The fourth novel in the best-selling Dr Kay Scarpetta series which was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of 1993.
The fingerprints say the murderer is the man who's just been executed ...
At 11.05 one December evening in Richmond, Virginia, convicted murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell is pronounced dead in the electric chair. At the morgue Dr Kay Scarpetta waits for Waddell's body. Preparing to perform a post-mortem before the subject is dead is a strange feeling, but Scarpetta has been here before. And Waddell's death is not the only newsworthy event on this freezing night: the grotesquely wounded body of a young boy is found propped against a rubbish skip. To Scarpetta the two cases seem unrelated, until she recalls that the body of Waddell's victim had been arranged in a strikingly similar position ...
'Chillingly detailed forensic thriller, confirming Cornwell as the top gun in this field.' DAILY TELEGRAPH
'Another top-notch thriller from Cornwell.' IRISH TIMES
'America's hottest contemporary crime-writing talent.' DAILY MAIL
Highly addictive. - EVENING STANDARD
Chillingly detailed forensic thriller, confirming Cornwell as the top gun in this field. - DAILY TELEGRAPH
'Perhaps the first entirely credible woman sleuth, Scarpetta is closest to Sherlock Holmes in relying entirely on her brain rather than breaks or brawn to solve baffling cases' INDEPENDENT
'Cornwell manages troubled personal relationships very convincingly, but the chief fascination lies in step-by-step explorations of forensic and electronic wizardry.' SUNDAY TIMES
'The Agatha Christie of the DNA age' EXPRESS
Perhaps the first entirely credible woman sleuth, Scarpetta is closest to Sherlock Holmes in relying entirely on her brain rather than breaks or brawn to solve baffling cases - INDEPENDENT
'Brilliantly orchestrated questions and answers in an ice-cold thriller, with no short cuts taken, no loose ends left ungathered.' LITERARY REVIEW
'Highly addictive.' EVENING STANDARD
The Agatha Christie of the DNA age - EXPRESS
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.