Special thanks to Gerard Webster for this week’s Fiction Friday excerpt, which is from his exciting new novel, “The Soul Reader.” My review for his book is here.
“I found out,” Ward said, “that Victor Rodriguez is still a scumbag.”
Both Carrie and Anton turned to him in mild surprise at the level of his still simmering anger.
“He hinted that the three men who died—Koehl, Reddick, and Galarza—all knew who was really in charge…and that their deaths secured their silence. But he also suggested that the two who didn’t die either knew nothing or else could be useful to someone in power.”
“We already suspected that,” Carrie complained.
“But,” Ward continued, “he did drop a clue—one word—Culebra. I don’t know if he was toying with me or if he was serious.” Ward left out what he had said about Ward signing his own death warrant if he asked about Culebra.
“What’s a Culebra?” Carrie asked.
“It means ‘snake’ in Spanish; but that’s all I know. I called Anton and asked if he’d ever heard it before, and he hadn’t.”
Anton leaned forward and made the wooden chair groan in protest.
“Actually,” he said, “after your phone call, I got curious myself. So I started asking around. I called an old friend with the DEA and he gave me the lowdown on Culebra.”
Both Carrie and Ward perked up their ears at this.
“What did you learn?” Ward asked.
“Well, you’re right. Culebra means ‘snake’ in Spanish. But it’s also the nickname of one of the most dangerous assassins in the Western Hemisphere. Nobody knows his real name—nor even what he looks like. Only that he leaves a ‘calling card’ when he does a job—a piece of snake skin over his victim’s eyes.”
Carrie shuddered at this.
“He got his nickname,” Anton explained, “because of the way he operates—like a snake—silent, quick, and deadly. The victim is usually dead before he knew what happened.
“My source told me that he first appeared during the in-fighting among the cocaine cartels in Columbia. At one time he worked for the Medellín cartel. Then, when they collapsed, he switched allegiances to the Norte del Valle cartel. They even suspect that he might be the one who killed Enrique Galarza. After that, he went independent. He’s known to have worked for the Mexican cartels—on both sides of the border—as well as for other terrorist or revolutionary organizations who want precision hits—just kill the target without collateral damage.”
To purchase the book on Amazon: The Soul Reader on Amazon
To find out more about The Soul Reader or about the author: www.gerard-webster.com
Copyright 2011 Gerard Webster