In the most suspenseful installment of the New York Times nestselling Body Farm series to date, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton investigates a bizarre murder—and confronts a deadly enemy he thought he’d put behind bars for good.
Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton has spent twenty-five years solving brutal murders—but none so bizarre and merciless as his latest case: A ravaged set of skeletal remains is found chained to a tree on a remote mountainside. As Brockton and his assistant Miranda dig deeper, they uncover warning signs of a deadly eruption of hatred and violence.
But the shocking case is only the beginning of Brockton’s trials. Mid-case, the unthinkable happens: The deadliest criminal Brockton has ever foiled—the sadistic serial killer Nick Satterfield—escapes from prison, bent on vengeance.
But simply killing Brockton isn’t enough. Satterfield wants to make him suffer first, by destroying everything he holds dear: Brockton’s son, daughter-in-law, grandsons; even Miranda, his longtime graduate assistant, now on the verge of completing her Ph.D. and launching a forensic career of her own.
The dangers from all directions force Brockton to question two things on which he’s based his entire career—the justice system, and the quality of mercy—and to wonder: can the two co-exist?
If not, which will Brockton choose in his ultimate moment of truth?
In bestseller Bass's subpar 10th Body Farm novel (after 2015's The Breaking Point), forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton, founder of the Body Farm for postmortem research, investigates some skeletal remains found in the woods in Tennessee's Cooke County. The absence of a skull makes identification especially difficult, and evidence that the bones belong to a murder victim who was deliberately made into bear bait makes the need to identify the corpse urgent. Meanwhile, Brockton's b te noire, serial killer Nick Satterfield, who almost took the lives of the scientist and his family decades earlier, escapes from prison in a way that Thomas Harris fans will find familiar. Satterfield's appearance shifts the book's emphasis from interesting scientific detective work to a paint-by-the-numbers cat and mouse game with a sadistic madman. The action builds to a denouement that's predictably implausible. Bass is the pseudonym for the writing team of Bill Bass, founder of the real-life Body Farm, and Jon Jefferson.