‘Do you know how it is done?’
The question was directed to a man, hog-tied and

gagged, lying on the concrete floor. It was never meant to be answered. The man was coming round from a deep, knocked-out sleep. He was trying to focus through the blood in his eyes. ‘No? Then I’ll tell you.’

He tilted the woman’s chair back, so it rested against his thighs, and leaned over her. Lifting her chin, he ran the blunt edge of the knife down her throat.

‘Many people believe the right way is to slit across hori- zontally before dragging the tongue through, but this is not correct.’ He looked over at the man on the floor who was screaming into his gag.

‘Here, this is where you begin your cut, at the base of the throat, insert here and then carefully drag the knife upwards.’ He paused and looked up. ‘Say goodbye to your colleague, Inspector Carter.’