Vanished

Vanished by Liza Marklund Read Free Book Online

Book: Vanished by Liza Marklund Read Free Book Online
Authors: Liza Marklund
Tags: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective
front of Annika. ‘The two dead guys might possibly be Serbs – the cops think it’s a mob killing, that it’s the Yugo Mafia. They’re afraid people will start slaughtering each other.’
    ‘Any leads?’
    Berit sighed. ‘Hard to tell,’ she said. ‘The forensics team were at the site until nightfall, sifting through every last bit of gravel in search of bullets and evidence.’
    Annika blew on her coffee. ‘Will we be able to trot out the grand old clichés? Slayings? Underworld liquidation? The police fear that gang wars are in the works?’
    They both laughed a little.
    ‘Probably all three,’ Berit said.
    Annika typed up her notes about the Paradise Foundation, then Jansson wanted her to doctor some follow-up copy about the hurricane. The long night shifts left more and more of a mark – she had to rub her eyes to keep the letters in check. Luckily, the large document about the handicapped boy had been edited beforehand and was ready to go, four pages about how the Social Services had broken municipal laws by not providing the care that he was entitled to. It would be a quiet night, maybe even too quiet.
    Right before midnight, the rest of the night shift went downstairs to eat. Annika stayed behind, monitoring the phones and the news-agency bulletins, relieved not to be going with them. Once the gang had gone, she hesitated a moment, choosing between vegging out or checking a few items. Then she sat down at Jansson’s desk – he was always on-line – and did a Yahoo search about the Paradise Foundation. The computer churned and deliberated, but came up with zip. The keyword ‘Paradise’ got a few hits: an advertising agency, a minister from Vetlanda, Sweden’s Bible belt, with his own website, a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. Nothing about an organization that helped women and children at risk.
    She returned to her desk and checked the news-agency bulletins. No breaking news. Using the speed dial, she called the ‘morgue’ on the third floor; they had a folder about foundations, provided by the Swedish IRS and titled ‘Tax Liability’. She ordered it, but by the time the attendant had managed to drag himself downstairs and get it she couldn’t face reading it. She took a short walk around the place and rubbed her eyes, weary, sluggish, uninterested. Sat down at her desk again and wished that the shift was over so she wouldn’t have to be there. Even though she knew she would end up counting the hours until she was able to come back to work and not have to be at home. Pressure started to constrict her chest and a sense of futility crept up on her.
    ‘Hey, Sjölander,’ she shouted. ‘Want me to write something? A sidebar on the history of the Yugo Mafia?’
    He was on the phone, but flashed her a thumbs-up.
    Annika closed her eyes, swallowed, went back to Jansson’s desk and got on-line with the Data Archives, typing in ‘Yugo’ and ‘Mafia’.
    According to the press excerpts, criminal Yugoslav groups had been established in many parts of Sweden for decades, in cities as well as in the country. Their main focus was smuggling and selling drugs, often using restaurants as a front, but in later years their operations had changed. After the Swedish government raised the taxes on tobacco products dramatically, not once, but twice, a few years back, many of these smugglers had switched from drugs to cigarettes. A carton of cigarettes could be had for thirty to fifty kronor in Eastern Europe, where brands like Prince and Blend were manufactured under licence. After they’d been obtained they were brought into Sweden either directly or via Estonia.
    Annika sat silently for a moment and read the material that came up, then went over to Sjölander. He had stopped talking and was thrashing away at his computer keyboard with his index fingers.
    ‘Are we going to establish that there’s a Yugo connection in these homicides?’ she wondered.
    Sjölander sighed heavily. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘that’s a

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