Excerpt from Darkness in Vélez-Málaga

Chapter 1

The allure of enthralling entertainment at Málaga’s prestigious temple to the arts was proving irresistible. The bustling tapas bars surrounding Plaza de La Merced were beginning to empty as the migration toward the grand Cervantes Theater gained momentum. Spain’s premier Flamenco dancer, Salome Mendosa, was due on stage for her third of four weekday performances in the provincial capital.

From all over the province, dedicated fans were flocking to the richly decorated eclectic styled theater, inaugurated in 1870. The light was fading fast on a balmy December evening. A half-moon was peeking over the rooftop antennas.

An elegantly dressed, tall athletic man in his early forties with shaggy blond hair and steel-blue eyes was seated on a terrace table at Restaurant Cortijo de Pepe overlooking the tree lined plaza. He raised his eyes at the attractive, younger woman opposite. She nodded.

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