The vast majority of these cases are based on true events… The short story ‘Gone Missing’ was first published in magazine format in 2011: here is a very brief excerpt:
Pavel’s best defence was extreme halitosis…
Miguel García Hernandez had been missing a week by the time his wife, Beatriz, got in touch with me. He’d walked out of his apartment in Edificio Donna Ximena, saying that, on his way to work, he was going to drop into the loteria shop to claim his euro reintegro from La Primitiva.
José on the lotto desk knew Miguel as a regular and was adamant that he had not come in that day. Miguel was supposed to go to the La Mata villa of Señor Rafael Morales, to fit a wooden carport in his drive. A three-day job, he’d estimated, but he never arrived.
Beatriz feared something terrible had happened to her dear Miguel and it showed in her sleep-deprived, dark brown eyes and unkempt dyed-black hair. She was in her mid-forties, but seemed older since the clear complexion of her chubby cheeks was mottled after she had dried too many tears.
She’d been quite a catch. Her family had worked in the salt industry since the 1820s. Salt was another word for money in Torrevieja. Beatriz thought that Miguel was the salt of the earth, and she should know. In the middle of last century, Torrevieja was a small fishing village on the southeast coast of Spain that also thrived on “white gold”, salt production. Today, Torrevieja exports a million tonnes annually. Twenty years ago, its population was about 20,000. Now it’s a sizeable city with in excess of 100,000 residents, over half non-Spanish.
There is a glossary explaining terms such as 'reintegro' and La Primitiva'...
As can be seen in this clipping from The Coastrider dated July 2007, Torrevieja town has grown over the years – the fastest growing town in Spain, in fact. The numbers have fluctuated since then, but even taking into account the financial crisis of 2008, which meant many hundreds of expats returned to their native countries, the numbers have still increased – in 2012 there were 107,009. Estimates may vary, but when the tourists are added to the number, there are never less than 320,000 inhabitants.
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