When convicted killer RonnieJoe Waddell is executed in Virginia's electric chair, he becomes what shouldbe a routine postmortem case for Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.But after Waddell's execution, the murders continue, as everyone connectedto him begins to die -- including a member of Scarpetta's staff. Then, when crucial records disappear from her files, Scarpetta comes underfire for incompetence. Caught in a web of political intrigue, betrayed bythose 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 bloodyfootprints, following a trail that might lead to long-hidden secrets deepwithin the state government. Either the truth will set her free -- or unleashupon her a punishment both cruel and unusual.