From Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of the Dead-End Job mysteries—a gritty series featuring a no-nonsense female journalist who follows her stories wherever they may lead…especially if they lead to big trouble.
Columnist Francesca Vierling thought she had it tough dealing with the cutthroat office politics at the St. Louis City Gazette. But stressors in the newsroom reach new heights when her dear mentor Georgia is diagnosed with cancer and Francesca offers to hide her illness from their boorish boss.
When Francesca goes to pick up Georgia from treatment, she is horrified to find the staff shot dead and a distraught Georgia the only survivor. The crime is bloody, shocking, sensational—and just the kind of story that would allow Francesca to break free from her oppressive employers. All she has to do is solve the crime.
The story quickly grows out of control when a doctor is killed in the same building as the massacre. And then another. And another… Because the killer isn’t just out for blood—they’re out for revenge.
And Francesca is about to get in their way…
Note: The author has made some minor revisions to the original text for this edition of the book.
Francesca Vierling's lousy assignment covering a male stripper turns into intrigue when her subject disappears in Viets's newest mystery featuring the columnist/sleuth (after The Pink Flamingo Murders). At the same time, a doctor, receptionist and therapist in a radiation oncology unit are gunned down, and Francesca determines to solve the mystery to further her career. Nobody has anything good to say about these callous medical professionals, nor about the next victim, an internist who, though well-loved, had been known to misdiagnose patients. Surreptitiously escorting her editor and friend to breast cancer treatments conveniently puts Francesca in the right place to dig around. Suddenly, she begins to receive death threats. Is it because of her search for Leo D. Nardo, the missing and most-likely dead stripper, or is someone trying to stop her investigation of the vengeful medical murders? Before the reader has much chance to agonize over these possibilities, Francesca has solved one case and the other is easily narrowed down to three suspects. Those hoping for a surprise ending will be disappointed, but there is a perverse satisfaction in seeing revenge taken for all the people who are not only victims of cancer but of the medical system itself.