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Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)

 

7.
A month after burying her brother, Polly McCann returned to the island to assume her official capacity as executrix of his estate. Because he had little else to do and was bored hanging around an empty bookstore, Bruce met her at the airport and they drove to the state crime lab in Jacksonville.

Wesley Butler had agreed to pry himself away from his other urgent duties and give them half an hour of his time. That proved far too generous. Even with coffee served in paper cups, the meeting could have ended ten minutes after it began.

Butler said the investigation was proceeding nicely, though he provided few details and nothing new. Fingerprint analysis showed matches for Bruce, Nick, Bob Cobb, and Nelson himself, but that was expected. There were two prints that could not be matched. One probably belonged to Maria Peña, a housekeeper who cleaned each Wednesday afternoon. They were trying to coax her into providing prints, but she was undocumented and not cooperating. No sign of Ingrid Murphy or any blonde resembling her. The surveillance footage from the Hilton was gone. They were plowing through the digital records of dozens of rental units in the area, but it was the old needle-in-a-haystack routine. Nelson’s hard drive was impenetrable. Its encryption scheme had tied their experts in knots.

Not once did Butler think to ask Polly if she knew anything about Nelson’s last work in progress. The meeting was all about himself and his efforts, lame as they were. Driving away, Bruce and Polly were convinced that the state had all but closed the file. Butler and his “team” probably considered Nelson’s death an accident because they had no chance of solving a crime.

 

Bruce said, “I have a summary of the novel.”

“From Mercer Mann?”

“Yes.”

“She sent the thumb drive back. Let’s hear it.”

8.
They had lunch at the Blue Fish, Bruce’s favorite seafood place in Jacksonville, and they arrived early enough to get a table in a quiet corner. The waitress brought Polly an herbal tea. For Bruce, a glass of sauvignon blanc. He ordered the crab salad and she asked for some raw tuna dish.

She said, “The initial appraisal of his condo is nine hundred thousand, and there’s no mortgage. I’m inclined to sell it because I don’t have time to play landlord.”

“I agree. But it might take a year or so for the market to rebound.”

“No other real estate. There is eight hundred thousand in cash—CD’s, Treasurys, a checking account. In Nelson’s will he leaves behind a hundred thousand in trust to each of my sons, his only nephews. That was a nice surprise because he never told me.”

“Who gets the rest?”

“Me, Mom, Dad, split three ways. And since the estate is under three million we shouldn’t worry about estate taxes. However, there is one complicating factor, an issue that may cause problems. Nothing with Nelson was ever easy.”

 

“He buried some money?”