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Florida is full of predators, from the animals who thrive in its humid heat to the humans who stalk the air-conditioned malls, and they all give Dr. Kay Scarpetta, now Director of Forensic Science and Medicine at the National Forensic Academy, the opportunity and the means to do what she does best - persuading the dead to speak to her.
In the icy chill of Boston, Benton Wesley is working on a secret project involving convicted killers, one of whom appears to confess to an even higher number of murders than the authorities had known about. It is a project that gives Scarpetta deep disquiet, as does the behaviour of her niece Lucy, who is spending too much time drinking and indulging in casual pick-ups in cheap bars.
The the Academy is called in to assist in the discovery of a young woman's body in Massachusetts. She has been tortured and sexually abused, her body tattooed with handprints. The same sort of handprints Lucy has seen on the flesh of her latest pick-up...
One of the better books in the Scarpetta series.
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