No.1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell delivers the next enthralling thriller in her high-stakes series starring Kay Scarpetta—a complex tale involving a serial sniper who strikes chillingly close to the forensic sleuth herself. It’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s birthday and she’s about to head to Miami for a vacation with her FBI profiler husband Benton Wesley when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny it’s as if they’re newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with shocking precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one heard or saw a thing. It’s as if God did it. In this 22nd Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the middle of a nightmarish pursuit of a serial sniper who seems to leave no evidence except fragments of copper. The shots are so perfect, they cause instant death and seem impossible, and the death scenes aren’t crime scenes because the killer was never within hundreds of yards of the targets. The victims seem to have nothing in common, and there is no pattern that might indicate where the Copperhead will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then into the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta dives a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. There she must face an unthinkable truth that points in the direction of her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.
‘A pioneer of the genre of forensic psychological thriller’ BBC ‘With plenty of the forensic detail that Cornwell fans have come to expect from her works this is a fast-paced and exciting read. Cornwell certainly lives up to her title of America's most chilling modern writer' Express and Star ‘She is a brilliant writer and I was absolutely gripped’ Mail on Sunday PRAISE FOR PATRICIA CORNWELL & THE KAY SCARPETTA NOVELS: ‘Cornwell’s books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear’ The Times ‘Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns’ Mirror ‘Few writers match Patricia Cornwell when it comes to writing crime and her latest Scarpetta novel is one of her best’ Daily Express ‘When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell’ New York Times Book Review ‘Cornwell has created a character so real, so compelling, so driven that this reader has to remind herself regularly that Scarpetta is just a product of an author’s imagination’ USA Today ‘Dazzling… After reading Cornwell’s thriller, most others will pale in comparison’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ‘Magnificent plotting, masterful writing, and marvelous suspense’ Booklist ‘Cornwell’s instincts are dead-on.’ Chicago Sun-Times ‘Cornwell remains a master of the genre, instilling in readers an appetite that only she can satisfy’ Publishers Weekly
Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world’s top bestselling crime writers and the author of the Scarpetta series. Her novels have been translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries and won numerous prestigious awards, including the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, Macavity, and the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure prize. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the cutting-edge forensic technologies that inform her work.