Under cover officer Stan Boyko, relocated to Winnipeg after his cover is blown in Vancouver, thinks a new assignment in his home town will mean time to recoup. But Stan soon finds himself working the meaner streets of the city, exposing a mess of lies and dirty dealings at a national forensic lab.
She had spent her first week of freedom in a flurry of excited shopping sprees and sightseeing. But either Ferenc or one of his friends had escorted her around the fashionable shops making suggestions for replacing her meagre wardrobe, or pointing out the highlights of the city. The men made her edgy. Their conversation often too familiar. Finally, after a particularly obnoxious suggestion, she refused to go on further escorted outings, preferring to venture out on her own. Finally, the whispers of her conscience, whispers she had chosen to ignore while still in Ukraine, could no longer be set aside.
Yesterday, she had been out for a walk in a nearby park when she spied her brother with someone near a small grove of trees. As she approached to say hello, she saw Ferenc hand the man a packet in exchange for a large wad of money. As he slipped the money into his jacket pocket, he had exposed a gun in the waistband of his pants.
"Feri," she asked softly, as she extended a hand across the table to gently touch his sleeve, "why do you carry a gun?"
Sonja's question ignited her brother's suppressed anger. For the past week he had been moody, alternating between agitation and sullenness. At times he never stopped moving--tapping his feet, cracking his knuckles, pacing restlessly. Now, he thrust his half eaten lunch aside and reached for yet another cigarette from the pack in his pocket. Ferenc seemed to exist on cigarettes and little else.
"That's none of your business, Sonja! What gives you the right to question what I do? You've been nothing but a pain in the ass since I brought you here!" He made no effort to control his voice and diners at other tables turned their heads to stare at the couple.
His angry reply stung, and tears filled her eyes. Sonja hung her head to hide her shame. "Please, Ferenc, people are staring. Why are you so angry with me all the time? What have I done?"
"It's not what you've done--it's what you won't do! And please, don't play dumb with me!" He leaned closer and lowered his voice, but the intensity still lashed at her. "Sipos has about had enough of you. You're too choosy, or maybe you're just stupid. What were you expecting when we brought you here, Sonja? Do you think he put up the money for your trip out of the goodness of his heart?"
Sonja was stunned. "Your boss paid the money to bring me out of Ukraine?" The realization that Sipos Sandor and not Ferenc had paid for her trip to Hungary sickened her. Sipos was nothing more than a thug and he treated her brother like dirt under his nails.
A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth; the fox had cornered his prey. "And who would you bring your protest to, my lovely Sonja? Superintendent Rostov?" His eyes mocked her now. "His only interest is his bottle of vodka. Of course, we could perhaps reach an agreement, you and I. Would you care to join me for supper tonight? We can discuss it. I've been known to change my mind." He traced her jawbone with his index finger.