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I listened to hymns, the Priest's eulogy and those of several others, while observing people and thinking that this was a remarkable experience for us all. The loss of a man, who was a friend in varying degrees of closeness, brought us all together, together in sadness and in the spirit of love, compassion, and all the good social emotions. Even happiness, with the good feeling of being together at this sad time is what made us human. If a god was in us, sharing these emotions was my god. It, a spirit that filled us, rather than a him, a being whose gifts we utilized.

When a young woman, a pretty blonde went to the lectern to speak, I got the expected poke in the ribs from Ben. I acknowledged that I saw her by turning to him with a smirk, and just then there was a small commotion in front. All heads turned to watch Mr. Maguire, if it was him, walk briskly down the main aisle and out of the church. I saw Pete Holton, who was standing at the door, follow him out.

The woman at the lectern said, “I’m sure Mr. Maguire will be all right. I’m sorry that my presence made him leave. He may be thinking that I will have some bad things, or something uncomfortable to him, to say about our friend, Taryn, or Stinger. My name is Natalie D’Agostino and I was a close friend of Taryn while attending school and growing up here in Willowtree. I understand that Taryn’s dad left him and his mother soon after I left town when we, Taryn and I, had our breakup. I won’t get into reasons why we went separate ways, but Taryn and I have become close friends again for the past several years. I had hoped that his father would have reconciled, but I’m not sure if they ever did. Taryn was the kindest and sweetest man I have ever known. I’m sure, by looking at the great number of people here today, many of you share that sentiment. I am so happy that his talent and hard work have taken him to the top of his profession and that he has used his success to help others who are less fortunate.”

Natalie D’Agostino looked upward and sobbed these words, “Taryn, Stinger Maguire I am so proud of you. I love you.”

The entire church was so still that her weeping was the only audible sound.

Natalie at Stinger's Memorial Service
We meet Natalie, Maguire's former girlfriend, whose eulogy brings up many questions. Can the answers help Bruce and the police find his killer? Natalie is one of my favorite characters in the series, introduced in this book. Hopefully she will return in the next. (from chapter 6)
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