Medical Examiner Maura Isles returns home from a Paris vacation to find police examining a dead woman. She was shot in her car right outside Maura's Boston apartment. What's more, the dead woman looks exactly like Maura.
Does she have a secret twin sister? Was the bullet meant for Maura? Before we have time to sort things out, Maura is pulled into another case involving the murders of heavily pregnant women. Clues lead to a mysterious woman in an insane asylum who may be Maura's long lost mother (Maura was adopted.)
Meanwhile a parallel story presents a young pregnant woman trapped in a coffin with an air hole and a short supply of food and water. Her curiously detached captor wants to know only one thing: how do you feel today?
Maura and her police detective friend finally get to the bottom of an unusually grisly and ruthless series of murders for profit.
This report prepared by Karen Boyd
Ballantine Aug 2004, 24.95, 352 pp.
After spending a week in Paris attending a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles returns home to see police outside her apartment. Her neighbors and coworkers look at her as if they see a ghost. Eight months pregnant, Detective Jane Rizzoli lets her see the victim in the car so that she understands why. Sitting in the vehicle with a bullet in her head is Maura's exact double; DNA testing shows that Anna Jessup is her identical twin sister. Both of them were given away at birth to different adoptive parents.
Maura finds out that her biological mother is in prison found guilty for killing two women, one of them eight months pregnant. Her mother's psychologist believes that she had a partner who helped her kill the two women. Maura and the police seek this other monster because with the new evidence they have, it is discovered that Maura's mother and her partner have been kidnapping and killing pregnant mothers for decades.
This exciting police procedural is a fascinating reading experience because there is much more going on in the storyline than meets the eye. Through misdirection and red herrings, readers are directed down a path that leads them away from the truth and it is only towards the end when Maura's life is threatened, that the whole picture becomes clear.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner