The second book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.
'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times
A reclusive writer is dead. And her final manuscript has disappeared ...
Someone is stalking Beryl Madison. Someone who spies on her and makes threatening, obscene phone-calls. Terrified, Beryl flees to Key West - but eventually she must return to her Richmond home. The very night she arrives, Beryl inexplicably invites her killer in ...
Thus begins for Dr Kay Scarpetta the investigation of a crime that is as convoluted as it is bizarre. Why would Beryl open the door to someone who brutally slashed and then nearly decapitated her? Did she know her killer? Adding to the intrigue is Beryl's enigmatic relationship with a prize-winning author and the disappearance of her own manuscript. As Scarpetta retraces Beryl's footsteps, an investigation that begins in the laboratory with microscopes and lasers leads her deep into a nightmare that soon becomes her own.
For more about Patricia Cornwell and her books visit her website at
Patricia Cornwell's first crime novel, Postmortem, was published in 1990 and became the first novel to win all the major crime awards in a single year. In 2008 Cornwell won the Galaxy British Book Awards' Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year - the first American ever to win this award. In 2011 she was awarded the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Often interviewed on US national television as a forensic consultant, Cornwell is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine; a founding member of the National Forensic Academy; a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research.
Fox have acquired the film rights to the Scarpetta novels, featuring Angelina Jolie as Dr Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell's books are translated into thirty-six languages across more than fifty countries, and she is regarded as one of the major international bestselling authors.