R obyn looked increasingly confused as she listened to the recording. Deep creases cut across her forehead and at one point she leaned forward and put her head in her hands. Nightingale looked over at Agnes but the guard seemed to be engrossed in her newspaper.
Eventually Robyn sat back and took out the earphones. The blood had drained from her face. ‘It was Marcus Fairchild,’ she said, her voice a hoarse whisper.
‘Yes,’ said Nightingale.
‘He said he was my friend. He said he’d represent me for no money because he wanted to help me.’ She reached over and grabbed Nightingale’s hands. ‘He lied to me, Jack. He framed me.’
‘That’s what it looks like.’
‘Why would he do that?’ Her nails dug into his flesh.
‘Maybe they needed somebody to take the blame.’
‘They? Who do you mean?’
‘He’s a member of a group that kills children. Sacrifices them. By setting you up, it would bring any police investigation to an end.’
‘But why did I believe that I’d done it?’
‘I think he managed to hypnotise you. He planted false memories in your head, and once you thought you had done it you pleaded guilty and that was that.’
She finally released her grip on his hands and sat back, folding her arms and rocking backwards and forwards.
‘Why me? Why did that bastard pick on me? What did I ever do to him?’
Nightingale took a deep breath. ‘I think it has something to do with Ainsley Gosling,’ he said. ‘He was a member of the same group as Fairchild. It’s possible that Fairchild found out that you were Gosling’s daughter.’
‘So my own father sold me out?’
‘I don’t think so, Robyn. I’m pretty sure that Gosling didn’t know where you were. He lost touch with you after you were adopted. But Fairchild could have found out. Maybe there was bad blood between Fairchild and Gosling. I don’t know. I wish I had the answers for you.’
‘What do I do now, Jack?’ She nodded at the recorder. ‘You’re going to give that to the police, right?’
‘I’m not sure that’ll help.’
‘You have to get me out of here. I didn’t do it. I know now that I didn’t do it.’
‘Unfortunately you said you did and you can’t just take it back.’
Robyn pointed at the recorder. ‘But that’s proof, isn’t it? It’s proof that I didn’t do it.’
‘No, it’s not proof,’ said Nightingale. ‘At least not proof that a court will accept. Why would a court believe your new memory over what you said in court?’
‘We can tell them that Fairchild hypnotised me.’
‘We can’t prove that, Robyn. And he’s certainly not going to confess, is he? Who do you think they’ll believe? You, a convicted child killer, or Marcus Fairchild, a top City lawyer?’
‘So what are you saying? I rot here for the rest of my life for something I didn’t do?’
Nightingale shook his head. ‘No. I’ve got a plan.’
Nightingale took a deep breath. ‘What I’m going to tell you will sound crazy.’
‘Any crazier than what I just heard? I don’t think so.’
‘You understand what happened? Marcus Fairchild is a Satanist. The children were killed in a Satanic ceremony.’
‘For what? Why kill children?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Nightingale.
‘You don’t know much, do you?’ she said, her voice loaded with bitterness.
‘I know how to get you out of here,’ said Nightingale quietly.