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When a string of kidnappings rocks the horse racing world, Andrew Douglas is brought in to recover the missing-without becoming the next victim.
employer were of little interest, and surreptitiously read the map. The restaurant at this place was simply a café next to a garage, a stop for coffee and gas. People came and went, but not many. The day warmed up under the summer sun, and as a good chauffeur should I started the purring engine and switched on the air-conditioning. He returned with his jacket over his arm and flopped gratefully into the cool. “Casteloro,” he said. “Why is he doing this?” “Standard procedure, to make sure
crowd, long discouraged from lack of excitement, and perhaps fewer fawn uniforms. The television coverage had become perfunctory: repetitive as-you-were sentences only. “Do you think they’ll release her?” Ilaria said, as the screen switched away to politicians. “Yes, I think so.” “When?” “Can’t tell.” “Suppose they’ve told the carabinieri they’ll keep her until those men in the flat go free. Suppose the ransom isn’t enough.” I glanced at her. She’d spoken not with dread but as if the
of the bedrooms, and had mentioned ropes tying the father. The father moaned occasionally and was told violently to stop. In the street the crowd multiplied by the minute, every apartment block in the neighborhood, it seemed, emptying its inhabitants to the free show on the doorstep. Even at two in the morning there were hordes of children oozing round every attempt of the carabinieri to keep them back, and everywhere, increasingly, sprouted the cameras, busy lenses pointing at the windows, now
such stories could be deadly. A siege in a public street, though, was everyone’s fair game; and I wondered cynically how long it would be before one of the fawn-uniformed law-enforcers accepted a paper gift in exchange for the fact of just whose ransom was barricaded there three flights up. I found myself automatically taking what one might call a memory snapshot, a clear frozen picture of the moving scene outside. It was a habit from boyhood, then consciously cultivated, a game to while away
bright club lounge to look out across the racecourse. “Tomorrow,” I said, “they’ll be cheering you.” She looked apprehensive more than gratified. “It depends how Brunelleschi’s traveled.” “Isn’t he here?” I asked, surprised. “Oh, yes, but no one knows how he feels. He might be homesick . . . and don’t laugh, the tap water here tastes vile to me, God knows what the horse thinks of it. Horses have their own likes and dislikes, don’t forget, and all sorts of unimaginable factors can put them