When convicted killer RonnieJoe Waddell is executed in Virginia's electric chair, he becomes what should be a routine postmortem case for Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.But after Waddell's execution, the murders continue, as everyone connected to him begins to die -- including a member of Scarpetta's staff.
Then, when crucial records disappear from her files, Scarpetta comes under fire for incompetence. Caught in a web of political intrigue, betrayed by those she trusted, Scarpetta must fight to free herself from murderous insinuations-- and threats to her own life.
To save her career, Scarpetta soon finds herself retracing Waddell's bloody footprints, following a trail that might lead to long-hidden secrets deep within the state government. Either the truth will set her free -- or unleash upon her a punishment both cruel and unusual.