Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 4

Chapter 14

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The meal goes smoothly enough, albeit with a lot of negotiating the rapids and under-currents of good
manners and courtesy.

Beth’s pregnancy proves a safe topic of discussion, with none of the pitfalls and booby traps lying in
wait if we talk about anything closer to home. Mitch is a star, repeatedly shifting the conversation back
onto the imminent birth of Beth’s and Richard’s new son.

Later, in a quiet moment with Michael, “My apologies,” I say. “Tact isn’t one of Georgie’s virtues. It
never was.”

His answering smile is wry. “Like father, like daughter.”



Two weeks and… nothing…

Not a whisper. Nothing I can find.

Sitting in the corner of Antonio’s, I’ve spent a pleasant afternoon, but frustration gnaws at me. Hickman
reports that all is well, but…

Has Juliana given up?


Not fucking likely…

Antonio’s cafe has become somewhat of a routine. Misgivings nudge me, reminding me that I shouldn’t
develop such habits…

… Making myself vulnerable…

But, with nothing to go on, what the hell else can I do?

On the other hand, there has to be some reason for the address to have been used in Finchby’s

Perhaps I just need to wait.

But what am I waiting for?

How long can I keep doing this?

Still, in the meantime, while I wait for my mystery to unravel, the old man is genuinely good company.
And also, a mine of local information.

Finishing a cup of the excellent coffee, I consult a local guide, comparing my list of addresses to a local
map, looking for some pattern, seeking inspiration…

Access to road…

Access to the ports…

Whereabouts of police stations…

Proximity to the poorer end of town… the red-light district… schools…

Nothing hangs together.

Antonio materialises at my elbow, nodding down to my empty coffee cup. “Mais café, Senhor Hughes?”

“Sim. Thank you.”

I slide my cup across the table, and he glances at my guide. “Senhor Hughes…” He stabs a finger at
my page. “You not go this place. Is bad place for nice English cavalheiro like you.”

“Realmente?” Then, remembering that I ‘can’t speak the language’… “What’s the problem?”

“Is place very bad. Many bad men there. And badder woman.”

My ears prick. “Woman? Que tipo de bad men and woman?”

The old man grimaces then pulls a chair across to sit close by me. His voice lowers and he leans in
close. “One time, since many years, this city….” He sweeps his arms out in circles all around… “…all
bad place. Much…” He falters then holds out two fingers making a Bang Bang gesture… “And much…”
Invisible knife gripped in his hand, he mimes a stabbing.

“Much violence,” I say. “Much danger.”

“Sim…” He nods vigorously. “Sim, muita violência. Muito perigoso.”

“Cannabis?” I smoke an imaginary cigarette and again he nods. Then I mime injecting myself…
“Cocaína…? E outras drogas?”

“Sim. Drogas.” He leans closer yet. “…And the womans para prostitutas.” He takes the book from me,
closes it, then slaps it down on the table. “Bad place, Senhor. And bad men.” He wags a finger at me.
“You no go there.”

“You said bad woman too? A prostitute?”

He looks down, then up again, nodding. “Prostitutes, sim. But há sim one bad woman especialmente.”

“The bad woman. What she do?”

“Senhor Hughes, since twenty year, Sao Paulo bad place. Then, since ten year, Sao Paulo good city.
People not die…” Fingers spread, he rocks his hand… “… Not so many. Bad men gone. Not like other
cities. Since two years, bad men here again. And this woman is baddest. She is…” He splutters for a
moment… “She same as prostitute. She has man. Then other man. And first man, he dead…”

This is sounding deeply familiar…


“This woman, her name? What does she look like?”

Antonio stares at me blankly.

I try again. “The bad woman… A mulher má… Her name? Nome?”

Palms upheld, he shrugs. “Ninguém sabe. Ela é um mistério.”

“A mystery? What does she look like?”

Again, that blank stare…

I stand, raising my hand to my head… “Tall?” … Then lower… “Short? Alta? Baixo? Loiras? Morena?”

Again, the shrug. But he waves a forefinger at me, then at my city guide, repeating, “Bad place. Bad
people. You not go there. I show you nice place for nice English turista man. You go this place.”

He takes up the guide, riffling through. “You like o museu de arte, Senhor Hughes? We have many
artista famoso there. And we have parques…” He nods vigorously… “…muito bonitos…”

I let him ramble on, nodding as he jabs fingers at places where ‘Nice turista man is safe.’ But my mind’s
on overdrive.

I’ve missed a trick: an obvious trick: ten minutes later I’ve signed up for subscriptions on a variety of
Brazilian newspapers, or at least, their English editions. I can read Portuguese, but it doesn’t come so
naturally as reading in English. I spend more of my time interpreting the language than I do
understanding the content.

But now, delving into the newspaper archives, I know what I’m looking for…

I tap in an experimental search term… Sao Paulo organised crime… Then as an afterthought, add,

My screen blinks: 139,000, 000 results, starting with a Wikipedia article


Narrow it down…

I tap in another search. Names of criminal gangs sao paulo…

57,600,000 results, this time, but some more useful headlines…

… Brazil’s largest gang is enticing recruits with a monthly….

… The Evolution of the Most Lethal Criminal Organization in…

… Brazil Officials Link Rising Sao Paulo Violence to Gang Conflict…

Still not specific enough…

Names of criminal gang leaders sao paulo…

27,600,000 hits…

Wikipedia again… but this times with names.

Sucking at my cheeks, I tap Images…

There, a photograph, linked to a newspaper article… Assassination of Brazil’s Top Gang Leader…
Attending Brother’s Funeral… A grainy shot of a funeral home, stony-faced men and women gathered

One of the women, her arm hooked through a man’s arm, blowing into a handkerchief, her face partly

I can’t be sure.


I tap the image link, just on the off chance it might take me somewhere useful… Then, as the image
clicks to a video feed from the funeral home, my jaw drops.

A streaming feed?

A webcast for a funeral?


A crowd mills around, sipping drinks, nibbling hors d'oeuvres. But once I get past my attack of wtf? I’m
not interested. Scanning the crowd, I search for the woman from the photo.

After a minute or so, I set the playback to x2.

There she is… Weeping into her hanky…

Real tears?

Who knows? Her eyes… and her true expression remains hidden behind sunglasses.

But it’s all there. The not-too-convincing wig, blonde this time… the heavy make-up…

… Some poor bastard she’s with wraps arms around her, providing comfort to the poor bereaved

Wonder who he is?

That’s his life-expectancy down the pan.

I pinch out the screen, scissoring open the image with thumb and forefinger, zooming of the woman’s

Gotcha, Juliana…

Now all I have to do is find you.


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