Christmas Eve in Central Park -- Temple Brooks Gault stands over his latest victim, washing his bloody hands in the snow. Pleased with his new kill, he lifts the heavy steel of an emergency exit and disappears into the fetid tunnels of the New York subway system.
In Richmond, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner of Virginia and consultant for the FBI, is in the midst of a late-night autopsy at the morgue when the call comes: Gault, the sadistic psychopath who has eluded capture for years, has struck again. For Scarpetta, her worst nightmare returns.
She and longtime FBI and police colleagues Benton Wesley and Captain Pete Marino fly to the eerie early-morning scene, where they immediately recognize Gault's grisly handiwork. But no seems to know his bald female victim, who's naked body has been propped up against a frozen fountain. It makes no sense that she apparently disrobed in the bitter cold without a struggle and walked barefoot over snow to her death.
While Scarpetta sorts through strange forensic evidence, including an uncommon thread pattern and extremely rare gold dental restorations, Gault kills again. But the prey he ultimately seeks is Scarpetta for it becomes increasingly apparent that he is as focused on her as she is on him. It may be possible that he kills to impress her, and that he's trying to get at her through her young niece, Lucy, who is the brains behind CAIN, the worldwide FBI computer network.
Throughout what proses to be Scarpetta's most frightening chase, she can almost sense the evil, electrical presence of her nemesis. But when she draws close, he slips back into the darkness, waiting for the time when at last they meet...
This hardback is in new condition with a remainder mark on the bottom edge. The dust jacket has minor shelf wear. The flap has a price of $24.