The mysterious assassin was known only as El Gancho. He didn’t use weapons in his killings; no, he preferred a hand-on approach. He was an expert in getting close to targets, usually by blending in with a larger party of onlookers or hangers-on, and then getting them alone on a pretext. By the time a target’s guards heard the screams, it was too late.

Word had it that the president of the República de San Martín, the first democratically elected head of state after a half-century of rule by the corrupt Alvarez, the insane Gonzaga, and the brutal Exposito. Powerful people wanted the new president to disappear, and El Gancho was just the one to make it happen for the right price.

Detective Ramirez, on loan from Interpol, was scouring recent pictures of the president at galas and balls, trying to root out inefficiencies and outright holes in the security detail. As he did so, he came across a recent photograph of the president opening the Sanmartínese legislature. A variety of dignitaries were pictured applauding…including a man in a formal suit striking a hook where his left hand should have been against his right.

“…El Gancho…!” Ramirez hissed.

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