- € 2,99
The eleventh book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.
'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times
Physically and psychologically bruised by her encounter with the killer Chandonne, Dr Kay Scarpetta has to leave her home in the hands of the police team investigating the attack. She finds shelter with an old friend, Anna Zenner, but it is not the haven of security she needs when she discovers that Anna has been sub-poenaed to appear before a Grand Jury which is investigating Scarpetta for murder. Kay knows she is being framed and she also knows she can trust no-one.
Meanwhile it appears that Chandonne killed a woman in New York before his murderous spree in Virginia, but when Scarpetta looks more closely into that case with the NY prosecutor Jaime Berger, proof of his guilt is far from certain - in fact she begins to believe that he may not be the perpetrator of any of the crimes he is accused of. As she follows the forensic trail to the real killer she gradually realises that someone has been spinning a web for years with the aim of entrapping her. Who is it, and why are they so desperate to be rid of her?
Praise for the groundbreaking series:
'One of the best crime writers writing today' Guardian
'Devilishly clever' Sunday Times
'The top gun in this field' Daily Telegraph
'Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns' Mirror
'The Agatha Christie of the DNA age' Express
"My central nervous system spikes and surges, my pulse pounds. I am sweating.... " If only readers would share this response with Cornwell's immensely popular Kay Scarpetta, Virginia's chief medical examiner. But most won't. Kay has plenty of reason to be upset. She's standing in a room in a shabby motel where a body has been found, severely tortured. She's under official suspicion of having murdered maleficent ber-cop Diane Bray (in Kay's last outing, Black Notice). She's suspected of trumping up charges against accused serial killer Jean-Baptiste Chandonne, also introduced in Black Notice. She's reeling from the aftershock of Chandonne's murderous attack on her; she mightily misses her slain FBI agent/lover Dan Belson; she's learned that her gay niece, Lucy, is quitting law enforcement for a private PI firm called the Last Precinct--and it's Christmas time. Kay has a lot of support in the midst of this law-and-disorder soap opera, from, among others, Lucy, tough cop/sidekick Pete Marino and Kay's aged friend, psychiatrist Anna Zenner--and that's part of the problem with this novel. Excessive emoting and way too much talk (including long therapeutic sessions between Kay and Anna) derail momentum time and again; the pages feel soggy with tears. Cornwell does provide intense intrigue, but it's a strain to follow as she connects events and loose ends from several novels. Within this narrative swamp, there's one new and very memorable gator, though--New York prosecutor Jaime Berger, obviously modeled on real-life ADA (and novelist) Linda Fairstein, to whom Cornwell dedicates the novel; she's sharply drawn and charismatic. Cornwell will win few if any new fans with this overlong, sluggish offering, but her giant readership is so hardcore and so enamored of Kay that the publisher's first printing of one million seems, if anything, conservative. $800,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild, Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; national satellite tour; foreign rights sold in the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Japan, Finland, Turkey and Spain. (One-day laydown, Oct. 16)