Kinsey is now pretty sure what Tom was so anxious about in his last weeks.
He was investigating the deaths of Pinkie Ritter and Alfie Toth. The former died five years ago, but both deaths had the same MO. The two bodies hanged from a tree as if they had committed suicide, but the police concluded that they had been murdered. What Tom was worried about is that whoever killed Toth had found him because Tom had supplied them with the man’s address. Kinsey suspects that Tom suspected that the murderer was someone in the sheriff’s department, a colleague. That is what she tells Selina when she returns to Nota Lake. I have the hunch that the murderer could be the husband of the clerk Kinsey met at the sheriff’s office and then at the bar. We know that the clerk Margaret was Ritter’s daughter, and through his other daughter Dolores and her husband, we know that Ritter was a terrible man, ill treating his family in the cruellest way, and apparently, Ritter intended to go to Nota Lake when he left Dolores. I wonder if Margaret’s husband killed his father-in-law because of the way Ritter treated his daughter. What I don’t understand is why he had to kill Toth. Did Toth witness Ritter’s murder and Margaret’s husband Wayne was afraid he might snitch on him? I am not sure if that theory makes much sense.
In this novel we see a side of Kinsey we haven’t seen before. After her attack Kinsey is really scared and even reluctant to return to Nota Lake. It is Selina who forces her to return, but she is unsure how to proceed from now on.