The main characters are Andrew Broussard “the ‘Plump and Proud’ New Orleans medical examiner,” a wizard at forensic science, observation, and logic, and “his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn.” The main villain, Roy, is also quite a study.
The story premise: Kit has been getting a daily yellow rose from a stranger, the last with an invitation to meet at a restaurant. Kit goes to the meeting, but does not recognize the person. As he gets up to greet her, he collapses and dies. The body winds up in the morgue. Chapter two is a very detailed description of the autopsy where there are some surprises, both medical and otherwise. The man had no identification, his wallet contained wads of money, no credit cards, and a photograph of Kit and her parents from many years ago.
That sets the mystery. Who was this man, what caused his death, and what is his connection to Kit? There was a strange killer on the loose and the bodies begin to pile up. Broussard investigates this medical mystery which gets very close to home.
The main characters are well-developed and there are some interesting, quirky sub-characters. The story follows two parallel plots, the medical mystery of what is killing people off and the kidnapping of Kit and why. Both suspenseful threads keep the reader eager to read the next page. Donaldson weaves and resolves the story lines with skill. And there are some surprising twists at the end.
About the author: D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students. He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers.