Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has just returned from working one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history when she’s awakened at an early hour by Detective Pete Marino.
A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineer Gail Shipman, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered mere weeks before the trial of her hundred-million-dollar lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece Lucy.
At a glance there is no sign of what killed Gail Shipman, but she’s covered with a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces brilliantly in three vivid colors, what Scarpetta calls a mineral fingerprint. Clearly the body has been posed with chilling premeditation that is symbolic and meant to shock, and she has reason to worry the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington D.C. Stunningly, Scarpetta will discover that her FBI profiler husband Benton Wesley is convinced certain people in the government, including his boss, don’t want the killer caught.
In Dust, Scarpetta and her colleagues are up against a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.” The murder of Gail Shipman soon leads deep into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.With unparalleled high-tension suspense and the latest in forensic technology, Patricia Cornwell once again proves her exceptional ability to surprise – and to thrill.