Flavia Greyling was a career criminal originally from South Africa. Quick-witted, ruthless, fearless and cunning, she was a high-functioning sociopath who flourished in the criminal societies of several countries.
Appearance and Mannerisms
Greyling was an attractive woman with ice blue eyes and high, prominent cheekbones. Her blonde hair, typically worn in a close-cropped style, was almost as pale as Special Agent Pendergast's. She was fascinated by martial arts and weaponry, though she preferred knives, particularly a cheap green-handled multi-barbed blade known as a Zombie Killer. She was almost always seen wearing a fanny pack.
Flavia Greyling was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Her parents were found beaten to death by a cricket bat when she was eight years old; the murder weapon was never found and the killings were attributed to a home invasion that went unsolved. Social workers would later discover Greyling had been sexually abused by her father from a young age. She became a ward of the state after being kicked out of a series of foster homes and was placed into an orphanage, where she was described by her social workers as maladapted, aggressive, manipulative and withdrawn. The young woman was also prone to violence, and blades of all kinds were kinds were constantly being confiscated from her. Before long, she was moved from the orphanage to a reformatory, where the staff proved unable to control her. By the age of fifteen, after a string of physical altercations culminated with an incident where she nearly beat a fellow inmate to death, she was scheduled to be transferred to a high-security prison. Before the transfer could be completed, however, she made her escape, killing a staff psychologist in the process.
Greyling immediately went on a crime spree, targeting men in particular. A favored ploy involved loitering in seedy neighborhoods until she was solicited or accosted; the offender was typically found castrated with his genitals stuffed into his mouth. After a brief stop in Japan, she landed in China, where she spent the next four years quickly becoming a highly successful enforcer for one of Canton's triads before abruptly leaving for the United States. She was highly elusive, consistently evading authorities around the world. At some point, she was taken into custody in Amsterdam, but escaped the following day.
She eventually made her way to Exmouth, Massachusetts, where she worked as a waitress at the Chart Room at the Captain Hull Inn, and as an assistant in Carole Hinterwasser's A Taste of Exmouth shop.
At some point in her travels, Greyling began an association with Diogenes Pendergast, and it was with Diogenes that she found herself in Exmouth, keeping a watchful eye on Diogenes' brother, Aloysius. She would later help Diogenes lure his brother's factotum Proctor from Aloysius's Riverside Drive mansion by posing as Constance Greene being "kidnapped" by Diogenes. Greyling went on to lead Proctor on a transatlantic wild goose chase from New York through five countries and four continents. In Namibia in southwest Africa, she recruited the proprietor of a car rental agency, Lazrus Keronda, to ensure Proctor rented a specific vehicle, rigged to completely disable itself at a predetermined time. She then left a trail for Proctor that left him stranded deep in the middle of the Kalahari desert when the vehicle failed before returning to the dealership and killing Keronda.
Greyling returned to the United States and met with Diogenes—whom she knew only as one of his deep aliases, Petru "Peter" Lupei—in the Setai Hotel in Miami. He informed her that their work, for the time being, was complete, and supplied her with a clean passport and cell phone, along with half a million dollars, the keys to a luxurious safe house in Denmark, and a first class plane ticket and Danish drivers license. She had clearly fallen for him, and was furious at being treated as a mere associate, and particularly at having the same manipulative tactics she had watched him use on others turned on her. In retaliation, she destroyed their suite at the Setai, charging it to Diogenes' credit card. She then used her formidable investigative talents to track him from the credit card number through a maze of public records, government offices, shell companies and finally a dummy corporation with a single asset: a private island in the Florida Keys.
Greyling rented an airboat and visited the island, exploring the main house and eventually making her way to an unusual structure not unlike a small temple, where she witnessed Diogenes and Constance in the midst of passionate sex. Infuriated and heartbroken, she left the island, landing in Marathon, Florida, where she visited a survivalist store and gun shop before refueling the airboat and returning to the island.
The following night, Greyling found herself in the middle of an assault on the island by a federal SWAT team led by Howard Longstreet. After killing a wounded agent with one of her signature Zombie Killer knives and appropriating his firearm, she was detected by one of the agents, who called Longstreet for backup. After a brief shootout through a tangle mangroves, Greyling was fatally shot by Longstreet, who had her body evacuated back to the mainland.