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It's a sunny morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also Dr. Kay Scarpetta's birthday. She's about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their home. Is this a kids' game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cell phone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher was shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet no one heard or saw a thing.
In this twenty-second Scarpetta novel, she finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible to achieve, yet they are so perfect; that they cause death in an instant. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and now it looks like the killer has moved elsewhere, to the murky depths off the coast. It's here that; Scarpetta dives a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. And where she comes face to face with shocking news that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta's very own flesh and blood.