McCready tensed, crouching low beside a large hedge and peering ahead through the fog and the rain that was compressing Forrester Park like a wet blanket.The city was hiding, it had been raining steadily since noon and no one was moving.

In the pale glow of the luminaires lighting the walking path, he saw a brief glimpse of a shadowy figure sliding through the fog, gone as quickly as it had appeared.

McCready moved ahead, staying in the shadows and parallelling the path.He knew it was Matisse, he could feel it in every fiber of his being. Bey had been watching him for days and had called him on her cell phone when Matisse began to move.

McCready and his partner, Luce Bey, had been investigating a string of murders of young women that had been dubbed the Vampire Killings, due to fang marks left in the victims necks after they had been stabbed from behind through the kidneys with some sort of long, thin blade.Of course, no blood had been taken from the victims other than that caused by the stabbings and it was assumed that the killer had some sort of vampire fantasy, probably the manifestation of a control/power obsession.Two victims had been found in the park, three others in the Northwest industrial area at different locations.Those had been dumped, the first two had been killed in the park on the path and dragged into the bushes.

Their first break had come with the last killing of a young woman named Rebecca Mohr. After digging into her background, it came to light that a former employer had been given a visit by the Police for stalking Mohr after she had quit her job when her boss started pressuring her for sexual relations.

Jules Matisse was the employer, a strange, effeminate man in his sixties who ran a small bookstore in the Old Town section of the city. It turned out that he had made advances to Mohr, who had quit her job after he couldn’t take a hint. Matisse began calling and texting her repeatedly until she finally called the cops. After he got a visit from the Police, the calls stopped and there was no further trouble reported.

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