'I know you're lying so can we please cut the cr*p,' I said bluntly after Mendrick had left. 'Why did you kidnap my boss and Charlie Broker?'
'Just because,' one guy said, his arms folded tightly across his chest. 'We had no idea they were connected in any way, do you think we would have risked it if we'd known?'
'I know some guys like the thrill of it,' I said, leaning over the desk towards them. 'I've seen some pretty sick stuff in my time, men who rape and murder young girls just for kicks, killer's who mutilate the bodies of their victims just because they can. I have seen the very lowest form of humanity, there is nothing that will surprise me anymore.'
'I think you have some issues love,' the other guy said, raising one of his eyebrows. 'Have you ever thought about seeing a psychiatrist?'
'We can discuss my mental health after you've told me everything you know. Now why did you snatch Charlie Broker?'
'Because we were told to,' one guy blurted out.
'What do you think you're doing?' The other exclaimed, his face beginning to resemble a thundercloud.
'If we tell them what we know then they might go easy on us if we're convicted,' his partner hissed, 'co-operation and all that.'
'But we might also drop ourselves in it.'
'I'm still here boys,' I pointed out, smiling strangely at them, 'and I can take anything you have just said and use it in evidence against you so I would start talking fast before I decide to charge you with withholding evidence.'
'This guy came up to us and said he wanted us to kidnap someone,' the first guy explained. 'He didn't give us a name, just a photograph.'
'And this was Mendrick?' I asked.
'The guy who came in with you? Yeah. But then we got another call from this guy saying he wanted us to get to snatch someone else first.'
'And that was Charlie I presume.'
'But we didn't know why he wanted us to get these people, we just did what he told us to do.'
'Did he give you his name?'
'Never. We just knew him as Mr X, but I'm sure you have plenty of them on your database.'
This was the moment when the door flew open and Mendrick strode in. 'Alannah,' he said, 'I need to have a word with you, outside.'
I nodded and left the room, shutting the door behind me. 'So what is it?'
'We've made some progress,' Mendrick replied. 'The techies have tracked the number to this house.'
'Exactly. The ransom demand was made from within this building. Something is not right. Did you get anything from the two thugs in there?'
'They're just the hired muscle. The say that they were contacted by this guy, they call him Mr X,'
'So original,' Mendrick muttered, interrupting my flow.
'Anyway, this Mr X has something against you. He told them he wanted them to kidnap you and then when that failed they tried to get at you through Charlie, but that clearly didn't work either.'
'Did this guy have a reason?'
'Not that they told me. Apparently Mr X doesn't like sharing his motives with the hired help.'
'OK then, go and see what the techies are doing with the trace they've done, I'll finish off with these two.'
'Sure,' I said, walking off feeling a little deflated.
'And by the way,' Mendrick added, making me turn around. 'Good job Harrison.' I almost died when I thought I saw the flicker of a smile on my boss's face. Clearly he had made up with Charlie. As sick as it made me feel to see them all loved-up, as long as it meant I was in Mendrick's good books, I could live with it.