• Scarpetta, chief medical examiner for Virginia, is called to the scene of an abandoned car.
• The car's condition, makes Scarpetta and fellow investigators believe it is related to three previous cases.
• The occupants of this car were Deborah Harvey and Fred Cheney.
• Deborah is the daughter of the Drug Czar, Pat Harvey, an influential politician.
• Pat Harvey arrives at the rest area by helicopter.
• Search dogs are brought in to assist in the search for Deborah and Fred.
• Neither the car, the area around it, or the rest areas reveal much useful information.
• Day after car is found, Pat Harvey invites Scarpetta to her home.
• Pat Harvey knows disappearance of her daughter has similarities to other cases involving a serial killer.
• Scarpetta agrees there are similarities between the prior murders and this disappearance.
• Scarpetta gathers more information about Deborah from Pat and goes into Deborah's room...
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