Sleep Well, My Lady (An Emma Djan Investigation Book 2)

Prologue

The day of the murder

When Reverend Tagoe called, Oko had just finished his chemistry lecture, and his mother Miriam had gone to a meeting with a community alliance trying to get old town Accra cleaned up and modernized.

Oko saw his father’s name on the screen. “Yes, Daddy?”

For a moment, Oko thought his father was laughing, and he couldn’t understand what he was saying. He realized then that Reverend Tagoe was weeping.

“Daddy, what’s wrong?”

“It’s Araba,” Tagoe said, his voice cracking. “They found her body this morning.” He gasped. “A lot of blood—”

“Stay right there,” Oko said, his voice shaking. “I’m on my way.”

***

A short distance away from the front door of Araba’s house, a detective questioned the Reverend after offering his condolences. His name was Sergeant Isaac Boateng, a tubby man in his early forties.

“Father Tagoe,” Boateng said, “please, when did you last speak to your daughter?”

“Just last night,” Tagoe replied, his brow creased and his eyes red. “It’s Accra Fashion Week, so my wife and I called her just before nine to wish her luck.”

“How did she seem, Father?” Boateng asked. “Did she appear to have any worries or fears? Was she upset about anything or anyone?”

“No, no, she sounded fine, even though she’s been struggling to get over that man—"

That raised Boateng’s eyebrows. “What man?”

“She was in a toxic relationship with—well, I’m sure you know of him. Augustus Seeza, the guy who used to be on Metro TV.”

“Can you tell me more about that, sir?” Boateng asked. “I mean the relationship between your daughter and Mr. Seeza.”

“It was abusive, and Mr. Seeza was, is, a drunk,” Tagoe said bitterly. “Ever since his fall from grace, he became more dependent on Araba, who supported him financially and in every other way. We—the Tagoe family, I mean—confronted her and warned her to bring the relationship to an end. Araba tried her best, but every time Seeza got sick from drinking too much, he reached out to her and she came running.”

“I see,” Boateng said. “But I’m a little confused. I thought Mr. Seeza married that lady—the one who owns the shipping company. Or am I wrong?”

“Bertha Longdon, yes, you are correct. They are separated. I suppose at some point they’ll divorce.”

Someone called the Reverend’s name. He turned to see his son running up to him. At thirty-five, he was stout with a broad, flat face and early baldness.

Father and son embraced briefly, and then Oko stood back, gripping his father’s arms and looking squarely into his eyes.

“Can this be true, Daddy?” he said, voice quivering. “Is it true?”

“It doesn’t seem real,” Tagoe said, shaking his head.

“You saw her?” Oko asked. “You saw Araba dead with your own eyes? Where is she? I want to see her.”

“They’ve taken the body, son,” Tagoe said.

Why?” Oko demanded wildly.

“The police didn’t want too much decomposition to set in.” Tagoe gestured to the detective. “This is Sergeant Boateng. In charge of the case.”

“I want to know what happened to my sister, Mr. Boateng,” Oko said, turning to the detective.

“Yes please, sir,” Boateng said. “I can’t say much at the moment. Hopefully, we will learn more after a postmortem is conducted.”

“But you must have an idea, surely,” Oko said forcefully. “I mean, how is it possible that my sister has been murdered in this supposedly secure neighborhood? Does that make sense to you? There are guards at the front entrance, and yet still someone was able to get into the house and kill her?”

Oko’s voice rose and splintered, and he stopped talking to gulp down his emotion.

“Well, it may be your sister knew the culprit,” Boateng said, “because there was no evidence of forced entry. Which is the one reason why I’ve been trying to find out from your father here if there’s anyone who might have harbored ill will toward Lady Araba. He mentioned Mr. Seeza—that Araba was in a relationship with him?”

Oko’s face clouded. “I tell you, the devil dwells in that man Seeza’s heart. I won’t tell you how to do your job, Mr. Boateng, but I would advise you to question him very closely.”

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