G raham Kerr lit a match as he watched. He was standing in a clump of trees overlooking the house and had seen the MGB, patrol car and police van arrive. He breathed in the fragrance of the match and shivered with anticipation. At his feet was a can of petrol. He wasn’t happy about using petrol. Petrol was the blunt instrument in an arsonist’s armoury, the equivalent of a sawn-off shotgun or a machete. Kerr preferred subtlety, but in Jack Nightingale’s case there was no time to be clever. Mistress Proserpine wanted him dead and she always got what she wanted.
Kerr loved to watch his victims. Watching them going about the business not knowing that their days were numbered was part of the pleasure. It was almost as satisfying as the setting of the fires that took their lives. Almost, but not quite.
Kerr let the match burn down almost to his fingers before blowing it out and slipping it into his back pocket. He didn’t like using petrol but at least he could use his Swan Vestas matches. First he’d have to wait for the police to leave. If Nightingale stayed in the house, that’s where he would die. If he went back to his flat in Bayswater, he’d die there. But one way or another, Jack Nightingale would die.