Lucas Davenport goes on a city-to-city search for a bizarre ritualistic killer.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 13, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Shadow Prey by John Sandford
Ray Cuervo sat in his office and counted his money. He counted his money every Friday afternoon between five and six o'clock. He made no secret of it.
Cuervo owned six apartment buildings scattered around Indian Country south of the Minneapolis Loop. The cheapest apartment rented for thirty-nine dollars a week. The most expensive was seventy-five. When he collected his rent, Cuervo took neither checks nor excuses. If you didn't have the cash by two o'clock Friday, you slept on the sidewalk. Bidness, as Ray Cuervo told any number of broken-ass indigents, was bidness.
Dangerous business, sometimes. Cuervo carried a chrome-plated Charter Arms .38 Special tucked in his pants while he collected his money. The gun was old. The barrel was pitted and the butt was unfashionably small. But it worked and the shells were always fresh. You could see the shiny brass winking out at the edge of the cylinder. Not a flash gun, his renters said. It was a shooter. When Cuervo counted the week's take, he kept the pistol on the desktop near his right hand.
Cuervo's office was a cubicle at the top of three flights of stairs. The furnishings were sparse and cheap: a black dial telephone, a metal desk, a wooden file cabinet and an oak swivel chair on casters. A four-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar hung on the left-hand wall. Cuervo never changed it past April, the month where you could see the broad's brown nipples through the wet T-shirt. Opposite the calendar was a corkboard. A dozen business cards were tacked to the corkboard along with two fading bumper stickers. One said SHIT HAPPENS and the other said HOW'S MY DRIVING- DIAL 1-800-EAT-SHIT. Cuervo's wife, a Kentucky sharecropper girl with a mouth like barbed wire, called the office a shithole. Ray Cuervo paid no attention. He was a slumlord, after all.
Cuervo counted the cash out in neat piles, ones, fives and tens. The odd twenty he put in his pocket. Coins he counted, noted and dumped into a Maxwell House coffee can. Cuervo was a fat man with small black eyes. When he lifted his heavy chin, three rolls of suet popped out on the back of his red neck. When he leaned forward, three more rolls popped out on his side, under his armpits. And when he farted, which was often, he unconsciously eased one obese cheek off the chair to reduce the compression. He didn't think the movement either impolite or impolitic. If a woman was in the room, he said "Oops." If the company was all male, he said nothing. Farting was something men did.