Mañana: A Novel
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All Tod remembers when he wakes up next to a dead prostitute is that he had his 1st shot of heroin the night before. He and his wife, Linda, were partying with their new neighbors, a trio of parole violators who fled to Mexico after robbing a Beverly Hills jewelry store. Now the place is empty, stripped clean except for Tod’s hunting knife, which is covered in blood. Did he kill the woman, or was he left behind as the fall guy? Convinced that his junkie friends abducted Linda to keep her from talking to the police, Tod buys a gun and prepares to do whatever it takes to get his wife back before he makes a run for the border.
difference. If I went up against Shank with an empty weapon, he’d know. My eyes would give me away. There are degrees of fear. Shank had a predator’s instinct for sensing his opponent’s terror. A loaded gun provided insurance against his deadly stare. I had work to do and needed a quiet spot to get it done. Leafing through my cheap city guide, I came across the perfect destination and drove out of town past the airport on González Gallo. I took Highway 35 eight or nine miles toward Chapala
definitely come up in the world. The place boasted wall-to-wall carpet with matching drawn drapes. No sunlight penetrated his murky abode. The only true illumination came from a lamp on the bedside table. A tray of leftover room service breakfast sat on the desktop. A scattering of black clothes littered the floor. The unmade bed faced a soundless TV glowing in a mahogany cabinet. Shank leaned against the bathroom doorframe. “So,” he said with his death’s head grin, “let’s see some of this
sunlight when the pinched thoroughfare opened onto a plaza. The Teatro Juárez loomed off to my right across from the surprisingly small Jardin de la Unión. Surrounded by pink-and-blue tiled pavement, the plaza was enclosed within topiary trees clipped to form a single perfect triangle. I knew the Posada Santa Fé waited somewhere along the perimeter but couldn’t see it. Several cars parked, nose forward, alongside the theater’s columned portico. No sign of the red Firebird. I wasn’t surprised and
about habit-forming substances. She flicked the butt away into the surrounding berries. A spiral of sparks like a miniature comet. “Learned a lot of bad habits from Nick,” she said, her hawk’s stare unblinking. “You’re late.” “Busy burying your boyfriend’s suitcase.” Linda didn’t flinch. “Never my boyfriend.” Her eyes daggered into mine. “More like a mentor.” I wanted to say what else did he teach you? How to swallow? Choking it back, I muttered, “Always helps when someone shows you the
around the farmer’s wrists. He stared helplessly at his wife through steel-rimmed bifocals. “Ich flehe Sie An tun Sie meiner Frau nichts an!” he pleaded. “Not hurt the wife. I beg of you.” With his wispy light-brown hair and frog-belly complexion, he seemed the living embodiment of those insipid enchiladas. I moved swiftly to the next guy, a burly bald Mediterranean fellow sporting a thick black mustache. He growled at me in Italian, sputtering with rage as I wrapped tape around his wrists. I