It was 14 months since his wife died. Nobody had been convicted nor had the Police even arrested and charged anyone for the murder.
Initially, of course, he had been considered as the prime suspect. Close relatives are always checked before anyone else, strangers or friends. But he had an alibi. He and his wife had been having a glass of wine with friends that Sunday afternoon. And as usual, his wife left shortly before him leaving him to finish his wine and conversation with their friends.
The story was that when he got home he found his wife with her neck slashed. Blood was everywhere but there was no sign of the murder weapon although there was one knife missing from the knife block on the kitchen bench. The backdoor was unlocked but that was because he was expected home.
There were no clues as to what had happened in the kitchen nor why she had been killed. Nothing had been taken and the house was in its usual state.
She was a simple person, happy with her lot in life, staying at home looking after the house as any good woman would, at least in her estimation. Her days were spent in housework, shopping, helping at the library and lunch and coffee with friends in the village.
So with nothing to work on, after a few months the Police moved on to other cases and his life went back almost to normal.
He returned to work as solicitors’ clerk on Monday to Friday; Saturdays were spent in chores around the house and garden and Sundays found him following their practice of a walk followed by a coffee or more often, a glass of wine with friends. And often on Sunday, he would end up having dinner with one or other of their friends.
So life was almost perfect. He really didn’t miss his wife and her incessant chatter about friends and family and gossip about the village people.
Now he decided that enough time had passed and so one Sunday, arriving home to an empty house after dinner, he took out his maps and brochures and began to plan his trip.