A CIA agent’s two-year-old child was stolen in the night as a brutal act of vengeance. Now, eight years later, this torment is something Catherine Ling awakens to every day. Her friends, family, and colleagues tell her to let go, move on, accept that her son is never coming back. But she can’t. Catherine needs to find someone as driven and obsessed as she is to help her – and that person is Eve Duncan. She knows that Eve shares her nightmare, since closure is also something that eludes Eve after the disappearance of her daughter Bonnie. Now, Eve must take her talents as a forensic sculptor to another level, using age progression as a way to unite Catherine with her child. As Eve gets drawn deeper into Catherine’s horror, she must face looming demons of her own.
Bonnie’s killer is still out there. And a new killer is taunting Eve and Catherine at every turn. Is Catherine’s son alive, or not? These two women endure the worst fear any mother can imagine in Iris Johansen’s latest thrill ride, a gut-wrenching journey into the darkest places of the soul.
Patricia Cornwell - The Body Farm
Cornwell ( Body of Evidence ; All That Remains ) casts a wider, surer narrative net in the latest case set for her increasingly complex heroine, Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia. As an FBI consultant, Scarpetta investigates the North Carolina murder of 11-year-old Emily Steiner, whose mutilation suggests the M.O. of an escaped killer met previously in Cruel and Unusual. Forensic clues from the body's second autopsy prompt Scarpetta to request that certain experiments be made at the University of Tennessee's Decay Research Facility, known as the Body Farm. Meanwhile, she, Pete Marino of the Richmond, Va., police, and her new love interest, FBI Unit Chief Benton Wesley investigate the apparent suicide (from autoerotic asphyxiation) of the local FBI agent in charge of the case. Then, Scarpetta's computer-whiz niece Lucy, working at FBI headquarters at Quantico, is charged with violating security. During her travels between North Carolina and Virginia, Scarpetta worries about both the less-than-forthcoming Lucy and Marino, who becomes emotionally entangled with Emily's beautiful stricken mother. Results at the Body Farm lead her to a convincing, if abrupt, resolution. Deeper characterization and a more intricate plot mark this fifth in a consistently compelling series. 500,000 first printing; paperback rights to Berkley; audio rights to Simon & Schus ter; Literary Guild selection.
Karen Rose - Count to Ten
CLOSE YOUR EYES. HOLD YOUR BREATH. COUNT TO TEN. In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Solliday has never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires--devastating, vicious and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem--his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She’s brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined. Mia’s instincts tell her the arsonist is making this personal. And as the infernos become more deadly, one look at the victims’ tortured faces convinces her and Reed that they must work closer to catch the killer. With each new blaze, the villain ups the ante, setting firetraps for the people Reed and Mia love. The truth is almost too hot to handle: This monster’s desire for death and destruction is unquenchable … and for Mia he’s started the countdown to an early grave.
Iris Johansen - Blind Alley
Her job is to put a face on the victims of violent crimes. But as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan works on the skull of a newly discovered victim, she's about to get the shock of her life. The murdered Jane Doe's face has been erased beyond recognition. But whoever killed her wasn't trying to hide her identity. The plan is far more horrifying. For as Eve's skilled hands reveal the murdered girl's face, she recognizes someone she knows all too well. Someone who isn't dead. Yet. To stop this twisted psychopath, Eve must put her own life in the balance. But that's not the worst of it --- when her adopted daughter Jane reveals a bizarre connection to the case, Eve can't stop her from joining the hunt for the killer. A hunt that will lead to a terrifying confrontation ...
Chris Carter - The Executioner
Inside a Los Angeles church, on the altar steps, lies the blood-soaked, decapitated body of a priest. Carefully positioned, legs stretched out, arms crossed over the chest, the most horrifying thing of all is that the priest's head has been replaced by that of a dog. Later, the forensic team discover that, on the victim's chest, the figure 3 has been scrawled in blood. At first, Detective Robert Hunter believes that this is a ritualistic killing. But as more bodies surface, he is forced to reassess. All the victims died in the way they feared the most. Their worst nightmares have literally come true. But how could the killer have known? And what links these apparently random victims? Hunter finds himself on the trail of an elusive and sadistic killer, somone who apparently has the power to read his victims' minds. Someone who can sense what scares his victims the most. Someone who will stop at nothing to achieve his twisted aim.
Chris Carter - The Crucifix Killer
When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in the middle of Los Angeles National Forest, Homicide Detective Robert Hunter finds himself entering a horrific and recurring nightmare. Naked, strung from two wooden posts, the victim was sadistically tortured before meeting an excruciatingly painful death. All the skin has been ripped from her face - while she was still alive. On the nape of her neck has been carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer. But that's impossible. Because two years ago, the Crucifix Killer was caught and executed. Could this therefore be a copycat killer? Or could the unthinkable be true? Is the real killer still out there, ready to embark once again on a vicious and violent killing spree, selecting his victims seemingly at random, taunting Robert Hunter with his inability to catch him? Hunter and his rookie partner are about to enter a nightmare beyond imagining.
Chris Carter - The Death Sculptor
_Good job you didn't turn on the lights..._ A student nurse has the shock of her life when she discovers her patient, prosecutor Derek Nicholson, brutally murdered in his bed. The act seems senseless - Nicholson was terminally ill with only weeks to live. But what most shocks Detective Robert Hunter of the Los Angeles Robbery Homicide Division is the calling card the killer left behind. For Hunter, there is no doubt that the killer is trying to communicate with the police, but the method is unlike anything he's ever seen before. And what could the hidden message be? Just as Hunter and his partner Garcia reckon they've found a lead, a new body is found - and a new calling card. But with no apparent link between the first and second victims, all the progress they've made so far goes out of the window. Pushed into an uncomfortable alliance with the confident Alice Beaumont, Hunter must race to put together the pieces of the investigation... before the Death Sculptor puts the final touches to his masterpiece.
Joanne Fluke - Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
This summer has been warmer than usual in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen is trying to beat the heat both in and out of her bakery kitchen. But she's about to find out the hard way that nothing cools off a hot summer day like cold-blooded murder. . . It's a hot, muggy evening, and the last thing Hannah wants to do is squeeze into a pair of pantyhose for the Grand Opening of the refurbished Albion Hotel. But with Hannah's famous Red Velvet cupcakes being served in the hotel's new Red Velvet lounge, she can't bring herself to back out. The party starts off with a bang with the unexpected arrival of Doctor Bev, a Lake Eden legend who left town in shame after she two-timed her fiancé one too many times. Bev's splashy appearance on the arm of a wealthy investor is the talk of the night. But the gossip comes to a screeching halt when a partygoer takes a mysterious dive off the hotel's rooftop garden. The victim is the sheriff's secretary, Barbara Donnelly, and she is barely clinging to life. The question is, did she fall--or was she pushed? As the police investigate, the only one who isn't preoccupied with the case is Doctor Bev. She's too busy trying to stir things up with her old flame Norman, who's reunited with Hannah. Just as Hannah's patience with Bev runs dangerously thin, her rival is found dead at the bottom of Miller's Pond. The only clue the police have is the Red Velvet cupcake Bev ate right before she died--and the tranquilizers someone seems to have baked into it. To everyone's shock, Hannah is now the unlikely target of a murder investigation--and she's feeling the heat in a way she never has before. . .
Kerry Greenwood - The Green Mill Murder
Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things --dancing at the Green Mill (Melbourne's premier dance hall) to the music of Tintagel Stone's Jazzmakers, the band who taught St Vitus how to dance. And she's wearing a sparkling lobelia-coloured georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne--especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing except death, that is. The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly, in the middle of "Bye Bye Blackbird" a figure slumps to the ground. No shot was heard. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the missile missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates. This leads her into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the the sky, as she follows a complicated family tragedy of the great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove. Phryne flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into the Autralian Alps, where she meets a hermit with a dog called Lucky and a wombat living under his bunk....and risks her life on the love between brothers.
J. A. Kerley - The Broken Souls
The gore-sodden horror that greets homicide detective Carson Ryder on a late-night call out is enough to make him want to quit the case. Too late. Now he and his partner Harry are up to their necks in a Southern swamp of the bizarre and disturbing. An investigation full of twists and strange clues looks like it's leading to the city's least likely suspects – a powerful family whose philanthropy has made them famous. But behind their money and smiles is a dynasty divided by hate. Their strange and horrific past is about to engulf everyone around them in a storm of violence and depravity. And Ryder's right in the middle of it …
J. A. Kerley - Buried Alive
Soon after witnessing the escape of violent psychopath Bobby Crayline from prison, Alabaman detective Carson Ryder takes a rare break in the mountains. But his vacation is interrupted when an anonymous phone call summons him to the scene of a grisly murder. With more savage killings, and the heavy-handed FBI only inflaming the situation, Ryder and local detective Donna Cherry sift through the increasingly bizarre clues. Is there more than one killer on the loose? And how does Carson’s clinically insane brother, Jeremy, now on the run, fit into the picture? It is down to Ryder to unearth horrors from the past that others believe should remain buried…
J. A. Kerley - Her Last Scream
_They thought they were safe at last…_ Across the US, a secret network of crisis centres permanently relocates women in serious danger from domestic abuse. But now someone is killing them before they reach their destinations. Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus are having trouble gaining the trust of the volunteers who run the scheme. The only way in is for an undercover police officer to pose as a threatened woman, making herself a target and drawing the killer out. Reinetta Early is the ideal candidate – but she also happens to be Harry’s niece. He always promised his sister that he would keep Reinetta safe from harm. Suddenly he’s unsure if he can even keep her alive…
J. A. Kerley - Little Girls Lost
Children are disappearing in Mobile, Alabama, the latest snatched from her own bedroom. There are no clues – and, as yet, no bodies. Homicide Detective Carson Ryder is called in to investigate the abduction of little LaShelle Shearing only to find the case getting tangled up in murky departmental and civic politics. And with his partner Harry Nautilus fighting for his life after being viciously attacked, Carson is feeling increasingly isolated. Public rage is now reaching dangerous levels, and Ryder’s bosses turn for help to ex-Detective Conner Sandhill whose uncanny ability to spot connections and details missed by others is legendary – but who left the department under a cloud. Ryder and Sandhill form an uneasy alliance in the hunt for the missing children, a hunt which becomes all the more urgent for tragic personal reasons. But at the root of these disappearances is something truly evil… and its source is closer to home than either could have imagined.
J. A. Kerley - In The Blood
TV evangelist Reverend Scaler made his fortune from firebrand rhetoric on the sins of modern America. But Scaler has preached his last sermon after being bound and beaten to death in an apparent S&M session. Detective Carson Ryder has his own problems. He's edgy and unpredictable, the crime scene barely seeming to affect him any more than finding an infant abandoned in a boat – nearby, a burnt-out shack, a body and signs of a struggle. Scaler's tangled personal life reveals bizarre connections between the cases. And it seems the baby fighting for its life in hospital has powerful enemies. Ryder can't seem to save himself – but can he save the life of an innocent child?
J. A. Kerley - The Killing Game
_He’s coming to get you…_ After a humiliating encounter with a cop, Romanian immigrant Gregory Nieves launches a vendetta against the Mobile Police Department, Alabama. Nieves can’t fight a department, so he selects one man who symbolizes all men in blue: Carson Ryder, the MPD’s specialist in bizarre and twisted crimes. Carson has never seen a killing spree like this one: Nothing connects the victims, the murder weapon is always different, and the horrific crime scenes are devoid of evidence. It almost seems he’s being taunted. Even laughed at. Carson doesn’t know it yet, but he is caught up in a sadistic game of life and death. And there can only be one victor…
J. A. Kerley - The Death Box
_Carson Ryder thought he’d seen everything…_ A specialist in twisted crimes, Detective Carson Ryder thought he’d seen the lowest depths of human depravity. But he’s barely started his new job in Miami when called to a horrific scene: a concrete pillar built of human remains, their agony forever frozen in stone. Finding the secret of the pillar drags him into the sordid world of human trafficking, where one terrified girl holds the key to unraveling a web of pain, prostitution and murder. There’s just one problem: Ryder’s not the only one chasing the girl. And the others will kill to keep the secret safe.
J. A. Kerley - The Death Collectors
Thirty years after his death, Marsden Hexcamp's ‘Art of the Final Moment’ remains as sought after as ever. But this is no ordinary collection. Hexcamp's portfolio was completed with the aid of a devoted band of acolytes – and half a dozen victims, each of whom was slowly tortured to death so that their final agonies could be distilled into art. When tiny scraps of Hexcamp's ‘art’ begin appearing at murder scenes alongside gruesomely displayed corpses, Detective Carson Ryder and his partner Harry Nautilus must go back three decades in search of answers. Meanwhile an auction has been announced and the death collectors are gathering. These wealthy connoisseurs of serial-killer memorabilia will pay millions to acquire Hexcamp's art – unless Carson and Harry can beat them in their quest for the anti-grail.
Misty Bernall - She Said Yes
In a perverse celebration of Hitler's birthday, two heavily armed students stormed through a Colorado school on April 20, 1999, killing as many people as they could. Confronting 17-year-old Cassie Bernall, they put a gun to her head and asked: Do you believe in God? She said Yes. The killer laughed and pulled the trigger. Around the world, people hailed Cassie as a modern martyr, but a far more remarkable story has been left untold. Three years earlier, Cassie herself planned to murder a teacher and threatened suicide. In She Said Yes, Cassie's mother breaks her silence to recount the dramatic transformation that led up to her daughter's final heroic stand.
Julian Darius - Watching People Burn
The deadliest school massacre in U.S. history, its victims in grade school. A terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Three separate, coordinated bombings, culminating in a suicide car bomb that killed a public official and sent shrapnel into the crowd. This isn't fantasy. It all really happened... in rural Michigan, in 1927. This historical screenplay dissects the Bath school disaster. It explores the attacks' mysterious perpetrator, including the haunting final message he left for the police and the traumatic childhood that may have spurred his crimes. But the story also explores the myriad ways the attacks affected its victims, transformed a town, and reflected a moment of transition in American history.
Josin L. McQuein - Premeditated
A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists. Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why. Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan. Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair. Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage. Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire. By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.