The Unquiet Dead

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Book: The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ausma Zehanat Khan
true of donations. Christopher did wish to help us, but we had to weigh this against his request to come on board as a director.”
    â€œSo there were strings attached.”
    It was the obvious conclusion. Drayton wanted more than the indulgence of a passing interest in a history entirely unrelated to himself. He wanted a role in directing the museum itself.
    Rachel looked through the windows to the courtyard. Maybe it wasn’t the museum he’d had an interest in. He’d chosen to live in an unprepossessing home on a pretty street with magnificent views. Maybe what he wanted was the house.
    If Mink were no longer librarian, maybe a man of his independent means could talk his way into some form of guardianship.
    House, kids, adulation, and Melanie.
    The perfect life.
    She changed tack.
    â€œDid you see Mr. Drayton on the Bluffs on the night of his death?”
    â€œNo.” She answered exactly as Nathan Clare had. “You can’t see the path to the Bluffs from these windows.”
    But was it true? Rachel would have to get out there and walk it to discover just what could be seen of the museum and Winterglass from the Bluffs.
    If everyone had liked Chris Drayton and no one had seen him on the night of his death, what did his death really signify? And yet, she couldn’t shake the feeling that Mink was holding something back. Perhaps an affair with Drayton. Was she the reason he’d dragged his feet about Melanie’s plans for an over-the-top wedding? Hadley and Riv were whispering to each other across the long table, the boy’s hand caressing the girl’s neck, another gesture Hadley ignored. She was watching the three of them with canny, glittering eyes.
    The conversation was at a dead end. Unless Khattak had something to offer, Rachel couldn’t think of anything else to add that seemed remotely connected to Drayton’s death. Unless she simply came out and stated: “Do you have any reason to suspect that Christopher Drayton was a Bosnian Serb war criminal?”
    She was tempted, but she didn’t want to tip her hand too soon. It was hardly something Drayton would have advertised if he were Dra ž en Krstić. And that was another thing—what rational reason could a man accused of exterminating Muslims and eradicating Bosnian history have for his attraction to the Andalusia museum? Weren’t the two ideas fundamentally opposed? One a civilization of pluralism and tolerance, the other a culture of hate?
    If she’d understood Mink’s little lecture properly, the Andalusians had created something beautiful out of their divergent identities. In the hands of the Bosnian Serb Army, difference—whether Muslim, Catholic, or Jew—had meant destruction and death.
    There were no personal items in the museum area of the house that could offer further insight into the character of Mink Norman and her association with Christopher Drayton. Rachel tried anyway.
    â€œYou mentioned your sister, Ms. Norman. Where is Sable now?”
    Mink smiled with genuine warmth at the mention of her sister.
    â€œThe music you see everywhere? It’s Sable’s. She studies piano at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg. She’ll be home again for Christmas break.”
    One sister a librarian, one sister a musician. An educated family. Rachel envied their opportunities.
    â€œYour parents?”
    â€œIt’s just the two of us, I’m afraid.”
    Another field of inquiry dried up. The only sensible thing to do was to begin a comprehensive investigation into Drayton’s real identity. Without that information, there was little point to harassing those Drayton had known passingly or well.
    The music reminded her of Winterglass and Nathan Clare. She mentioned him to Mink, watching her guarded face.
    â€œCome on,” Riv said from his side of the table, his dictionary abandoned, one hand on Hadley’s knee. “Everyone from here to Timbuktu knows

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