Another top-notch tale of suspense from Iles (24 Hours, 2000, etc.), who this time around finds the clues to a series of grisly murders in an art gallery.
The heroine is one Jordan Glass, a photojournalist who is taking some time off from her job in the hopes of getting over the trauma of her sister’s murder in New Orleans the year before. On vacation in Hong Kong, Jordan visits the Museum of Chinese Art to see a controversial exhibition of female nudes. The controversy of the paintings is not related to the nudity of the subjects, however—it’s a question of whether the women in the paintings (by an unknown artist) were posing alive or dead. It’s a macabre scene, to be sure, but what makes things even worse is the reaction of the other museumgoers to Jordan: They stare at her as if she were a ghost as soon as she enters the gallery. When she gets to the end of the show, she sees why: One of the portraits is of her dead sister. Now the time for forgetting is past, and Jordan sets off with the FBI to track down her sister’s murderer. Since he is probably a serial killer, there are more lives at stake, and Jordan works under an increasing sense of dread as she pursues her quarry from Hong Kong to New York to New Orleans to the Caribbean. As in all good mysteries, Jordan discovers a few secrets about herself in the process, not to mention plenty of family skeletons she had never imagined. But there’s more to defend this time than her family’s reputation—or hers.
A nice, sharply drawn plot that never goes slack and reaches a surprising conclusion in good time.