Erik kept a scrapbook of all the news stories covering his murders. At first, he’d had to search for quick blurbs in the pages of local papers, but now he had a few from the Billings Tribune, one of which was a front-page story with a color picture and a big, eye-catching headline.

            The book was bound in brown leather and unadorned aside from a green satin page marker that attached to its spine.

            Not every murder was covered, of course. He was too good for that. Some of the bodies had never been found. Many of the others, especially at first, didn’t warrant much of a mention. Even now, even with a front page article in the Tribune suggesting that there was some sort of link between all the killings, the true nature of his murders hadn’t even been guessed at.

            Erik was too good. He would never be caught. Of that he was certain.

            He was an entirely different animal than the average serial killer for one thing. He wasn’t motivated by sexual perversions or repressed anger or insane delusions. His killings weren’t crimes of habit, nor were they crimes of passion; no, his were crimes of appetite.

            He was, also, far more self-aware than the average killer. He knew that patterns could give him away. He knew that the cops would have a trail, however vague, to follow if he limited himself to destroying only short blonds with glasses or effeminate men with brown hair.

Erik approached murder the way he approached dinner:  sometimes he felt like steak, sometimes fish, sometimes just a burger. The only constant was variety.