Forensic pathologist Kate Hanson (Art of Deception, 2013, etc.) struggles to solve the grisly murder of a promising student.
Elizabeth Williams was smart, athletic, and outgoing. At age 12, she was hailed as the Birmingham Child Hero for her role in caring for her disabled mum. At 19, with her whole life ahead of her, she disappeared from her college without a trace. Now, a badly decomposed body found in the woods off Genners Lane turns out to be Elizabeth’s. Her former boyfriend, Chris Turner, and her best friend, Jessica Simmonds, hardly bat an eye when police tell them that Elizabeth’s body has surfaced. Her tutor, Lawrence Vickers, tut-tuts over news of Elizabeth’s murder but denies being particularly close to her. Only a vagrant with the unlikely name of Michael Myers seems concerned by the discovery, but his claims to be a wildlife expert keeping the park under surveillance at night make the police regard him as a highly unreliable informant. As Hanson and Lt. Joe Corrigan search for anyone who might know anything about the dead student, they come across a conservation group called Renfrew, where Elizabeth seems to have applied for an internship. But administrators Aiden Malahide and Hugh Downey claim that Renfrew doesn’t take on interns. Sorting truth from lies becomes as important as wading through physical evidence until, persistent to the last, Hanson and Corrigan make the crucial connections to a murder with a harrowing motive.
Hanson merges thorough police procedure with wit and intuition in the heroine’s lively third entry.