In any story, everyone has their part to play. Especially the victim.


The Sheepshead Strangler was all over the news again. Although she couldn’t hear from the kitchen, Gwen knew by the tone of the anchors something big had happened overnight. Forensics hadn’t called her to the scene, so it wasn’t another victim. Maybe, she hoped, he’d been caught?

Coffee made, she sat on the couch and watched footage of two vehicles speeding down the FDR Drive. Someone had come close to catching the Strangler—pursuing him on foot, then in a car. The chase went through most of Manhattan before the suspect was lost near Battery Park. Although one anchor praised the cop’s determination, the other condemned such reckless behavior.

No names were mentioned, but Gwen already knew who the pursuing officer was.

“God damn it, Jack.” She found her phone and dialed his number, but went to voice-mail. “Jack,” she said. “I’m watching the news right now. I’m guessing this was you? Call me when you get a chance.”

She tossed the phone aside and slumped with a sigh. She knew Jack had been taking the case seriously—maybe too seriously—but she never expected him to pull a stunt like this. Watching the chaotic footage replay, she imagined him chasing the Strangler through the streets like something out of a cop movie and shook her head.

Nut-job would probably hang from the bottom of a helicopter if he needed to, she thought, finishing her coffee with a chuckle.

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