Bloody Overkill, I muttered under my breath. I’d been standing in the hot sun for a full three minutes as the dear old friend I was visiting at the coast unlocked the padlocks on her security gate, terrace gate, garage gate and, finally, garden gate. I get that a lot, my friend, a high court judge, sighed as she let me in, then began repeating the outside-in locking process. Paranoid? My raised eyebrows asked the question, but she shook her head as she switched on the indoor alarm before heading to the kitchen to make us coffee. Careful, she said. Just embarrassingly, ridiculously, cautious. I’m scared, she said, all the time. I’m not taking any chances. As we sipped our coffee, my friend told me I was lucky to be spared having to sit through a daily litany of horror; tales of the cruelty inflicted on women; rape, beatings, humiliation. And murder. On a regular basis, rapists and murderers appear before my friend as she sits on the bench, men she says could only be described as evil...

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