About the book:
Author: Stephen Leather
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Publish date: (5 Jun. 2014)
Pages: 416 eBook pages can be different
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery,
Superintendent Ronald Chalmers slotted a piece of chewing gum into his mouth and studied the
burned corpse laid out on the stainless-steel table. He had been a police officer for more than twenty-
five years and had seen more than his fair share of dead bodies over that time but this one was
definitely in the top five when it came to making him nauseous. Chalmers had put a dab of Vicks
VapoRub under his nose before entering the room but even so the stench of barbecued meat was
strong enough to make his stomach churn.
A deep Y-shaped incision had been made from the top of each shoulder down to the sternum and
then the cut had continued to the pubic bone deviating to the left of the navel. The cut always went to
the left. Chalmers didn’t know why, but it was always done that way. The internal organs had been
removed and preserved. Then the top of the skull had been sawn off and the brain had been placed in a
solution of formalin.
The superintendent looked over at the coroner who had performed the post-mortem. She was a
heavy-set woman with short permed hair and thick-framed spectacles. Her name was Lesley
MacDiarmid and Chalmers had known her for the best part of ten years. ‘So what do you think?’
‘Definitely dead,’ growled MacDiarmid.
Chalmers sighed. MacDiarmid was known for her dour Scottish sense of humour but she was also
the best coroner in London, by far. ‘So tell me what I need to know,’ said Chalmers patiently. ‘Is this
the body of Jack Nightingale?’