Today, a fan of my novels purchased THE ONLY THING which is the sequel to GANI & SEAN. After he wrote me a check, he told me again that his favorite (of my novels) is “still THE EIGHT-FOOT BOY”.
My friend who purchased GANI & SEAN last Saturday morning told me at breakfast this morning — one week later — that “Yes, I liked GANI & SEAN.” Then she smiled and said, “You surprised me there at the end.”
“Oh,” I said, “you didn’t see that coming?”
“No,” she replied. “No, no; I didn’t.” And she grinned.
“Oh, that’s great,” I said. I added, “I think you’ll like the sequel even more.”
And we went back to our coffee.
Five of my more favorite words strung together are: “I need something to read” but six of my most favorite words strung together — that follow closely after the first five words — are: “I want to read your book.”
These two phrases — uh, sentences — were “heard” by me via text yesterday, and this morning my friend — one of my readers — bought my novel GANI & SEAN.
I signed it to her, “You know I love you.”
BUY my novels for your family and friends. Thanks.
The story pretty much picks up where the first one ended, and to be truthful, I had to go back and peruse the last few pages of Gani and Sean to remind myself exactly what happened. Marian Watts has headed toward Mexico with a few kilos of Kristoff Koczella’s pure “product.” Sean LePen heads back to Chicago to pick up a “package” and then heads toward Mexico, herself.
We are introduced to a couple new characters as the story shifts to Mexico. Grandmama Maria owns a little shop in Oaxaca de Juarez, called “The Laughing Bowl.” Her grandson, Alberto, helps her run the shop. There is also a man named Paulo, who runs a nearby restaurant called “The Fighting Chicken.” All of the businesses in that town are terrorized by local thugs who work for the Los Zetas drug cartel. They come around periodically to collect “protection money.” But Grandmama Maria refuses to pay. They break her shop windows, along with some of the merchandise, and then they break Alberto’s arm. Maria heads to Mexico City to hire an assassin.
Sean happens to be in Mexico City and observes Maria attempting to hire an assassin, but the man will not take the job. He doesn’t want anything to do with the cartel. Sean introduces herself to Maria, and our new plot begins to take shape. Sean and Maria eventually meet up, and team up against the cartel, along with Maria, Alberto, and Paulo.
It’s an entertaining story and plot with interesting characters. Along the way, we get a little back story about the relationship between Gani and Marian, which we don’t know about in the first book. The ending is satisfying. Will there be more? Only Ms. Evans knows.
28 – Kindhearted Thugs
Juan Fuego del Rey recruits two more scroungers at the Oaxaca landfill to work for him as Los Zetas thugs. The two new recruits —Manuel, and Bernardo — meet with Ferdie and with Juan before Juan returns to Mexico City.
Juan tells his new thugs to go to every shop either on the last day of the month or the first day of the next month to collect the protection monies. He hands Ferdie a list with the names of the establishments and the amounts due. He instructs the three, “If the owner refuses to pay, you have permission from Boss to first — threaten to break a limb, second — break a limb, third — kidnap a child or other loved one, fourth — kill a child or other loved one. Remember the sequence; do not deviate.”
“Kill a child?” asks Ferdie.
“You have a problem with that?”
Ferdie looks at Manuel and Bernardo and then at the floor. “Maybe,” he says.
“Well,” says Juan — Shit, shit. So much fuckin’ trouble to find this goddamn thug in the first place — “you can ask Manuel or Bernardo to do that if it is necessary.” Here he points at the two other men and asks, “Do either of you have a problem with killing a child?”
Manuel crosses himself. Bernardo shakes his head.
“What the fuck do you mean?” asks Juan, first with a look at Manuel, then at Bernardo.
Manuel says, “I have a problem with killing a child, yes, Señor Juan.”
Bernardo nods his head.
“You, too?” asks Juan. “What the fuck; what kind of criminals are you?”
Ferdie volunteers, “We are not criminals, señor.”
“You are now,” says Juan, wanting to shout at the three idiots in front of him. “What do you think Boss is paying you to do?”
Manuel says, his voice squeezed, “Collect money?”
“It’s not that simple,” says Juan. “Oh holy god!”
“I don’t think we understand, Señor Juan,” offers Ferdie.
“Now that’s an understatement,” says Juan. Boss will kill me himself if these three — oh fuck, what am I going to do? “Look,” he tries again. “I want you to go to these shops and ask for the monies due. Understand?”
“Yes,” says Ferdie, “we understand that we are to collect monies.”
“But, it’s not like collecting money for services rendered —.”
“Excuse me,” says Manuel, “I don’t know what you mean.”
“It’s extortion,” says Juan. Why the fuck do I keep using big words with these dopes?
“Extortion,” says Bernardo. “I understand extortion.” He turns to Manuel and Ferdie and speaks at a clip, “That’s like when we work all day in the sun gathering valuable junk from the landfill and then when we deliver the goods they tell us that’s not really what they are looking for and they pay us shit.”
“Oh,” says Ferdie.
“Oh,” says Manuel.
Bernardo smiles at Juan Fuego del Rey, then frowns. He whispers, “You want us to do that to the people — to our neighbors — in Oaxaca?”
Juan frowns back at Bernardo, then at Manuel and finally at Ferdie. He says, “Apparently not.”
With deftness, Juan removes his gun from the holster on his left hip, aims, fires three shots — the first one hits Ferdie in the chest, the second hits Bernardo in the face, and the third clips Manuel in the shoulder. Manuel screams, falls back, hits his head on the floorboard. Juan moves forward, aims again, fires. The cartridge hits Manuel in the back as he crawls along the wall in a vain attempt to escape.
An hour later, Juan rides the same colorful bus back to Mexico City. He tries to sleep but is haunted by the fact that he has recruited not even one man — or hell, woman — to act as a Los Zetas thug in Oaxaca de Juarez. As he watches night fall, he thinks: Shit. Shit. Fuckin’ shit.
2014 Copyright by Carley Eason Evans
I’ve written less than 5,000 words in my novel, THE ONLY THING and I am currently in Chapter 6 — presently untitled. Usually my novel chapters are short but not that short!