A few summers ago I was lucky enough to visit Stockholm. I wasn’t disappointed. It is a lovely city. My travel plans had all be made by the contact I was to meet in the city. I’d arrived the previous evening by high speed train from Oslo and would be leaving town in three days. There would be an early morning ferry to Helsinki and then an onward train connection to Russia. I felt the need to party hard in this suave northern Scandi town. Before that I had work to do.

I was up early to visit the old town. The streets were almost empty. I was sure that in midsummer it wouldn’t stay like this for long. It would though be quiet long enough for me to complete the task for which I had come to this beautiful city.

I made my way through the narrow cobbled streets to the city’s cathedral by the royal palace. It was here that I was to meet my contact. The person who arrived wasn’t quite what I expected. A superintendent in the Stockholm city police department.

How did I know? Well she was in uniform and the police car was parked outside when I left. I was seated at the side of the church under an ornate stained glass window. A service in English had just begun. Officer Lundqvist sat on the same row as me and then knelt. She had joined in the service. This looked to be a regular part of her morning routine.

She removed an envelope from the inside pocket of her uniform and slid it along the floor. I caught it with my foot and picked it up. I waited while the officer went up for communion and left. Religious services were never really my thing. As I wandered through the quiet streets of Stockholm’s old town looking for a cafe, I opened the envelope.

It’s contents were my next surprise. I had only been expecting information about my current case. Something that might help me out of my predicament.

What was actually inside were details of a large payment to me by bank transfer. To be made once my work was completed. Where the equipment that I needed was stored. Oh yes and details of the man the officer wanted me to kill.

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