Onyx, Jan 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
Savannah medical examiner John Casper is performing an autopsy when he suddenly realizes that the body is still alive, the man is still breathing albeit very slowly. When the man eventually dies, it is discovered that he had tetrodotoxin in his bloodstream, a poison that doesn't cross the blood brain barrier so victims are paralyzed and unable to speak, but totally aware of what is going on around thim.
Homicide detectives Elise Sandberg and David Gould head the investigation. As a baby Elise was abandoned on a grave; her father was thought to be a root doctor and a conjurer so she is aware that the public will believe they are dealing with dark magic because superstitions run deep in Savannah. David is running from his own problems but unlike Elise he doesn't believe in the supernatural. More victims are found as body moves out of the grave before dying. The perpetrator poisons David leaving him paralyzed and needing help, but only Elise might save him if she can put all the pieces of the puzzle together in time.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner