A Handful of Ashes

Rob McCarthy. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-68177-771-9
British author McCarthy’s outstanding sequel to 2016’s The Hollow Men finds medical examiner Harry Kent bemoaning his less-than-successful medical career and hooked on the amphetamines he tells himself he needs to function. To his further dismay, he receives a summons from his troubled, alcoholic former girlfriend, Frankie Noble, now an acting DCI, to look into the death of Dr. Susan Bayliss, who apparently stabbed herself more than once until she severed a major artery. Susan was suspended by London’s Belgrave Hospital for Sick Children, one of the world’s leading pediatric facilities, after she blew the whistle on a cardiac surgeon who lost four young patients in quick succession. Though a previous attempt at a fatal overdose supports the theory that Susan took her own life after losing her job and being publicly vilified, Harry notes marks on her body that suggest someone held her down. McCarthy delivers a startling ending and perfectly blends the whodunit plot with Harry’s struggles with his addiction and his relationship with Frankie. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Co (U.K.). (May)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
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