Peradventure, Misadventure
by Tom Webster

Tom Webster - Peradventure, Misadventure

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 16th September 1989 @ 7:45 p.m.

Detective Sergeant Adam Gedling is a reluctant detective, not knowing if the job is for him. One evening, Adam gets called out to Belton Court to investigate the death of a cat burglar who fell while pulling a job. When the police examined the flats above they find none broken into and, as nothing could be found on the roof or balconies, they don't know how he fell. Through fingerprints, Adam is able to identify the body as that of Mike Brad who had a previous conviction 19 years earlier. Mike was born in Hungary into a circus family that specialised in trapeze and high-wire acts and came over in 1956 after the rising in Budapest.

To Adam's boss, it's an open and shut case, but Adam decides to look into it further and visits Helen Kodali, Mike's beautiful sister and only relative. Helen had always taken her older brother for granted as he was always a shadowy figure in the background for her, but now she sees how protective and supportive he was. She never thought about him at all, but now she can't stop trying to imagine what sort of life he led.

With Adam ready to walk away from the case (though he is very attracted to Helen), in walks Howard Croft, a former 'sleazy' crime reporter for a major paper who is now working freelance. He liked Mike, who belonged to the same chess club as him, and tells Helen that he will find out the truth about Adam's death. All his professional instinct tells him that something isn't quite right. Here's this chap he knows - good mind, cultivated, fascinating background, successful in business. Then he reads he's dead in circumstances that indicate he's a common criminal. Howard has spent half his life amongst criminals and he has known a good many who have kept up a respectable front, but there was always something about them. Not Mike. To Howard, the police saw that Mike had a record and saw "Ha! A villian!", up to no good and he fell. A perfunctory investigation and that's that. They were too eager to jump to the obvious conclusion, but there is doubt in his death - a peradventure / misadventure.

Howard does some digging and finds out that Mike was a highly accomplished and very selective break-in specialist, but there is considerable doubt about the way he died. For Mike, it was a simple crime, a piece of cake. Nobody believed Mike's death was an accident. It was all set up so the police only had to go through the motions. If someone wanted Mike out of the way, it was a perfect way to do it. An occupational hazard. He assumed Mike specialised in luxury flats with rich pickings but it seems he didn't. Not recently at least. He worked offices, company buildings, places like that in and outside London. Another odd thing Howard found out that there seems to be little or no comeback from his break-ins - no police activity which means it was probably industrial espionage. Something along those lines.

But soon Howard's snooping leads to trouble ...

With Alan Parnaby [Detective Sergeant Adam Gedling], Geoffrey Matthews [Chief Inspector 'Tug' Wilson], Claire Faulconbridge [Helen Kodali], Edwin Richfield [Howard Croft, a Freelance Journalist], Roger Hume [Ken Atwood], Kim Durham [Bill], John Dixon [Steve], Hedli Niklaus [Sally], Jo Kendall [Lorna], Philip Sully [Kenny], and Joe Dunlop [The Chief Superintendent].

Other parts were played by members of the cast.

Directed by Peter Windows in the BBC Pebble Mill Studios

90 minutes


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