Los Angeles private investigator Michael Philip Marlin hated to go south of the border, south down into sunny fetid Mexico, faux Mexico really, Tijuana. The American idea of Mexico mainly with the cheap tourista duds, fanfare, and dust. He hated the squalor, worst that his home town Ocean City cold-water flats that he knew well from growing up right in the middle of them, that he found just over the border after the immigration station told him he was in “habla Espanol” country. He hated the bracero looks, stares, eternal stares, piercing right through you, from the sun-blackened Mexican fellahin, and the blank stares, the hungry stares from his children.
He had taken the Addington case the minute he had received it via Detective James Foote his friend on the Los Angeles police force who threw business, non-police business, business where discretion was the watchword, his way. And when the heavy-footed cops didn’t want to touch some rich man’s (or in this case women’s high- flown ideas of justice. What was desired by that Mrs. Addington, Mrs. Adele Addington, heiress to the New York typewriter fortune was for a missing husband to be found when he met her plane as she flew in from New York to discuss the situation in person (and Marlin figured to size him up). And she, like most of her kind when they wanted something or someone found who did not want to be found was willing to pay, pay handsomely, and without too much regard for expenses and daily fees to have her desires carried out.