Hunting a notorious hit man, FBI Agent Chase Nozick and LAPD Det. Enrique Rios Ocha delve into the inner worlds of Santeria, Voodoo and Palo Mayumbe. A missing informant, her murdered brother and a ghost from Chase's past send them on a hunt through mystics and psychic surgeons to find their witness before it's too late. Can he rely on leads from a child possessed by Orishas? Do cards hold stronger clues than blood? Chase must conquer his own personal demons to bring the killer of his partner to justice and find the strength to take a chance on Enrique.
Desert heat sucked the sweat from Special Agent Chase Nozick's pores. "Give it up, Garcia!" he yelled. Somehow, he'd managed to shrug into the soft body armor as he slid out the car. Sweat pooled under the vest, plastering his suit jacket, dress shirt and tie to his skin. Damn, it was hot. Chase snorted as he leaned over the hood of his Bureau-issued car. The last thing he really needed to care about was how hot it was.
He aimed his 9mm at the driver's side window of a pinned Escalade and yelled again, "I mean now!"
Chase never felt calmer. The situation flew by in sharp focus. He smelled oil burning off his Buick's engine. The pop and hiss of the SUV's radiator puking over the trunk of the Buick stung his ears. In his peripheral vision, Chase watched Jason crab-walk around the back of the SUV. Sand shifted under the feet of Chase's partner, Jason Olhms, each grating grain distinguishable from another. Overlaid across it was Garcia's cursing as he fought with his seatbelt. The impact from Chase's car must have jammed it when he reversed the Buick directly into Garcia's fleeing vehicle. One of Garcia's ever-present goons lay slumped against the dash, his mirrored sunglasses hanging off his face at a bizarre angle. The spider web fracture on the windshield and open doll eyes told Chase the guy wasn't going anywhere in the near future.
"Come on, Garcia!" he barked.
Garcia looked up. An evil, murderous smile ripped across his mouth. Flat brown eyes, soulless eyes, stared out from under a heavy brow. Chase heard the snap-click of a hammer going back. A hole burst through the SUV's door. One, two, three rapid blasts shattered the air. A pair of bullets whizzed by Chase's head. Then the vuv-pop of a ricochet sounded. Pain bloomed in the back of Chase's neck.
He blinked. Garcia twisted. The gun hidden in his lap came up and pointed out the passenger side of the SUV. Jason stood. Chase's voice froze as he tried to croak out a warning. Red mist exploded where Jason's face had been. Chase pulled his trigger. Once, just once. Garcia slumped in his seat.
The world shifted, spun as Chase tried to stand. Hot and sticky, blood pumped down under his vest. Chase sucked in a breath and pain rampaged through his body. There wasn't time to check Garcia's status. Jason'Chase figured him for dead already. Even if he wasn't, every second counted for his own survival. Knees weak and stomach rolling, he reached up and pressed his free hand to the torn flesh of his neck. Chase shook so bad he could barely keep the gun trained on where Garcia had been.
He had to get help. He had to get help fast.
Chase staggered back to driver's side of the Buick. It took all his will to wrench the door open and slide into the driver's seat. He fumbled the mike, trying to key it. Slick with blood and sweat, it slid to the floor. Chase almost cried. Bending down sent waves of agony screaming through his neck. He took a deep breath and reached for it.
The world went black.