but this novel is so much more. Some book have a comparison between other books that fallow like premises so i will do my own: Arena has the compellingly emotional stresses and t...

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

David Ramati: An unusual story, well worth reading. Good conversations, excellent prose, and keeps my interest, maybe because I was there, back in the day. You won't be able to pt this book down.

Maja1111: Nice, plot, great characters, lots of metaphors. Something really worth reading. Great!

Drew C. Elyon: I've only read one chapter so far, but from what I've seen, this is steampunk at its best. The narrative flows so beautifully I could envision every scene in an almost cinematic fashion. I believe in the complexity of simplicity, and this story has that in its descriptions.

More Recommendations

Hayley: Beautiful story that has been well written. Something I will definitely read again. I loved how you could feel the tension between them and I loved the ending because It left it open to our imagination. I look forward to seeing to reading further stories by the same author.

NRF: This was a very interesting story line, although the author did not go far enough in explaining the war and why some received special powers and some didn't. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of this author's writing.

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real.Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.

Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.