Hours after finding a freshly embalmed John Doe smuggled in among the other participants in an experiment on cadaveric decomposition, Fort Worth Det. Deb Ralston (Bird in a Cage, 1995, etc.) hears her friend Matilda Greenwood complain that Marvin Tutwiler, the genealogist who hired her to help him write his latest book, has disappeared. But there's no evidence that John Doe ever lived in Tutwiler's apartment. Before Deb can establish just who John Doe is, though, Tutwiler's place is burgled; so is his fiancÇe's; so is Matilda's. Then the fiancÇe is killed and Matilda kidnapped, obviously by somebody who's really interested in all that genealogical research. So far, so good; but Martin's 12th novel supplies only the pettiest motive for the villain's enterprising crime spree. Below average for the series.