When the driver of a limousine sees the body of a girl pop out of a trunk right into his path, he can't avoid hitting her. The horror of seeing (and crushing) the body of the terribly disfigured body is a dreadful end to a New Year's Eve for everyone involved.
Sam Kovacs and Nikki Liska catch the case and although the pair have seen some appalling things in their careers, the body of the girl labeled Zombie Doe by the media shocks even the experienced investigators.
Nikki Liska's son went to school with the girl, which adds additional complications for the single mother. From Kyle's perspective, the detectives learn about the vicious bullying that had gone on shortly before the girl disappeared.
Is this the 9th victim of Doc Holiday, a serial killer who has been leaving the bodies of women across the Midwest? Or does the grisly murder have a local connection?
The detectives are human and flawed, yet have a sense of honest values that have managed to see them through years of dealing with homicides. Liska and Kovacs make a likable team, and I was "turning the pages" as quickly as I could, unable to to definitively determine the guilty party.
The emphasis on parental neglect, abuse, and bullying present a not so subtle criticism of an egocentric society that often fails in compassion to its fellow human beings. Not that these things are anything new....
Compelling and suspenseful.
NetGalley/Penguin Group, Dutton
Mystery. 2013. Print version: 416 pages.
- ISBN-10: 0525952977