A forensic psychologist looks beyond the physical evidence to solve a grisly murder.
Kate Hanson (A Little Death, 2017, etc.) trains her university students to search for patterns in a crime: logical chains linking the traces killers leave behind to their methods and motives. But the evidence at the scene of Matthew Flynn’s murder defies logic. What kind of instrument could have left such a jagged hole in his throat? Why was his body stuffed in a sarcophagus in the crypt of St. Bartholomew’s Church? The details of Matthew’s life shed scant new light on the young man’s death. His connection to his wealthy family is remote, and his roommates seem barely to know him. Father Anton Delaney of St. Bart’s has no idea why the young man might have wandered into his crypt or why his killer might have hidden his body there. Matthew’s history reveals that he was cautioned by the police at age 15 for using drugs. A co-worker at a local coffee shop where he worked mentions a girlfriend named Honey. But how do drugs and sex—two classic motives for murder—link up with crypts and sarcophagi? As Kate struggles to understand the death of this seemingly rootless young man, her challenges raising a gifted teen daughter and her growing attraction to Lt. Joseph Corrigan reveal an appealingly tentative side to her dogged sense of mission.
Cross continues to refine her heroine, giving her the persistence to unravel ever knottier skeins.