Leaving behind her forensic pathology practice in South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient in a psychiatric ward.
The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.
He says his injuries were sustained in the course of a murder ... that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The only thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered - and that more violent deaths will follow...
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.