Berkley, August 2004, 23.95, 377 pp.
Laura Graham caught her seven-year-old son Giles drinking the fluid and eating the marrow of her beloved cat's spinal column. When he reached adulthood he did similar awful things to people as well. In Portland Oregon, a black man was found guilty of killing his white wife and hiding her spinal column. FBI agent Darwin Williams doesn't believe that the man sitting on death row, Robert Towne, is guilty.
When Giles takes the spine from a woman in Milwaukee, the M.O. is the same as two other homicides including the one in Oregon. Darwin calls on Dr. Jessica Coran to prove that all these crimes were performed by the same man so an innocent person can be released from prison. When Jessica is finally convinced by the evidence, she talks to the governor for a stay of execution but the racist governor insists he needs more proof. Jessica has Darwin and the death row inmate devise a daring plan to free the prisoner while she offers herself up in a cat and mouse game with Giles who wants to make her his next victim. Jessica is her usually feisty self, taking daring chances to save an innocent man she does not know.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner