“Unsolved?” Wilson asked incredulous. He really had thought that the killer would be caught soon, if not already. Unsolved was unexpected.

“Please,” Davies said, motioning Wilson to follow him, “come this way, I can fill you in.”

Davies led Wilson to a large desk off by the righthand wall of the building. It had a small walkway behind it, and a chair on either side which each man took up. There was a window directly opposite the desk, grated off with wrought iron, but the view outside was just the bricks of the next building, so it seemed to make little difference in the view. Officer Davies picked up some papers and tapped them down into a more uniform pile, and made a half-hearted attempt at rearranging some pencils, but it was clear that he was only stalling for time before an uncomfortable confession.

“The thing is, Mr. Pool, and this kills me to say it, but we are understaffed and underfunded as a department at the moment. I wish I could say that we would certainly find Mr. Feris’ killer, I truly do, but the fact of the matter is that whoever it was left us with almost nothing to go on. We were able to find no viable leads at the scene, and all of our inquiries led to nothing. The supervisors closed the case earlier today as unsolvable. We simply don’t have the resources to go around, and what resources we do have need to be dedicated to solving the crimes that we actually have a decent chance of solving. Reality is harsh, and I’m sure your friend deserves better, but it’s just not something that we can offer at this time.”

“I… I see” he replied. “Is there any chance of the case being reopened at a later time?”

“It would not be very likely.” Davies replied, grimacing. “With a case like this, if it isn’t solved within the first couple of days the odds of finding the killer are drastically reduced. After a week it becomes nearly impossible outside of the unlikely event of overwhelming new evidence. There is a chance that we will find this person the next time they commit a crime, and they may confess to killing Mr. Feris at that point, but to be honest I would not hold out hope. I’m afraid we will probably never know who the killer was.”

“I suppose it can’t be helped” Wilson said, disappointment strong on his face. It all seemed perfectly logical, perfectly acceptable, and completely wrong at the same time.

“On the plus side,” Davies continued, trying to lighten the mood, “I have something for you. Here, let me get it.” He reached down and began to fish around in his pocket, eventually pulling out a small key ring with a few keys jangling around on it. “This is the key ring for the book shop, the men in suits informed me that the transfer of ownership is complete from the legal side, and our investigation is complete, so you should have free reign of it. All that is left is to hand these over to you.”

Wilson took the keys with wistful reverence. “Thank you, Officer. Can I let you know if I find anything, to help find the killer?”

“I can’t promise anything,” Davies sighed, “with the case closed. But if you do come across something in there we missed, let me know.”

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