Kay Scarpetta has arranged to meet an inmate at the high-security Georgia Prison for Women. The prisoner is a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer.
Against advice, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out - she believes she may hold some answers to the murder of her former deputy. But soon she finds connections to a string of grisly killings, including the slaughter of a Savannah family years earlier. She can see a pattern to these killings, but who is behind them and why?
As she learns more, Scarpetta is compelled to conclude that this is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale. And she is the only one who can stop it...
A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why.
But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect the paleontologist's disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator Pete Marino and FBI husband Benton Wesley have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.
After working on one of the worst mass killings in US history, Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta returns home to recover, but an unsettling call drives her straight back to work.
The body of a young woman has been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT, draped in an unusual cloth and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike. A preliminary examination reveals that the body is covered in a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces blood-red, emerald-green and sapphire-blue, and physical evidence links this to another series of disturbing homicides in Washington, DC.
As she pieces together the fragments of evidence, Scarpetta discovers that the cases connect, yet also seem to conflict, drawing herself and her team deeper into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organised crime, and shocking corruption at the highest level.
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