The “taut and haunting” first thriller in the Gardiner and Renner series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Kind of Wicked (Jeff Lindsay, creator of the Dexter series).
As a forensic investigator for the Cleveland Police Department, Maggie Gardiner has seen her share of Jane Does. The latest is an unidentified female in her early teens, discovered in a local cemetery. More shocking than the girl’s injuries—for Maggie at least—is the fact that no one has reported her missing. She and the detectives assigned to the case (including her cop ex-husband) are determined to follow every lead, run down every scrap of evidence. But the monster they seek is watching every move, closer to them than they could possibly imagine.
Jack Renner is a killer. He doesn’t murder because he enjoys it, or because he believes himself omnipotent, or for any reason other than to make the world a safer place. When he follows the trail of this Jane Doe to a locked room in a small apartment where eighteen teenaged girls are anything but safe, he knows something must be done. But his pursuit of their captor takes an unexpected turn.
Maggie Gardiner finds another body waiting for her in the autopsy room—and a host of questions that will challenge everything she believes about justice, morality, and the true nature of evil . . .
“An absolute must read.”—Suspense Magazine
“Black skillfully portrays the stark realities of homicide cases.”—Library Journal
“Intriguing forensic details help drive the plot to its satisfying conclusion.”—Publishers Weekly
“The surprising ending is sure to keep readers coming back for more.”—Booklist
Maggie Gardner, the heroine of this uneven suspense novel from bestseller Black (Evidence of Murder), works with the Cleveland PD as a civilian criminologist. When the bodies of four men are found away from where they were killed, each shot with .22 caliber bullets, Maggie joins the homicide team delving into possible links among the victims. The four all have traces of granite, asbestos, lead paint flakes, and cat hair and have committed such serious crimes as rape, murder, and human trafficking. Since their criminal records are available only to the police, Maggie suspects that the killer is someone in law enforcement. If she knows who it is, she could face an agonizing decision about whether to turn that person in. She hopes she's wrong. The intriguing forensic details help drive the plot to its satisfying conclusion, but the sketchy portrayal of the characters, particularly Maggie, will disappoint readers expecting more depth.