A;Massachusetts state investigator is called home from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course at the National Forensic Academy. His boss, the district attorney, attractive but hard-charging, is planning to run for governor, and as a showcase she's planning to use a new crime initiative called At Risk-its motto: "Any crime, any time." In particular, she's been looking for a way to employ cutting-edge DNA technology, and she thinks she's found the perfect subject in an unsolved twenty-year-old murder-in Tennessee. If her office solves the case, it ought to make them all look pretty good, right?
Her investigator is not so;sure-not sure about anything to do with this woman, really-but before he can open his mouth, a shocking piece of violence intervenes, an act that shakes up not only both their lives but the lives of everyone around them. It's not a random event. Is it personal? Is it professional? Whatever it is, the implications are very, very bad indeed . . . and they're about to get much worse.
Sparks fly, traps spring, twists abound-this is the master working at the top of her game.
View the trailer for "Patricia Cornwell's At Risk", premiering on Lifetime on April 10, 2010.
Kay Scarpetta is starting over with a unique private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina. And the death of a sixteen-year-old tennis star will usher in a string of murders more baffling--and terrifying--than any that have come before.
Luke Mullen, sixteen-year-old son of a former high-ranking police officer, has disappeared, presumed kidnapped. While no-one quite dares to voice the fear that he could also be presumed dead, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is brought in to beef up the squad dedicated to locating the missing boy. The first thing the team looks for is anyone with a grudge against Luke's father, a man who has put a lot of tough villains away in his time. A list quickly emerges, but Thorne discovers that ex-DCI Tony Mullen has omitted the name of the most obvious suspect: a man who'd once threatened him and his family and who, after serving time for his original crime, is now the main suspect in a murder which has been unsolved for four years. Is this a simple oversight, understandable considering the trauma of his son's disappearance? Or is it something more telling? Aware that he hasn't the luxury of time, Thorne searches desperately for connections and leads, but learns that secrets are as easily buried as bodies, and that assumptions are the enemies of truth.
To his friends, his foes and even to himself it looks as though Tom Thorne's career is on the skids. On his last case he had seriously over-stepped the mark, and now gardening leave has been suggested and all he has to tend is a window box. So when it appears someone is targeting London's homeless community it seems pefectly natural for Thorne to take a step nearer to the gutter and go undercover amongst them. He blends into the sometimes invisble community easily - too easily perhaps - but the information he gleans quickly proves that this is no random killer, it is someone with a very distinct purpose and a very specific list of victims, only the team supporting Thorne from the outside don't have the key to motive or identity. Then somehow the fact that a policeman is working under cover becomes public knowledge ... With acute observation of character and place, combined with his acknowledged mastery of plotting, LIFELESS raises the Thorne series to an even higher level.
When hotshot lawyer Elizabeth Brice turns up to collect her daughter Grace from football practice, the coach tells her she needn't have bothered, as Grace's uncle has already picked her up.
The only problem is - Grace has no uncles.
And so begins a furious race against time to save Grace from unknown kidnappers. Grace's internet geek father John leads the search, forced to unite with his terrifying wife and even more terrifying father Ben, a battle-hardened Vietnam veteran. Somehow they must find Grace before it is too late. But secrets from the past make the little girl's survival more uncertain with every passing minute...
A riveting, action-packed thriller, The Abduction will have you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last.
A rainy night in London. Shots are fired into a car which swerves on to the pavement, ploughing into a bus stop. It seems that a chilling gang initiation has cost an innocent victim their life. But the reality is far more sinister...
One life is wiped out and three more are changed forever: the young man whose finger was on the trigger; an ageing gangster planning a deadly revenge, and the pregnant woman who struggles desperately to uncover the truth. Two weeks away from giving birth, how will she deal with a world where death is an occupational hazard?
In a city where violence can be random or meticulously planned, where teenage gangs clash with career criminals and where loyalty is paid for in blood, anything is possible. Secrets are uncovered as fast as bodies, and the story's final twist is as breathtakingly surprising as they come.
It has never occurred to Precious Ramotswe that there might be disadvantages to being the best-known lady detective in Botswana. But when she receives a threatening anonymous letter, she is compelled to reconsider her unconquerable belief in a kind world and good neighbours.
While she ponders the identity of the letter-writer Mma Ramotswe has a further set of problems to solve, both professional and personal. There is an adopted child's poignant search for her true family, and Mr J. L. B. Matekoni's pursuit of an expensive miracle for their own foster daughter Motholeli.
With these latest developments on Tlokweng Road, Alexander McCall Smith reveals with all his brilliant storytelling skill that there are very few troubles that cannot be solved with kindness, and very few dry seasons that do not end with welcome rain.
Isabel Dalhousie is a new mother and a connoisseur of philosophy; she'd rather not be a sleuth. But when a chance conversation at a dinner party draws Isabel into the case of a doctor whose career has been ruined, she cannot ignore what may be a miscarriage of justice. Because for Isabel ethics are not theoretical at all, but an everyday matter of life and death.
As she attempts to unravel the truth behind Dr Thompson's disgrace, Isabel's patient intelligence is also required to deal with challenges in her own life. There is her baby son Charlie; Cat's deli to look after, not to mention her vulnerable assistant Eddie; and a mysterious and unlikeable composer who has latched on to Jamie, making Isabel fear for the future of her new family.
Isabel treads a difficult path between trust and gullibility, philanthropy and interference, while keeping in her sights the small but certain comforts of family, philosophy and a fine Saturday morning.
View our feature on Patricia Cornwells Scarpetta.
From Americas #1 bestselling crime writers comes the extraordinary new Kay Scarpetta novel.
Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospitals psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk--and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.
The injuries, he says, were sustained in the course of a murder . . . that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The one thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered--and more violent deaths will follow. Gradually, an inexplicable and horrifying truth emerges: Whoever is committing the crimes knows where his prey is at all times. Is it a person, a government? And what is the connection between the victims?
In the days that follow, Scarpetta; her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley; and her niece, Lucy, who has recently formed her own forensic computer investigation firm in New York, will undertake a harrowing chase through cyberspace and the all-too-real streets of the city--an odyssey that will take them at once to places they never knew, and much, much too close to home.
Throughout, Cornwell delivers shocking twists and turns, and the kind of cutting-edge technology that only she can provide. Once again, she proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall.
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Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are called to a safari lodge in Botswana's Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest.
The Okavango makes Precious appreciate once again the beauty of her homeland: it is a paradise of teeming wildlife, majestic grasslands and sparkling water. However, it is also home to rival safari operators, fearsome crocodiles and disgruntled hippopotamuses. What's more, Mma Makutsi still does not have a date for her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti and is feeling rather tetchy herself. But Precious knows that with a little patience, just as the wide river will gently make its way round any obstacle, so will everything work out for the best in the end . . .
It seems like a straightforward domestic murder until a bloodstained sliver of X-ray is found clutched in the dead woman's fist - and it quickly becomes clear that this case is anything but ordinary. Thorne discovers that the victim's mother had herself been murdered fifteen years before by infamous serial killer Raymond Garvey. The hunt to catch Garvey was one of the biggest in the history of the Met, and ended with seven women dead.
When more bodies and more fragments of X-ray are discovered, Thorne has a macabre jigsaw to piece together until the horrifying picture finally emerges. A killer is targeting the children of Raymond Garvey's victims. Thorne must move quickly to protect those still on the murderer's list, but nothing and nobody are what they seem. Not when Thorne is dealing with one of the most twisted killers he has ever hunted...
Saving lives is Jonah Stem's job-but he usually does it at the hospital, not at 3 a.m. on the dark streets of Manhattan. When he impulsively intervenes to save a beautiful woman from a man menacing her with a knife, killing the attacker in the process, he is transformed from an overworked medical student to a hero in the media spotlight. The woman, Eve Gones, is profoundly grateful, and wants to show it. Before long, they're engaged in a wildly passionate love affair. An affair that Eve doesn't want to end. Ever.
The senior pupils of St Peter's High School are on retreat to a secluded outdoor activity centre, coming to terms with the murder of a fellow pupil through the means you would expect: counselling, contemplation, candid discussion and even prayer - not to mention booze, drugs, clandestine liaisons and as much partying as they can get away with.
Not so far away, the commanders of a top-secret military experiment, long-since spiralled out of control, fear they may have literally unleashed the forces of Hell.
Two very different worlds are on a collision course, and will clash in an earthly battle between science and the supernatural, philosophy and faith, civilisation and savagery.
The bookies are offering evens.
Elizabeth Glendinning QC has lost faith in the legal system. In an attempt to restore it, she has secretly devised a scheme to bring back to court a guilty man - Graham Riley - whom she had successfully defended some ten years before. As part of an elaborate contingency plan, Elizabeth leaves the unsuspecting Father Anselm with a key to a safety deposit box, to be opened in the event of her death. Three weeks later she is found dead in the East End of London and, once the box has been opened, a chain of events is triggered as if from beyond the grave, leading Anselm to fulfil what Elizabeth has begun.A powerful portrait of the dark heart of London and a tense thriller, THE GARDENS OF THE DEAD confirms William Brodrick's growing critical reputation.
When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults.
"They came for me in November nineteen fifty-one and took me to Mokotow prison." Cambridge, the present day. And out of the past, a cry for help: Father Anselm, the brilliant Benedictine, receives a visit from an old friend with a dangerous story to tell - the story of a woman betrayed by time, fate, and someone close to her . . . someone still unknown.
As a young woman, Roza Mojeska was part of an underground resistance group in Communist Poland. But after her arrest, a Stasi officer makes her a devil's bargain - and in the dark of a government prison, a terrible choice is made.
Now, fifty years later, Anselm is called upon to investigate both Roza's story and a mystery dating back to the early 1980s, in the icy grip of the Cold War. And as he peels back years of history, decades of secrets, a half-century of lies, he exposes a truth that an entire generation was killed to keep hidden.
Richard Beaumont hoped to see the elusive crow on the Dover cliffs. Instead he sees a young woman falling to her death. No-one recognises her, no-one has reported her missing and Richard returns, shaken, to his wife, but instead of finding solace in Lilian's company, he locks himself away and obsessively paints the scene of the woman's broken body on the rocks. His cool behaviour towards her takes Lilian to the flat below and the worldly-wise company of Sarah Fortune. But Sarah, once Richard's lover, is awkward with her and is also preoccupied with her brother's unbreakable habit of cat-burglary and the suspicious traffic to the penthouse at the top of the mansion block. Unable to forget what he witnessed, Richard returns to the coast and is befriended by the local police surgeon. Recently widowed, John is depressed, not so much by his wife's death but by the realisation that his marriage had been a loveless void. Recognising the symptoms, Richard introduces him to Sarah so that she can no longer ignore the Beaumonts' troubles and is drawn into helping to trace where the dead girl came from and in so doing reveals a trade which is both breathtakingly lucrative and chillingly cruel.
Rachel Doe is a shy accountant at a low ebb in life when she meets charismatic Ivy Schneider, nee Wiseman, at her evening class and her life changes for the better. Ivy is her polar opposite: strong, six years her senior and the romantic survivor of drug addiction, homelessness and the death of her child. Ivy does menial shift work, beholden to no one, and she inspires life; as do her farming parents, with their ramshackle house and its swan-filled lake, the lake where Ivy's daughter drowned. As Rachel grows closer to them all she learns how Ivy came to be married to Carl, the son of a WWII prisoner, as well as the true nature of that marriage to a bullying and ambitious lawyer who has become a judge and who denies her access to her surviving child. Rachel wants justice for Ivy, but Ivy has another agenda and Rachel's naïve sense of fair play is no match for the manipulative qualities of the Wisemen women.
Sarah Fortune inherited her flat from one of her many lovers. Now a son has appeared claiming it is his, morally if not strictly legally, and he is using illegal means to persuade Sarah to give it up: abusive letters threatening her personal harm. As it becomes more difficult to ignore these missives, Sarah comes across Henry, a timid, lonely man whose upstairs neighbour is using every trick in the racketeer landlord's book to make him leave his home: litter in the shared hallway, continual noise, poison set out for his cat. It seems that if they swap accommodation for a while they may be able to deal with each other's problems. But these two strangers have unknown connections in common: a well-meaning widow, a struggling therapist, and a man who sets fire to other people's property for a living ...
Henry didn't turn back when Francesca needed him twenty years before. Now, on some sort of journey to anchor his soul, he arrives in her home town of Warbling and discovers that she's even further beyond his reach - serving a life sentence for the murder of her child.
Still intrigued by her, and entranced by his memories, he becomes drawn into the town and the people who knew her far better than he - her cousin, her lawyer, her closest friend, Angela, whose adopted daughter Francesca had helped her acquire. He finds himself a lodger in the House of Enchantment, an eccentric boarding house run by two gay men who believe the comfort of their guests is above profit. And he finds himself incapable of believing that Francesca is a killer, even if she did confess her crime in chillingly logical detail. But if it wasn't her, then who?
Peopled with richly quirky and original characters, this is a novel of suspense in which the truth is better left unknown.
A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why.
But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect the paleontologist's disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator Pete Marino and FBI husband Benton Wesley have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.
This is the story of four Londoners - three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching . . . Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret . . . Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover . . . Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances . . .
Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is thrilling. A towering achievement.
When the body of a young brunette is found in East River Park, marked by signs of prolonged and painful torture, Eve Dallas is catapulted back to nine years ago. A man the media tagged The Groom because he put silver rings on the fingers of his victims had the city on edge with a killing spree that took the lives of four women in fifteen days. But now, The Groom has returned - and Eve's determined to finish him.
Familiar with his methods, Eve knows that he has already grabbed his next victim. When it turns out that the dead woman was employed by Eve's billionaire husband, Roarke, she brings him onto the case - a move that proves fitting when it becomes chillingly clear that the killer has made it personal. And chances are that he's working up to the biggest challenge of his illustrious career - abducting a woman who will test his skills on every level and who promises to give him days and days of pleasure before she dies: Eve.
Ex-Flying Squad cop Jake Moore's career was cut short by a bullet; ten years on, he runs a game fishing business that is about to go to the wall. But old habits die hard, and when cerebral Mombasa detective Daniel Jouma - seemingly the only good policeman in a city where corruption is king - asks for his help in solving a baffling murder case, he cannot help but become involved.
The mangled body of a street criminal has been washed up on the beach and a fishing boat skipper and his bait boy have blown up in the water. When Jake and Jouma look closer, they discover that not only are the murders linked, but the conspiracy surrounding them stretches far beyond the reaches of Africa - and has deadly implications for everyone concerned.
This gripping crime thriller strips away Kenya's tourist glitz and exposes the country's dark and treacherous underbelly beneath.