The letter broke off abruptly after the words ‘I love you’, depriving detective Snodgrass of his only clue in the grisly murder case.
Sarah Pembrooke had been slaughtered, there was no other word for it. Not a drop of blood was left in her mangled body. The crimson liquid had oozed from her wounds, seeping into the Australian chestnut of her bedroom floor. The stickiness reminded Snodgrass of the time he had spilt a bottle of maple syrup on the kitchen floor as a boy. Her blood almost smelt as sweet as well, he thought.
The police photographer’s flash evoked images of what had happened here. Sarah Pembroke, a high-class prostitute had brought a client to her apartment. They had fucked. He had cummed in her every orifice. And then he had butchered her with a hacksaw. Bluntly, yet meticulously, like a toddler removing pieces from a wooden puzzle.
Every trace had been carefully expunged. Fingerprint were wiped and there wasn’t a hair follicle to be found in the entire apartment. As for the semen he had dumped in his victim, he had poured bleach all over it, assuring no DNA would be uncovered. The whole crime scene was one giant ‘fuck you’ to the police.
Which made it all the more puzzling that he had left the letter, written by a woman in love to one of her clients. A person she named, but whose identity was removed by a frustrating rip in the paper. Snodgrass grazed the rip but was surprised by its sharpness, which extracted a drop of blood from his thumb. The drop clung to the edges of the rip for a second, then rolled along the paper.
Right to left.
Fuck the killer’s games. There always was a clue.
He was left-handed.
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