Carol O’Connell succeeds triumphantly, once again, in creating an intriguing crime scenario and also an engaging group of characters, all damaged in their own different ways, who pursue their destinies in a city that is both darkly dangerous and resilient to disaster. After bringing in a unanimous and very dubious acquittal in a murder case, only three of the original jurors remain alive. And someone, known only as the ‘Reaper’ because of the signature of a bloody scythe left at the crime scenes, is clearly determined to make a clean sweep of the terrified survivors. Detective Sgt. Riker, although on paid sick leave after a teenage psychopath pumped four bullets into his chest, has a keen but unofficial interest in the case. And his NYPD Special Crimes partner, Kathy Mallory, orphan, sociopath and computer genius, is resolute that there will be no more personal defections in her life, and determined to discover the identity of the killer before he, or she makes a complete mockery of justice.