“Pauline wished her mother dead. She had wanted the bloody bitch for ages. Her mother had it coming to her for her ill humour, her nagging, her stupidity, her small-mindedness. Pauline would never forget the unhappiness of her childhood, everything that had happened to her. The way she had been double-crossed over Nicholas was unforgivable: her mother had promised she could see him again if she were good, but when she was good she had backtracked. And there was the way she repeatedly threatened her not being able to see Deborah again is she didn’t put on weight, or didn’t do this or didn’t do that. She had not forgotten, either, the time in February, the insulting remarks she had made about Deborah’s mother.
From the start of the girls’ friendship Juliet had been the source of almost all their peculiar ideas and Pauline her handmaiden, but after Juliet came home from the sanatorium and the relationship became more sexualised this had changed: Juliet had come to need Pauline every bit as much as Pauline needed her, perhaps more. Hilda Hulme would say Pauline was one of the few people Juliet ever treated as an equal. Bill Perry noticed that whenever Pauline left Ilam to return home Juliet would become ill and stay in bed for a day or two. When she recovered she would demand Hilda’s constant attention. This was why Pauline’s presence at Ilam was so willingly tolerated: it was a welcome diversion.
Now it was Pauline who had come up with the plan to kill Nora Rieper. When she revealed it, Juliet had had some reservations but soon agreed. If Gina were prepared to commit murder, how could she, Deborah, be so ignoble and weak-kneed as to stand aside and not take part? What was it anyway to extinguish the life of an unhappy woman whose existence was displeasing to Gina? By what right did such a woman continue to live? Diello wouldn’t hesitate to do what was necessary. Nor would Field Marshall Rommel, Rupert of Hentzau, Prince John, or anyone else of true worth. Their deed would prove they were alive -not, like the rest of humanity, ruled by a cowardly voice that always put caution first.”
So brilliantly clever: Parker, Hulme and the murder that shocked the world
Skyhorse Publishing, 2013