Unraveling the madness behind L.A.'s most baffling and brutal homicides is what sleuthing psychologist Alex Delaware does best.
Not since Jack the Ripper terrorized the London slums has there been such a gruesome crime scene. By all accounts acid-tongued Vita Berlin had not a friend in the world, but who did she cross so badly to end up arranged in a such a grotesque tableaux?
One look at her apartment turned charnel house is enough for hard-bitten LAPD detective Milo Sturgis to summon his go-to expert in hunting homicidal maniacs. But even Alex Delaware's finely honed skills may be stymied when more slayings occur in the same ghastly fashion... yet with no apparent connection between the victims. And the only clue left behind--a blank page bearing a question mark--seems to be both a menacing taunt and a cry for help from a killer baffled by his own lethal urges.
As each jagged piece of the puzzle fits into place, an ever more horrific portrait emerges of a sinister mind at its most unimaginable--and an evil soul at its most unspeakable. 'This one was different,' Alex observes at the start. This one will haunt his waking life, and his darkest dreams, long after its end.
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