by Anne Kennison
The murder of Gordon Taylor, prominent businessman and philanthropist, has Detective Ryan Hamlin stumped. No viable suspects, no decent leads. When a chance conversation breaks the case wide open, Detective Hamlin suddenly has a long list of unlikely suspects who, with a "perfectly legal" multimillion dollar investment to protect, must make sure that none of them is convicted or everything will be lost. That's when the deception and finger-pointing begin. The detective is certain he's headed down the path that will lead to the killer, but is he?
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The coroner stood up and backed away from the car to give Ryan a clear view into the front seat. “Single bullet through the head.”
“Nope. His wallet is in his back pocket. Nearly a thousand bucks in cash.”
“That’s more than the balance in my savings account. Guess I should have been a titan of industry instead of a lowly crime fighter.” Ryan paused, wondering briefly what it would be like to have that much money in his wallet. He shrugged off the thought. “Suicide?”
“Nope. No gun. This snow is going to make the investigation a real bitch, isn’t it?”
“They’re never easy, are they?” Ryan removed his hat and peered into the car. “Jesus, what a mess.” The detective ran his fingers through his hair, set the hat back on his head, and gave the crown a sound tap as if to lodge it firmly in place. He slowly and carefully surveyed the area. Red and blue lights from patrol cars splashed across the snow as men and women in uniform, beneficiaries of the industry of homicide, went about their business. The corpses of those who died mysteriously meant job security for cops, coroners, lab techs.
Ryan was tired of it. He was tired of the death, tired of the greed. Tired of the dark side of humanity. Maybe retirement wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Ryan reached into his pocket and, with as much thought as he gave breathing, popped the top off the antacid bottle that was always in his pocket, extracted two tablets, tossed them into his mouth, and chewed. He turned his attention back to Sommerville. “Who found the body?”
Anne Kennison’s unique plot twist comes from a fertile imagination honed by 20-plus years as a trusts and estates attorney. Now retired from the practice of law, Anne lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband Dale and two Ragdoll cats Grady and Elliott. When she’s not writing the sequel to Death by Romance, Anne loves to travel, dabble in photography, and spend time with her two adorable granddaughters.
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