Cari Mora: Thomas Harris
Evil, terror, fear, sadism, greed, power and control are at the heart of this terrifying novel. Gold is what they are all after and each person that is after it will stop at nothing to get what someone left years ago in a vault that no one could open. Anyone handling it wrong would find them blown into pieces. The players are many but the two primary ones Hans Peter Schneider and Don Ernesto. Both dangerous, deadly and had many men in their employ. Schneider has no regard for human life and would discard and kill anyone in his employ when they became unnecessary, useless or no longer needed. Added in he created his own crematorium that would liquify a body using lye and other chemicals and enjoy watching what happened to the bodies. Selling their organs, some using them for other things, he did not hesitate to provide women for minders in illegal gold mines in Colombia and Peru. Some got mercury poisoning because the mines pollute the water making it hard to sell their organs when they dig. Selling human organs that have no mercury was profitable. He is sick enough to harvest them in a motel. He sells mutilated women to specialty clubs in various parts of the world. You can custom make a suit, dress or even a car, think how sick it would be to do the same to a person. Cari worked in a house where this man pretended to be filming a movie but somewhere
in this house was the vault left by a man years ago. Only one-man Jesus Villareal knows how to open this vault, where it is and can provide the information for a price. But Schneider is sick, demonic and even paranoid at times and trusts no one. He kills just for the sport and Cari when he meets her becomes an object of his obsession.
Working at many jobs and the primary one at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, she was learning how to care for animals and wanted to become a vet. Smart, astute and having military training as she was kidnapped as a child, taken in custody by Farc, and was made to do tasks unthinkable for someone her age. Hans Peter had many men to do his dirty tasks and links to others equally as dangerous. Hoping to find how to open this vault and what was underneath the water, he forces the caretaker of the house he is renting to put on a dangerous harness and the result is deadly.
Captain Marco runs a boat and Antonio a pool service, but they do have jobs they do together. Antonio is linked to Cari as a good friend and wants her to be more than that, but she is not interested in anything or anyone and just wants to live life and exist. But, things get tense when Ernesto wants to find how to open the vault, he has to check for leaks in the pool in the house where she is the caretaker, and when asking her to come with him, the end result is deadly.
The house once owned by Pablo Escobar is the setting and only Jesus knows how to access it. In the hospital yet holding all the strings at first, you get a chilling feeling every time he is int each scene. The stakes are high, the one who offers him the most money, and can help him provide for his family, he pulls the strings of the Ten Bells crime syndicate. Hans Peter Schneider manipulates the rest, and he is medically trained and makes Hannibal Lector look like Dr. Spock.
Cari is an innocent pawn in this, and you know that she has a dark past and has great survival skills. She even handles wounded birds and at times is needed to work with vets. The plot is fast moving, the action ongoing and the truths and lies apparent .
Cari is a character that you want to see more of and whose ability to take on difficult task is only mirrored by her will to stay alive and how she escaped from bondage as a child. Bodies are mutilated when killed, half consumed torsos, no heads, burning skulls and removing limbs just for sport to give these poor young girls to someone in a club to use as freaks.
Benito is a gardener working for Felix the caretaker of the house Hans is renting and when helping Cari carry packages gets the wrath of this man for no reason. At the same time Antonio was taking some tracer dye out of his pack besides the pool when Felix demanded he leave. Waiting for him to turn aware on the bottom of his foot was the tattoo a bell suspended from a fishhook along with this blood type
What is the fate of 25 million dollars in cartel gold? Will they find it beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront? Hans Peter Schneider and Don Ernesto which one wins the bounty if either? Cari is smart and just wants to have her own home and roots dealing with a Temporary Protected Status that could change at the whim of ICE. Scars all over her arms, the ye of Hans and survival skills is that enough?
Hans is mentally ill, physically marred and sadistic in his violence yet never really losing his temper the author portrays him as calm, steady and methodical. Whereas Don Ernesto is more vibrant, cunning and yet never falters or lies about what his actions will be or the promises he says he will keep.
The dark side of each character comes through and the ending is graphically described, filled with tension, violence and one person that will not stop until justice is served no matter the cost or how.
Detective Robles comes into the story in the middle and at the end hoping that Cari will give him the ammunition to take down Hans and possibly go into a safe house or protection of some kind. But, some endings are beginnings and some lives take on different turns as Cari has to decide her next move, where she wants to be and if he life is in Miami Beach, school and her goal to just be her. With the determination of a true MMA fighter and the morals she has developed through all she went through; Cari Mora is one smart girl we hope to see more of in the future.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews