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Ruth Rendell

Live Flesh

Hutchinson 1986
Jacket design Slatter Anderson

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The gun was a replica. Spenser told Fleetwood he was ninety-nine per cent sure of that. Fleetwood knew what that meant, that he was really about forty-nine per cent sure, but he didn't attach much weight to what Spenser said anyway. For his own part he didn't believe the gun was real. Rapists don't have real guns. A replica does just as well as a means of frightening. The window that the girl had broken was a square empty hole. Once since Fleetwood arrived had the man with the gun appeared at it. He had come in answer to Fleetwood's summons but had said nothing, only standing there for perhaps thirty seconds, holding the gun in both hands. He was young, about Fleetwood's own age, with long dark hair, really long, down on his shoulders, as was the prevailing fashion. He wore dark glasses. For half a minute he stood there and then he turned abruptly round and disappeared into the shadows of the room. The girl Fleet-wood hadn't seen, and for all he knew she might be dead.

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