Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)
They inched along, sipping beer, listening to 1980s golden hits because they could agree on nothing else. Nick said, “Okay, you want my latest theory?”
Bruce slowly reached over and turned down the volume. He was intrigued by the deft workings of Nick’s criminal mind. Bob nodded and asked, “Are you going to tell us regardless of whether we want to hear it?”
“Yes. The real killer is the guy with the cash. Nelson published three novels about arms dealers, drug dealers, money launderers, gun runners, corporate crooks, shady defense contractors, and so on. Right, Bruce?”
“For the most part.”
“He seemed to really know his subject matter. Let’s assume he pissed off some folks along the way. If so, why would they rub him out now? The books have been published. Most have sold well. It’s all fiction, all make-believe anyway, so why get upset?”
“Your point?” Bob asked.
“My point is that what’s been said has been said, and Nelson is certainly not the first novelist to write about arms dealers. My point is that the next book, the unfinished novel, is what got him killed. Somebody out there didn’t want it published.”
Bruce and Bob nodded along.
Nick went on, “Maybe they knew his subject matter. It wouldn’t be that hard to figure out, since he always did quite a bit of research. Word got out that Nelson Kerr was writing about their business or their crimes. Or maybe they hacked him, read it, and felt threatened.”
Bruce said, “Nelson was afraid of getting hacked and worked offline. His desktop was secure. Other writers have had their stuff stolen. He was a fanatic about keeping his material protected.”
Bob asked, “How did he back up his work? The cloud?”
“Don’t know, but I doubt if he used the cloud.”
“How did he communicate?” Nick asked.
“He used a laptop for emails, but even then he never said much. He was almost paranoid. No social media at all. He changed his phone number every few months.”
“So. He was still an amateur and he could get hacked. There’s always somebody smarter. If the Russians and Chinese can hack the CIA, then our late buddy Nelson could be hacked. Wouldn’t he have sent his manuscript to his agent, maybe his editor?”
“His agent died last year and he was in the process of finding a new one. He and I talked about it at length. A month ago he told me the book was almost finished and no one had read it. He wanted me to have a look and make notes. I’ll bet the manuscript is still in his computer. Where else would it be?”
Bob said, “So after she killed him, she took his hard drive?”
“Don’t know, yet,” Nick said. “But if his hard drive is missing, then one part of the mystery is solved.”
“Why didn’t you think of this sooner?” Bruce asked. “We could’ve checked his computer.”
“We weren’t touching anything,” Nick said. “I got the impression that Butler back there sort of suspects us of something anyway.”