Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)
“I agree,” Thomas said. “But I’m not sure this book will help. His first novel, Swan City, was about arms trafficking, and a much better book, by the way. His second, The Laundry, was about a Wall Street law firm that laundered billions in narcotics money for Latin American dictators. His third, Hard Water, dealt with Russian thugs peddling spare parts for nuclear weapons. It seems like he would have made much scarier enemies with those books.”
“But he really didn’t expose anyone, as I recall,” Bruce said.
Noelle asked, “Was there anything in Nelson’s past that involved pharmaceuticals?”
Bruce shook his head and said, “I don’t think so. His clients were tech firms selling sophisticated software abroad.”
“What happens in the novel?” Noelle asked.
“The bad guys get caught, pay up, go to jail. The Daxapene disappears and old folks start dying.”
“What an awful ending.”
“Thank you,” Mercer said. “I didn’t like the ending, the beginning, or anything in between.”
“What happens to it now?” Noelle asked.
“I’m sure his family will try to sell it,” Bruce said. “It’s worth something on the market. Nelson had a lot of fans. Dying young is usually a good career move.”
“I’ll try to remember that,” Mercer said.
Bruce chuckled and poured more coffee. He looked at Thomas and said, “There must be some bad actors in the nursing home business. Look at all these billboards and TV ads from law firms begging for abuse cases.”
“And the patients are pretty vulnerable,” Noelle said.
Thomas said, “There are eight major players and they control ninety percent of the beds. Six are public, two privately owned. Some get high marks for care, others stay in trouble with regulators and the courts. Nursing home litigation is lucrative in most states, especially here in Florida. Lots of old folks, lots of hungry lawyers. I found a bunch of blogs with horror stories of neglect and physical abuse. There’s even a publication, Elder Care Abuse Quarterly, published by some lawyers in California. But, as I said, the business is so lucrative, because of Medicaid and Medicare, that plenty of companies want a piece of the business. And costs are projected to go through the roof.”
“That’s comforting,” Noelle said.
Bruce said, “Well, dear, you’re not sticking me in one of those places. I’ve always said that when it’s time for the diapers it’s time for the black pill.”
“Let’s talk about something else,” Mercer said.
Nick claimed to be in the library but there was soft music in the background. After being sworn to secrecy, he listened intently as Bruce summarized Nelson’s last novel. Nick had just reread his first three books but did not believe they were revealing enough to get the author killed.
When Bruce finished, Nick said, “Nelson wouldn’t know beans about the nursing home industry.”
“So he probably had an informant, a whistleblower who found him, probably someone who read and admired his work.”
An informant? Once again, Bruce was a step behind Nick.