The Miami businessman had barely escaped with his life. His health was ruined and his assets were gone. His kidnappers owned everything, even his home. But he had names and a paper trail. Why would no one believe him?
The Sun Gym manager liked Schiller's big house. And he liked all the toys that came with it. Best of all, Miami was full of people with that kind of money. Just one thing about torture-for-profit: You cant bleed money from a corpse.
Lugo's wife was a devout Buddhist. Was she just working through some bad karma when she witnessed a heinous crime but said nothing about it?
What Lugo's best buddy really wanted was a Lamborghini, and he knew just where to find one. Getting it home was another matter. Hed need handcuffs, rope, a syringe, and horse tranquilizer.
The Sun Gym weight lifter had an offer for Schiller: He'd see all his money again if he stayed away from the cops. Theyd hooked a bigger fish anyway.
A stripper at Solid Gold, Sabina was blessed with rare beauty and cursed with dull-wittedness. Lugo gave her an apartment, a car, an engagement ring, and two top-secret assignments straight from the CIA.
Of all the strippers at Solid Gold, Doorbal was smitten with the impossibly beautiful Beatriz. But the guns, the fast cash, and that ridiculous CIA story. It all made her suspicious.
Doorbal's on-again, off-again fiancée was a nurse and fitness enthusiast from Boca Raton. She didn't mind the long-distance relationship, but she did have a problem with his mood swings and his limp libido.
ED DU BOIS
It was bad enough that the cops blew him off. Now he had to worry about the musclebound strangers who were watching his house. Did they think the detective would lead them to Schiller?
Lugo's ex-wife was named as the beneficiary of Schiller's two-million-dollar life-insurance policy. But he'd turned up alive, and now he was telling people she wasn't his mistress after all.
Sure Delgado and Lugo were his clients, but who was Marc Schiller? The accountant had no rational explanation for his signature on Schiller's transfer of assets.
Du Bois hired the retired homicide detective as a bodyguard. Seibert also knew that garbage cans could produce gold mines of evidence.
He'd come to Miami to rebuild his life. But within a few months he'd taken part in a kidnapping and attempted murder. Now he was back to boozing and was feeling paranoid.
Weekes's housemate joined the Christmas Eve drive to Tampa to try to kill Schiller -- again. After that he just didn't live up to Lugo's expectations.
A Plantation attorney in his first year of practice, Greenberg didn't wan't to draft the crooked contract Lugo requested. In the end, though, his document contained a few crucial blank spaces.
The Metro-Dade homicide captain was so alarmed by the Schiller story he called the elite SID division, which handles criminal conspiracy, money laundering, murder-for-hire, and organized crime.
A Metro-Dade robbery detective who took her job seriously. So seriously she didn't have time to run around pursuing every wild story she heard, Schiller's in particular.
Sgt. Jim Maier headed a Metro-Dade task force designed to stop tourist robbers. And he made it clear he didn't talk to private eyes. It was enough to give Du Bois chills.
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They said the Sun Gym patron was a Palestinian terrorist, that he sold drugs, that he was wanted by the CIA. If Sabina could seduce him, the agents would grab him.
Called the Alexander Graham Bell of telephone sex, the Hungarian immigrant made a fortune big enough for him to buy a mansion, a Lamborghini, and a yacht. He thought Lugo's business deal seemed solid.
When she arrived from Hungary, she was broke and spoke no English. But exotic dancing was her steppingstone to riches. She wowed Griga. And because they were inseparable, she went with him to that dinner.
A small-time travel agent, Beatriz's estranged husband was dying to score big and do business with Frank Griga. Lugo's pitch for a phone deal in India looked like his ticket.