Black’s latest suspenseful series entry features forensic scientist Theresa MacLean using her skills and her wits to solve a murder in an unfinished high rise intended to be the new Cleveland jail. Theresa is challenged with solving a murder, keeping the murdered woman’s child safe, and herself aliveall at 20 stories above the ground! In addition to an “on the edge of the abyss” plot and well-drawn characters, the narrative depicts a decaying inner city, the efforts of some to revitalize it, and the greed of others seeking to profit. Kirsten Potter’s narration is excellent as her voice changes without skipping a beat from male to female characters, including one young girl.
Verdict Recommended for readers looking for a well-researched forensic fiction series. Will be especially enjoyed by those who follow Tess Gerritsen.Sandra C. Clariday, Tennessee Wesleyan Coll. Lib., Athens
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Starred review. "Black handles multiple plots like a pro..." - Kirkus Reviews
"... thoroughly satisfying..." - Booklist
Forensic detective Theresa MacLean (Trail of Blood, 2010, etc.) takes the risk of getting too close to a murder victim's daughter. A construction site is a dangerous place for anyone, much less a woman who's had a little much to drink. So at first blush, it looks as if Samantha Zebrowski just fell from the 23rd floor of what's slated to become Cuyahoga County's new jail. But Samantha has been finishing concrete since she was 14. How could such an experienced worker ignore OSHA regulations and stray past the 10-foot safety zone? Theresa's leading theory is suicide, not an unlikely scenario for a single mom living with a wheelchair-bound mother and an 11-year-old. But Samantha's daughter Anna, known as Ghost, claims to have followed her mother on her barhopping tour that night and saw someone push her over the edge. True to her name, Ghost slips out of her Nana's house the next day and shows up at the medical examiner's office wanting to help Theresa find the "Shadow Man" who was with Samantha the night of her death. Theresa dries Ghost's tears and promises her that she and her cousin, homicide detective Frank Patrick, will find Samantha's killer. The next day, while lunching with prosecutor Ian Bauer, she sees the little girl showing her mother's picture to the bartender at Tavern on the Green. Fearful that the Shadow Man will try to eliminate Ghost before she can identify him, Theresa redoubles her efforts to bring Samantha's killer to swift justice. Black handles multiple plots like a pro, building a story with almost as many layers as the new Cleveland jail.