Miles and his crew arrive in Mexico City only to learn that their most promising lead has disappeared and the forces aligned against them are closing in. They flee to Acapulco, where Miles’s involvement in a bizarre parasailing incident leads him to an important discovery. Miles and Rudy plunge into a dense jungle and are quickly embroiled with a fertility cult that demands sacrifice to an ancient volcano goddess. Can Miles take the heat? Will Jackson return in time? Where the hell is the guy in the gray suit? To find out, dive into part four of Miles Diamond and the Demon of Death.
“Why are we stopping?” I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to open my eyes just yet. The traffic leading into Mexico City had been harrowing, to say the least. It began at least fifty miles out from the center in the teeming shantytowns that sprouted on every hillside. There the main hazards had been burros, chickens, and young children who had the unnerving habit of darting out into traffic unannounced. Once in the city proper, the hazards became larger and tended to be vehicular. Fortunately, Jackson remained unflappable while Rudy barked directions and kept him abreast of the traffic situation on the passenger side of our vehicle.
I’d lost my nerve about ten minutes before when an enormous eighteen-wheeler pulled out in front of us at the same instant we swerved to avoid a spectacular pileup that blossomed without warning in our direct path. Brakes squealed and I gripped the back of Rudy’s seat when Jackson cranked the wheel and drove up onto the sidewalk, narrowly missing an elderly woman and her fruit stand.
Jackson parked and I scrambled out of the truck, delighted to have my feet on solid ground. We were on the Paseo de la Reforma, a broad avenue lined with luxury hotels, restaurants, and elegant shops. Affluent Mexican matrons and well-heeled tourists, all laden with shopping bags, crowded the sidewalks, obviously intent on doing their level best to pump money into the local economy. I narrowly avoided colliding with one of the matrons, who glanced disdainfully at me and at our battered truck, shrugged her shoulders and then hurried past us.
Our goal was a quiet little shop, announced to the world only by the owner’s name—Juan Martinez—scrawled discreetly in gold leaf on the glass door. The shop was dark and the shade on the door had been pulled down tight. The shade was ripped on one side and stained near the bottom. Upon closer inspection, the stain appeared to be quite fresh. It was the color of blood.
“What are we waiting for?” Rudy was clearly impatient.
“The lights are off. They’re probably closed.” I felt just the least bit queasy.
“Get out of the way, Miles!” Rudy pushed me aside and turned the doorknob. It was unlocked. He and Jackson walked right on in. I followed reluctantly in their wake.