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He grew very serious, though, leaning forward as he asked, “Captain Tyler, after Miss Rockford passed by you, what did you do? What did you see? She must have been murdered right after she passed you. If you saw or heard anything else, we need to know.”

Whitney was surprised when Tyler paused like a man who did have something to contribute. He shivered—or trembled—and then shook his head.

“I’m not always…right. You know, I mean…in the head. I hear explosions when they’re not happening. I see…I see enemy faces in a crowd. I’m not always—right.”

“That’s okay. I understand. But anything you saw or heard or thought that you saw or heard will help me. Anything.”

“A man,” Captain Tyler said.

“What did this man look like? Did you see him with Miss Rockford?” Jude asked.

Tyler shook his head and closed his eyes. He seemed to be in pain. “I’m not sure he was real. He seemed tall in the night, but it might have been his hat. He wore a tall hat. And—and a cloak. And he was carrying something. A bag. Like…”

“Like a backpack?” Jude pressed.

“No. Like an old doctor’s bag,” Tyler said.

Jude sat back a moment, and then asked, “Did you see the man with Ginger Rockford?”

Tyler said, “No. I saw him under the street lamp. I saw him from a distance—he was down Broadway when the young woman was telling me I was a junkie. I’ve never been a junkie. I didn’t see his face, but I did see that he looked strange—as if he didn’t belong there. As if he had…stepped out of the mist from some other time.” He winced again, and gripped his trembling hands together. “I told you—I go to the hospital now and then, but…when I’m on the street, I see things.”

Jude nodded. “Thank you. Captain Tyler, can you still write?”


Jude passed him a legal pad. “Please, write down everything that you thought you saw. We deeply appreciate your help.”

Tyler looked at the pad and held the pencil awkwardly for a moment, and then started writing. Jude waited patiently with him, and then excused himself while Tyler set about finishing his task.

Jude entered the small chamber where Whitney stood with Green.

“He’s not our killer,” Jude said.

“No,” Green agreed. “From my experience, this man wouldn’t be capable.”

“You’ve introduced yourselves, I presume?” Jude asked. “Deputy Chief Nathaniel Green, Whitney Tremont.”

“We’ve met, thank you,” the deputy chief said. “What do you think about the man he saw? Sounds like the image of the Ripper. Do you think that the media is going to cause everyone out there to start seeing men in stovepipe hats and cloaks, carrying medical bags, around the city?”

“Probably,” Jude said wearily. “But I still wanted to talk to Captain Tyler myself. We believed that he was in the area, and so it was important to know what he had to say. He’s not the killer. From what he’s said, it’s looking more possible that we do have a psycho out there who wants to be the new Jack the Ripper.”

“Ellis Sayer called in right before I joined Miss Tremont. He’s talked to Angus Avery, the director on the film Miss Rockford was working on at the site. He’s arranged to meet you at the old diner up in Soho… He should be here in the next half hour.”

The deputy chief nodded. “Sayer also told me that you’ve set up a meeting with the task force in the morning—let’s hope it’s a quiet night.”

“Let’s hope. We have anything from Forensics?”

“We will soon.”

Jude started out of the room, and then paused. “Sir, do you think we could get someone to—”

“I’ll get an officer to see if we can get Captain Tyler into a shelter for the night. He may refuse our help, but I’ll offer what we can,” Green said.

Jude nodded. He sighed, as if he’d forgotten to pick up a brick he had to carry around his neck.

“Agent Tremont?”

“Sir,” Whitney said to Green. It was nice to meet you or it was a pleasure just seemed wrong under the circumstances.

“Good to have you here, Agent Tremont,” Green told her, and she thanked him.

Once again, she had to hurry to catch up with Jude. He was already moving through the building.

She realized quickly that he didn’t intend to ditch her—brick around his neck or no, he’d been given his orders regarding her federal involvement along with the rest of the team, and as long as she didn’t get in his way, she’d be fine. He simply assumed that she’d follow at his speed.

And so she kept up. She was at the passenger’s side of his car again before he could open the driver’s side.

She buckled in silently. As they pulled out into traffic again, she realized that he glanced at her.

“You heard him, of course.”

“Captain Tyler?”


“Of course. I hear very well, Detective. Young ears, you know.”

She thought that he almost grinned. “I’m not sure exactly what insights the specialty of your team might provide, but I don’t believe that the ghost of Jack the Ripper has come to murder people in New York City.”

“I don’t believe that, either,” she assured him.

“But you do believe in ghosts,” he said. Lord! She’d heard that tone often enough.

“I believe that, frequently, by looking at the past, we can understand what’s happening in the present,” she said evenly.

He made some kind of snorting sound that was almost beneath his breath.

Whitney held her silence.

“Ghosts,” he muttered after a minute.

She turned to stare at him. “Do you have any religious beliefs, Detective? Are you an atheist?”

She thought his jaw hardened, but it was difficult to tell with him. He hid his emotion well—unless he meant for it to show.

“Do I believe in God? Yes, I suppose I believe in a higher power.”

“Hmm.” She allowed herself a small sniff.

“And what does that mean?”

“Crosby—Irish. I’ll bet you grew up Catholic,” she said.

“Tremont—French? Hmm. New Orleans. Catholic—Baptist, voodooist, vampire Buddhist…Wiccan?”

She shook her head, offering him a smile with just a slight edge. He wasn’t happy that he was saddled with a small woman. She was also a woman of mixed heritage who came from a city known for its alternative beliefs—voodoo, mumbo jumbo, as some thought. “Obviously, my background is mixed,” she told him. “But, you see, my point here is that anyone who grew up Catholic, or in many of the Christian religions, already acknowledges a ‘holy’ ghost in the Nicene Creed. Most of us worship a higher, unseen power. Most people worldwide have some kind of faith in an afterlife, and if we can believe this without seeing what lies beyond, why does it seem so ridiculous that the energy that was life can stay behind?”

His eyes were on the road ahead of him. She saw the muscles in his face twitch. He didn’t believe that energy stayed behind.

“Hell,” he said, glancing her way, “if you can solve this case with ghosts, just go right on and be my guest.”

Whitney smiled, not responding. There was something she liked about him, despite his curt manner with her. He had a good strong jawline and steady eyes. She thought he probably hit a gym now and then and she wondered if he spent time with a punching bag—he had callused knuckles.

“Angus Avery…I know the name. He’s not as big as a Spielberg, but he’s not an unknown,” Whitney said.

“That’s right—your expertise is film.”

“Yeah, I’m good with it—you wait and see,” she told him. “I worked with some excellent people—filmmakers from several of the major educational channels. I’d intended to make documentaries. Eventually, I would have found my own projects.”

“But you woke up one morning and decided you wanted to be an FBI agent?” he asked.

She looked over at him. He glanced her way, but his attention was for driving.

“I like where my life has gone,” she said. “And even you will like Jackson Crow and some of the others.”

He laughed. “Even me?”

“You’re not pleased to have me hanging around.”

To her surprise, he was quiet for a minute. “Sorry. It’s just that Monty—my partner—was like another half of me. We had a situation under control, and some idiot vigilante walked in and one man wound up dead and my partner may never walk again. You’re fine. In fact,” he said, and he grinned broadly, glancing her way again, “I think I’m happier to have you than whoever they might have assigned me. You’re a guest of the city police. You won’t be trying to second-guess me.”

“I may be.”

“Still, you’ll have to bow to my decisions—I’m lead.”

“I’m sure the task force will all bow to you,” Whitney said.

He swerved slightly, avoiding a taxi that didn’t seem to realize that there were lanes on Broadway. A few minutes later, in Soho, he pulled into a spot that had looked too small for the car.

“Diner is up there, on the corner,” he said. He took her elbow, directing her toward the end of the street. Keeping up with him meant long strides, and she took them.

They entered the touristy diner, which was decorated in red plastic and chrome with old movie posters on the walls. Looking around, Jude pointed down a row of glitter-red plastic booths.

“Is that him?” he asked Whitney.

She looked. A lone man was sitting in one of the middle booths. He was on his phone, and he’d doodled all over the napkin at his place setting. He had dark hair that was swept over his forehead in a strange way—hair transplant, gotta keep young, Whitney thought—and gold-rimmed glasses and he seemed to be thirty-five or so.