Seconds later, he pushed the window open and hoisted himself into the bedroom. He unholstered a Makarov Pistolet Besshumnyy—silent pistol—and its companion suppressor, then snapped the two together. The pistol was loaded with nine-millimeter bullets he’d cast by hand from soft lead. From the foot of the bed, he fired once into Sokolov’s forehead, the muted report no louder than the wind. Canning watched the Russian’s central nervous system fail. No drama, just a quick fade. Dead within seconds.
Canning hoped the lead bullet would turn the homicide investigation into a wild goose chase. Toward the same end, on his way out, he drew a small envelope from his pouch and littered the floor with its contents, hairs and bits of skin belonging to other men, including two convicted felons. Over his neoprene gloves, he pulled on a latex pair whose fingertips would replicate a third felon’s prints. He touched the footboard and nightstand, then climbed out the window, slid down the rope, and dislodged the grapnel.
Before returning to his sub, he planted a biodegradable battery-powered directional pin microphone in the grass.
Thus, the following morning, in a motel room two hundred miles north, he overheard one of Sokolov’s people knock on the bedroom door. No response, of course.