Deadly Fate (Krewe of Hunters #19)(3)

“We have a serial killer on our hands?” Mike asked.

“Let’s pray that we don’t,” Enfield said. He glanced at Thor. “An old partner and friend of yours is on the way here. You remember Jackson Crow?”

Thor was pretty sure that his heart missed an entire beat.

He hadn’t thought about Jackson Crow in a long time, and had only seen him in his dreams.

“Sure, I remember Crow,” Thor said, hoping he sounded easy and casual. “Great agent. We worked together a decade ago.”

Enfield hesitated. “We don’t know yet if there’s any relation here or not, but...” He paused and then shrugged. “You remember, of course, the Fairy Tale Killer? Tate Morley?”

Now Thor felt as if his heart had fallen into the pit of his stomach.

“Of course I remember,” he said huskily.

“Well, he’s out.”

“He’s out?” Thor said, incredulous.

“Yeah. He escaped.”

Thor felt a surge of anger. He’d been afraid of something like this—he’d said so when he heard that Morley had been transferred for his good behavior. Morley had been incarcerated first in the Feds’ one supermax-security prison, but had then been transferred to max security and then a minimum-security prison—all over the last ten years or so.

Thor could never understand how the justice system allowed for such a thing to happen; the man’s ninety-nine-years-plus life sentence hadn’t been lessened by a parole board, and if he’d been left where he’d first been placed, escape would have been near impossible.

Enfield continued, “Seems he made himself a shank, got himself into the infirmary, stabbed a doctor and walked out easily in his white coat and with his credentials.”

“When did this happen?” Thor asked.

He was pretty sure that he was speaking normally, that he moved like a sane man. But in truth, he was going insane inside, his gut clenching and his body on fire.

“He busted out yesterday,” Enfield said. “He hasn’t had a lot of time to get here, but it wouldn’t have been impossible. Victim’s name is Natalie Fontaine. She was a producer for bad TV—bad being my opinion, of course—filming in the area. Well, Gotcha is very, very bad. Vacation USA is okay. Anyway, I knew about Morley’s case—everyone knew about him. I’m not sure he’s the one responsible here. But Jackson Crow will be coming in along with a few of his people, and you and Mike will be taking the lead with him. He seems like an all right guy, willing to listen to the local power. Says that he doesn’t know Alaska. You two do.” Enfield stared at them and added, “He must be something with the main powers that be—the calls I received came straight from the top.”

Thor was somewhat surprised that his old friend had the power to demand in on a case—and bring affiliates with him. But then, he’d heard about the “special” unit that Jackson headed beneath an enigmatic non-field agent named Adam Harrison. Very special. They even had their own offices.

Guys talked about it being the ghost-whispering-busting unit.

But jokes didn’t last long. His old partner’s team had solved too many cases to be considered a joke.

“You okay, Erikson?” Enfield asked.

Was he okay?

Hell, no. The Fairy Tale Killer was out. There was a murder in Seward that seemed to call for help cross-country.

He’d dreamed about Mandy and Jackson Crow.

Mandy was dead.

Jackson Crow was on the way.

Thor felt his sense of dread take hold again.

The Fairy Tale Killer might be back—in Alaska.

“Sir,” he asked Enfield, “why would anyone believe that the murder in Seward might have been committed by the Fairy Tale Killer? Was the victim laid out to look like a princess—like Morley’s victims?”

“No,” Enfield said. “Like I said, we’re not sure it’s the same man—the display of the victim was completely different. But the Fairy Tale Killer is out there somewhere. I have all the information in your folders in the chopper. You can read on your way. Just trust me—the Fairy Tale Killer may not be at work up here, but this isn’t your usual murder, not in any way, shape or form. God help you—you’d better catch this monster fast.”


Clara Avery came to an abrupt halt.

She’d been running, running, running through the snow, well aware that her very life depended on reaching the Alaska Hut before...

Before the killer caught up with her.

Her breath sounded like an orchestra to her own ears; her lungs burned as if they were ablaze with an inner wildfire.

Even as she came to a dead stop, she felt the thunder of her heart.

It was the blood, the blood spattered over the snow, that brought her to the abrupt halt.

There was nothing like it, nothing like the color of blood on the snow on a sunlit day. It was a riveting hue, brilliant and vivid against the golden rays shooting down from the royal blue sky. It was spattered in a clump and led...just over the next rise.

She’d thought he was behind her.

The killer.


She couldn’t just stand there in indecision.

But she didn’t know what the hell to do. Was the killer behind her? Or had he somehow managed to move ahead?

No, that couldn’t be the case. She knew that he had seen her at the Mansion, knew that he’d still been in there, knew that he had heard her leave...

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