The sheer curtains diffused the light coming in to the living room into soft, dull patterns splattering powdery shards onto the soft furnishings. As Margaret McConnel looked around to get a sense of space, she was struck by the white everywhere – white leather sofas, white sheepskin rugs, white glossy wooden cabinets with a gap in the middle for the flat screen television which dominated the room. Or, at least it would have done if not for the pale body sprawled on the floor with pooled blood emanating from behind her head and  arterial spray on the wall behind. As colour accents went, it was striking.

“Initial thoughts?” Margaret asked Paul McGreggor.

“Too early to tell,” McGreggor replied “but it’s murder, most likely. The blood pattern on the wall fits with a blow while standing, rather than after a fall.”

Margaret had been on enough investigations before to know that McGreggor did not speculate much so she could be confident that the post mortem would confirm that they needed to set up an incident room and map out the evidence trail. This was her first case as lead officer, so it was important to show that she was up to the responsibility.