San Francisco cop Ben Raveneau is expert at cracking cold cases, but his latest may prove the one that finally defeats him. Ten years ago, grad student Ann Coryell disappeared. Renowned academic Albert Lash, who was her Svengali-like professor and sometime lover, claimed she disappeared after a lover’s quarrel. But when her headless body was found months later, there were no clues and nothing to prove Lash was involved, so the case was shelved. Then, 10 years after her death, an underground bomb shelter containing a bloody mattress and over a dozen skulls is discovered on Lash’s property. Raveneau is brought in to determine if one of the skulls is Coryell’s. What he discovers is a bizarre, tangled, surreal plot involving a plan to wreak revenge on the city of San Francisco, a corrupt cop, a string of violent murders, and a now terminally ill and guilt-ridden Lash. Solid writing, a twisted, keep-’em-guessing plot, and a likable rogue hero drive this entertaining thriller. --Emily Melton
“Seasoned pro Russell showcases sturdy police work on a complicated case.” (Kirkus Reviews
)"Solid writing, a twisted, keep-’em-guessing plot, and a likable rogue hero drive this entertaining thriller"
“Polished writing and well-constructed situations make this one of Russell’s better books” (Publishers Weekly