Drama series. A dismembered leg sent to Strike's office sends both his and Robin's lives into disarray, forcing them to confront spectres from their pasts.
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This programme contains some scenes which some viewers may find upsetting and very strong language
POP MUSIC PLAYS
Before you say anything, it's like a family heirloom
and it still drives really well.
I can't see Matthew driving to work in this.
I know. He's desperate for an Audi.
Did you ever have a pony?
This feels like a Land Rover that's done a lot of gymkhanas.
You're sure you don't want me to come?
The client's asked to see me alone.
Thanks for the ride.
Sorry I'm late - work.
Oh, does he keep you out late every night?
Thanks. Er, we're just busy at the moment.
-Are you still just temping?
-No, I've gone full-time.
She's paid less than when she was there on agency fees!
Well, money's not everything.
He's a bit beaten-up looking.
But then that looks good on some men, doesn't it? Looking a bit used.
Well, most of us chaps are a bit second-hand at this point.
I think a second leg might be higher up Cormoran's list.
Is it still just the two of you in the office?
Oh, well, he's out most of the time.
So, Sarah, how's your work going?
AUTOMATED VOICE: Doors opening.
# You and me
# Me and you
# Somehow we make it through
# I may be gone
# I may be far away
# But I walk beside you
# Every step of the way
# When you're used, bruised
# Black and blue Don't think about it
# Never doubt it
# I'll walk beside you. #
BANGING ON DOOR
Oh, hello, Cormoran Strike.
Oh, Ellacott, that's me.
Have you, er, picked up your e-mail? There's a new client request.
Thinks his girlfriend's cheating.
Can we fit him in?
-Oh, I'm not sure we've got time.
She's a LSE student and a part-time stripper on Tottenham Court Road.
I suppose it depends how often she's cheating.
I'll call him now and give him our rates.
-Cormoran Strike's office.
-This is Cormoran Strike, you sent us an e-mail enquiry?
Ah, hello, yes, thank you very much for calling back.
So we really like the salmon for starter and then the beef for main,
but we thought maybe risotto was a little bit boring for vegetarian?
Where's she working now?
Well, there's ten in total but three are vegan and one's paleo-vegan.
Er, yeah, no, I'll put my team onto it.
I suppose we could do with and without cheese?
And what's her name?
PHONE CLATTERS TO THE FLOOR
Er, can I call you back?
We'll get back to you.
We've been sent a leg.
-It's not even in my size.
All right, I'm on my way.
Cup of tea? Something stronger? I've got beer.
Tea sounds good.
I'll put the kettle on.
Don't touch it.
Why would I touch it?
You've gone white.
Whose leg did you think it was?
I don't know.
Well, you mightn't know but something occurred to you.
What were you thinking?
There was a scar, an old scar, I'd say the leg belongs to
somebody in their teens, maybe their early twenties.
And I'd seen scarring like that before.
It might be a girl called Brittany Brockbank.
Her father was Major Niall Brockbank.
He had a reputation for cruelty.
Brittany told a school friend that Brockbank was having sex with her
and she was worried she might get pregnant.
Her friend's dad told SIB, so I was there as the investigating officer
when she was interviewed - the poor thing denied everything, of course.
She must have been terrified.
Brockbank had threatened to cut her legs off if anyone found out.
The scars were his idea of a warning.
I made it up. It were a joke.
Has your dad ever threatened to hurt you?
Daddy wouldn't do that.
I didn't mean any of it.
If you want to tell me anything, Brittany, you can.
-What happened to him?
-No charges brought.
But he still has good reason to hate me.
-He thinks I injured him.
His arrest went badly.
The only other man who's sick enough and hates me enough to send me
a leg is a Scot called Donald Laing.
He used to write me threatening letters,
-they'll be on file somewhere.
-I'll get cracking.
No, we're just arriving. Forensics are here.
A fucking leg?
What about the bike?
It was a Black Honda. Big. 600cc at least.
The courier was in black leathers. His helmet had a dark visor
and he kept it down.
He looked big but the jacket could have just padded him out.
Not a fat bastard, like the boss?
-And you signed for it?
Oh, it was addressed to me.
-Could just be them demonstrating they've done their homework.
I think there's something underneath it.
It could be a note.
"A harvest of limbs, of arms and of legs, the toes that crawl...
"The knees that jerk, the necks like swans that seem to turn,
"As if inclined to gasp or pray."
Last verse of Mistress Of The Salmon Salt by Blue Oyster Cult.
-You're a fan?
-They were my mum's favourite band.
She had that particular song title...
-And where's your mum today?
Her second husband killed her.
Never went down for it, though.
-Who'd you reckon left that one, then?
-It's probably Uncle Ted.
That's an Erica carnea,
or it was before winter in Whitechapel.
He grows 'em.
I dunno what those are.
Garage had 'em on sale.
How's the stump, then?
It's not like an old relative.
You don't have to ask after it.
Top girl, your mum.
So...it was addressed to you?
Hm. But meant for Strike, obviously.
A severed woman's leg was sent to you, and for what?
Slightly less than the minimum wage?
Would it be all right if I was on 100 grand?
How many share options make a girl's severed limb worth me dealing with?
I've got work to do.
You up for killing Whittaker yet?
Still a "no" from me.
I need you to find him, though.
That's why I wanted to see you.
I received a severed leg in this morning's post,
with some Blue Oyster Cult lyrics.
He holds grudges.
This feels like him.
The police are looking but they won't find him.
No, he's probably squatting somewhere.
He'll be in some shitty band an' all.
It was addressed to my partner.
So, work fast.
ROBIN WHIMPERS IN HER SLEEP
Rob, Rob, Rob?
Jesus! That sound you were making!
You were doing what you used to do.
Look, we're getting married.
And seeing you in this state...
..it's not good for you and you know that.
I'm sure Strike's delighted.
What are you talking about?
Well, he's going to make a pass at you at some point.
And you just getting worked up into this state it, like, gives...
He won't. And I'd be perfectly capable of shoving him off.
Of course you would.
Oh, Jesus! What is wrong with you?
You're so naive!
He...he is my colleague and friend, like Sarah is your friend
and it's not like the two of you have ever...
Oh, you have.
-You've slept with her.
-This is ridiculous.
Can we both just put down our boxing gloves and...
Don't lie to me, Matthew. I saw it in your face.
I saw it.
You can't take it back.
-Are you having an affair?
100%, no. I promise.
Tell me, it...
Tell me it wasn't then.
Robs, please, I haven't even...
Rob, I've messed up.
I've messed up.
-Message deleted. Next new message.
I've been trying to get hold of you. Call me back, will you?
Next new message.
Why aren't you picking?
Message deleted. Next new message.
Message deleted. Next new message.
-Ellacott, call me AS...
Hi, I'm here.
Yeah, I was still following that stripper.
We were sent a severed leg yesterday!
He even spelt your name with two T's,
so keep your phone on and pick the damn thing up when I call!
Yeah, I'll try.
Meet me in the office at five.
Can I have another?
MUSIC: If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues
It's ten past six.
Are you all right?
Erm, Cormoran, I'm just... I'm not sure I'm up to this today.
What are you doing?
-Are you alone?
I'm waiting for someone.
-Can I wait with you?
-No, you can't.
Right, what's going on with you?
How did you know I was here?
I'm a detective.
I could hear The Pogues playing when I called you.
They always play in here.
What do you need?
I don't need anything. What's going on?
Don't give me that.
I've never seen you look so bad. SHE SNORTS
Morale duly boosted...
Where's your engagement ring?
Put two and two together. You're the detective.
Matthew cheated on me.
What a moron.
It was a long time ago,
but it was with one of the most annoying women I know.
-Is she still around?
We had dinner with her the other night.
They started just after I left uni.
I'm surprised he'd admit to it now.
He didn't, I just... I just knew.
He looked ashamed of himself, because of...
I dropped out of uni...
..because something happened to me,
and afterwards, I had problems.
I was coming back from a friend's halls.
It wasn't even late.
Apparently, he'd tried to attack someone else
and there'd been a warning about him on the news...
I played dead and he ran.
That's how I survived.
He was wearing a rubber gorilla mask
but he had this white patch of skin behind his ear.
My evidence got him put away.
Rape and attempted murder.
It was 20 bad minutes out of a whole life and I am still the same person.
I know that. That's just a horrible thing to have happened to you.
Afterwards I... I couldn't leave my room.
I had to go home to Mum and Dad, that's when...
..Matthew and Sarah.
Well, I'll see you in the morning.
-Where are you staying?
Everyone I know in London is Matthew's friend.
Erm, I'll get a youth hostel or a YMCA.
-Do they still have those?
-I'll take you somewhere proper.
I'm totally skint.
Well, that's probably my fault.
We'll call it a wedding-cancellation present.
Where is it, then?
This is really nice.
I do your books, remember.
I know you can't afford this.
Checkout's at 11. Keep this door locked.
And stay away from the mini-bar.
POUNDING MUSIC PLAYS
You got sent a leg. Any idea who it's from?
Mate, it's nearly midnight.
-Who leaked it?
-I have no idea.
The press are outside my door.
It's not good for my business, being sent limbs in the post.
I'm sure you appreciate that.
You know how it is.
Whoever sent me that leg also knows how it is.
So let's not play their game, shall we?
Listen, how am I su...
What you got?
Body of a young girl, hands and legs sawn off.
Caucasian, maybe aged around 16.
A cleaner found her.
Anything found on the scene apart from the body?
There's a phone but no bag or wallet or anything.
Nothing to ID her. Phone's gone to forensics.
-How about CCTV?
-The camera in the lobby.
We're doing the tapes. Might get lucky.
There's a scrum of parasites on my doorstep.
I need to find this guy before we're put out of business.
I know it's a Saturday but this can't wait.
Did you just throw up?
I promise, I'm fine to work.
Never doubted you.
Have 'em send you up a bacon sandwich.
Oh, don't talk about food.
-Have you got a pen.
I'm giving you Nick and Ilsa's address.
It's 80 Octavia Street.
Oh, by the way, careful exiting the hotel.
We were followed last night.
Right, what's the address?
I'm down to two clients overnight.
The rest have run screaming to the hills.
Well, a severed leg on the front pages will do that.
Business'll pick up again.
If this guy wanted to kill me, it's not difficult.
I'm a big enough target...
That reminds me, we should talk about your cholesterol.
The leg, the Blue Oyster Cult lyrics,
that's someone going to a lot of effort to get inside my head.
And butchering someone to use as a prop.
It's Robin, isn't it? That's who you're worried about.
Robin has, and I quote her verbatim,
"A certificate for a three-day self-defence course."
I like Robin.
Well, so do I. I just don't need to add her to the dead
and maimed women I carry around in my head.
And this is the same night, about 18 minutes earlier.
You'll have to bring him in.
Talk to you later.
-Ah, yes, please.
I feel awful.
That's because you drank every bottle of wine in London.
Radford called me on the way here.
Cancelled his job with us.
Just one client now.
-He says he's really sorry but, oh, just, exposure and...
..I get it.
I've got an old address for Brockbank's sister, Holly,
It's the only solid lead we've got
and business isn't exactly thriving, so I thought I'd start there.
Great, well, I'll come with you.
You would be more use in the office.
I can do the research work from anywhere.
And I've got the Land Rover and you can't drive,
which will save us time and money
and I need this case solved before we go bust and I lose my job.
And if you're worried about my safety,
I'll be better off out of London, won't I?
-What will Matthew think?
-Matthew can shove his thoughts up his own arse.
-Don't touch me.
-Oggy had to nip off to see the police.
Do you fancy some lunch?
A glass of water would be great.
Have you been in Whitechapel recently?
-What took you there?
-Who was the client?
We never ended up meeting.
-His name was Valley, I think.
-Where did you meet?
-We didn't meet.
-Where did you try to meet?
It was a short-let office building.
I can find you the address.
We've just found a young woman's body in a building in Whitechapel High Street.
Both legs removed. There was a phone at the scene, with her prints on it.
Forensics got it unlocked for us.
Right. What did you find?
We found it was you that invited her there.
Hi, it's Cormoran Strike, I'm here.
Invented this at med school.
and a raw egg prove you're the hardest bastard in the room.
-Let's get going.
-So what did the police want?
Interviewed me under caution.
Just shy of having me arrested for murder.
Needed that. Come on!
Well, at least Wardle believes you.
That I'm not grooming teenage girls to carve up?
Yeah, it's a real vote of confidence.
Can you send Wardle all we've got on the client
-I was supposed to meet in Whitechapel?
So how does it help frame you, him sending you her leg?
Depends what the killer's trying to achieve.
If they want to make sure I never work again, send me the leg,
involve me in a murder case. Let the press do the rest.
Do you still think it's one of those three men?
Yeah, I do.
More than ever. Whittaker got away with murder, twice.
Laing charmed everyone while he kept his wife terrified.
Brockbank was a child rapist
who managed to convince everyone that he was the injured party.
And you think he could cut off his own daughter's leg?
I don't know what to think, but I know he wants revenge on me.
Major Brockbank, Sergeant Strike, SIB.
Brittany, back inside.
So he might be living with his sister?
Brockbank's Army pension goes to her address in Barrow every month.
She's our only lead.
-How you doing?
-Pfft! A bit shit.
Matthew keeps texting.
Would you like to hear about the migratory patterns of the black marlin?
We have two hours to go.
-Owner is a Mr Michael Ellacott.
-Are you Michael Ellacott?
Erm, er, no, that's my dad.
You're parked on a double-yellow.
There's no loitering near a nuclear facility.
Can I see your licence, please?
Is that what, erm... that what that is?
Shipyard, yeah. Where do you live?
Oh, not...not together.
-Denmark Street, London.
You up here on holiday?
Does anyone ever come to Barrow-in-Furness on holiday?
The abbey's popular.
And the nature reserves.
We're, er, hoping to catch up with a friend on the way to Scotland.
Where can I get a half-decent coffee?
No photography in this area, all right?
Yeah, it was nowt.
You weren't exactly helpful! "Who'd holiday in Barrow?"
She's obviously from here.
-Where are you going?
-To ask after Brockbank.
No, no, no, don't knock on Holly's door. He might still live there.
No. I'm going to go and ask that woman.
She looks like she'd be the type to gossip.
Hey, excuse me.
Sorry, I, er, wondered if you might be able to help me?
It has to be me.
If Holly recognises you, she'll tell Niall that you're looking for him.
Anyway, this will work.
I don't like it.
You don't have to like it.
It's still a good idea.
Well, the good news is my hangover's finally lifting.
Er, I, I'd better get this. It's my mum. Sorry.
Matthew called me. He told me the two of you had broken up.
-He said you've left him.
-Did he tell you why?
Look, I... I can't really talk right now. I'm away with Strike.
Oh. I see.
No, not like that! It's work.
We're, erm, someone sent him a l...
Anyway, it doesn't matter, it's...it's work.
Are you all right?
Yeah, erm, oh, I don't know.
I... I can't really talk about Matt right now.
It's, erm, it's all so new, so, er...
I'm going to come and see you as soon as you're back to London.
-Yeah, that'd be nice. Thanks.
Love you. Bye.
So according to that old lady, Holly's in here every lunchtime.
Let's hope she's a nicer Brockbank than her brother.
Hi, I'm looking for Holly Brockbank.
Who are thoo?
My name's Venetia Hall. I'm a lawyer.
-I'm trying to find Niall.
-Don't know, don't care.
Only...I believe he's owed money.
Him and his family.
-Oh, his close family.
Parents and siblings.
Anyone who he's lived with.
Why's that, then?
Well, my company specialises in gaining reparations
for servicemen who have been injured outside of combat operations.
I'd like to help you make a lot of money off the government, Holly.
All you have to do is tell me your side of things.
-Hey, have you found Whittaker yet?
No, not yet.
I think you should look in to Donald Laing, spelt "A-I".
I got him sent down for 16 years but he's probably out by now.
He did his time in Glasgow, I'll text you the details.
-Yeah, send me anything you've got.
Well, we know that Niall suffered some problems
during his time in the Army.
Problems? Some fuckin' police copper smashed his head in!
Damaged 'im for life.
Er, do you mind if I, er...?
You don't happen to remember the copper's name?
Course I do. Cormoran Strike.
Fuckin' gadgee! Destroyed 'im.
Niall started having fits.
-Couldn't get any work anywhere after that, not properly.
He'd come round to ours, smash the place up, smash me up.
Have you seen this nose? Fuckin' seen that?
That's a nose that's been hit hard. That wants paying for by the Army!
Oh, absolutely. Look, I'm sorry you've suffered.
-Really, we're going to try and secure you a solid pay-out.
But...but the truth is, Miss Hall, I've had a properly shit life.
Me and Niall both did when we were kids,
but at least he got all the way to be a major in the Army.
That's good money and good respect.
And all of that went after Cormoran Strike bashed his head in.
How, how's Niall coping now?
Oh, works shit jobs in rubbish strip joints.
They'll have him for a bouncer.
Not what it was, though.
Don't last long.
He's in London now.
More work there for him.
Author of The Affluent Society. Nine letters?
-You all right to drive?
Half a glass of wine. I'm fine.
He's not here.
But I've got a number for him.
Well bloody done! Shall we call him?
Apparently he's in London.
I think we should give it a day or two, in case Holly calls him?
Let the story bed in.
You know, if we lose the business, I might try personal injury claims.
I think I've got a knack for it.
What could you get me for my missing leg?
Packet of crisps and a pint.
Anywhere cheap to stay around here?
There's a Comfort City Express down the road.
Holly told me you smashed Niall's head in.
Is that true?
Arguably, the interview I'd seen with Brittany...
..framed my response to him.
He had a pre-existing concussion from playing rugby that week.
He started to have epileptic fits, got invalided out.
In between the fits,
he'd tell anyone who'd listen that he was going to destroy me.
Perks of the job.
What happened to Brittany?
I spoke to the wife.
She wouldn't hear a word of it.
Brittany was telling tales, a naughty little liar.
Niall was a good man and a good father.
And off they went.
She was 12.
After that, he knew she'd told on him.
And she knew that help wasn't coming.
She's the one I find hard to live with.
We have to find him and put him away.
If he's our killer.
He's a child rapist.
The Army did their job properly.
There wasn't enough evidence for a case.
I know this must be hard...
Don't! Do not! You promised.
It's hard for anyone to hear.
What are we supposed to do? Hunt them all down?
All of that, and pay off the utilities bill?
I'll tell British Gas that's what we've decided.
Good evening. Are you looking for...?
-Two singles, please.
Is that one room with two single beds or...
Erm, if you've got two different rooms.
-Two rooms, one bed in each of 'em.
-Single in each.
-I'm not trying to pry. I have to check.
-No, it's fine!
Is your leg all right?
No. It's been blown-off.
You offering me a piggyback?
It could be the last thing you ever do.
I'm stronger than I look.
It's all those gymkhanas I did.
Did you carry the horse?
If you hear anything, I'm just in here.
KNOCK ON DOOR
It's me. I've just heard from Wardle.
We're not going home just yet.
Wardle's found an old address for Laing. He was living with someone in Corby.
-We should check it out tomorrow.
-Well, er, night.
-Night. I was just telling you now, in case
-you were making other plans for tomorrow.
Yeah, you too.
Give us one, then.
So how did you meet Laing?
I was on a drugs case in Cyprus, undercover,
buying grass off a local guy who dealt with a lot of soldiers.
He told me about a squaddie who said he'd chained his wife up
when she'd threatened to leave him.
Sounded like grandstanding, but...
..I checked it out anyway...
When no-one answered the door, I kicked it in.
The smell hit me first. I went upstairs and found his wife in the bedroom.
He told the court she was kinky, liked to be tied up.
She'd broken her wrist and dislocated her shoulder
trying to get free and there were internal injuries.
Tell me he didn't get off.
Went down for 16 years.
Probably did eight.
He'll have been out a while now.
-Are you Lorraine McNaughton?
-Who are you?
I'm a detective. I'm looking for information on Donald Laing.
I heard he lived here a few years ago.
What's Donnie done now?
-Is he still here?
-No, thank Christ.
Would you mind if my partner and I asked you a few questions?
Was it robbery he's done?
Why do you say that?
Because he robbed me when he left.
He took my jewellery.
He took my mum's ring.
I'm sorry. That's terrible.
How did you meet Donald?
He was very charming.
Sorry, I know that sounds stupid.
He had his own company in Scotland but he got ill.
What did he get ill with?
Oh, it was nasty.
-Some days he couldn't even move.
-Here, let me take that.
Oh, thank you.
Were you together long?
Not even a year.
It was after my mum died.
Donnie did some work for
Mrs Williams, at number 37, across the road.
87 with a lawn to cut and all her kids have gone abroad, you know.
He was nice to me. And he did raise money for charity.
Despite it all, erm, I miss him..
-He was never violent?
And I told the police that.
Was this when you reported your jewellery missing?
No, Mrs Williams was robbed and attacked.
Is she OK?
She's passed since then.
Poor old Mrs Williams, beaten shitless for a couple of quid.
So do you reckon that was Laing?
Cased it while he mowing her lawn, didn't he?
Men like Laing and Brockbank and Whittaker -
women are things to be used.
And she still misses him.
Here we go.
-Donald Laing's great charity efforts.
-..raised for psoriatic arthritis.
Well, it's not nothing.
Well, he's only set it up
so he can show it to people who've started to realise he's a leech.
Where are you going to stay?
At the flat. At least for tonight.
Matthew's away, so...
-Thank you. Goodnight.
All right, Bunsen? Where are you?
I've found Whittaker.
The little girl said, "Daddy, Daddy, I love that pig."
And the farmer said, "Well, we all used to love the pig
"but the pig's become diseased and it won't stop squealing!"
All right, Bunsen?
See you later.
Get in. Banjo, get me some fags.
Well, look who it is, Sherlock fucking Holmes,
as I live and breathe.
Steph, come here, let me tell you a little story about this guy.
I was banging his mummy back in the day, for a while. I gave her a kid.
Now, she...she was a juicy old tart.
This man kills women.
You think this one gives a shit?
She barely knows where she is half the time, bless her.
I love him, darling.
Do you know what Mummy used to like to do?
-She used to like to suck me off after I sang to her. Hm?
Sing her a song and then down she'd go - Pavlovian response.
I can find you somewhere to stay.
Fucking get in that van.
Zahara, give that here.
-Hello, is that Mr Brockbank?
-This is, er...Venetia Hall.
I'm a personal injury claims lawyer.
I spoke to your sister, Holly, about getting
compensation from the Army for the injuries they caused you.
Well, I'd be very happy to go over it with you if you're able to meet.
Where might be convenient?
What about Shoreditch?
Could I maybe have a home address for you?
And then I can send you our paperwork.
Do I know you, little girl?
I'm pretty sure we've never met.
HE ENDS THE CALL
I love him, darling.
One day, you'll feel like that about somebody.
DOOR ENTRY BUZZER
Who is it?
It's Wardle, open the door.
I've got to get my leg on.
We've just got a few questions.
Have you ever met this girl?
-Have a good look.
I haven't met her.
Who is she?
She's the girl we found in Whitechapel.
So you've identified the body?
Well, I'm not sure we can claim all the credit.
Took the morning papers for us to piece it together.
You've never met her? Kelsey Platt?
The three names I gave you. Who have you found?
We're still making enquiries.
He addressed the leg to you. He followed you.
-That's the pattern we have so far.
-I know. And I will be careful.
-Oh, my God, it's you.
-I need to ask you about your sister.
Robin, I do think it's time to make a decision.
The wedding day's nearly here.
She's been followed.
-She's had body parts sent to her...
-Robin's good at what she does.
She's very good. She manages the risks.
You're a sociopath.
Have you seen something?
SHE SCREAMS We're finished.
Let's just find this guy.