When the bodies of young courting couples start turning up in remote woodland areas, Dr Kay Scarpetta's task as chief medical examiner is made more difficult by the effects of the elements. Eight times she must write that the cause of death is undetermined. But when the latest girl to go missing turns out to be the daughter of one of the most powerful women in America, Kay finds herself prey to political pressure and press harassment. As she starts to investigate, she finds that vital evidence is being withheld from her, or even faked. And all the time a cunning, sadistic killer is still at large.
"Another triumph for Patricia Cornwell's special brew of forensic and intuitive sleuthing." (Sunday Times) "Scalpel-sharp...the pathology is stomach-churningly accurate, and the detection stimulatingly intelligent." (Sunday Express)