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By John Sandford

A savage psychopath is enjoying cat and mouse with Lucas Davenport. yet either killer and detective locate themselves at odds with a feminine investigator who has intensely own purposes for catching the killer herself-and quick.

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Koop Flory up the stroll; Koop used to be whistling softly, an subconscious, disguising tactic, yet he used to be pissed. Has my key . . . Koop used to be donning a baseball cap, denims, a golfing blouse, and massive white athletic sneakers, like a man simply again from a Twins online game. He stored the hat invoice tipped down. The metal re-rod was once in his correct pocket, protruding an entire foot yet hidden by means of his evidently swinging arm. Goddamned asshole, acquired my key . . . Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, he whistled, Zip-a-dee-ay, and he used to be getting angrier through the second one. My key. . . . during the glass outer door, he may see Flory fumbling at nighttime on the internal lock. Key needs to be in his hand. Koop pulled open the outer door, and Flory, turning the foremost at the internal door, glanced again and acknowledged, “Hi. ” Koop nodded and acknowledged, “Hey,” saved the invoice of his hat down. Flory became again to the door and pulled on it, and as he did, Koop, the cocaine correct there, slipped the re-rod out of his pocket. Flory may need felt whatever, sensed the suddenness of the stream: he stopped with the major, his head bobbing up, yet too overdue. Motherfucker has my key/key/key. . . . Koop slashed him with the re-rod, smashed him at the back of the ear. The re-rod hit—pak! —metal on meat, the sound of a butcher’s cleaver slicing via a rib roast. Flory’s mouth opened and a unmarried syllable got here out: “Unk. ” His head bounced off the glass door and he fell, dragging his fingers down the glass. Koop, relocating quick now, not anything informal now, bent, glancing ferretlike outdoors, then stripped Flory of his pockets: a theft. He stashed the pockets in his pocket, pulled Flory’s key from the lock, opened the Sucrets tin, and quick pressed one aspect after which the opposite into the glazier’s putty. The putty was once simply company, and took excellent impressions. He close the tin, wiped the most important on his pants leg, and driven it again into the lock. performed. He became, nonetheless part crouching, reached for the outer door—and observed the legs. a lady came across the opposite aspect of the door, attempting to go into reverse, already turning. She wore tennis sneakers and a strolling go well with. He’d by no means noticeable her coming. He exploded throughout the door, batting the glass out of his approach with one hand, the opposite pulling the re-rod from his pocket. “No. ” She shouted it. Her face was once frozen, mouth open. within the dim mild, she may well see the physique at the ground in the back of him, and she or he used to be stumbling again, attempting to make her legs stream, to run, stunned. . . . Koop hit her like a leopard, already swinging the re-rod. “No,” she screamed back, eyes widening, enamel flashing in worry. She submit her arm and the re-rod crashed via it, breaking it, lacking her head. “No,” she screamed back, turning, and Koop, above her and coming down, hit her at the again of the neck simply the place it joined her cranium, a blow that might have decapitated her if he’d been swinging a sword. Blood spattered the sidewalk and she or he went right down to the droop, and Koop hit her back, this time around the most sensible of her undefended cranium, a whole, cruel swing, finishing with a crunch, like a heavy guy stepping on gravel.

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