Rose was tired, had a splitting headache more like a migraine and they were only three days into their holiday to try to save their marriage. Rose Tyler-Smith was lying by the pool in the resort hotel and the sun was suddenly blotted out by her husband, Mickey standing over her, in his swim shorts and t-shirt.
''Come on babe, let's walk into town, I'm bored.''
Rose peered over her sunglasses, she had found a shady spot and was trying to get rid of the thumping headache she was sure was turning into a migraine. Had she been at home, she would have visited her GP or gone to the pharmacy but she wasn't going to risk going to one here since she didn't speak Spanish, she could end up worse. She had noticed a farmacia across the road from the apart-hotel just outside Lloret-de-Mar on the way to the beach and thought she was going to have to give in tomorrow if it hadn't gone away because there was no way she was getting back on that plane until it had gone.
''Mickey, I just want to rest, you go, if this headache's not gone tomorrow, I'll do something about it, it's probably just the heat.''
Mickey sulked and went off to get a drink from the poolside bar and came back, not bothering if his wife wanted one or not.
Rose just closed her eyes and imagined he wasn't there, tapping the side of the wooden lounger to the beat of the music playing from the loudspeaker that Rose wished would go silent but she couldn't sleep at night, Mickey was driving her nuts. If he didn't keep pestering her to have sex with him, which she had completely gone off recently, he was complaining about anything he could think of. She wondered why she still bothered, she knew she had made a big mistake getting talked into getting married two years ago.
It wasn't like she had got pregnant even, they didn't have to get married but they were the product of a London council estate, Rose had been bright and got good grades before she left school, went to college to join the police and at twenty six she was already a detective sergeant and when she got back, her boss hopefully would tell her she had been successful in get her promotion, she had just passed the detective inspector's exams and was next in line. Her mother had been proud of her, which was partly why she had agreed to go on holiday though now, she wished she had brought her mother, Jackie Tyler like to lie in the sun as much as she herself did but her marriage to Mickey was going sour and so she had agreed to trying to patch it up. She wondered if that was why she had the headache.
The only thing she was glad of was that she had kept her name for professional reasons, she was still DS Tyler at Broadchurch Police Station. Monday soon came around, she had got a cold compression pack to put on her forehead and she felt slightly better. She wasn't happy the holiday began and ended on a Thursday but that was Mickey for you, getting the cheapest price, it wasn't like they couldn't afford it, Rose got a good salary and their housing cost was subsidised with her accepting a post away from home.
Wednesday, Rose did their packing before dinner, Mickey wanted to go to the disco later.
''Mickey, I'm just about getting rid of my headache, I'm not going dancing.''
''Rose, you've been a right misery ever since we got here, you only went out a couple of times and in the evening, all we did was stay in the bar. We were supposed to be trying to get closer but you're pushing me away.''
''That's not fair, I couldn't help it if I got a bad headache. I was quite happy sitting by the pool, you were the one that wanted to go wandering around.''
''Fine, I'll go on my own then,'' Mickey huffed.
Rose knew he wouldn't actually pick anyone up and if he did, they were going home tomorrow afternoon, good luck to him. He just wanted to show off on the dance floor, not that you could call it dancing as such, just fancy footwork. So Mickey went out and Rose had a quiet drink on her own then she started talking to another woman around her own age and they ended up comparing husband and boyfriend. Mickey was slightly drunk when he got back, waking her up and trying to get her interested in him but she wasn't and she didn't know why she was feeling that way. Maybe she should make an attempt but not when he'd had too much to drink.
The flight home was dreadful, not only had they had to pay extra taxes to get a reserved seat on the plane going back to Exeter airport, Mickey claimed the inside seat, leaving Rose sat in the middle with a man on the other side who had a screaming youngster that didn't want to go to his mother sat with another child opposite and the flight attendant wouldn't let them all sit together as she offered to let the couple change places. Mealtime was the only time the boy was quiet.
Picking up her car at the airport when they had landed, just after four in the afternoon, she got Mickey to drive, not that she liked his driving in particular but her headache had come back. She wished she had booked an extra day off to recover but was going back on Friday and working Saturday to catch up. Then if she got her promotion, she would start that on Monday.
Little did Rose know that while she had been away, CS Jenkinson had been asked to consider another candidate for the post of DI in her station, that of a certain DI Alec Hardy, who not that long ago had let a suspect walk free from court on the grounds that vital evidence had been lost. His old CS had tried to keep it low-profile and had even cleared the man of any misconduct charges but it was a noose hanging around his neck and there wasn't a rush of chiefs willing to take him on. Elaine had been asked to consider him and she had sort of felt sorry for him, after she learned that it was someone on his team that lost the evidence and he had taken responsibility for it, the man did have some integrity. So she had contacted Sandbrook and said she would take him and she would have to appease Rose Tyler when she got back from what she had described as a last ditch attempt to patch up her failing marriage.
Elaine had talked to Rose before she went off, the news she was up for the DI's job had cheered her up but now, the young woman was going to be extra disappointed to not get the job and it would be worse if she hadn't made up with her husband but there was nothing she could do about the latter, only promise her the next promotion or find another station willing to take her.
Alec Hardy was preparing to leave his small one bedroom flat he had called home since his divorce almost a year ago the day Rose and Mickey set off for their holiday destination and arrived at the hotel they had put him in until more suitable accommodation could be found. The cheery Australian hotel owner greeted him and showed him to his room, he thought about maybe seeking her company at some later date, if his condition didn't worsen but his GP had told him to get out of the big city and take it easy and given him the doom and gloom lecture about changing his lifestyle and this dead-end town he found himself in seemed a safe enough option.
That was what he thought. He made himself known to the chief who had taken him on and got his ID badge sorted when he arrived, he was not looking forward to facing the DS who had been passed over for promotion despite completing their exams, he didn't even know if it was a man or a woman, not that he was really bothered. Six months and he would be out of there, one way or another, a man might complain and there would be some rivalry between them since he would have the job of accompanying him and driving him around once returned from holiday and a woman, well, the claws would come out but he'd had enough experience with his ex to deal with that.
As he ate dinner on Thursday night, circumstances were plotting against him to ruin his quiet life. He noticed after he'd finished that Becca was absent, shame, he was going to ask her to his room for a bit of fun, relax a little and see what happened, not that anything would. It had been boring the last few days, petty crimes and catching up with ongoing cases had made him long to be back in Sandbrook, had it not been for the fact his ex was still there. Rose and Mickey had got home, Rose had unpacked while Mickey went to the supermarket to get what they needed urgently and a Chinese takeaway on the way home and by eight, Rose decided she'd had enough, took two painkillers and went to bed.
Mickey was annoyed again so he went out to the pub down by the harbour, the one Nigel, Mark and Joe always went in but when he got there, only Nigel was sitting at the bar.
''Ok Mickey? How was your holiday mate? How's that little wife of yours? Made up did you?''
''Holiday was terrible, waste of time, we might as well have stayed at home, things aren't any better. Where are the other two?''
''Dunno. Mark was a bit funny earlier and Joe and Ellie just got back from holiday too, he's probably unpacking or something.''
''Yeah, hope he had a better time than I did then.''
''Didn't you enjoy seeing your missus by the swimming pool in her bikini?''
''That was it, it's all she wanted to do, just lie there when I wanted to go into the town then she wouldn't go dancing. Said she had an headache.''
''Oh, I'd watch out for that mate, you know what that means eh?''
Mickey knew full well. Perhaps it was time to have a chat with his mother-in-law, Jackie was always on his side, she had helped him get Rose to finally say yes to getting married since they had been going out since Rose was seventeen and they had grown up together, Mickey was six years older than Rose. If anyone could sort out their marriage, Jackie Tyler could.
Mickey had a few drinks and got a taxi home, Rose was still asleep so he knew better than to try and wake her. Rose was up early the next morning, feeling better and ready hopefully for a promotion. She had a few presents for the people who were on her team so parking up, she entered the station and cheerily said hello to everyone and getting a load of 'welcome back's' in return.
''What have I missed then? Any juicy gossip while I've been away?''
She should have known when their faces dropped to the floor that something was amiss. She was about to sit down when the CS stood in the doorway. Rose raised her eyebrows to her co-workers.
''Can I see you in my office Rose?''
She got up and followed, keeping her fingers crossed.
Alec Hardy had not been pleased when he'd got a call around 7am to go to a clifftop farm where the barbed wire fence had been cut and diesel drained out of a tractor. He told the local farmer he would get someone on to it to which the man had asked if that was it. Alec had chastised the uniformed officer who had been waiting in a car outside his hotel ten minutes after he got the call.
Why hadn't a DS been sent but he supposed they all had the sense to turn their phones off, a practice he detested but might consider shortly. He knew he was supposed to have a partner but she wasn't due back until later and she would surely be pissed at him for stealing her job but she'd get over it, he'd had enough with his ex. If she couldn't get along with him, he'd request another partner and there was no way he was getting involved with this one, he had learned his lesson working with Tess.
He wondered if things would have been any different had Sandbrook not been such an issue. The officer he was with was on the radio.
''Sir, there's been an incident on Harbour Cliff Beach, I have to take you there now.''
Just what he needed, bloody sea, sand and the never ending sky. They made their way down and Alec walked onto the pebble beach, ducking under the yellow warning tape. As he got nearer, he could see other officers and an ambulance crew covering someone up with a green blanket. No, how could this be happening again? He cursed as he felt dizzy, it was all coming back, finding Pippa in the river, seeing her every night in his dreams lying in the river, staring at him.
''Please no, not again,'' he muttered to himself as he could make out by the trainers and clothing it was a teenage boy. A yellow skateboard had been planted next to where the boy laid. He'd crouched down to move the blanket when he heard a noise behind him. It was Rose.
The CS had tried to break the news gently to her.
''I'm sorry Rose, we gave the job to someone else, while you were away. I got asked to take someone on from another division, it was rather hurried.''
''What? What happened to 'we need more female senior officers? Who was it, another woman DS?''
''No, a man, Alec Hardy, he started last week.''
''So you tell me before I go away the job's more or less mine then when I get on a plane, you take someone else on? Alec Hardy, where do I know that name from?''
''He was in charge of the Sandbrook case.''
Rose shook her head – everyone knew about him, he had botched the trial of a murder suspect and the killer had walked free, how the hell had he got another job? Wait until that reporter got to know, Karen White would have a real good time dragging his name through the mud again and she would assist in every way she could. The nerve of some people, taking jobs meant for someone else.
She stormed out of the chief's office and went to the ladies room and called her mother. She didn't want to talk to Mickey, he would just tell her to get on with it and stop complaining, she might get more sympathy from her mum.
Jackie agreed it was not very fair to go behind her back and give away the job earmarked for her.
''Never mind sweetheart, you'll get the next one. How was your holiday anyway?''
Rose didn't want to talk about it. ''I had a headache most of the time and Mickey was a complete jerk. I don't know what I'm gonna do Mum, it's just not working, I thought the trip to Spain would help patch things up but I don't think it helped.''
''You've got to work at it Rose, you've got to want to make up sweetheart, you can't expect Mickey to do it all. You've only been married two years, give it time.''
Rose thought her mother was the last person to be giving her marital advice since Rose's dad had died not long after he and her mother got married.
''I'll try Mum but now this has happened, I don't think it's going to improve my mood any.''
She was interrupted by a banging on the cubicle door.
''Go away, I'm in here, do you mind?''
''Sorry Rose, you got a call, you're needed down at Harbour Cliff Beach.''
''Gotta go Mum, got a call. Love you.''
Rose made her way down, electing to get a lift from a squad car parked outside rather then go get her car. When she arrived, the beach was sealed off and she could see a tall man in the distance, looking down at a body. Then she saw it was that of a child, a boy by the looks of the clothing and trainers. As she got closer, she thought she recognised him.
''No, not Danny! Please not Danny.''
Alec turned around and tried to hold her back.
''Who let you though? Get off this beach now. Officer, get her off here now.''
Rose had forgotten to pin her badge to her trousers waistband and fished it out of her jacket pocket.
Alec held out his hand, he might have known, young, blonde and emotional, just what else he needed at this present moment.
''I know who you are, you got my job.''
''Are we really going to do this now? Seriously? You know who the boy is?''
''Yes, he's my friend's son, Danny Latimer, 12 yrs old, his mum is one of my best friends, I see him all the time, he delivers my husband's newspaper.''
''Good,'' Alec thought, she's married, lessen the temptation and she wasn't married to him.
They heard screaming from behind them.
''No! Danny, please not my Danny.''
Rose rushed back to where a brunette was wading her way across the pebbled beach in her bare feet, two officers trying to catch up with her, unsuccessfully. Rose reached her and stopped her.
''No Beth, please go back, you can't be here.''
''Rose, tell me it's not Danny.''
Rose wanted to but Alec had caught up with her, as had the two officers.
''Please Beth, just go with the officers, I can't tell you anything.''
''You're my friend Rose, tell me.''
No matter how much she wanted to be Beth's friend right now, she had to do her job and be a detective sergeant though she was bitterly disappointed at the man with the permanent scowl and the Scottish accent who was now staring at her.
Beth broke down, screaming at her friend to tell her the boy on the beach was not her son as she was dragged towards a police car.
''Tell me about the boy DS Tyler.''