The Crocodile’s Kill
The Crocodile’s Kill, by Chris McGillion
Babies are being abducted from their homes in the mountains along East Timor’s southern border with Indonesia. Local villagers believe the babies are being taken by demons and sacrificed in order to appease ancestral spirits disturbed by development projects encroaching on traditional land. FBI Agent Sara Carter, on secondment to INTERPOL, is assigned to investigate the case which is suspected of involving an illegal international adoption racket servicing childless rich American couples. She is assigned a Timorese police colleague, Vincintino Cordero, whose family escaped East Timor after the Indonesian invasion and who grew up and was educated in Australia. But the two have personalities, policing styles and agendas that clash complicating the investigation. Assisted by a young female Timorese police officer they must nonetheless find a way to work together to hunt down those responsible for the abductions before the villagers’ fears boil over and they take matters into their own hands. It’s a dangerous investigation, as the discovery of two dead bodies attests. And nerves are on edge after the local police kill a crocodile, the totem central to Timor’s creation myth. Time is running out before anger over the treatment of the crocodile adds to popular unrest about the missing babies and erupts into widespread violence.