Breaking news: police say they have arrested a suspect in the brutal murder of London businessman Sebastian Shaw. DCI Moira MacTaggert told the BBC this morning...
Moira was starting to wonder if Erik Lehnsherr spoke at all. They'd only called her in after they made sure he was precisely who he claimed to be - after all, it wasn't every day that a murder suspect walked in off the street and handed himself in - and aside from a vaguely affirmative grunt when she'd asked if he was comfortable communicating in English, he hadn't made a sound in her hearing. If he was determined to carry on with the strong and silent thing, it would certainly make the upcoming interview interesting.
Through the one-way glass, the harsh planes of his face seemed carved from graphite.
"Having a bad feeling about this," Levine muttered.
Moira elbowed him. "I told you to stop saying that. Let me handle most of the talking, we'll see how we go."
Lehnsherr looked from Levine to Moira and back again before his stoic face broke - and broke was the right word, because Moira had a brief impression of stone cracking - into a grin. Somehow, he looked more unsettling, not less.
"Don't I get a lawyer?"
His English was fluent, with only the slightest hint of accent, voice raw as if he really hadn't used it for days.
"If you want," Moira said cautiously. "You might be eligible for legal aid, if the case goes to trial here."
Lehnsherr's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean? Am I going to be deported?"
"Honestly? You're accused of killing a British citizen on British soil. We'll fight damn hard to prosecute here."
Strangely, that seemed to satisfy him. "Hm. I don't need legal aid. Know any good lawyers?"
The last was said with an ironic twist, like a man who knew full well that he was asking turkeys to vote for Christmas.
Moira prided herself on being fair. She had never been over-zealous, never coerced anyone into a confession, and the only complaints ever bought against her (back when she'd been a mere sergeant) had gone nowhere. She believed in giving everyone a decent chance.
But she wasn't stupid.
"Sure. I'll get you a directory, you can make some calls. You've got an hour, then we start with the questioning."
Having a hotshot barrister as an occasional drinking buddy was fine. Letting him make her life more complicated than it had to be was not, especially when he might end up being the difference between an open and shut case and a long, drawn-out, tabloid-bait fiasco.