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

“And you realize this will be expensive?”

“Yep. I wouldn’t be here if I were looking for a bargain.”

“Okay, so I suggest that we walk down the hall to visit my colleague Lindsey Wheat, one of our homicide investigators and, until five years ago, one of the FBI’s finest. She was also one of the first female African American agents in the field.”

“Why would she, or you, leave the Bureau?”

“Money and politics. The pay here is about four times that of the Bureau, and most of us are women who got sick of the internal politics and sexism.” She stood and motioned toward the door.

Bruce followed her down the empty hall. Ms. Wheat was at her desk and rose with a big smile when they walked in. Last names were discarded as first names were assumed. She was about fifty and as slender and stylish as Elaine. She walked them over to a similar sitting area and inquired about coffee. All declined.

 

Bruce had already gone through one round of preliminary chitchat and wished to avoid another. He said, “So, you specialize in old murders?”

Lindsey smiled and said, “Or recent ones. It doesn’t matter. I began on the streets as a homicide detective. Houston, Seattle, five years in Tampa. It’s a thick résumé, if you’d like to take a look.”

“Maybe later.” Bruce had already accepted the fact that these people were eminently qualified. For a second it made him even prouder that he had outfoxed them three years earlier.

Lindsey asked, “Have you talked to the FBI down there? If it’s a contract for hire then it’s likely to be federal.”

“That’s what I’ve been told. But no, I have not talked to the FBI. Not sure how one does that, really. I’m just a simple bookseller who knows little about the law.” He smiled at Elaine, who rolled her eyes.

“So you’ve read the materials too?” he asked Lindsey.

“Yes.”

“Look, before we wade in too deep, I’d like to clear the air about your fees. I know this won’t be cheap and we—Nelson’s sister, who is his executrix, and me—are willing to step up, but we have limits. Nelson was my friend and he deserves justice, but I’m only willing to pay for so much of it. His sister feels the same way.”

“What’s in the estate?” Elaine asked.

“It’s complicated. About two million, cash and assets, no debts. But he buried some money offshore years ago and kept it away from his ex-wife. It’s in the common stock of a company and worth around eight million, for a total of ten. The state and federal exemptions this year are eleven million and change, so the estate is free and clear. The ex-wife has lawyered up and is deeply wounded because she got the shaft several marriages ago, but Nelson’s sister thinks her feelings can be soothed with a couple of million. Bottom line, the estate is in good shape and is willing to write a check. The obvious question is: How much will this cost before it’s all over?”