I enjoyed this immensely. Great characterization and I loved the writing style – some great phrases eg the delicacy of the bayonet. – although I’m not sure about ‘both barrels of his nose’. That made me stop – not a good idea on page one.
You raise some interesting questions that make me want to read on – What did happen with Henry?
I hesitate to make suggestions on such a good piece of writing but my suggestions are:-
Lose the ‘on’ in ‘… assistant deputy was nailed on until Hawke…’.
‘The coroner’s yacht ….’ paragraph I found distracting. My suggestion would be to cut it – it doesn’t add anything significant and it holds up the story.
‘Rock paled … own daughters.’ The verb is too extreme – a frown would do.
Try tightening - Blood erupted from rather than out of her nose…. And cut the of it after ‘a further torrent’.
‘..running footsteps of a colleague’ Running footsteps are hard to identify. Cut the ‘of a colleague’ and substitute ‘colleague’ for ‘male’ in the next sentence. This also tightens the writing.
Take care not to over-write ie blood ran down her face… dripped to the floor. Overkill.