The desk was a couple of sizes too large for the FSA guy behind it. His suit was not. Not anything like. He motioned I should sit down. I did like he said and mentioned I could badly use a coffee. He nodded to the pencil-skirted blonde hovering behind me. She turned on one shapely heel and was gone. “Straight up and strong”, I said to the space she’d just vacated, “and if you have a drop of bourbon…”

“Shall we get started?” he cut in. “Sure, why not,” I offered. “What have got for me?” “I’ll keep it simple,” he began. I nodded insincere appreciation. “A little birdy tells us some of those insurance boys have been making, let’s say, borderline legitimate use of your shamus friends.” I raised an ironic eyebrow. “Quit mugging and pay attention,” he snapped. “I want you to take a look at it and let me know if there’s anything in it.”

“Maybe I can do that,” I told him, “but you got to give me a bit more to work with.” He didn’t seem to like that, but as Blondie sashayed back with my coffee he went on: “Word is they’ve been getting private dicks to maybe lean a little on guys that are after them for insurance payouts. We hear they’re maybe leaving the rules of engagement a little flexible.”

“I can hardly believe what you’re telling me,” I deadpanned. He seemed to be liking my attitude less and less. His face suddenly seemed a deeper pink than I remembered. “Just read this”, he sputtered, handing me a slim file marked Gumshoe Probe “and call me back in a week with whatever you’ve got.” “I charge 500 a day, plus expenses”, I told him, picking up my coat. “That’s understood,” he grunted. “Delores will give you something to sign on your way out.”

She looked up from her typing as I approached. “Signature, please” she told me flatly. “They got some kind of ban on small talk round here?”, I asked. “I’m sorry, did I hurt your feelings?” she asked with a hint of playfulness I didn’t hate one bit. “Not yet,” I said. “Why not join me for a couple of drinks later and you can take a proper shot at it.” “Oh, I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” she said clearly and distinctly, handing me a quickly scribbled note.

Bond’s at 6, was all it said. That seemed like enough to me.


    What our clients say about us

    Jo was friendly while still professional. She answered any questions and was patient and happy to help. Next steps and cover confirmation could have been a bit clearer. I've had calls from credit hire that I was expecting for replacement bike but they were pushing to do repairs. I was told this would be done by an approved repair. I called just after 9am to notify a claim and was told I would receive a call back within 10 to 15mins. I had to call back an hour later as no one had called back. The lady who answered, Jo, did deal with things straight away and was very helpful
    Mrs. L - North Shields