Jon had been almost annoyed at his bad luck in missing Gomez at the hotel. It was no-one’s fault of course, just ‘one of those things’ but nonetheless … It was made worse by having been so close. If they’d arrived only a few hours earlier Gomez would still have been there. He was further frustrated by the fact that Gomez didn’t seem to use the ID much, so future chances would be rare.

He was curious why Gomez had chosen that day to check out. Riaz was, as far as Gomez knew, still abroad ready to be dealt with when found. Perhaps Gomez had spotted the observation on the hotel and realised that Riaz was with the police after all and had decided not to pursue him further, for the time being at least. It didn’t appear to have been a one shot deal. If it had been, Gomez could have been expected to leave immediately after the first attempt rather than hang around for another week.

He’d thought about going back to the stake-out at the hotel, then about going to Riaz’s safe house. Neither location would really be of any use but he didn’t yet feel like returning home. In the end he’d told the driver to take him to the cash point Gomez had used. He didn’t expect to learn anything there and wasn’t really sure why he’d asked to be taken, but it was as good a location as any. The trip would at least give him more time to think things through.

Having a driver to tackle the obstacle of negotiating the traffic and deciding the best route left him free to explore the questions that he had and his own next steps.

Investigation at Riaz’s flat had finally determined the real cause of the explosion. It had really been reached from two directions. They’d found nothing at all to account for it having been accidental. There were enough fragments in the debris to demonstrate the existence of some kind of device. There hadn’t been enough clues to say precisely what the device was or how it had worked, but the investigators had been confident that the chemical make-up of what they’d found, and the odd remnant of a particular piece just didn’t fit with anything one would reasonably expect to find in a coat cupboard.

Both the actual death of Rose Dawkins, and its manner, whilst perhaps not alone proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a connection, without Jon’s theory would make no sense at all. It could have been totally unrelated. It could have been merely a coincidence. The chances of these possibilities being true though seemed far, far smaller than not being. Direct investigation into Rose’s death was revealing absolutely no clues. No witnesses, no forensics, nothing to offer even a half hope of a break. If her murder hadn’t fitted into and been part of the Riaz case, then it would probably have almost immediately been added to the pile of unsolvable ones.

He’d left the back-up team at the hotel to await the arrival of forensics. From his brief look around he really didn’t expect them to discover anything that would be of benefit. Even if they did manage to find something, it would most likely be evidence of who had been there. That might become important once they’d found Gomez, help to prove that he’d been there, but it would do nothing to aid him with his current problem. He already knew WHO he was looking for. What he needed were clues to WHERE.

He was convinced that the fact Gomez had used his ID only once, when he first arrived, then apparently disappeared was sufficiently unusual to justify Jon’s conclusion that this had to be the man he was looking for. It was possible of course to arrive in a country and then not to need to identify oneself again for a long time, but it seemed unlikely. There must also have been enough suspicion by the Bolivian police for them to have flagged him in the first place and Gomez’ own actions by buying another ID was enough, for Jon at least, to move it from a probability to a near certainty. Even the ID he was now had – Johnson – seemed to only be used rarely.

His request to Central Control to look out for Gomez’ face had yielded no results either. It wouldn’t have been impossible for that to have happened naturally. It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time it had in Jon’s experience. But he couldn’t help feeling that this was because Gomez was deliberately avoiding cameras, rather than it being yet another coincidence.

What Jon disliked most was not having anything positive to do. To just sit back and wait and see if Gomez appeared somewhere just didn’t fit with his nature. Not that he seemed to have any choice but to do just that.

Then there was the question of why Gomez had chosen that particular day to check out of his hotel. What was the reason for it? He couldn’t surely, have known that the real owner of the ID he was using had been discovered, and that therefore that particular cover was of no use any more. Not only did Jon doubt that information could have been passed to Gomez, but also the timing didn’t fit either. He’d responded pretty much has soon as he’d found out himself. Gomez had checked out before that. So that couldn’t have been the reason. Admittedly it was unlikely that Riaz could be expected to return to his flat, so Gomez’ hotel wasn’t located anywhere that might be useful. But then there was no reason to move location either. Unless Gomez thought he knew where Riaz now was. And if he knew where he was …

Jon barked out his instructions to the driver to forget about the cash point and head instead for the safe house while he was fishing out his phone and dialling Sally’s number.

He was relieved when after only a couple of rings he heard Sally’s voice answer. She seemed a little surprised at first that he had called. In response to his enquiries she assured him that Riaz was OK. Yes, she was absolutely sure of that. She could actually see him, sleeping in his usual chair outside in the garden. She agreed that she’d bring him in and wait for Jon to arrive.

Jon hit the button that ended the call. The few seconds between doing that and thinking of their next move was all that had passed when his mobile rang. A quick glance at the screen told him it was Sally.