Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, April, 2005

The room was cold as a skating rink, and smelled faintly of alcohol and corruption. Sounds like the title of a Tennessee Williams play, Daniel Brady thought. Or the plot summary, anyway.

Madeline Frost was doing something to something on the examining table, with what looked like bolt cutters. Her latex-gloved hands seemed too small and soft and plump to squeeze the handles, but intermittent cracking sounds suggested otherwise. The gray in Frost's razored pixie cut showed fluorescent-white in the hard, clear lights.

Brady had as strong a stomach as any, and stronger than most, but he didn't angle for a better view of the table. "Hey, Frost, if you were going to murder active, white, middle-class men between the ages of 20 and 35, how would--"

"Why would I do that?" Frost didn't turn from her work.

"Well, you wouldn't, obviously, but if you did--"

"But I don't."

Brady sighed. "Bear with me here for a moment, would you? I need the opinion of the Sociopath in the Street."

She turned at last and stared into his face, as if wondering how hard it would be to remove it intact. Then she nodded. "Okay. Shoot."