Chapter 47

Perlmutter and Duncan had just gotten off the Garden State Parkway at Interstate 287, no more than five miles from the house in Armonk, when the call was radioed in:

"They were here-Lawson's Saab is still in the driveway-but they're gone now."

"How about Beatrice Smith?"

"Nowhere in sight. We just got here. We're still checking the residence."

Perlmutter thought about it. "Wu would figure that Charlaine Swain would report seeing him. He'd know he had to get rid of the Saab. Do you know if Beatrice Smith had a car?"

"Not yet, no."

"Is there any other car in the driveway or garage?"

"Hold on." Perlmutter waited. Duncan looked at him. Ten seconds later: "No other car."

"Then they took hers. Find out the make and license plate. Get an APB out right away."

"Okay, got it. Wait, hold on a second, Captain." He was gone again.

Scott Duncan said, "Your computer expert. She thought that Wu was maybe a serial killer."

"She thought it was a possibility."

"You don't believe it though."

Perlmutter shook his head. "He's a pro. He doesn't pick victims for jollies. Sykes lived alone. Beatrice Smith is a widow. Wu needs a place to stay and operate. This is how he finds those places."

"So he's a gun for hire."

"Something like that."

"Any thoughts on who he's working for?"

Perlmutter held the wheel. He took the Armonk exit. They were only about a mile away now. "I was hoping you or your client might have an idea."

The radio crackled. "Captain? You still there?"

"I am."

"One car registered to Mrs. Beatrice Smith. A tan Land Rover. License plate 472-JXY."

"Get an APB out on it. They can't be far."