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Tart of Darkness
Carl Hiaasen
February 18, 2003
A crazed photographer has kidnapped a beautiful model and the hottest swimsuit cover in history. It's a perilous job for the man sent to retrieve them, one that tests the limits of his sanity...and his expense account
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February 18, 2003

Tart Of Darkness

A crazed photographer has kidnapped a beautiful model and the hottest swimsuit cover in history. It's a perilous job for the man sent to retrieve them, one that tests the limits of his sanity...and his expense account

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I was restless myself. "Yeah, guys, what's this all about?"

Ricks and Dooney tossed it to Klein. If this were a firing squad, it would be his job to offer me the blindfold. He said, "Jimmy, everything that's said here—"

"Stays here. Yeah, yeah...."

"Good." Klein waited a beat. "Of course you know Kurtz."

"I know of him, sure." My tone was absurdly nonchalant. Every shooter in the business knew about Kurtz. He was a folk hero, as volcanic as he was brilliant.

Dooney said, "Ever seen him in action?"

"Two years ago at the Jets game in Miami. Afterward he turned up at a karaoke joint in Coconut Grove with Leo DiCaprio and three Dolphins cheerleaders. I'll spare you the grisly details."

Klein perked up. "That was the game where Zach Thomas chewed off his own finger!"

I shook my head. "Just the top joint of his right thumb. It was still stuck in Zach's teeth when Kurtz snapped his picture. All I got was a shot of a bloody towel."

Ricks made a guttural sound to convey his disgust. He had wet jumpy eyes, pointed brown teeth and a scowl that wouldn't scare a kitten. He snapped, "We're wasting valuable time."

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