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“And here’s the thing. The movie will sell like hot-cakes,” Whitney said.

“It’s not completed, though.”

“Don’t worry—the producers will bring in a director to finish the movie. No one will let go of a box-office blockbuster like this is sure to be,” Whitney assured him.

Jude munched a cracker and then said thoughtfully, “Well, Angus Avery was in the city when the first two girls were killed. He did have a motive, twisted as it might be. He knew the history of the House of Spiritualism, and he certainly had the kind of movie money at his disposal to get around. Anyone out there might have studied the Ripper case, and Carrie Brown is of historical note, as well.”

“You don’t believe it,” she said.

“It’s just—it just doesn’t sit right. It would have been easy enough, I think, for anyone to have slipped into the veterans’ home—it’s open to visitors, and it’s not a prison. They’re still feeling their way on how to run the place. But whoever did this seemed familiar with police procedure. I suppose that Angus Avery could have worked with any number of police consultants over the years. And he would know that he had to kill quickly—before a victim could scratch him, or get a hold of him in any way that would give us DNA. These days, I’m sure, with the number of police-procedural shows, most people are aware that DNA can be a clincher in court. He would know, too, that the law would require due process…but so would anyone. Here’s what I don’t get as well—he knew nothing about anatomy, as far as we can discover. Not that the Ripper murders were necessarily carried out by someone with real medical knowledge—but the killer did know something about anatomy.”

Whitney shrugged. “Maybe he studied anatomy books?” she suggested.

“Thing is, a lot of this is harder than some people realize. You need strength to strangle someone. You really need strength to nearly sever a human head.” He shook his head. “One of the limo drivers had to be involved. That, or the killer had to have an accomplice. There had to be some blood on him, and that costume would have been noticed in the subway—even in New York.” He took another long swig of his beer, and moved the tray onto the bedside table. He leaned toward her. “There’s still work to be done, I’m afraid, if I’m going to accept all this. But, at least, I can pray that the murders will stop.”

Whitney nodded. She tried to shake off the somber mood of their discussion. “I say we call in for Chinese.”

“I think that’s great,” he said huskily.

“I’m going to phone Angela and let her know that I’ll be late.”

He reached out, stroking her cheek. “Call Angela, and tell her that I’ll have you back in the morning,” he suggested.

She smiled. “Okay.”

It was an amazing night; the Chinese food was delicious. Whitney wasn’t even sure what they ate. She teased him about being a cat person; he told her that cats were independent, and so, made very good pets. “Dogs are great animals, but they need a lot of attention,” he said.

Whitney thought about her ghost dog. “They give a lot of love,” she told him.

“That may be true,” he said. “But cats rule. And,” he said, pulling her close to him, “people can give devotion and love and all that, too,” he said.

“Not to mention really great sex?” she whispered.

It hadn’t actually been an invitation, but he took it as such. When they were exhausted and replete again, it was late, and they both drifted off to sleep, still entangled with one another, as if they needed to connect forever.

But that night, Whitney dreamed. She was back in her room at Blair House, and she woke because the dog was tugging at her nightgown. She didn’t want to waken, but she did. She sat up. The dog wasn’t alone. Her room was filled with women. Annie Doherty stood at the front of the group, her eyes sad and entreating. Behind her were other women; at first, she thought that they were all in period dress. But then she realized that there were four who were not. She recognized the face that Jake Mallory had created on the computer, the face of Sarah Larson. And there was Virginia Rockford, and behind her, Melody Tatum. And in the far corner, Jane Doe dry, the girl who still had no name.

One by one, they turned and started out of the room.

The dog remained, tugging at her nightgown, whining and thudding his tail. She was supposed to follow, she knew.

They led her down the stairs and out of the house, and the night was misty and dark. They walked down the block, and she could see faint lines, as if of a movie projection in the air, where the House of Spiritualism had once stood. And she could see the maw of the foundation.

Down to the depths, where the darkness writhed. It was the same shapeless…shape that they had seen on their screens.

Whitney didn’t understand what she was supposed to see—the bodies of the women murdered at the House of Spiritualism had been discovered; the bodies of the current victims were at the morgue as well.

But there was something else there. And she was supposed to find it.

She felt as if the abyss were sucking her in, as if she were moving on some kind of astral plane in that direction.

She paused. The shadow rose from the ground and took form—the silhouette of a man in a cloak and a tall hat, and he held a long-bladed knife. She saw a woman walking near him, and saw the man reach out, and he jerked her against his form, his one hand choking her…

She began to slump against him.

He ripped the knife against her throat, and shadow blood began to spurt from the wound.

Suddenly, a loud screeching noise burst upon her. She awoke, startled, not sure where she was.

She felt warm arms around her; naked flesh, powerful arms.

“Just the phone,” Jude said, rising by her side and fumbling on the nightstand for his phone.

He answered it. “Crosby.”

His features went taut, his mouth pursed into a grim line.

“I’m on the way,” he said.

Whitney stared at him.

“There’s another victim—off Broadway. Her throat was slashed, probably half an hour ago now. She was discovered by one of the police officers patrolling the area. The blood was still oozing from her throat and her body was still warm.”


Just like Elizabeth Stride, the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper. This woman’s throat had been slit, but there was no sign of any mutilation on her body. The officer had come upon the killer, and interrupted him before he could carry out any further atrocity.

Hunched down by the body, Jude felt numb and dull as Dr. Fullbright performed his cursory inspection of the victim before the body was taken for autopsy.

Could he have stopped this anyway? Doubtful.

But he stood, searching the street. He looked over at Sayer, who was standing quietly about five feet away.


“Jude,” Ellis said quietly, “I have our entire task force and half the beat police in the city walking the streets.”

“There’s going to be a second murder,” Jude said. “There’s going to be a second murder very soon, and when we find that body, it will be more horribly mutilated. This killer is definitely imitating the past closely, and the women in the Victorian East End were killed within the hour—the double event. Someone else is going to die soon—if he hasn’t chosen his second victim already.”

“I’d say she died just minutes before 1:00 a.m.,” Fullbright announced. He looked up at Jude. “But you didn’t really need me here to know that—Officer Grayson walked this street at a quarter to one and walked it again thirty minutes later and found Miss Laurie Thibault.”

Jude felt as if he could barely stand still; he was powerless, and he loathed the killer with a frightening vengeance. They were being played, and in a city the size of New York, there was little that he could do about it. Hundreds of police officers were now searching the area.

They knew the victim’s name because her handbag was still over her shoulder. She had performed in a burlesque show running in a tent near South Street Seaport, according to the flyers in her handbag. Since her cell phone was in her bag as well, they’d been able to call the director of the show, who had already told them that they’d been to a party at the Ritz downtown; she had left to get a cab home at eleven-thirty, and no one knew what had happened from there.

Jackson stood near him; he had already assessed the body. Whitney was at his side. The rest of the team was with the police, searching the area and desperately trying to stop the next murder.

“Oh, my God!” Whitney gasped suddenly.

Jackson looked at her, waiting. Jude walked to her, taking her by the shoulders.

“The construction site!” she said.

“We have cameras in there—we’ve observed from the beginning,” Jackson said, frowning.

“The next victim won’t be down in the deep section. We’ll find her somewhere along the chain-link fence.”

She turned, hurrying down Broadway. Jude, Ellis and Jackson followed her.

Jude damned the city for not having brighter lights in the area. Budget cuts, he thought resentfully. Running, he saw that there was some kind of dark blob on the sidewalk. A chill swept through him.

She had been right. Whitney had been right.

He got ahead of her, calling out for the others to stay back.

The woman lay on her back, her arms fallen to the side. Her palms were upward, and her fingers were slightly curled.

Jude hunched down. His hands were already gloved. He didn’t touch her to see if she was alive—it was more than evident that she was not. Her one leg was crossed over her body; her abdomen was sliced open, and her organs had been ripped out and arranged around the body.

He steeled himself and took a deep breath.

How in the hell had the killer managed what he had at this time? The place was crawling with cops, and there were lights everywhere now…

He had functioned by sleight of hand, Jude thought. While all the attention had been at the first murder scene, he had carried out his gruesome mutilations. He’d had to have known as well that he would be in extreme danger of being caught. Perhaps that had made it all a greater thrill for him.