Blind Pursuit
turn them off. Maybe I shouldn’t have even come here, huh? I might have contaminated the crime scene.”
    Walker smiled at that. “We don’t know if it is a crime scene,” he said gently, “or even if there’s been a crime.”
    He circled the room. The furniture and decorations appeared undisturbed. The entertainment center, stocked with expensive electronics, was untouched.
    A sliding door framed a balcony. Locked. The glass intact.
    Annie watched him expectantly, as if imagining that any moment he would release a shout of triumph and deduce her sister’s whereabouts.
    No, he was not looking forward to the conversation they would be having in a few minutes. Not at all.
    On the mantel was a framed photo portrait—two women, both redheaded, arms around each other’s shoulders, laughing at the camera. One was Annie; the other, whom he recognized from her M.V.D. photo, was Erin.
    Both were attractive but in different ways. There was an austerity, a cool and level seriousness, to Erin Reilly, despite her smiling face. Annie, by contrast, appeared mischievous, playful, something of a rascal.
    Walker had seen her smile only in this photo. A pleasant smile. He remembered her saying that Erin was beautiful and she herself was not. He disagreed.
    “That’s us,” Annie said, stepping to his side.
    “Was it taken recently?”
    “Last November. Around Thanksgiving. I remember we posed for it at lunchtime. The photographer kept coming on to us, and we pretended to be interested. We were in ... kind of a silly mood....”
    Her voice trailed off as she came back to the present—the empty apartment, the missed appointments, Erin gone.
    In the den Walker found a potted schefflera, shelves of psychology books and periodicals, a computer and laser printer. There were no printouts in the tray.
    “Does she use the computer exclusively for business?” he asked Annie, who stood attentively in the doorway. It occurred to him that he sounded like an IRS agent.
    “Mostly. She keeps a journal on it, though.”
    “A personal journal?”
    “I think so. I’m not really sure, actually.”
    “Well, you might want to consider booting it up. Not now—when you’re alone. There could be some clue to her state of mind.”
    “State of mind? You mean you think she ran off on her own? Voluntarily?”
    “People do.”
    “Not Erin.”
    It was too soon to be talking about this. Walker didn’t press the point.
    The bathroom was clean and scrubbed. “Her towels are dry,” Annie said from her vantage point in the hall. “The shower too.”
    Walker had observed both details. He was more interested in the medicine cabinet. Two of the glass shelves were nearly empty. From what was left, he could make a good guess as to which items had been taken—toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, hairbrush, deodorant.
    Not things a burglar would want. But Erin Reilly would take them if she were going on a trip.
    On the top shelf, among the aspirin and the cold remedies, was a bottle of pills labeled TEGRETOL. He showed it to Annie. “Erin’s epilepsy medicine?”
    “Yes. That’s what she takes.”
    “I’m surprised she doesn’t carry it with her.”
    “I thought she did. In her purse. Maybe this is an extra bottle.”
    He checked the label again, then replaced the pills on the shelf. “Yes, it’s a recent refill of her prescription. She probably hasn’t run out of the previous batch yet.”
    Bedroom next. The bed was unmade, sheets sagging in broken ridges like a cake’s melted icing. Nothing damaged, no sign of a struggle.
    The jewelry box on the dresser was still crammed with necklaces and earrings. Two hundred dollars in emergency cash remained in the most obvious, even proverbial, of hiding places—the sock drawer. Her wristwatch lay on the nightstand.
    “I hadn’t noticed that,” Annie said when Walker pointed it out.
    “Does she have another watch?”
    Annie stared at the small gold-plated Armitron. “Not that I know of. And she always

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