The Curse of the Red Devil by Thomas Lockhaven

The Curse of the Red Devil

The Curse of the Red Devil by Thomas Lockhaven (Ava & Carol Detective Agency #7)
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 3.4 MB

The Amazon Jungle is dangerous enough, filled with venomous snakes, poisonous insects and man-eating caiman. Add to that, a local legend of a Devil that can steal your soul just by looking into its eyes, and a group of smugglers bent on wreaking havoc on the Rainforest, and you’ve got all the ingredients for Ava and Carol’s Brazilian Jungle Vacation.

Ava, Carol, and fellow campers traverse a rickety bridge of death. They fight for survival during an apocalyptic thunderstorm. And most frightening of all, they come face to face with the Red Devil! This encounter sucks them into a dangerous smuggling scheme. Gustavo, Raul, and Franco the Bull are stealing and breeding exotic birds and selling them on the black market.

Teaming up with a jungle-savvy local boy named Daniel, Ava and Carol embark on their most dangerous Amazon adventure of all: defeating the lowlife poachers. The young heroes brim with clever plans and fierce determination, but are they a match for cold-hearted villains armed with guns and knives? Will Ava and Carol succeed in their mission…or even make it out of the Amazon alive?

As soon as Ava’s feet touched terra firma on the other side of the chasm, she fell to her knees and kissed the ground, swearing she would never leave it again—and that she would plant a forest of daisies and tulips, in honor of solid land masses everywhere.

Miquel stared at her, bewildered. “Is she okay?”

“She loves nature,” explained Carol. She turned and addressed the group, gesturing to Ava. “We could all learn a valuable lesson from her.”

“Great job,” said Marcia as she followed Lucas, the last of the campers, off the rickety bridge.

Lucas grinned from ear to ear, pushed his glasses up his nose, hiked his shorts to his chest, and threw his fist into the air with a high-pitched celebratory “yah-hoo!”

The celebration continued until his friend Rachael, who reminded Ava of Velma from Scooby-Doo, went in for a high-five, missed his hand, and smacked him across the face, sending his glasses flying.

“Oops,” Rachael exclaimed.

Lucas picked up his glasses and blew off the lenses, his cheek burning from embarrassment and pain.

“Sorry,” gushed Rachael.

“I choose her if we’re attacked by a baboon or a creature with fangs,” said Ava.

“I second that motion,” added Carol. “She clearly has advanced swatting skills.”

“Oh Lord,” sighed Miquel, obviously wondering what he’d gotten himself into. “Everyone, gather around, gather around,” said Miquel, waving them into a tight circle. “Congratulations for making it across dead-man’s crossing, guys. That’s no easy task. Also great job, group leader.” He winked and gave her an awkward thumbs-up.

Ava saw Mason and Tony roll their eyes. “Dead-man’s crossing,” they snickered.

Boys, thought Ava, so obnoxious.

“Base camp just texted me,” continued Miquel, pocketing his phone. “Looks like this storm is going to be a nasty one. We’re going to have to hustle to make it before it hits.”

“How far away is base camp?” asked Rachael nervously. She looked at Marcia, then the sky, then back at Marcia.

“About three kilometers from here. Not far,” she answered.

“Three kilometers? What does that even mean?” asked Tony. “Can’t you just say the distance in miles?”

“It’s about two miles, Tony,” explained Elliot from within the hood of his hoodie. “About thirty minutes if we average four miles per hour.”

“Rad conversion skills, Elliot,” said Carol, clearly impressed. She gave him a giant thumbs-up.

“Yeah, but why not just say two miles?” insisted Tony.

“Very few countries use the imperial system of measurements—miles and feet,” explained Elliot. “Most use the metric system.”

“Metric system.” Mason rolled his eyes. “Ridiculous.” His friend Tony nodded his head in agreement.

“Rachael’s the group’s swatter, a.k.a. Anything Fanged Slayer, and Elliot can be our personal Google, if the internet goes down,” laughed Ava.

Carol could see the hint of a smile on his face as he sucked in the compliment like a thirsty sponge. She’d learned on the bus that Elliot’s nickname was “Turtle.” Every once in a while, his tiny nose would protrude from the depths of his hoodie—but that wasn’t very often.

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