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Nine Liars

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson



June 23, 1995, 9:30pm

There were five people in the Volvo and another four in the Golf behind making their way through the country roads of Gloucester with Brit Pop blaring out the open windows. Nine in total, and they aren’t just any nine, they are The Nine. Greater than the sum of their parts. Sebastian, Theodora, Yash, Peter, Sooz, Angela, Julian, Rosie, and Noel. Friends from pretty much the moment they started at Cambridge University Freshers Week theatrical auditions and inseparable throughout. Eventually they decided to set up their own theatrical group called The Nine. By their third year they had moved into a shitty student house together and everything was shared, from socks to cereal, soap to partners. Now though they are celebrating graduation with a party at Sebastian’s family house, Merryweather. They expect things to get very messy, just not in the way they did.


Stevie is procrastinating and cake is preferable to doing school work so she persuades Nate to go with her to get some. Nate, who usually procrastinates along with her, has become weirdly focused on his writing but the siren's call of cake cannot be denied. Nate asks Stevie about the cold cases people have been emailing her, but it’s the usual stuff, nothing exciting. Stevie is also procrastinating on choosing where to go for college, she has many tabs open with places but can’t make a decision. Janelle and Vi are being so organized with their spreadsheets which is giving Stevie anxiety. Nate basically says Stevie is annoying in her indecision and she should solve a little murder to keep her busy. Yeah, maybe a little murder would help take the edge off.


June 23, 1995, 10:30pm

Angela is in her room unpacking her things to the sounds of Blur coming from another room. Angela’s thoughts turn introspective, this is their last big weekend before they graduate and The Nine will split off to do their own thing. It’s difficult for her… their troupe, her found family, won’t be together anymore. Peter comes in and interrupts her thoughts. Out of all the pairings in the group, Angela has never gotten together with Peter, but maybe she will this weekend… it seems to be heading that way. After Peter leaves, Rosie knocks. She has something to confess, a secret she knows Angela is trustworthy enough to keep, but before she is able to tell her, Sooz comes in with warm champagne. Rosie tells Angela she will tell her later. She never does.


Stevie is in her room eating a piece of chocolate cake with maple syrup in it. Well, this is Vermont. There's maple syrup in everything. Time to tackle her assignments… or give herself bangs! Luckily for Stevie's hair, Janelle confiscated her scissors two weeks ago the last time she threatened cutting bangs. Stevie sits down to read again, but thankfully David calls and he’s slightly drunk. In between David slurring how pretty she is, he asks her to come to England and says he’s talked to people and she can study abroad and Nate and Janelle and Vi can come too. Ellingham embraces remote learning opportunities after all the murders and such, so the four build their study abroad case, make arrangements for passports and within ten minutes of sending the proposal to the new Ellingham Director, Dr. Quinn, have an appointment to discuss.


June 23, 1995 11:00pm

Sebastian has organized a game of hide and seek in the dark. As the hiders are found they will be given a torch and become a seeker. The game lasts for hours until the weather turns and they decide to call it. Rosie and Noel, however, can’t be found, so the others get drunk on expensive whisky without them. In the early hours and extremely unsteadily, they start to head to bed and bathrooms depending on their greatest need when Sooz spots a torch light in the gardens. Rosie and Noel must have found a torch, so Sooz decides to shout to them that the game is over but Sebastian tells her not to. After the way Rosie and Noel have been looking at each other, they could use some privacy.


Heading to their appointment Stevie, Nate, Vi and Janelle run into Larry the school head of security who warns them that Dr. Jenny Quinn, the school director, has been seen humming that morning. This is not necessarily a sign of someone in a good mood. After some discussion regarding the scholastic nature of their proposed one week long trip to London (which will include visits to cultural landmarks, The Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery, the British Museum to name only a few), Dr. Quinn agrees….with conditions. Stevie has faced murderers less intimidating than Dr. Quinn, but at least she has her approval to go.


June 24, 1995 8:30am

Theodora is an early riser, always has been. Despite feeling a little worse for wear from the champagne and whisky, she makes the rounds accounting for her friends and finds that Rosie and Noel are still missing. Peter, Yash and Angela follow the delicious smells of bacon sandwiches and coffee Theodora prepares and eat before venturing outside into the tortuous sunlight to look for Rosie and Noel who they assume have been going at it all night in a potting shed. They do find Rosie and Noel in a shed, except they’re dead.


Before they go to London, Stevie asks Janelle about what clothes she should wear to entice David to have sex with her for her first time. Nothing is appropriate for Stevie or really in her price point (why can’t black hoodies be sexy?!) but eventually she gets something and soon Stevie, Nate, Vi and Janelle are on the plane to London. The flight is a blur for Stevie, she just sits and stares at the inflight screen until they reach Heathrow, and then it’s a blur of travelators, signs and luggage. The journey from the airport somewhat reminds Stevie of Ellingham Academy with the fields and sheep until they reach the city and they're replaced with a lot of big brick buildings with long windows. David has been texting her throughout the flight but she only gets the messages once they’ve landed. Unfortunately something has come up and he texts he’ll try and see her tonight. Stevie is pissed which makes Nate so glad for the weird tension [sarcasm] that immediately begins their trip. As they get out of the car, and being American look the wrong way, they nearly knock over a cyclist, luckily the cyclist greets the “jerks” with a smile on his face. It's David!


David helps his friends into their building, Craven House, and shows them to their rooms. At Stevie’s room, he comes in with her and they kiss and hold each other making up for lost time. Unfortunately David really does have a thing to go to, it’s a lecture he wishes he could get out of but can’t, but it’s only a couple of hours and he says he’ll meet them in the local after. Stevie unpacks her hodgepodge belongings and takes her sex-clothes to show Janelle. Janelle can’t believe that Stevie found a sex hoodie, a Union Jack onesie, and declares it’s perfect for her.


June 24, 1995 8:00pm

The police came and seemed to swarm Merryweather as they looked inside and out for clues to Rosie and Noel’s murders. The living members of The Nine were hungover and in shock the whole day. Apparently there have been burglaries in the area, but surely that doesn’t explain Rosie and Noel’s murders. Eventually Angela is able to go to her room for a bath, and Theodora follows to talk. Angela confesses Rosie wanted to talk to her about something and seemed particularly worried about it. She also tells Theodora that she swears the shed Rosie and Noel were found in didn’t have a lock on last night during their game, but Theordora tells Angela she must be mistaken, the lock was there this morning.


David takes Stevie and the gang to his designated local a few streets away, stopping to pick up fish and chips to have with their drinks first. It’s odd to them that they can drink alcohol, but it’s legal over eighteen in the UK so when in London… After their meal, David takes them to the London Eye where they meet up with David's college friend Izzy who is able to get them into a pod through a family friend. She’s really nice, suspiciously so. Stevie and her friends are really only okay and not super-fantastic as Izzy's praise would make them seem. As the pod comes back to the ground, Izzy pulls Stevie to one side. She’s been eager to talk to her about a murder as Nate says, “There it is.”


In the notebook of DCI Phillip Starling, Gloucester Constabulary, a very factual series of events of the night of June 24, 1995, at Merryweather is given. It includes further details the remaining Nine would not have known: the axe used to murder Rosie and Noel was found in a stream a short distance away, evidence indicates Rosie died first, the lightbulb in the shed was smashed during the attack, and traces of Rosie’s blood were found on the remains of the glass.


The next day the Ellingham gang have a lackluster Pret A Manger breakfast and later Stevie with David and the rest of the gang head to meet Izzy and get the Tube to Islington. Before they reach their final destination, Izzy’s Aunt Angela's place, she gets everyone Indian takeaway which they eat in Angela’s living room. Angela hosts historical documentaries now and gives them a brief history of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the Catholic Church in England, Anne Boleyn, her execution and Guy Faukes when they mention they’ll be visiting the Tower of London. At the mention of an axe, Izzy brings the conversation to the murders of Angela’s two friends back in 1995.


Angela was clearly not expecting Izzy to bring some random Americans to her flat to talk about the murder of her dear friends. Stevie, used to reluctant interviewees, starts giving an account of the facts as she knows them, purposefully being incorrect. She knows that people may be reluctant to talk about uncomfortable things but they don’t mind putting the facts right and Angela is no different. She explains that The Nine was a theatrical troupe and how most are in entertainment in some fashion or form still. She says they regularly went to Sebastian’s family home for weekend parties and played hide and seek. Izzy jumps in with more information. It seems while Angela was on painkillers and Izzy was looking after her, Angela confessed that she thought one of her friends was a murderer and said something about something being "planted." Now fully compos mentis, Angela denies it and anything Izzy claims she said about the lock on the shed saying it’s the past, leave it alone. Stevie doesn’t push but later that night in her room as jet-lag exhaustion overtakes her, Stevie knows Angela is lying about the lock and that she isn’t sad or annoyed, she’s scared. In a flashback to a recording of Angela’s witness statement in 1995, there is obvious hesitation when she is questioned about the lock on the shed, though in the end, she says everything was fine and the shed was quite locked.


The next day they visit the Tower of London in the morning, which Stevie pays very little attention to as her mind is consumed with axe murders and locks. The grisly tales of beheadings by the Raven Master does not entertain, the torture chamber passes her by and the Crown Jewels offer little sparkle. The only things of passing interest are the story of the two lost princes, supposedly murdered, and the giant locks on the cell doors. Nate can tell Stevie’s lost in the latest murder mystery. Thank goodness Vi has been paying attention and is able to give the report to Ellingham.


In the afternoon, they head back to Craven House so Stevie can meet David who takes her to Whitechapel for a Jack the Ripper tour. It’s a pretty crappy, sensationalist tour so they ditch it in favor of getting doner kebabs. Throughout their evening, David’s phone buzzes, it’s Izzy, and Stevie is convinced something is going on between them and spoils their meal by sort-of accusing him of cheating. David is not the slacker he used to be and is really trying and wants to make their relationship work. The whole situation causes Stevie to have an anxiety attack, effectively ending the night as her medication makes her drowsy.


Excerpts from Sooz's witness statement confirm the group played their usual game of hide and seek and she stayed by some shrubs until she was found. Sooz confirms when the storm started they called an end to the game and came inside and drank whisky. Sooz tells of the flashlight she saw, she thinks around 2:30, but no one else saw it. Sooz also tells the police about Rosie’s breakup with Julian, but it wasn’t anything major. In the excerpt from Sebastian's statement, he reiterates that the storm ended play and that Julian was the last to be found, clinging to the pergola roof. As Merryweather is his family home, Sebastian confirmed his parents are away in Greece and that they lock up everything before going, including the shed, the lock of which was purchased due to the recent burglaries. He says he doesn’t know who has the gate code but it’s likely not too much of a secret because people are always coming and going. Sebastian also confirms Sooz seeing the light while they drank whisky, but not that he saw it himself.


The next day Stevie, Nate, Vi and Janelle are headed to Westminster, this time taking a double decker bus instead of the Tube. They wander the huge Abbey building designed to make you feel small and house thousands of dead before going to the House of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery. It's all starting to blur but relief comes when David texts, finished with classes for the day. When he meets up, he has brought Izzy along, and she’s frantically worried about her Aunt Angela who has gone missing. Angela’s house still has all their takeout cartons lying about so she’s been gone since the other night. The only information she has is a long group text exchange with the remaining members of The Nine as Angela tries to gather them at Merryweather that weekend to discuss things and something about “She had the button.” Part way through the conversation, Angela stops responding. It’s time for Stevie to look through her flat.


Angela’s flat is exactly how they left it, and her passport is still there so she hasn’t disappeared abroad. As Stevie struggles to see anything that could be considered odd or a clue, Angela’s cat Doorknob comes in and steals a bit of days-old chicken. Izzy chases the cat into a cubby hole she never knew about. Behind the vacuum cleaner is a lockbox and despite their best efforts, they can’t get it open. Stevie suggests they take it with them and keep trying because there may be something important inside. In the meantime, Izzy is going to set up meetings with those of The Nine still in London. Stevie needs to be careful though, Dr. Quinn made one of her promised random phone calls and doesn’t sound entirely convinced by Stevie’s sudden interest in the Tudor period.


In the excerpt of the witness statement of Theodora, she recounts going to check on everyone the morning Rosie and Noel were found. She always liked to make sure everyone was okay and accounted for after a bender. She also confirms it was she and Julian who found their bodies. In Julian’s excerpt, he confirms he didn’t check that the shed was locked, he saw no point because Sebastian had told them it was, and that he spent hours on top of the pergola before being found. He also admits to kissing some other girl at the pub while still seeing Rosie which is what ultimately ended their year-long relationship, and this happened very recently.


Today's sightseeing takes the Ellingham gang first to the Natural History museum then the Victoria and Albert Museum; however, at 2:00, Stevie leaves to meet Izzy and some of The Nine and Nate, Vi and Janelle cover for her with Dr. Quinn. Stevie and Izzy go to Sooz's place where Peter and Yash also meet them. Stevie gets them to talk about Angela and Merryweather in 1995. Sooz was the group photographer and pulls out some pictures from the week leading up to and that night at Merryweather. In one, the shed is clearly visible. They promise to do whatever they can to help find Angela.


Everyone seems mad at Julian who is now an MP but not much more than that. To be useful, they made up some missing person flyers and posted them around Islington. When they get back to Craven House late, Stevie accepts David’s invitation to go to his room. As things start to heat up, Izzy has spectacularly bad timing to deliver updates. Angela got a call from an unknown number during the middle of the text exchange, The Nine are meeting at Merryweather tomorrow night, and Izzy has wrangled an invite for them all. This isn’t as great as it may seem. Vi and Janelle protest because Dr. Quinn will kill them and they want to stick to their schedule; however, if Dr. Quinn agrees to them going to Gloucester, they will come. If not, then they will stay and carry on with their plans. Stevie calls, makes her case (minus any mention of murder or missing persons) and lies to her friends when she tells them Dr. Quinn said “yes.”


In an excerpt from Peter's witness statement, he discusses how and where he hid, that he took a bottle of champagne with him as he hid, and that Yash found him. The whisky later did him in and he took himself to bed ill. He didn’t get out of bed until late morning and he, along with a couple of others, needed restorative fry ups and Monster Munch so they went to the shops, and when they came back, the police were there. In Yash’s statement, he admits to hiding under a bed and was found straight away having been too drunk to find a good spot. They went outside around midnight in the rain and he never noticed anything wrong with the shed because Sebastian had stuffed the keys down his trousers. After the whisky, he couldn’t really tell when or what had happened.


The next morning, Stevie and the Ellingham gang, Izzy, and Angela’s mystery lockbox set off for Gloucester via Paddington Station. Yes, it’s a real place. Stevie lets the conversation about colleges wash over her as she looks at the pictures of The Nine back in 1995 on her tablet and ignores the huge lie she told to get her friends on this train. However, something in the background noise sparks Stevie’s brain and she goes to her case in the luggage rack and the lockbox inside. Angela talked a bit about Guy Fawkes when they visited and now they're talking about it again. Remember, remember the fifth of November… the code is 05-11. The lock pops open.


Inside the lockbox, which is now spread out on the train table, are police files, crime scene photos, witness statements and Angela’s notes from that night in Merryweather. What stands out is a newspaper article about the disappearance and death of American tourist Samantha Gravis published the same day as Rosie and Noel’s death. After a hair-raising taxi ride through country lanes, the gang reach Merryweather and are greeted by Sebastian who shows them to their rooms. As the lie is chewing at her, Stevie heads to Nate’s room and confesses what she did. On some level Nate expected it but warns Stevie that though Vi may ultimately be fine, Janelle will not and she needs to know sooner rather than later what Stevie did. If Dr. Quinn calls, he isn’t going to cover for her. Stevie promises to tell Janelle that night.


Only Stevie and David take Sebastian’s tour of the gardens which ends near the shed. During the tour, Sebastian explains how his parents never wanted a gay son and didn’t hide their resentment of him so he made it his mission to be the most flamboyant and extra person he could be. He graduated with the lowest grade possible which is exactly what he wanted, moved to London with Sooz, and spent the next year drunk and on drugs. It wasn’t until he nearly died that he sobered up with support from his found family, not his blood relatives. The tour ends near the shed which gives Stevie the opportunity to ask some more specific questions. The tiny window on the shed was open in the crime pictures and the crawlspace to access it was never mentioned in the police records. That’s a critical piece of information for the police to miss in the records so they obviously didn’t know the crawlspace was there.


Everyone is at dinner that night and Stevie notices the easy conversation the friends have. As the meal is winding down, Julian arrives. Julian has been in touch with people about Angela. The only information he has is that she was seen on the Tube (her Oyster card and grainy CCTV confirms it) and her mobile last pinged near Waterloo station. He has a call to make later which will hopefully get more information. Unlike the others, Julian is not pretending all is well. The Nine, along with Izzy and Stevie, move into the living room and David, Nate, Vi and Janelle head upstairs. Later alone, Stevie, David and Izzy discuss what they know so far. Stevie urges Izzy to really think about what her aunt said when she was on painkillers, did she say something about “plants” or did she say “planted”? Izzy can’t be totally sure but then Stevie has one of her trademark moments where all the evidence seems to fit together. No one person out of The Nine is lying, they all are!


June 24, 1995 1:00pm

Sebastian and Theo find Rosie and Noel dead. They need the police, but what they don’t want to happen is for the police to find the cannabis growing in the shed's crawlspace. Together, The Nine clean out the crawlspace of the plants, leaving the window open to air it out, dispose of the evidence in a construction skip disguised as a run to the supermarket for breakfast things, and wash any blood they may have gotten on them with toilet paper as it can be flushed away. They must all keep the secret.


Knowing about the collusion to hide the cannabis doesn’t answer who is the murderer or what happened to Angela. They moved the axe, as Sebastian had used it to hook the crawlspace rope pull before they realized it was the murder weapon. They cleaned the handle of his prints and threw it in the stream. The rope pull also had blood on it and they needed to get rid of it in case the police saw the hatch and then found cannabis residue. But where is Angela? Yash asks Stevie where she got the crime scene photos she showed them and everyone seems shocked that Angela had them and had been investigating. Stevie asks if Samantha Gravis is familiar but no one is able to place her.


During this Agatha Christie moment, Janelle comes in. Dr. Quinn has been on the phone. Nate lied and said they were watching a movie in the student common room. Janelle is upset that Stevie lied and says that if she had told them the truth, they would have worked something out. Lies have no place in friendship. Janelle also reminds Stevie that they are going back to London the next day and will finish their itinerary, so she only has thirty-six hours to figure everything out.


That night Stevie and David go to bed together. She doesn’t need her sexy onesie and David came prepared. As they are in bed, someone knocks at the door. Sooz comes barging in, she knows who Samantha Gravis was! The Canadian! The Canadian? Sooz had been going through the scans of her old pictures and one in their local stood out. In the picture are The Nine, minus Rosie who had been studying, plus The Canadian. Julian cheated on Rosie with her that night and it was the reason they broke up! They didn’t realize she was really American and Sooz genuinely liked her, even lending her some CDs. It’s entirely possible she drowned on the way to their shared house.


Stevie can’t sleep and, leaving David in bed, takes her tablet into the bathroom where there is an actual honest to goodness sofa. In the early hours of the morning her tablet falls and wakes her. As she heads into the kitchen, Stevie runs into Nate, equally wide awake, and she persuades him to take a look around in the murder garden. While they investigate, Nate opens up to Stevie and comes out as asexual. She is the first person he has told and she encourages him to tell the others, sure that Janelle will make him a Pride drone. As they are talking, Theo comes out with mugs of coffee, and Stevie takes the opportunity to ask her about the button comment from the text thread, and it’s put down to a typo. As Theo walks back into the house, Nate comments that it was a strange conversation, that she seemed to want more than to offer coffee. Stevie thinks Theo, who is an extraordinarily smart woman, is figuring things out about 1995 and doesn’t like what they add up to, and it’s scaring her.


Merryweather is waking up and breakfast preparations are underway. Everyone already seems busy catching up with work. As everyone but Julian is sitting in the dining room talking about work or the plans for the rest of their trip, Stevie mentions getting her dad a bottle of whisky. Her friends know this is blatant fiction, and ask about the whisky they drank that night in 1995. It was £10,000 back then and not something you can pick up from the duty free shop at the airport. As the friends recount how clumsily drunk Sebastian was trying to get that bottle out of the cabinet, Julian walks in. By his expression everyone knows something has happened. Angela has been found dead in the river.


The crowd disperses in various groups and directions leaving Stevie alone. Stevie takes a walk around the grounds and as she’s sitting, Julian runs into her. He’s been reading up on Stevie’s previous cases and shares some additional information his sources sent him. Angela was found with her wallet (containing £40 and credit cards, intact), set of keys, her phone, her Oyster card, a new Oral-B toothbrush in package, a box of Strepsils, a blister pack of Nytol (can hold seven tablets, six were missing, one remaining), and five large rocks. It seems Angela was drugged and/or drugged herself and left to drown. As the Ellingham gang make ready to return to London, David tells Stevie he is going to stay and make sure Izzy is okay, but he’ll meet them after their planned fancy tea and theater show. On the train back, Nate asks Stevie about the whisky questioning. She doesn’t know why she asked, except that that point in the evening feels important.


The afternoon tea was expensive and barely touched, the theater show was also a dramatic disappointment. No one was in the mood really and only went ahead with it because it had been planned. After, they head back to Craven House, their London trip seeming at an end without the bang they had hoped. Stevie heads to David’s room, she’d been waiting all afternoon for the message to say he was back in the city. His room is empty but she finds Izzy's and finds him in there. In the hallway, Stevie is rather peevish with him. She wants to spend her last night with him, but he says he needs to be with his friend for a little while longer. They part with cutting remarks and Stevie falls asleep in her sexy onesie waiting for David to arrive, but he never does.


Stevie has four-hours left in London. She needs to pack, see David, and return the lockbox. She texts David and they arrange to meet. He’s brought coffee and asks to take a walk, and though she needs to pack, she agrees. Eventually they stop and David fumbles the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. Janelle calls Stevie, interrupting them, worried because Stevie hasn't packed, giving David the opportunity to leave. Janelle, her moment to shine, pulls everyone together to get Stevie ready to go. Nate offers to punch David in the dick, but Janelle wants that job.


Stevie lets herself be managed and pulled along until they reach Heathrow airport. Her foggy brain though seems to be pulling at some memory about Angela’s flat. They check their luggage in and head to security, Stevie the last in line. Before she goes through the gate, Stevie steps out under the guise of needing to pee and hides in the bathroom until the plane is boarded and the gate is closed, her friends frantically texting. Eventually she responds that she has to finish this case and that she’ll get a later flight. No lies.


Stevie makes her way back into London and arranges to meet Izzy at Angela’s flat. Stevie pulls out Doorknob’s treasures that were next to the lockbox. His toy mouse, part of what looked like a real mouse, a used tea bag, two buttons, a crumpled tissue, a dirty cotton swab, a grape stem. It’s the buttons that ring bells in Stevie’s mind. Izzy thinks one is from a sweater and the other is a Stella McCartney. Dismissing these for now, Stevie puts her earphones in and starts walking the house, examining everything. Sitting in Angela’s office, Stevie writes down the three things that keep coming up: the lock, the button and Samantha Gravis. Stevie becomes increasingly frustrated and reviews the text thread Angela had and forces Izzy to recall their conversation before the murders… something about Anne Boleyn and her beheading, how the executioner pulled a trick to get her head in the right position. Something sparks in Stevie’s mind and she rummages through Angela’s trash until she finds the small piece of paper she needs. There is no button. Stevie knows what happened, now she just has to prove it.


Izzy is able to set up a private pod on the London Eye and arranges for remaining Nine to come on the pretense of having a memorial for Angela. When the pod reaches its peak, the wheel stops and Izzy invites everyone to sit because Stevie has something to say. Stevie tells them about Angela’s Anne Boleyn story, how a little bit of fakery gets results, and that the button isn’t real, it’s fakery which drew out the person responsible. Angela went to meet them, probably thinking they had the same suspicions as her, and in fact, she was meeting the murderer of Samantha, Rosie and Noel. The thing that kept leaping out to Stevie from the witness statements was that Sebastian had put the house keys down his trousers yet couldn’t get the drink cabinet open. He couldn’t open it because he didn’t have the right keys. It was only when they were replaced by Peter on the pretense of helping him did they get the cabinet open.


June 23, 1995 11:00pm

Peter watched Julian go off with Samantha, then next she was flirting with Yash. He was ready to graduate and not be surrounded by his friends. He loved them, but he was tired of them. Peter had been studying the night Samantha was headed to their house to return the borrowed CDs. They walked together and she seemed to be flirting with him. She suggested they steal a punt and row down the river, and Peter went along with it. At the dock, Peter didn’t push Samantha, but he didn’t help her when she fell and hit her head. He found out it takes very little effort or time to hold someone’s head below water.


The next day over breakfast, Rosie could tell something was off with Peter. He knew she knew and as the days passed he could see her watching him. The morning they were getting ready for Merryweather, the article about Samantha’s death was splashed over the paper. Though he got rid of it, Rosie saw a copy when she popped out. During the Blur and cigarette-filled drive to Merryweather, Peter worked out exactly what he needed to do. First, get the keys and exchange them with his own, easily done. Next, get the bedroom facing the shed, done. Peter intercepted Rosie between her visit to Angela’s room and the start of the game, saying Yash was in trouble and he needed her help out at the shed.


Peter urges Rosie into the shed and even blocks the door with a rake so they can’t be interrupted. Rosie asks if Yash hurt the girl in the paper. Peter can’t speak, so Rosie lets him fumble until she reveals she heard him with Samantha, she’d been in the shag tent in the garden with someone so he can’t pin it on Yash, besides Yash would never do something like that. Peter’s panic slips away and he spots the axe. He swings and hits until Rosie doesn’t look like Rosie anymore. As Peter is hiding her body, Angela rattles the door, playing the game and seeing if anyone is inside. Peter smashes the lightbulb with the axe.


Peter needs to find Noel, he was with Rosie in the shag tent so when Rosie doesn’t come back he’ll know. Peter purposely gets caught so he can use the game as a disguise to search for him. It takes a while and, with a pretense that Rosie is looking for him, Peter finds Noel and lures him to the shed. It was easier to swing the axe this time. As he returns to the house, the storm hits, and inside Sebastian is crawling to the drink cabinet, which is perfect. The rest of the clean up was easy because he knew his friends and their habits. He borrowed clothes, staged the shed to look like a burglary and threw water around to confuse things, lastly he flashed his torch to muddle the timeline. As Peter drifts off to sleep, he promises to make something of himself so that their deaths wouldn’t be in vain.


In the London Eye pod, Stevie says she has a story to tell them. She’s able to recount the events of June 23, 1995, pretty accurately all based on how a set of keys all look the same and a toothbrush. While Peter tries to defend himself, the evidence is there. Angela bought the toothbrush to replace the one she borrowed from Peter at their last party because Angela always returned what she borrowed. Everything else in her purse was accounted for on the receipt Stevie found in the trash, but the rocks were put there by Peter. Despite his protests, his friends can see the truth of Stevie’s detective work. Izzy calls for their pod to be lowered.


The minute they get to the ground Peter walks off and Sooz is being held back from throwing Peter into the river by Theo and Sebastian, Julian is on the phone and Yash is taking a moment to himself. What happens now? It’s difficult to prove but it will need to be investigated. The Five, all that now remains of The Nine, will pursue it and they’ll stick together as they look for justice. The Five also promise as thanks they’ll smooth things over for Stevie with her school, possibly something about a terrible stomach bug and vomit everywhere. Phone calls will be made. In the meantime, Stevie will stay with Izzy.


In the taxi back to Craven House the events with David seem to crash down on Stevie now that Angela’s murder is (somewhat) solved. Izzy calls David an idiot and tells Stevie he broke up with her because he’s intimidated by her and ever since he’s regretted it. All he talks about is his amazing smart girlfriend and frankly, she was prepared to not like Stevie. Izzy texts David who is drunk on £3 vodkas in the local so Izzy asks the taxi to take them to the pub. Once there they scan the crowd but Stevie can’t see him. Izzy, a bit too perkily, says she’s mistaken and he must've gone home, but Stevie knows she's lying. She turns and sees David’s face pressed into another.


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