A Taint in the Blood (Kate Shugak, Book 14)
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Thirty-one years ago in Anchorage, Alaska, Victoria Pilz Bannister Muravieff was convicted of murdering her seventeen-year-old son William. The jury returned a quick verdict of guilty, believing the prosecutor's claims that she had set fire to her own home with both her sons inside; William died and the other, Oliver, narrowly escaped. Victoria was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and though she pled not guilty at the trial, she never again denied her guilt.
Now her daughter, Charlotte Muravieff, has hired Kate Shugak to clear her mother's name. Her daughter has always believed in her innocence, and now that Victoria has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, Charlotte wants her free. Kate is the only p.i. Charlotte can find who's willing to take such a long-shot case. Kate, on the other hand, is only willing because she's suddenly a single parent to a teenager, a teenager she hopes will decide to go to college. Besides, it can't be bad to do a favor for the Bannister family, one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Alaska's short history.
As Kate begins an investigation, Victoria protests, refusing to cooperate. But soon it seems she isn't the only one who wants to leave the past in the past. In this spell-binding novel, Kate's confrontation with thirty years of secrets and regret-and murder-in one of Alaska's most powerful families shows award-winning crime writer Dana Stabenow at the top of her game.
Asian origin on board?舡 George paused. 舠Maybe.舡 舠Did he or didn舗t he?舡 舠He might have,舡 George said. Kate gritted her teeth. She wasn舗t a patient person, but she was on probation and she knew it. 舠When might he have?舡 George gave a characteristic little wiggle, something between a shrug and the Shimmy. 舠An Asian gentleman could have flown in last Tuesday.舡 舠And could he have said why he was here?舡 George shook his head. 舠Did he have you call a ride?舡 There wasn舗t what you could call a cab
took out your client.舡 Kate willed away the remembered fury, the images of Kurt on the floor and Eugene with the bullet hole in his head, the footage of Charlotte舗s crumpled car, the tears on Emily舗s face, Victoria舗s stricken expression. Not now, she told herself. Not now. 舠Stands to reason whoever did it might think you know something you shouldn舗t.舡 舠They might.舡 舠Seems to me they might think twice about trying something if you had a trooper hanging around.舡 舠You舗re probably right.舡 舠And
Gajewski, of course,舡 Erland said almost fondly. 舠Judge Berlin舗s clerk, aren舗t you? And how is rascally old Randy these days? Still keeping the streets safe for the rest of us?舡 Wanda began to rise, and Erland took her hand and helped her to her feet. 舠I舗ve got to get back to work,舡 Wanda told Kate. It was past five o舗clock. 舠I舗ll walk you back,舡 Kate said. 舠No, that舗s all right.舡 Wanda attempted a smile. 舠Thanks for the coffee. Mr. Bannister,舡 she said without looking at him, and was off,
flopped back, gasping for breath. 舠Jesus,舡 he said, wheezing a little. 舠I think you broke something.舡 Kate rolled off him and waited for the ceiling to come back into focus. She was suffused with a warm glow, trembling in every limb, covered in a fine mist of perspiration. Also, her knees were smarting from carpet burn. She definitely felt better. Maybe even leaning toward immortal. Who knew glasses could be such a turn-on? They hadn舗t made it out of the living room. One end of the sofa was
learned during a five-year intensive stint with the Anchorage DA was that, contrary to popular fiction, bright lights did not make people spill their guts. On the contrary, the darker the room, the more forthcoming the secrets. 舠I like it the way it is,舡 she said. She sensed rather than saw him shrug. 舠You舗re the boss.舡 She didn舗t believe that for a New York minute. 舠Who killed William Muravieff?舡 she asked. 舠Ah,舡 he said. Kate waited out the silence that followed. Erland Bannister was not