Detective Carl Hamilton leaned out of the hole blown into the four-story building, studying the concrete pavement three floors below. Pine trees speckled the mountainside and swayed in the chill autumn air.
Pulling his head back in, he examined the raw edges of drywall. It looked as though a bazooka or rocket-propelled grenade had blasted through. Similar holes dotted the rest of The Hand’s lair, and the garage door lay crumpled like a tin can in the driveway. Had the criminal been ambushed? If so, why?
One of the local police officers poked his head through an open door. “We found a desk. It has a piece of paper with names and phone numbers taped to it.”
The radio on his shoulder sputtered and someone spoke in rapid French. The officer said to Carl, “They are dusting the attic for prints. We think that is where the kidnapped girls were held.”
“Sir?” Another officer came in, several small, colored books in his gloved hand. “We found passports in a shoebox in the closet.”
Carl slipped on a thin plastic glove before taking the passports. The picture remained the same, but they used several different names and represented the majority of known countries. One name repeated itself several times: Jeff Truman.
Finally. A name and a face.