“What’s that supposed to mean?” Riley asked.

“Mary Pat said it was a banker who told Juan Carlos that she was looking for a silent partner to invest in her restaurant. It wasn’t a banker. It was you.”

“My father—”

“It was you.”

“Through my father. Juan Carlos said he was looking for business opportunities, and I knew that Mary Pat was looking for investors, so I had my father hook them up. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing. I’m just trying to put all the pieces together.”

“Mary Pat is my friend.”

“How did you two meet?”

“What difference does it make?”

“She’s a decade older than you are.”

“No, only six and a half years. Besides, what has that to do with anything? You’re worse than my family, prying into my life.”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“What would you call it?”

“Trying really hard to do what you asked me to do—find your boyfriend. You are a moody young lady, you know that?”

She chuckled and said, “I’ve been called worse.”

“By who?”

“My family. Who else would have the nerve?”

“Tell me about your family.”

“You’re prying again.”

“Tell me about your father.”

“Look—we don’t get along, simple as that, okay?”

“That was my impression. Why don’t you get along?”

“Why, why, why—I don’t know. Because I’m a Muehlenhaus and he’s not. I mean—my father owns a bank. Lake Minnetonka Community. Well, you know that. It’s a small bank, caters mostly to the lake crowd. At least that’s where his biggest depositors come from. He wouldn’t have any depositors at all, though, if he hadn’t married into my family, and he knows it. I think he resents it.”

“Your grandfather supports him?”

“His name does. Without it, there would have been no organizing group, no state charter, no shareholders. As for money, I don’t think Grandpa has a dime in the bank himself.”

“What about your mother?”

“She doesn’t have any money in the bank, either, which shouldn’t come as a shock since she and my father separated when I was a child.”

“Separated—not divorced?”

“It’s complicated. When it comes to money, everything is complicated.”

“What about Navarre? Does he have cash in your father’s bank?”

“Quite a bit, I think.”

“Yet your father claims Navarre is a con man who’s only after your money.”

Riley twisted her head to look at me; it was almost as if she were surprised to see I was still standing there. Her full lips formed a tiny smile.

“I’m beginning to understand why my grandfather both likes and dislikes you so much,” she said. “You have a way of sneaking up on people.”

“It’s a gift.”

“You think my father is involved in Juan Carlos’s disappearance, don’t you?”

“I think nothing of the sort. I’m just—”

“Trying to put the pieces together. I get it now.”

“Do you? I’m not so sure. See, I know why you came to me instead of involving the police when Navarre disappeared, and it wasn’t because you were afraid of scandal. It was because you were afraid that your family was responsible, that they got rid of him somehow. Your mother believes it, too. I don’t. Your grandmother and your grandfather hired a pretty good private investigator. They both want to find Navarre just as much as you do, although probably not for the same reasons.”

“Is that what they told you? And you believed them? You’re not investigating, McKenzie. You’re taking sides.”

“Oh, for—again, Riley? Again with the accusations?”

“What are you doing talking to my mother? My grandparents?”

“I didn’t go to them, they came to me. We had conversations I could have done without, too. Look, I did pick a side. You’re right about that. I picked yours. I’m trying to be your friend, but you make it so damn hard, honest to God.”

Riley didn’t have anything to say to that. She turned toward the lake, and I did the same. The boat was still drifting in the middle of the bay. After a while, it got under way. A few moments later, it disappeared from view, and I flashed on the empty dock in front of Irene Rogers’s home, the one with electricity and fresh-water hookups.

What a nitwit you are, my inner voice told me. How come you didn’t think of that before?

“Riley?” I said aloud.


“Does Navarre own a boat?”

“Yes. A cabin cruiser. The So?adora.”

“Means ‘dreamer.’”

“You speak Spanish.”

“Enough for that. When was the last time you saw the boat?”

“Friday night. We used it when we went to dinner at the club.”

“Where is it now, I wonder?”