Florida is full of human predators, and they all give Dr Kay Scarpetta the opportunity and the means to do what she does best - persuading the dead to speak to her. And in Boston, Benton Wesley is working on a secret case involving convicted killers. It is a project which gives Scarpetta deep disquiet, as does the behaviour of her niece, Lucy, who is spending too much time in cheap bars looking for casual pick-ups. The Academy is called when a woman's body is found in Boston. She has been tortured, sexually abused, her body tattooed with handprints. The same sort of handprints Lucy had seen on the flesh of her latest pick-up. Meanwhile, Scarpetta and Marino are investigating the disappearance of a family in Florida, called in by a concerned neighbour, but as they search and find the tell-tale signs of abduction rather than disappearance, they also discover that someone had assumed the identity of the caller, and she is now dead. They've been set up, and it becomes clear that someone is tracking their every move.
First published 2005.
'Totally compelling with lots of twists and turns.' WOMAN 'As ever the atmosphere is brooding, the tension highly spun and engaging, the psychology subtle and the wealth of anatomical detail enough to make any bloke hide behind the sofa.' THE TIMES 'This book is sensationally plotted, with a twist at the end that will leave you gasping for breath.' DAILY EXPRESS 'Dr Kay Scarpetta returns with another first-class forensic thriller that will definitely keep you guessing.' CRIME CONFIDENTIAL
Patricia Cornwell's first novel, POSTMORTEM, was published in 1990 and won five international awards. Her Scarpetta novels have since become Number One bestsellers throughout the world. She has also published three police procedurals, HORNET'S NEST, SOUTHERN CROSS and ISLE OF DOGS.