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Following a bruising battle with a psychopath in Florida, Kay Scarpetta decides to move to Charleston, South Carolina, to open a unique private forensic pathology practice in which she and her colleagues—including Pete Marino and her niece, Lucy—can offer expert crime-scene investigation and autopsies to needy communities.
Kay thinks all systems are go for her new venture until local politicians start squawking, and someone’s attempts at sabotage are clearly meant to run them all out of town. And now the deaths start piling up, too. A young man jumps off a water tower. A woman is found ritualistically murdered in her palatial beach home. The body of an abused young boy is dumped in a desolate marsh.
Meanwhile, in New England, problems with a patient at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital hint at a connection to the far-away deaths. Scarpetta thought she’d seen it all, but now the morgue log is filling up at a frightening pace. Before long, the “book of the dead” will contain many names—and the pen may be poised to write in her own. Explicit language, violence.
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