By John Sandford

After one bothered college-age scholar disappears and are stumbled on slashed to demise, Lucas Davenport reveals himself looking what seems to be a modern day Jack the Ripper. yet Lucas retains getting the sneaking suspicion that there's anything else concerned. anything very undesirable, very darkish, and as elusive as a phantom.

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No one may possibly ever have came upon that the homicide had taken position on the Austin apartment. Given the tendency of erratic younger Minnesota women to run off to extra romantic areas, far-off from January in Minnesota . . . the law enforcement officials will not be searching for her, even now. now not too not easy, besides. now not but. And the date of her disappearance will be said as numerous days too past due. So the killer had thought of it. He’d taken the physique out to his motor vehicle, had wiped clean up—had neglected a few small spatters, yet had gotten the remainder of it, adequate in order that just a clued-in crime-scene workforce may possibly locate the indicators. as soon as the physique used to be within the motor vehicle, he’d desired to do away with it. chilly, snowy January. most unlikely to dig a grave, with no heavy apparatus. rather a lot snow that he wouldn’t be capable to come again into the woods, on a path. Lucas went to the telephone, referred to as the workplace: “Carol. anything to do instantly. i would like all of the neighborhood sheriff’s deputies and road patrolmen alerted to the chance that there’s a physique in the market within the ditches, the place the snow’s melting. additionally, in parks that have been open at evening, or at any place that used to be cleared through snowplows. i need them to ascertain any luggage that may be sufficiently big, whatever that appears anomalous. ” “Frances Austin? ” “Yeah. She’s out there,” Lucas acknowledged. “And now not too faraway from Sunfish Lake. ” an opportunity they’d locate it, he idea, while he’d hung up. however, if the killer had hauled the physique down into an overgrown gully someplace, or right into a still-standing cornfield, it could actually no longer be came across for months. He was once status there, operating it out, whilst the housekeeper got here down the corridor, pulling on an ankle-length loden-green coat that made her appear like an East German cop. Or what Lucas imagined an East German cop had as soon as gave the impression of. “I need to visit the grocery store with Mrs. Austin’s list,” she acknowledged. “I’ll be long gone an hour; will you continue to be the following? ” “Probably. ” “If you might want to cross, may you place the safety approach? Mrs. Austin is especially specific approximately that. ” She confirmed him find out how to do it: a one-button press-and-hold. “Then you have got thirty seconds to get out. ” whilst she was once long past, he considered the thirty seconds. Why had the alarm method been off whilst Austin got here domestic? as the undesirable man didn’t understand how to reset it? Or since it might take greater than thirty seconds to get the physique out the door? yet he can have get back. Hmm. both the killer didn’t know the way to reset it, or Lucas used to be making an excessive amount of of the alarm. the strain of the homicide, he may well easily have forgotten. in fact it have been became off—so had the killer arrived with Frances? It appeared so. or even almost immediately after her. but when he’d arrived individually, there might were vehicles, and Frances’s were came across again by means of her condominium, were tested minutely, and there has been no blood within the inside. Had humans come jointly, after which left individually, one riding Frances’s vehicle, one using the automobile with the physique? killers? He labored on it for a minute, and located just one convenient resolution: both the killer had arrived with Frances, or there have been killers.

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