Kay Scarpetta has moved on. She is no longer the very famous Virginia forensic expert, the one everyone turns to when there is a body around and no clues. However, surprise surprise the same office that fired her now wants her back to get her opinion on the death of a 14 year old girl.
Coming back to Richmond was an uneasy business for Scarpetta and Marino. She knows the case stinks from the time she is ushered into her former office by a man who is surly and rude but so very frightened of the shoes he has got to fill, knowing he is falling short. Marcus also knows that everyone weighs him against the charismatic, gorgeous Kay Scarpetta. Fortunately no one still knows about his phobia re the garbage man and old Buicks!
In this story all the main characters have matured and moved on. Lucy always on the very edge of either breaking the law or avoiding a break of the law, Marino no longer hot headed though a bit stupid where the women are concerned and Kay herself is in a relationship with Benton which in this book seems to be going nowhere.
The murder itself seems to be just another part of the book - not the main focus. We have the usual list of suspects, we have another murder seemingly random, we discover more and more bodies as the story goes on again seemingly random and then in the usual Cornwell style, it all ties down together beautifully so that we wonder where it all began.
The murderers are always quirky in Cornwell's books. Not for her the sudden murder by someone who could not hold his liquor or was passionate over something. Her murderers are clever in their own way, meticulous over the planning and execution and always trying to cock a snook at the authorities - in this case Kay and her niece Lucy.
Liked the writing as usual though I did miss Kay Scarpetta's cooking. She normally dishes out fabulous food in the books which I thoroughly enjoy reading about.