It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta-despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN- to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same telecast, she receives a startling call-in from a former psychiatric patient of Benton Wesley's. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds an ominous package-possibly a bomb-waiting for her at the front desk. Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta's life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionairess with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past.
I was bit confused while I was reading this. There seemed to be a lot of bad guys and I sometimes had a hard time keeping up with "who's who " and the "what are they doing and why". There was too much going on I felt - Benton's patient and former colleague, Lucy's relationship, Scarpetta's relationship with the TV channel... I'm finding hard to recognise them as the characters I enjoyed from previous books.
The only one that I enjoyed reading about was Marino. He seems to be closer to what he used to be in the beginning than in the latest books of the series. I'm not sure where Cornwell is taking us next though. The crimes have ceased to be interesting for me and the main characters I'm not sure I wan't to continue with them if they are continuing as in this one. Besides there seems to be less and less forensic issues and analysis with each books and that was one of the things that I enjoyed.
Will I read the next one in this series? I have a few doubts, especially as what I read about it is that someone is targetting Scarpetta again. She seems to have so many enemies that it has turned into a boring affair.