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A bizarre series of attacks that terrify New York may be linked to the brutal history of a foreign regime.

Dr. Jake Rosen spots details the police miss. When he’s called in to examine the latest victim of the Vampire, a strange attacker who uses ether to subdue his apparently random victims and then withdraws a vial of their blood, he sees a clinician’s touch in the odd crime. His girlfriend, chic and beautiful lawyer Philomena Manfreda (Manny), is intrigued too, but riled when Jake tries to warn her against defending one of the so-called “Preppy Terrorists,” two private-school students mixed up in the bombing of a mailbox that injures a federal judge. Despite her fascination with fashion, Manny’s a bulldog on a case, and she sees her client being railroaded while his buddy, the child of an ambassador, gets a free pass. When Manny hires Jake’s brother to investigate for her, and a contact ends up dead, things grow complicated. Meanwhile, the Vampire has progressed to murder, and the only lead is a Spanish-language cookbook hidden in the apartment of one of his victims. Naturally, the two cases turn out to be linked, and before long Manny finds herself in the Vampire’s clutches, privy to secrets from a very dark past. The married authors use their backgrounds—he’s a forensic pathologist, she’s a trial attorney—to great advantage in their second collaboration (Remains Silent, 2005). Scenes with both the living and the dead are always believable, and the protagonists’ love for their professions shines through. But it’s the chemistry between appealing Jake and Manny that really drives the book, as well as Manny’s amusing, and useful, affection for her toy poodle, Mycroft.

A well-plotted thriller supported by real-world experience and the main characters’ likability.

Pub Date: June 30th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4000-4432-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2009


IndieJOEY 22 by Matt Gryta
by Matt Gryta