A Handful of Ashes

Pegasus Crime. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781681777719. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681778143. MYS
This follow-up to McCarthy's acclaimed debut mystery, The Hollow Men, again pairs Dr. Harry Kent, a medical examiner with London's Metropolitan Police, and DIC Frankie Gold. This time, Frankie calls Harry when an apparent suicide has some inconsistencies. Harry learns that the victim, Susan Bayliss, was a doctor who had recently blown the whistle on a famous heart surgeon at a noted children's hospital, accusing him of performing unnecessary high-risk operations to enhance his reputation. Bayliss was the one eventually fired, but at the time of her death she was still pushing for an investigation. Now the families of the deceased children, who had seen her as their chief advocate, are demanding answers from a stonewalling hospital, while Kent and Gold must identify who wanted Bayliss dead.
VERDICT This second entry in an excellent medical thriller/police procedural series fulfills the promise of the first volume. Fast-paced with an unexpected ending, this novel has everything fans of the genre could want.
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