Besieged by corpses, a Connecticut police department mobilizes in search of the mastermind behind a one-day killing spree.
Holloman, home of elite Chubb University, isn’t big enough for its own homicide division. So when 12 bodies are brought to the morgue on April 3, 1967, Capt. Carmine Delmonico knows that his time with lovely English wife Desdemona and infant son Julian will be limited. Although the victims’ demographics are all over the map, ranging from 71-year-old widow Beatrice Egmont, to John Kirkbride Denbigh, Dean at Chubb’s Dante College, to prostitute Dee-Dee Hall, to Jimmy Cartwright, an 18-month old with Down syndrome, Carmine figures that so many murders all at once must be connected. While his sergeants Abe Goldberg and Corey Marshall look into the more prosaic deaths, Carmine focuses on the grisly slaying of Desmond Skeps, CEO of the local mega-conglomerate Cornucopia, who was injected with enough curare to inhibit movement, then tortured with a soldering iron. Cornucopia’s board of well-tailored Chubb alums are on Carmine’s radar, as is their legal eagle, Dr. Erica Davenport, who is also the latest love of Myron Mandelbaum, the second husband of Carmine’s ex-wife. But Carmine’s main focus is Ulysses, a shadowy traitor the FBI suspects of funneling defense secrets straight from Cornucopia to Russia.
You may need a scorecard to keep track of the perps and vics, but there’s still room for a final twist as veteran McCullough (The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, 2008, etc.) sends this frantic mega-mystery to its mostly foreseeable end.