Cari Mora Read online
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Copyright © 2019 by Thomas Harris
Jacket design by Tal Goretsky
Jacket photographs: Alamy Stock Photo
Cover copyright © 2019 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.
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First Edition: May 2019
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The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.
Excerpt from the English translation of the song “Tuyo” here composed by Rodrigo Amarante, © Narcos Productions LLC. Used by permission.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Harris, Thomas, 1940– author.
Title: Cari mora / Thomas Harris.
Description: First edition. | New York ; Boston : Grand Central Publishing, 2019.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018052170| ISBN 9781538750148 (hardcover) | ISBN 9781538700228 (large print) | ISBN 9781549148675 (audio download) | ISBN 9781549148668 (audio book) | ISBN 9781538750131 (ebook)
Classification: LCC PS3558.A6558 C37 2019 | DDC 813/.54—dc21
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018052170
ISBNs: 978-1-5387-5014-8 (hardcover), 978-1-5387-5013-1 (ebook), 978-1-5387-0005-1 (international), 978-1-5387-0022-8 (large print), 978-1-5387-5107-7 (special, signed edition)
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Two men talking in the middle of the night. They are 1,040 miles apart. One side of each face is lit by a cell phone. They are two half-faces talking in the dark.
“I can get the house where you say it is. Tell me the rest, Jesús.”
The reply is faint through a crackle of static. “You paid one-fourth of what you promised.” Puff-puff. “Send me the rest of the money. Send it to me.” Puff-puff.
“Jesús, if I find what I want with no more help from you, you will receive nothing from me never.”
“That is truer than you know. That’s the truest thing you ever said in your life.” Puff-puff. “What you want is sitting on fifteen kilos of Semtex…if you find it without my help you will be splattered on the moon.”
“My arm is long, Jesús.”
“It won’t reach down from the moon, Hans-Pedro.”
“My name is Hans-Peter, as you know.”
“You’d put your hand on your peter if your arm was long enough? Is that what you said? I don’t want your personal information. Quit wasting time. Send the money.”
The connection is broken. Both men lie staring into the dark.
Hans-Peter Schneider is in a berth aboard his long black boat off Key Largo. He listens to a woman sobbing on the V-berth in the bow. He imitates her sobs. He is a good mimic. His own mother’s voice comes out of his face, calling the crying woman’s name. “Karla? Karla? Why are you crying, my dear child? It’s just a dream.”
Desperate in the dark, the woman is fooled for a second, then bitter wracking tears again.
The sound of a woman crying is Hans-Peter’s music; it soothes him and he goes back to sleep.
In Barranquilla, Colombia, Jesús Villarreal lets the measured hiss of his respirator calm him. He breathes some oxygen from his mask. Through the common darkness he hears a patient out in the hospital ward, a man crying out to God for help, crying “Jesús!”
Jesús Villarreal whispers to the dark, “I hope God can hear you as well as I can, my friend. But I doubt it.”
Jesús Villarreal calls information on his burner phone and obtains the number of a dance studio in Barranquilla. He pulls his oxygen mask aside to talk.
“No, I am not interested in learning to dance,” he says into the telephone. “I am not dancing at this time. I want to speak to Don Ernesto. Yes you do know him. Say my name to him, he will know.” Puff-puff.
Hans-Peter Schneider’s boat slid very slowly past the great house on Biscayne Bay, water gurgling along the black hull.
Through his binoculars Hans-Peter watched Cari Mora, twenty-five, in her pajama pants and tank top as she stretched on the terrace in the early morning light.
“My goodness,” he said. Hans-Peter’s canine teeth are rather long and they have silver in them that shows when he smiles.
Hans-Peter is tall and pale, totally hairless. Lacking lashes, his eyelids touched the glass of his binoculars, making smudges. He wiped the eyepieces with a linen handkerchief.
The house-agent Felix stood behind him on the boat.
“That’s her. The caretaker,” Felix said. “She knows the house better than anybody, she can fix things. Learn the house from her and then I’ll fire her smart ass before she can see anything she shouldn’t see. She can save you some time.”
“Time,” Hans-Peter said. “Time. How much longer for the permit?”
“The guy renting the house now is shooting commercials. His permit is good for two more weeks.”
“Felix, I want you to give me a key to that house.” Hans-Peter speaks English wit