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On the search for a serial killer, Detective Anthony Parglietto and Flynn Parker learn that every man must make a choice: to kill, to live, to love.
Someone is leaving a trail of bodies throughout London, and Detective Anthony Parglietto is determined to end the violence. Then he’ll return to the man he loves.
Tough, street-savvy, and used to dealing with lowlifes, Flynn Parker is the last person Anthony thinks he has to protect. Then the Bow-Tie Killer strikes close to home and the world turns upside down. Right is wrong, black is white, and a policeman might become a monster. But in the name of love, justice must be served. In the name of love, pain can be endured. In the name of love, a man can taste the very essence that defines him.
Detective Inspector Anthony Parglietto strode around the kitchen in Flynn’s home. He ran a large, tanned hand through mid-length, curly black hair as he growled into his mobile phone.
“Jesus, Rupert, I’ve told you already! He’s fucking gone, and all I have is this bloody cryptic note signed BTK, and we all fucking know who that is. Yes, that one. I’ve just sent a picture of Flynn off to your phone. His satchel is still here, the front door was open—that’s not like him at all. He’s normally ultra-cautious. You know how bloody paranoid he is.”
Anthony looked down at the note on the kitchen table, pinned there by a full tomato sauce bottle, a condiment he knew Flynn refused to have in his kitchen. Anthony had never even been able to get him to buy it for his own bloody fish and chips, for God’s sake, so the bottle must mean something.
As he’d arrived at Flynn’s basement flat off the street around eleven-thirty p.m., Anthony had seen the open front door. He’d made his way inside. Flynn’s old, beaten satchel in which he stored all manner of things was sitting on the kitchen counter, with his mobile in it. His laptop bag was at the side of the kitchen table. Flynn’s house keys were on the tabletop. The note had been sitting on the table and Anthony had glanced at it, thinking Flynn had to dash out quickly and left him a note. The handwritten words on the cream note paper had frozen his blood.
Anthony. I have your little fuck buddy. I’ll send him back once I’m finished with him, but he might not be in the same mint condition. Sorry about that. You might just have to have sloppy seconds tonight. Your buddy, BTK.
He’d not touched the note, just called the station and told them to get the Scene of Crime team down here fucking quickly, midnight or not. Once he’d hung up, he’d had time to process the chilling words, fearing what they meant. Then he’d found another note, addressed to Flynn on the same cream-coloured notepaper, lying on the floor by the sink.
By the time he reads this, you’ll be mine. Inside and out.
The two bits of paper had sent Anthony spinning into a spiral of frustration and fear. He stood now in agonised helplessness, his broad-shouldered figure gazing out into the darkness beyond. Anthony Parglietto was forty-two years old, six-foot-four and muscled like a boxer, with an explosive Italian temper just like his mother’s.
The Criminal Investigation Department—the Homicide and Serious Crime unit, in fact—had been his home now for the past nine years. He grimaced as he gazed out of the window. All he could think about now was that the monster he was hunting had Flynn in his clutches. Flynn of the cheeky smile and pale blue icy eyes and a nose for trouble—both causing it and getting into it.
He strode impatiently to the front door and peered out into the street above. It was quiet. Still no SOC team. SOC were usually quick to get to the crime scene but Anthony had no time to wait when Flynn was in mortal danger. Street lights flickered and ebbed undecidedly. Anthony muttered an expletive as he stalked back into the kitchen, tapping his fingers impatiently against his thigh. Close to ten minutes later, he heard the sound of a commotion outside. He walked impatiently over to the door, once again looking up into the street. The detective saw the fat, waddling form of Joe MacGrew, dressed in his white pull-on suit, and his assistant, Maddy Glover, exit their van. Anthony double-timed to the top of the stairs and waved his arms at the pair. They looked at him and Joe nodded. The couple approached, both looking tired and bleary eyed.
Joe clapped a hand on Anthony’s shoulder as he walked down the stairs and past him into the flat. “Anthony, don’t worry. We’ll find him. The rest of the team are on their way.”
Joe walked past Anthony and into the kitchen and looked around, shrewd eyes assessing the situation.
Despite his dread, Anthony felt reassured. Joe and Maddy were among the best at what they did and they’d find something. They had to.
“Is this the note?” Joe asked quietly. He took a swift look around the room, keen eyes noting the layout and no doubt documenting the tableau set before him. “Have you taken a look around yourself? Find anything you want to tell me about?”
Anthony nodded. “Just the notes and the sauce bottle. It doesn’t belong to Flynn. He won’t have it in the house. And there’s another note too. I found it on the floor.” He frowned at Joe’s look. “Don’t worry. I picked it up with a piece of cling wrap. My prints aren’t on it. I’m not a fool, Joe. I’ve been doing this for a while.”
He watched as Joe and Maddy did what they did best, all the time feeling a sense of complete helplessness that he could do nothing useful himself yet. Joe laid his kit out on the kitchen table as Maddy picked up the tomato sauce bottle in her gloved hands, examining the bottle.
“It’s not a new one. It’s been refilled from the looks of it.” She twisted the cap, lifting the bottle to her nose. Her face paled as she looked at Joe grimly.
“This is blood.”
She dipped a cotton bud in the substance and took out her little spray bottle of luminol. Anthony watched in trepidation as the bud turned a greenish blue. He knew all too well what that meant. He paled, bile welling up in his throat that he swallowed, feeling its acidic sting as it went down.
“Jesus Christ. Human blood?”
She shook her head, her face grave. “I won’t know until we get it back to the lab for microscopic analysis. But even if it is, that doesn’t mean it’s Flynn’s. You need to keep calm.”
But her voice sounded uncertain. Anthony passed a shaking hand over his eyes.