Th is is a work of fiction.

All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products
of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

blood in the water.
Copyright © 2012 by Jane Haddam.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
For information address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Haddam, Jane, 1951–
Blood in the water / Jane Haddam. — 1st ed.
p. cm.
ISBN 978- 0-312- 64434-5 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1- 4299-5131-9 (e-book)
1. Demarkian, Gregor (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Private investigators—Pennsylvania—
Philadelphia—Fiction.

3. Rich people— Fiction.

4. Women— Crimes against— Fiction.

I. Title.
PS3566.A613B58 2012
813'.54—dc23
2011041006

First Edition: March 2012

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1
It was seven o’clock on the morning of Friday, October fifth, and
Arthur Heydreich was at peace. “At peace” might not be exactly the
phrase he was looking for. He’d been thinking about it the entire
twenty-six minutes he’d spent in the shower. It was a wonderful
shower, the best he’d ever had in his life. The shower stall was big
enough for at least two people. It would have reminded him of the
shower stall at school where everybody had to shower together after
practice, except here the floor and walls were made of marble. The
showerhead was huge, too. You could get two people in there comfortably, with both of them getting wet. He never showered with
anybody else. He liked the feel of the water stinging his skin, especially when it was nearly hot enough to make him bleed. It was the
hot that was the final nail, the nail that nailed it all together. He’d
had enough of cold showers when he was growing up, and not because he needed to cool off from some hot fantasy on the Internet.
There hadn’t even been an Internet. No, he’d had enough of cold
showers because his mother was always forgetting to pay the gas bill.

Either that, or she wasn’t able to pay it. One way or another, the
small, cramped apartment in South Philly had been cold.
Arthur stepped out into the middle of his bathroom and looked
around. He’d bought this house because of this bathroom— or
almost, sort of. He’d bought this house because it was in Waldorf
Pines, but he could have bought any house in Waldorf Pines. He’d
been only the second person to sign a contract. He’d looked at all the
houses and then he’d seen this bathroom and that had been it. It was
bigger than his bedroom at home had been. It had extra-large terracotta tiles on the floor and marble everything else. There was a whirlpool. There was a bidet nobody ever used. There were his-and-hers
sinks and his-and-hers vanities. He could have played handball in
there without feeling cramped.
He stepped naked from the bathroom into the even larger dressing room and headed for his own walk-in closet, because this house
had his-and-hers walk-in closets in the master bedroom. The closet
was also bigger than his bedroom at home. On one wall there were
built-in drawers for things like underwear and socks. His shirts and
ties were hung up next to his suits. The maid did it when she was
finished cleaning up downstairs.
Arthur got a good black suit and a cream-colored shirt and one
of the ties Martha had matched up for him. It amazed him that he
could have spent the last few weeks in such an agony of depression—
such an agony of something. He hadn’t paid attention to the house
or the suits or his car or anything at all, not for days. It was crazy.
Ever since he’d started climbing his way out of the mess he’d been
born into, he’d made it a point to note and appreciate every increase
in his circumstances on a regular basis. He wanted to appreciate those
things over and over again. He wanted never to forget, and he wanted
never to get used to it. That was how people fell off the map. They got
used to it. They took it for granted. They got sloppy. Arthur Heydreich
was anything but sloppy.
He stepped into the bedroom proper and looked at his wife’s side
of the bed, ruffled and mussed and every which way, as if she’d been
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murdered there during the night and struggled so hard she’d pulled
the bed sheets off. Martha always slept like that. It drove Arthur a
little crazy. She tossed and turned at night and she left her clothes in
a trail on the floor and she left dirty dishes on the kitchen table. This
was apparently the way you behaved if you’d had maids all your
life. It was also the way you behaved if you were dirt poor and didn’t
give a damn. Sometimes Arthur wanted to grab her by the shoulders
and shake her.
On the other hand, the bed was something called a “California
king.” It was bigger than most beds. Arthur wondered why it wasn’t
called a “Texas king.” Whatever it was called, he didn’t need to worry
about Martha tossing. She was far enough away that she might have
been in a different room.
He got his wallet off the nightstand next to his side of the bed
and put it in his pocket. Then he headed downstairs. “At peace” was
not the phrase he wanted, but there had to be one out there. “Resolved” was wrong. It sounded as if he had made up his mind to do
something, or come to some kind of decision. There were no more
decisions to be made. He understood everything now. He had nothing more to worry about. All the problems had been . . . resolved.
Whatever.
The staircase to the ground floor was a big sweeping thing that
came off a balcony. All the ceilings were very high. A chandelier hung
down from the ceiling into the curve. The front door was actually a
double door and had windows all around it. Arthur took note of each
and every thing, cataloging it in his head, as if he were a real estate
agent getting ready to show the place.
He went down across the foyer, then through the living room. The
living room had a massive fieldstone fireplace that took up one entire
wall. There were two conversational groupings of couches and love seats
and chairs. Martha had done a very good job with all of it. She did a
very good job at all the things he had married her for, except one.
Arthur went through the dining room—another chandelier, a
table with chairs to seat twenty-four; they gave dinner parties
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here— and then through the butler’s pantry into the kitchen. The
kitchen was part of a big open space that included an octagonal sunroom for a breakfast nook and the family room. You really had to be
careful going through this house. The lists alone could make you
dizzy.
There was one place set at the kitchen table, a place mat with a
stemmed crystal bowl full of melon balls on it. There was a silver
spoon next to the bowl. There was a coffee cup and saucer next to the
place mat. There was a linen napkin next to that. Arthur sat down,
put the napkin on his lap, and said,
“Cortina?”
Cortina was the maid. She was very small and very Latina and
probably, Arthur suspected, illegal. At first, he’d objected to that. He
was very careful about the things he did in his life. He’d gotten all the
way to Waldorf Pines and he intended to stay there. He didn’t want
to get fired one day because he’d been employing illegal immigrants
and not paying their Social Security taxes. Martha had explained all
that to him. It was a big world out there, one he’d never suspected.
“Cortina?” he said again.
Cortina stuck her head out of the walk-in pantry and grunted.
“I am coming,” she said. “Do you know how late Mrs. Heydreich is
going to sleep? I need to have a time for the housecleaning or I get
behind.”
“Mrs. Heydreich isn’t asleep,” Arthur said. “She was up and out
before I even woke up this morning. She must have one of her committees.”
“Her car is in the garage. I saw it when I came in.”
Arthur stood up and walked across, past the pantry door, to the
mudroom. He went through the mudroom and then opened the door
to the garage. It was a heated garage. Cars never failed to start just
because of the weather. If you had good cars, you had to make sure
to take care of them.
He had good cars. His own was a Mercedes S-Class sedan, a good
dark blue, sober and responsible and establishment. Martha’s was a
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Mercedes, too, but one of those little two-seaters, and painted bright
pink. It was sitting where it was supposed to be, in the bay farthest
from the pantry door.
Arthur closed up and thought about it. Then he went back to the
kitchen.
“Huh,” he said. “Maybe she walked. It’s only across the golf course.
It’s a nice day.”
“Does that sound like Mrs. Heydreich to you? That she would
walk?”
“It’s a nice day,” Arthur said. “Martha does walk. She walks all
the time.”
“She drives that car all the time. Everywhere. She’s famous for it.
You should hear the other maids talk about it. And it isn’t just the
maids.”
“I’m not sure what you want out of me,” Arthur said. “If she isn’t
here and she didn’t take her car, she must have walked.”
“Things happen,” Cortina said. “People are kidnapped. People
disappear. People are murdered and found in ditches.”
“Are you saying you think my wife was kidnapped and murdered? Out of her own bed? With me in it?”
“I’m saying you don’t know what happens. You never know. Things
happen.”
Arthur sat down at his place at the table again. Then he reached
into his pocket and brought out his cell phone. “This is crazy. You do
know that, don’t you?”
“Things happen,” Cortina said. “I don’t live here. Maybe you
sleep like the dead. Things happen all the time where I come from.”
Arthur wanted to say that where she came from there was a drug
war going on, and people killed their local government officials if
they couldn’t get a job in the post office for their uncles. He didn’t
say it because he didn’t know it was true, and because that wasn’t the
way you talked to maids.
He punched Martha’s speed dial number into the phone and
waited. She had a million committees. She was on the admissions
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committee for the Waldorf Pines golf club and the cotillion committee, too, and she did volunteer work at the Waldorf Pines library. She
had so many things to do, it almost didn’t matter that she didn’t get
paid for them. She was busier than he was.
He let the phone ring for a moment and then, just when he was
about to put it down and give up, he heard the ringtone on Martha’s
phone, sounding muffled but oddly close. He closed his phone and
looked up.
“Ah,” Cortina said.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Arthur said.
He opened his phone and punched in the speed dial number
again. This time, Martha’s phone started ringing almost immediately, crashing its way through a tinny rendition of “I Enjoy Being a
Girl.”
Arthur got up and followed the sounds into the family room.
Martha’s big Coach handbag was sitting on the coffee table in
front of the couch, closed up tight and looking like she’d put it down
there half a minute ago.

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