Scarpetta and her team are called to a scene at a shipping yard that will affect all of them! A reporter has died mysteriously and it is up to them to figure out why and what he was doing in a shipping yard bay at night.
As usual, the detective/deductive element cannot be too satisfying as the findings of Dr. Kay Scarpetta didn't expose the criminal's plan or motive before the criminals acted ! In fact, before the criminal act happened, almost everybody sort of disbelieved or played down Scarpetta's straightforward suspicion. At the end, Scarpetta has had to be a heroin to confront with the Evil Spirt.
All the supporting characters, Lucy, Pete Marino, and Benton Wesley seem too very familiar (to the extent of cliché) and there has been no surprise from them. Probably the best part is that I've got to see a bit more history between Benton and Kay, filling a bit of gap in their history that I have not read before.
At the end, Joel Hand suffered from severe radiation and died (conveniently) apparently because of their ignorance towards dealing with radiation or heavy water. Though Scarpetta probably did a good job in educating his staff and Pete, there should at least be some radiation readings of some sorts (eg. in rem/hour) for the U-235 in the debris sample in her Lab. to definitely say that it's nothing to worry about. I'm a high energy/particle physicist and feel a tiny bit excited when I saw "High Energy Physics Lab" appeared on the 27th line of p.228. I've googled and now it seems that UVA has the "High Energy Physics" group as well as the "Nuclear and Particle Physics" group. That's the most common as typically, "high energy physics" and "particle physics" are synonymous. It might not be like that in 1990's, the time that the story in this novel has occurred.
The author likes to use a lot of Italian names. On p.57 (4th line from the bottom), p.69 (17th line) and p.73 (lines 11-12), , the author used the words "Parmesan reggiano". I was curious and checked (ie. google-d) and found that in EU, "Parmigiano-Reggiano" is equivalent to "Parmesan". In US, though it's not clear whether Parmesan is the real "Parmigiano-Reggiano" (cheese), it seems that people call it either Parmigiano(-)Reggiano or Parmesan, but not "Parmesan reggiano" :-) Maybe, a bit picky, on p.101 (3rd line), "undelete*.*" seems to miss a space in front of "*.*" (it should be "undelete *.*"; otherwise the command would not work)....Continua