A killer arrives in Avoca, Oklahoma, where he marks two murder scenes using skin from a dead man’s thumb dipped in the victim’s blood. He poses as a Texas Ranger and takes refuge in the home of a pastor-friend to get close to his next target.
“What?” he said, startled at the broken silence.
The department secretary lowered her head. Her left hand clutched a box the size of a brick. “This was on your car.”
Canyon looked at the box; at her. “Who found it?”
“Shannon. She said it was on the hood so she went over to check it out. Thought maybe you’d set it there and forgot or something.”
Why her? he thought, half hearing what the secretary said after “Shannon,” his focus now split between the former Miss Teen Stillwater and the package on the desk.
“...Anyway, you have it now. I’ve got to get home.”
Canyon examined the box for anything that might indicate the sender’s identity. Finding nothing, he slit open the top with a scissor’s blade. A seatbelt buckle met his gaze.
He pulled on a pair of surgical gloves from a box he kept in the bottom drawer of his desk. He removed the buckle and set it aside. He picked up the paper and read the note printed in red ink.
I imagined something and worked on it until I made it a reality. The ease of it shocked me.
At six last Wednesday I strolled invited into the schoolteacher’s house, killed him and left a souvenir for you on the mirror.
I guess you’re wondering why I’m sharing this with you. Here’s why: family values. I believe in keeping family close. Their survival depends on it.
Honesty works better than anything I know. Think truth. It’s the only way you’ll find me amidst a trio of deceit.
Look at your watch if you don’t believe me. Check the time. Two minutes slow, isn’t it?
Some people are worth saving, Detective. Don’t be late.