Straying husband Call the No. 1 lady detectives to spy on adulterous spouses
Despite the recession, business is booming for this detective agency
Lips glossed and heels clicking, I feel guilty as hell as I approach the bar, convinced everyone here knows exactly what I’m up to. I spot Rob immediately, with his floppy hair, sexy smile, beautifully-cut suit . . . and wedding ring.
Before you judge, I’m happily married and not about to embark on some sordid assignation. In fact, if all goes to plan, Rob won’t even know I’m here.
You see, I’ve spent the past few days at the UK’s first women-only private detective school, shadowing sleuth Carrie Austin who runs all-female detective agency Harriet Bond (yes, the name is a nod to 007).
Honey trap: Carrie and her eight-strong team put husband suspected of cheating under surveillance (file photo)
Here, they teach you everything from how to put someone under surveillance — as we’re now doing with Rob — to tracing missing persons and even substantiating alibis on behalf of lawyers.
Carrie and her eight-strong team take on cases all over the country. Work is booming, despite the recession, and suspected infidelity is the biggest business by far, with women desperate to confirm whether their worst fears are true.
Some suspicious wives call Carrie after persuading their spouses to undergo a lie-detector test (or polygraph, to give it its official name).
A trained operator analyses whether the results distort when the pertinent questions are asked (such as ‘Have you ever had sex with another person since being in this relationship’), indicating lying.
Thankfully, there are heartwarming cases, too. Carrie helps people trace lost loved ones or biological parents they’ve never known.
End of the affair: Suspected infidelity is the biggest business by far, with women desperate to confirm whether their worst fears are true (file photo)
‘One lady in her 70s had been separated from her brother during World War II and asked us to find him,’ she says. ‘It turned out they’d been living just a few miles apart for decades but didn’t know it.’
Harriet Bond launched last year as an offshoot to the main detective agency because many clients, male and female, feel more comfortable baring their emotions to a woman.
‘Women make fabulous private detectives because we’re perceptive and intuitive,’ says Carrie, 34, who studied psychology before working with a close-protection team, after which she moved into private investigating. ‘We’ve all had our hearts broken, so we can empathise with clients.’
So, think you can cut it as a modern day Miss Marple You know who to call. The name’s Bond. Harriet Bond.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Rob left the bar with another woman. Caught red-handed.