As soon as he arrived at the station, he called the Third Precinct. The officer who answered was new at his post and sounded young. As they didn't know each other, Espinosa kept things formal.
"Sir, I'm sorry about what happened to your detective. I've just come from the scene, and I'd like to discuss a couple of matters regarding the victim."
"Thank you, Officer Espinosa. I've only been at the Third for a little more than a month, and I don't know all the officers here yet. I had little contact with Detective Silveira. I only knew that he'd been around for a long time, and that he was biding his time till retirement."
"Did he work or was he working on any case that could have left him open to a revenge killing?"
"Not as far as I know."
"Any declared enemies?"
"I don't think so. He was a nice guy; he had good relationships with his colleagues."
"Well, in any case, thank you. Don't hesitate to call me if there's anything you need."
"Thanks a lot."
Welber arrived forty minutes later.
"Nobody knows anything, nobody saw anything, and the guy in charge of the park had never seen Silveira. You'd think he died of a heart attack and not a shot in the head. Some people even said he might have been a victim of a stray bullet."
"Maybe, but it strayed right into his head."
"Did you talk to the Third Precinct?"
"I did. According to them, Silveira was an exemplary cop, friendly with all his colleagues. In my opinion, if he was so exemplary and beloved, he's not being mourned very loudly. Up until now, nobody's bothered to ask what happened."
"And what do you think happened?"
"We could be dealing with two connected crimes: today's and Ramos's murder last week. They have some things in common. First, obviously, both victims were cops. Second, the way the murderer shot them: one fatal shot, no struggle, no confusion. Third, they were both killed in front of other people, which made no difference at all: Ramos was killed in front of his father, who has Alzheimer's and can't understand what is happening around him; Silveira was killed in plain view, but nobody saw anything. Same style, same murderer. It's a good bet."
From A Window in Copacabana by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza. Copyright 2001 Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza. Originally published in Brazil in 2001 under the title Uma Janela em Copacabana. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Henry Holt & Company.
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