THE LISTMAKER OF ACAPULCO: A Detective Emilia Cruz Novella,
coming 24 June.
Emilia showed her a picture of the patient in the hospital. “What about him? A friend of Julio’s?”
Raquel shook her head. “Never saw him.”
“What about a man named Tito Sandino Hernandez?”
“El Tito?” Raquel stuck the new cigarette in her mouth, heaved herself off the chair and went to the grill. She bent close to the glowing coals to light the tip before answering. Emilia couldn’t see her face.
“Yeah, El Tito.”
“Everybody knows who he is.”
“Did Julio hang out with him?”
“No, not really.” Raquel finally lifted her head and squinted at Emilia as she tapped ash into the grill. “Don’t ask questions about El Tito. He’s got ears everywhere.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’ll know.” Raquel gave a small shudder. “You don’t ever want El Tito to know who you are.”
“El Tito’s finger was sewn onto Julio’s hand.” Emilia pressed the tips of her forefingers together to demonstrate. “This part of Julio’s finger was cut away and replaced with El Tito’s.”
The lit cigarette fell out of the girl’s mouth. “That’s sick.”
“Any idea why Julio did that?”
Raquel grabbed the cigarette off the ground and brushed grime off the filter tip. “Maybe Carlos knows.”
Pans rattled in the kitchen. Raquel cast a poisonous look over her shoulder towards the open doorway before answering. “Julio’s older brother.”
“His older brother?” Emilia’s pulse quickened. “Where can I find him?”
Raquel snorted out a stream of smoke. “Every pendejo from around here is either shooting pool, moving shit to El Norte, or in jail.”
“Let me guess,” Emilia said.
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