On Route 66, as word travels that children's grave sites are being discovered along the road, the parents of missing children form a silent caravan. They are being shepherded by NYPD Detective Kathleen Mallory, who seeks a killer like none she has ever known-and a child unlike the others: herself.
When the death toll of serial killer "Mack the Knife" exceeds 100 victims along historic Route 66 in America's heartland, Kathy Mallory, on vacation from her job with the NYPD, decides to give the locals a hand in bestseller O'Connell's exciting ninth thriller to feature the frosty, unapproachable detective (after 2004's Winter House). Aided by her longtime partner Riker and police psychologist Charles Butler, Mallory butts heads with just about everyone, pursuing the case as if it were hers and hers alone. She makes little progress until the killer starts leaving a new calling card, depositing fresh kills on the highway, all with one hand chopped off and replaced with the tiny hand bones of a previous victim pointing to a new grave. Stylish prose and a magnetic lead character more than compensate for an overly complicated plot that drags in spots, particularly in the second half. For readers who have never followed Mallory, this is as good a time as ever to get acquainted. Author tour.