The Hunt Ball Hit and Run: who could be in the frame?
Ambridge (and the internet) is rife with speculation over who was behind the wheel of the car that hit Matt on the night of the Hunt Ball.
The scene of the crime on the lane that leads to Grey Gables is being analysed by Borsetshire Police. Will it give away anything about the identity of the driver?
Could any of the following Ambridge residents be called in for questioning?
Top of the list has to be Mr Elliott. Matt has been getting under Justin’s skin for months. Thanks to Matt, Justin’s purchase of land from his fiancee's brother (Tony) got complicated and as a result relations between the Dower House and Bridge Farm soured.
Justin decided to get his own back by meddling with the Investors’ Day that Matt hosted at Grey Gables for Melling Equestrian Investments. But the scores didn’t remain even for long.
Soon came the revelation about the ownership of the Dower House. Though in trust for Lilian, Matt hadn't stepped away from it entirely. Only by paying 10% more than its market value could Justin start the process of removing Matt’s influence.
And there’s Ruby, the puppy that Matt bought Lilian for her 70th birthday. Justin and Lilian fell in love with her and chose to ignore how she came into their lives. But when Ruby went missing Matt played the situation to maximise Justin’s annoyance.
Alistair’s stress levels have rocketed since Matt’s return to Ambridge. And fresh in his mind is Shula's theory that the run of bad luck experienced by both of their businesses at the Stables is the handiwork of Matt.
First, Matt cosied up to Alistair’s veterinary partner Anisha, recruiting her for the vet checks he needed for the racehorses he was buying. With past connections to Matt that he’d rather forget, this put Alistair on edge.
Anisha got suspicious and eventually Alistair came clean about his past to her. It nearly broke their professional partnership. But in the end Anisha stuck by Alistair and sent Matt packing. But is the past really dead and buried for Alistair?
Adam has seen at close hand how Matt has been getting to Lilian. Adam told her not to live in fear of Matt but to live her life and focus on her commitment to Justin; if Matt needed dealing with he would handle it.
An opportunity arose for Adam to have a private word with Matt and he warned him to stay away from his aunt. In true Matt style, Adam's foe rose to the occasion and riled Adam by insulting his and Ian’s hopes to have a child. Adam lost his temper and punched Matt to the ground. Matt had the last word though; if he phoned the police Adam and Ian’s family plans would be over.
This threat must have been hanging heavy on Adam’s mind. Can he trust Matt to not to say anything or would it better to take action to make sure Matt stayed quiet?
Matt has driven her to distraction to the point where she has refused to leave the house to keep out of his way.
As Matt's time in Ambridge has gone on, Lilian's guard against him weakened. She knows the very worst of him as well as the very best. When Matt asked her to leave the country with him she vociferously refused but then later confided in Adam that for a split second she was tempted to take up the offer.
Is she mad at him for wheedling his way back into her life? And has she now got even?
What’s more, there’s how he left in 2015. He did a runner, clearing out their bank accounts and taking anything of value from the Dower House. And you know what they say, revenge is a dish best served cold...
OK, it is perhaps a long-shot but the Jill Archer alarm must be sounding in the headquarters of Borsetshire Police. Surely, since her arrest earlier this year, she is now a person of interest when any crime occurs in the vicinity of Ambridge?
It can’t have got past Jill that Matt has been ruffling feathers all over the village. Has she been watching from the sidelines and decided enough is enough?
Earlier in the year Jill took direct action against a high end restaurant when it kicked out a pay-what-you-can café from its premises. She ended up getting arrested. Jill has seen the effect she can have when she takes matters into her own hands. Could she have also got a taste for the criminal life?