Just One Look

Chapter 20


Beatrice Smith was a fifty-three-year-old widow.
Eric Wu was back in the Ford Windstar. He took Ridgewood Avenue to the Garden State Parkway north. He headed east on Interstate 287 toward the Tappan Zee Bridge. He exited at Armonk in New York. He was on side roads now. He knew exactly where he was going. He had made mistakes, yes, but the basics were still with him.
One of those basics: Have a backup residence lined up.
Beatrice Smith's husband had been a popular cardiologist, even serving a term as town mayor. They'd had lots of friends, but they were all "couple" friends. When Maury-that was her husband's name-died of a sudden heart attack, the friends stayed around for a month or two and then faded away. Her only child, a son, and a doctor like his father, lived in San Diego with his wife and three children. She kept the house, the same house she had shared with Maury, but it was big and lonely. She was thinking about selling it and moving into Manhattan, but the prices were just too steep right now. And she was afraid. Armonk was all she knew. Would it be jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
She had confided all of this online to the fictional Kurt McFaddon, a widower from Philadelphia who was considering relocating to New York City. Wu pulled onto her street and slowed. The surroundings were quiet and woodsy and very private. It was late. A fake delivery would not work at this hour. There would be no time or even need for subtlety. Wu would not be able to keep this host alive.
There could be nothing to connect Beatrice Smith to Freddy Sykes.
In short, Beatrice Smith could not be found. Not ever.
Wu parked the car, put on his gloves-no fingerprints this time-and approached the house.