The story is essentially set in modern day Richmond and revolves around D. Kay Scarpetta returning after five years to help on a case.
A fourteen year old is found dead with no evidence or cause of death.
Scarpetta’s new boss – Dr. Joel Marcus seeks her help. But this comes as a surprise to Scarpetta since she believes he barely knows her. The truth is that Dr. Marcus has a hidden agenda behind getting Scarpetta to Richmond.
As Marino, Scarpetta’s retired police officer friend, chips in to help her investigate the mysterious death they cross paths with an FBI agent who almost messes things up. Scarpetta gets some clues from her boyfriend in Aspen, who is also working on a case without Scarpetta’s knowledge. Somehow both the cases are linked.
Scarpetta has the knack of getting down to the truth of the matter and solving the matter outright. It turns out that the 14 year old was killed by a serial killer. Though there is no evidence to trace the killer, Scarpetta eventually finds her way out.
It is a very well crafted detective-thriller with action taking place in South Florida, Richmond, Virginia and Aspen. The clues are haywire but the way in which Scarpetta connects the dots is commendable. I enjoyed the whole plot and the fine writing skills of Cornwell.