But as she fixed the leash to a bedpost, she was visited by doubt. This man was a fraudster; he hadn’t killed anyone. Unlike the first two she’d done.

Stop thinking! It only brings trouble.

Dressed in a catsuit, she glided up his back. ‘And bad boys need to be punished, don’t they?’

She shoved him face down into the mattress. Then she pulled hard at the leash and pushed the collar concealing a miniature hangman’s rope against the back of his neck.

But he was quicker to react than she had anticipated, and he managed to turn, grabbing her by the throat.

Die, she demanded in silence, as the target’s surprisingly strong grip on her neck sent wisps of black across her vision. Eventually, though, he had to let go of her.

She dropped her head, giddy from a lack of oxygen, and from relief that it was over.

She felt her nose touching his chin.

Appalled by her carelessness, she pulled back up. But as she did, she felt a sharp pain in her cheek.

She saw he had opened his eyes, and that he was clawing at her face with his right hand.

Die,’ she repeated, this time in a whisper, as she tightened the leash another notch. And she kept it tight until absolutely certain the job was done.

She was losing her touch at the tender age of twenty-seven, no doubt about it.

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