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Gray dawn, damp and still, unseasonably cold. The police detective moved slowly, fog roiling around him. He took a photograph of one of the dead seals. Its back was dark gray, its belly mottled, lighter. Two more lay near it, their blood smeared across the broad concrete patio. Twenty feet away but barely visible, the harbor lipped at the long, lion-colored sweep of the town beach—the dark water keeping its secrets. On Long Point, an automated foghorn hooted at twelve-second intervals.
The camera flashed, then flashed again. Dozens of gulls wheeled