stared in. His profile clenched into an expression of utter horror.
    As Purkiss approached, he saw Medievsky cross himself and mutter something, before stepping into the room.
    Purkiss took in the harsh, clinical lighting, the sour meaty stench, the abattoir the room had become.
    On the bed furthest to the left, Keys lay supine. His pyjama-clad legs were hooked over the sides, his arms stretched into space in a grotesque and clumsy parody of a crucifixion.
    His left arm, the one visible from this side, was sleeved up to the elbow in gore. The blood had jetted so far it had stained the wall behind and the adjacent bed. The floor was pooled with a red so deep it was mahogany.
    Purkiss stepped past Medievsky’s shoulder and moved into the room, ignoring the man’s warning growl. He walked carefully round so that he could view the bed straight from its foot.
    Keys’s pallid, extended right arm was intact. On the floor below it, a surgical scalpel lay in a spattering of rusty stickiness.
    Beside Purkiss, Haglund brought a knuckle up to his mouth.
    Purkiss felt Medievsky moving in close. He half turned his head.
    At his ear, Medievsky hissed: ‘ You knew he was going to do this .’

    O n most working days, Lenilko was accustomed to phoning home at four in the afternoon. He’d ask how the twins’ school day had gone, speak to each of them in turn, listen to their excitement and their various disgruntlements, take nourishment from their unfettered ebullience. And he’d chat with Natalya, tell her in the blandest terms of his own quotidian activities, share his own frustrations and sympathise with hers.
    Today was Saturday. The twins weren’t at school, and while an FSB officer of Lenilko’s seniority was never officially off duty, leaving aside vacations, he didn’t as a rule spend the whole day at the office. Today was an exception, because of the Yarkovsky Station project. And since it was exceptional day, Lenilko didn’t think to call home at four o’clock.
    At five-ten pm, he remembered that Olga had her ballet exam today. It had been scheduled for ten in the morning. And he hadn’t called.
    Lenilko muttered a few words of advice to the staffer over whose shoulder he was looking and strode to his office.
    The phone rang three times, four, Lenilko’s guilt growing steadily. He was about to give up and call Natalya’s mobile instead when she said: ‘Hello?’
    ‘The ballet exam,’ he said. ‘I’m so sorry. How did it go?’
    ‘It went very well, Semyon Vladimirovich.’ She never used his patronymic except when she was angry with him, but her tone would have been enough on its own. ‘She wanted to tell you all about it herself, but she’s playing now with friends.’
    Lenilko closed his eyes.
    ‘I’ll make it up,’ he said. ‘Tomorrow I’ll take them to the Park.’ Gorky Park’s centre was transformed into an enormous ice rink during the winter months.
    ‘Really,’ Natalya said. ‘You can guarantee that?’
    No, of course he couldn’t guarantee it. The situation at Yarkovsky Station demanded that he be available round the clock, at the drop of a hat.
    ‘Is she there at home?’ he asked quietly.
    ‘Yes. But as I said, she’s playing –’
    ‘I’m coming round,’ he said, and put the phone down before she could respond.
    In the main office he pulled on his overcoat. To his secretary he said, ‘I’m going home for an hour.’
    One hour he could definitely afford.
    Lenilko headed for the elevators at a brisk pace. As he approached, the doors slid open and two men stepped out. They halted, as though taken aback at seeing him. Lenilko recognised them both.
    ‘Mr Lenilko,’ said one of them. ‘Mr Rokva wishes to speak with you.’
    Lenilko felt his breath catch in his chest. Nikoloz Rokva was the head of the Directorate of Special Activities. He frequently summoned Lenilko, but it was always by telephone call to the office. This was the first time anyone had been sent to collect

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