Book Cover of Diamonds By Gwen LeaderThe Selbright Mysteries; Book One

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © Gwen Leader 2014

Gwen Leader asserts her right to be identified as the author of this work. No part of this publication may be copied in any way without the express permission of the copyright owner.

Proofread and edited by Kate Pittel

Link to Chapter Ten 


Before Anneke could call Jane the next morning her phone rang. She checked the caller ID but did not recognise the number. She lifted the receiver, “Hello,” she said into the phone, then she froze as a voice she had not heard for some time, and indeed had hoped never to hear again said, “Well, well little sister. You have done well for yourself I must say.”

She gripped the phone. Her hands were sweating and she felt sick. No, this couldn’t be happening. She tried to compose herself and said, “What do you want Anton? As if I didn’t know.” He laughed and it made her blood curdle. He was malicious and cruel, so twisted. She had always been afraid of him now he was here. She thought by coming to England and a small obscure market town in the Midlands he would never find her, but he had and it sent shivers up her spine to think of the damage he could cause in her life. “I have business here and then I switched on the TV and there you were so I thought Hell, why not hook up and put the past behind us, eh, what do you say?”

“I have no wish to see you or even to speak to you, and whatever you are up to you had better not try to involve me. Now I know why the police have been to see me, it was you wasn’t it? You sent that letter to them?”

“Now why would I do that, and anyway what letter? I just wanted to see you that’s all.”

“Well I have no wish to see you, now leave me alone and stay away from me, do you hear?”

“Well now that isn’t very friendly or sisterly is it?”

“I’m warning you Anton. You contact me again or come anywhere near me and you’ll be sorry.” She slammed the phone down, her hands were shaking, sweat ran in little rivulets down her spine and she felt sick. After a while she managed to pull herself together. God, why had he not died in the car crash that had killed their parents? He had always been a difficult child but after the crash he had got worse; he was out of control and always in trouble, he blamed everyone for his own shortcomings and failings, never once thinking he might be at fault. She had to put a stop to it. He could create so much trouble and she’d had enough. It had to stop and it had to stop now.

An hour later Maureen put down the phone and said, “We have a visitor gov, someone wants to speak to us and you’ll never guess who it is.”

“Jane looked up from the papers she had been reading, “I don’t have time for guessing games Phipps. Who is it?”

“Anneke Van der Heuvel.”

Jane stared, “What? Well well, I wonder what she wants.”

“No idea but she’s downstairs right now asking to speak to you.”

When Jane and Maureen walked into reception they saw Anneke sitting on the bench. They were struck immediately by how ill she looked, frightened even. She saw them and stood up, coming towards them. “Inspector, I have to speak to you. It’s very important.”

“Very well. If you’ll come this way Ms Van der Heuvel.” She opened the door to an interview room and motioned for Anneke to enter. Once seated Jane asked, “Are you feeling ok? You look quite unwell.”

“Anneke nodded, “Yes. I’ve had a shock that’s all.”

“I see. Well you’d better tell us. Would you like your solicitor here?”

“No, that won’t be necessary. This morning I had a phone call from someone I had hoped never to hear from again, my brother, or rather my half-brother.”

Jane looked at her, “Would that be Anton Van der Heuvel by any chance?”

Anneke looked at her confused, “You know about him?”

“I didn’t until yesterday when I contacted the Johannesburg police to check some finger prints and his name came up, are you aware they have been looking for him?” Anneke shook her head, “It doesn’t surprise me Inspector. He has been in trouble with the police since he was about twelve years old.”

“It was him that sent that letter to us.”

“I know, I’d figured that out for myself even before he called me, but I still don’t know what this is all about, what it is he’s done.”

“As you know there have been two murders at the health club, and we believe he is responsible, if not for both then certainly for one of them. We also believe it is connected to diamond smuggling.”

Anneke went deathly white, “My God. It’s worse than I ever imagined. Murder! I always knew he was ruthless but I never in my wildest imaginings thought him capable of murder.”

“Tell me about him. You said he is your half-brother – so you have different mothers?”

“No, the same mother, different fathers.”

Jane and Maureen looked at each other and back to Anneke, “But he has the same surname as you,” said Maureen.

“Yes, my father adopted him and gave him his name when he married my mother; Anton was still quite young so they thought it best.”

“And what happened to his own father?”

Anneked pulled a wry face and let out a huge sigh, “He was killed in a shootout with police. He was a notorious crook, into just about everything and anything, so as you can see when my parents got married they thought it best to erase his father’s name and give him a fresh start.”

“I see, so what happened? Why did he turn out so bad, or would you say it was in the genes?”

Anneke passed a hand over her eyes and through her hair as if searching for an answer. “I don’t know, all I know is that as he got older he was a handful. My parents despaired of him. He dropped out of school and ran around with a bad crowd – he was always being brought home by the police.”

“What about your parents? Are they still in South Africa?”

Tears welled up in Anneke’s eyes. She seemed to have softened somewhat since they had first met her. Maybe she reacted to them the way she did for self-preservation, thought Maureen.

“My parents were killed some years ago in a car crash. I don’t really know what happened. I was away at school and they were out in the car with Anton; my father was driving and he lost control on a bend. It had been raining heavily, but all the same I often wonder why he lost control. My father was an excellent driver and very careful.” She stopped and swallowed.

“You think your brother had something to do with the accident?”

“It wouldn’t surprise me, maybe they’d been quarrelling and dad lost concentration or maybe he pulled the wheel in temper, he’s capable of anything. All I know is I wish he had been killed instead of mum and dad. My aunt took me in but she refused to take Anton. She was my father’s sister but she never liked Anton and refused to have him, said she didn’t want the trouble he would bring. He never forgave her or me, always vowed to get even one day.”

“Do you know where he’s living in Selbright, or maybe Woudenhurst?”

Anneke shook her head, “I have no idea where he lives Inspector. All I know is that I want him gone from here, mijn god dit is verschrikkelijk, een nachtmerie.”

Jane and Maureen looked at her and at each other, then back to Anneke, they had no idea what she was saying. “I’m sorry could you repeat that in English?” asked Maureen.

Anneke looked up at her, “Oh I’m sorry, I was just saying this is terrible. It’s a nightmare.”

“Yes I’m sure it must be, but don’t worry we’ll get him. In the meantime if he calls again or tries to see you please let us know, and if you think of anything else we should know.”  Anneke stood up ready to leave when a thought suddenly struck her, “Just one thing, what brought you to me in the first place, I mean you had already interviewed me when you got that letter.”

“The murdered women both had large sums of money paid into their accounts by someone called A Van der Heuvel. We naturally assumed it had to be you as we couldn’t find any other person with that name here in Selbright.”

“I see, yes a natural assumption, well thank you I’ll keep in touch and you’ll let me know of further developments?”

“Of course and thank you for coming and for your honesty.” After she’d gone Maureen said, “Poor devil, she obviously came her to get away from him but he’s followed her.”

“Mmm, well I think we should have another talk with Mike Griffiths. I bet he knows all about Anton Van der Heuvel -remember how he was when we mentioned Anneke?”

* Chapter Twelve coming shortly!

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