New York City medical examiner Edward Jenner thought he'd gotten out, turning his back on forensics—and life—after the nightmare of September 11. But when a young student is found murdered, her mutilated body hanging on the wall of an East Village apartment, Jenner is forced out of retirement. One look at the victim and Jenner is sure there's a serial killer on the loose—a hunch confirmed when he uncovers a second horrific murder. And when a friend asks him to look after a beautiful girl threatened by the killer, Jenner can't refuse.
Dragged back onto the dark streets of New York City, Jenner is pushed to the limits of his physical endurance, pitting his sharpest intuitions against the elusive maneuverings of a psychopath. He's getting within inches of the answer, but the clock is ticking and the killer is just too fast—ten steps ahead of the police, two steps ahead of Jenner, and always just out of reach.
As the killings continue, Jenner's desperate chase brings him ever closer to the man behind the grisliest murders he's ever seen—and only one of them can survive.
This is real-world forensic investigation, where fingerprints lead nowhere, DNA doesn't help, and serial killers aren't always caught in the nick of time. . . .
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Jonathan Hayes, a veteran forensic pathologist, has been a New York City medical examiner, performing autopsies and testifying in murder trials, since 1990. A former contributing editor at Martha Stewart Living, Hayes has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, GQ, and Food & Wine. He is also the author of Precious Blood.From Publishers Weekly:
New York City medical examiner Hayes provides plenty of authentic forensic atmosphere in his grisly debut. But his tale of a maniacal serial killer loose on the streets of Manhattan dwells too much on the carnage with insufficient focus on his protagonist's emotional state. Dr. Edward Jenner, an occasional private consultant who resigned from his post as a New York City forensic pathologist after the trauma of 9/11, is positive the gruesome crucifixion murder of a young college student is the handiwork of a burgeoning serial killer. When Ana de Jong, the murdered girl's roommate, appears in his loft, desperate for help, Jenner is plunged deep into a world of cruelty and death, a world he tried so desperately to leave behind. As more bodies pile up and the killer's methods become increasingly sadistic, Jenner races to identify the ancient text engraved in the victims' flesh, hoping it will lead him to the truth behind the murders. The somewhat creepy relationship that develops between Jenner and Ana distracts, while fans familiar with the conventions of the serial killer genre will find much of the action predictable. Hopefully, Hayes will combine his impressive forensics knowledge with a fresher plot and deeper characterization in his next thriller. (Nov.)
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