When Lucy first sees the body slumped over the table at the park, she is sure that it is her former music teacher, Mr. Pugh. After all, he is wearing Mr. Pugh’s clothes and sitting where Mr. Pugh always sits. But the initial shock of thinking her mentor is injured is immediately overwhelmed by two more horrifying discoveries: first, the body is horribly mutilated—face and teeth pulverized, fingers sliced off, bones shattered and heart cut out—and second, it is not Mr. Pugh after all; the killer clearly dressed the body and left it for Lucy to find, to torture her emotionally. Being a police Medical Examiner, death doesn’t usually phase Lucy, but as the gruesome bodies begin to stack up—and all in places where Lucy is sure to find them—it becomes apparent that this killer is targeting Lucy as he executes people from her hometown. Detective J.D. Fitzpatrick is determined to catch the ruthless killer and to keep Lucy safe, but as their professional relationship blossoms toward romance, J.D. realizes that Lucy has a lot of secrets, and their only hope to solving the case might be to delve into her past.
This book kept me reading through to the very end! In addition to the main plot with Lucy and J.D., concurrent plot lines give you glimpses of the serial killer and the PIs who unwittingly helped him change his identity—all of which just ramps up the intensity. Although you know the serial killer’s main motivation from the start, readers have to put the puzzle together to figure out how Lucy fits in and how the killer is able to track her every move. And the relationship between Lucy and J.D. throws in a bit of romance. I would recommend this book to readers who like a fast-paced mysteries, thrillers, and/or romantic suspense.