Kate seemed more interested in the man’s mannerisms than his words. Her gaze focused first on his fisted fingers, then to the tension banding his shoulders.
“Why do I need an attorney?” Isabella asked. “The questions were straightforward. Did you know Gloria was sick?”
“You shouldn’t have told her,” Mr. Sanchez said to Mazur. “No good comes from telling her that.”
“I still don’t understand how your wife could have hidden her illness from you,” Kate said. “Were you two living apart?”
“No, of course not.” Sanchez sighed. “I had a sense she was off. She was quieter. More removed the last seven or eight months, but I didn’t know about the cancer until you told me.”
“You’re sure you didn’t know?”
“What does it matter now what was ailing my wife? It wasn’t the cancer that killed her but a serial killer’s bullet. The rest doesn’t matter.”
“Do you think that she knew the extent of her illness?” Kate asked.
He nodded. “Looking back now I think she did. When she was worried she tried extra hard at work, with friends, parties. She hosted several parties over the last couple of months.”
“If she knew she was sick, why did she go alone to Laredo so late at night?” Mazur asked.
Sanchez twirled his worn wedding ring. “You would have to know Gloria. She never slowed down. And if there was an obstacle in her way, she didn’t go around it. She went through it.”
Gloria Sanchez was a type-A personality who didn’t like limitations. Her husband might not have known about her illness, but Mazur wondered if she’d had a confidant. Since she worked eighty hours a week and was not close to her mother, it made sense she had friends at the office. “Which of your dealerships did she work out of?” Mazur asked.
“The one in central San Antonio,” Sanchez said.
“My shop is twenty miles west of town.”
“Did Gloria run all the offices?”
“She oversaw them. The day-to-day operations were handled by the individual branch managers.”
“Who managed the central branch?” Mazur asked.
Mazur scribbled the name in a small notebook.
“Why do you want to talk to Lena? A serial killer murdered my wife.”
“I’m looking at all the angles, Mr. Sanchez,” Mazur said. “Thank you for your time.”
I saw her today. And I smiled when she looked at me. When she was not looking, I stared at her and dreamed of wrapping a cord around her slender neck and strangling her until she died. I am good at that—smiling and planning.
San Antonio, Texas
Tuesday, November 28, 4:15 p.m.
Mazur and Kate arrived at the Sanchez car dealership located in central San Antonio. The glittering glass-and-chrome showroom featured expensive luxury cars. A red Ferrari 488 Spider was parked beside a black Lamborghini Aventador. There were a few more name brands Kate recognized, but the others were unfamiliar.
“Impressive,” Mazur said as he ran his hand over the Lamborghini’s polished hood.
“I’m not really a car person.” Kate looked around the dealership, expecting a salesperson to appear. Their absence suggested news of Gloria’s death had reached the staff.
He moved around to the driver’s side of the car and peered into the window. “I bet you drive something compact and dependable. And I guess it’s white.”